The Horse Gate

This gate speaks of battles and as Christians we are in a spiritual battle.     We have an enemy, Satan,  who doesn’t want us to mature spiritually and discover the fullness of who we are in Christ.     The enemy will try and discourage you, hinder you and stop you.     He will do what he can to put thoughts into your mind and build strongholds there to frustrate your Christian walk.     He will try and deceive you, tempt you, cause you to be fearful,  to give up because you are weary, frustrated, anxious and being a Christian just seems too difficult.

Let us not give up but let us fight the good fight.    Ephesians 6 says “Finally, my bretheren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities against powers against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.

Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, and above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

God has equipped us through the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of the word and Christ with the ability to stand against and overcome our enemy.   The bible says that when we submit to God, resist the enemy then the promise of God is that “he will flee”.      Jesus said that he overcame the world and so we can too.

The Fountain & Water Gates

The Fountain Gate –   Nehemiah repaired the Fountain Gate.   This gate reminds me of Jesus – who is the fountain of living water- and also the daily power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.    There is a living well of spiritual water for us to draw from daily.    It is an inexhaustible supply that will never run dry.      Jesus said we never need to thirst again when we come to Him because He is the living water.   He can satisfy our thirst in all areas and bring refreshing to us.    When we are tired, weary or discouraged then we can come to the Fountain Gate and be refreshed.    We can drink deeply of Jesus and be restored.      If we forsake the living water then we will be dry and empty with nothing to give.  Our source of spiritual life is Jesus.

timelapse photography off water fountain
Photo by Gabriel Peter on Pexels.com

 

The Water Gate –    This gate speaks to me of the power of the word of God which is at work in our lives.    The bible teaches us that we are washed by the word of God.      The word of God is powerful and true – a test of our thoughts and intentions.   When we read, meditate and act on the Word of God then we see the fruit if its out-working in our lives and it keeps us on the right path.

The Water Gate was the only gate which didn’t need repair.    The word of God endures for ever.     God’s word doesn’t need to be improved,  added to or altered – it is complete just as it is.   It is the best manual for a successful and fulfilling life.

Breakthrough

A visiting speaker encouraged us recently to be a bit of kindling and allow the Lord to set fire to us.   A little fire can be all it takes – it can spread like wildfire as nature has shown us with the wildfires which took hold last year in various places. At this time we are to press in and not be discouraged.  Don’t settle where you are but press on in faith.     The breakthrough or miracle you have been waiting for or seeing in faith could be just around the corner.

We may face opposition just before we see the promise and answer come to pass.    When Jesus was on the way to heal the sick daughter of the leader, Jairus, people came to tell him not to bother because the girl was already dead.     Jesus refused to accept that and told them that she was not dead only sleeping.   The people ridiculed him but Jesus silenced them, pressed ahead and the girl was raised up. People may ridicule you or try to stop you pressing in to what God has for you and the vision He has shown you.

When we step out in faith we are His vessels.  It is the oil of His Presence and the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us to do His good works which He prepared beforehand for us to do.    The people who know their God will be strong and do mighty things.   You may have people telling you opposite things to the promises of God and what God has revealed to you by His Holy Spirit.   Do not listen to them and refuse to believe them.  Stand on the Word of God.    You may have to be bold and silence them.   Fix your eyes on Christ.  Lift up your head and see the King of Glory

In scripture John the Baptist said that Jesus was the one who would baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire.     Tongues of fire appeared on the heads of those who first received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.   I have been baptised in the Holy Spirit but I want to be on fire for Jesus.   I believe this fire is purifying and empowering to enable the Holy Spirit to flow through us in power in signs and wonders to give a powerful witness to the gospel message of Christ.     The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and glorifies Jesus Christ. People are saved and those who are suffering to healed and restored. Hold on to your promise and vision today and believe in faith. It will happen in His appointed time.

The Bride – Restoration

As I was praying last week and in worship at Church I had a picture of a bride.     I first saw a picture of a lion and knew that this was Jesus – the lion of Judah.     The Lion was looking at something and when I followed his gaze, I saw that He was looking at a bride.

The picture shocked me.   Although the bride was dressed in a beautiful white dress and veil -the dress was truly beautiful – spotless and pure bright white, the bride herself looked grey and gaunt, withered and frail.    Her beauty had faded and she had no vitality or joy.    Her skin was stretched tautly over her bones and was grey and papery.    She looked weary as if she had no strength in her from lack of food.   She reminded me of a living corpse.     It was a terrible sight.     The bride was not old which accounted for her appearance.   She was young.

I thought is this a picture of the church at the moment- the body of Christ as a whole in the world?   Is this what Jesus sees when He looks at us?    That the body has lost its vitality, its beauty and is famished and without strength.      I was encouraged that the bride’s dress was pure and white.   Jesus’ blood truly cleanses us from all sin and purifies us.    It reminded me that Jesus is coming back for a spotless bride, but I believe He also wants to come back for a radiant, beautiful and strong bride who is full of His life, joy, power and strength and who radiates His glory and goodness in the world.

I pray that if this picture is correct that the Holy Spirit will reveal it and show us our true condition.   That our hearts will be convicted of our lack of His life working in and through us.    That we will acknowledge and repent over our condition and turn again to the living hope which is in Christ Jesus by the power of His Holy Spirit to be restored and refreshed.    We will realise our desperation and need of Jesus and that without Him there is no power for living.   He alone is the bread of life and the living water.   John 7 v37 “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink, he who believes in me as the scriptures say out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”.   John 6: 48 Jesus said “I am the bread of life”.     Jesus is the Word of God made flesh and His words are life to us.   The bible is food for our soul.  

Jesus is in the business of restoration.      The Lord reminded me of the picture of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 later in the same day and God’s question to Ezekiel – can these dry bones live?    In my picture – Can the bride’s strength, joy, life, beauty and power be restored?  In faith I believe that the answer is Yes and I say Yes to God.   As Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones – we say to the Church – hear the word of the Lord.   “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live” V5  “I will put My Spirit in you and you shall live” v13. 

Isaiah 40 v 29 says “He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might, He increases strength”.  V31 “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”.   I believe God wants to restore our strength for these days ahead so that we will not grow weary in doing good but will have the strength to continue in the face of adversity and persecution and persevere.   We are called to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.   May our vitality be restored.  May we be filled with the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God.

This is the way walk in it..

Isaiah 30: 21 says “Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying “This is the way walk in it”. Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left”.

road nature trees branches

If you are looking for direction in your life and seeking the path that God wants you to take or a new door is opening up to you then take encouragement from the promise in these verses.   God will direct your way.

This is a season for stepping into the new things of God.  It may be paths that you or no-one else has travelled before, areas which you have never ventured into, things you or nobody else has ever done but take comfort that God will make it clear that you are on the right path.    God will direct you to move forward into new things.    Don’t look back at the old or try to do things in the same way but with boldness step into the new.    This is a season for God to show you how to do things in a different way.    Don’t worry or be anxious that you don’t know what’s up ahead – trust God.    If you are walking where God wants you to walk then you are going in the right direction.

You may face discouragement – people may think you are crazy even to attempt something new but God will give you the vision and you will hear His still small voice saying “This is the way walk in it”.    You will know it is God speaking to you.    I encourage you to be bold in faith today as you hear Him speak to you.   Take hold of the opportunity which God is bringing your way.

I sense this may be a season for some that God will completely turn things on their head.  God will flip things upside down but you will emerge unscathed.    Allow God to be in the driving seat.

I pray God will increase your vision in these days.  To stir in you a new vision, a bigger vision and to break new ground for Him.   To see new things and create new opportunities for the gospel to be preached and people to be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ.

 

Prayer – Prayerful Confession part 2

In part 1 we focussed on how meditating and confessing the names of God and discovering the character of God (which is revealed through His names) can help us in our times of prayer.    Other things to help us in prayer are:

1. ATTITUDE; – The word “confess” comes from the Hebrew word “Yadah” meaning “an open or extended hand” – In prayerful confession we are reaching out to take hold of God and Him alone and declaring that we are putting our trust in Him alone.   We are acting humbly by putting God in His rightful position and focusing on Him.

This humble attitude is a KEY to God hearing and answering our prayers:

“If my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land ”  2 Chronicles 7 v14

A HUMBLE ATTITUDE in our hearts can be demonstrated physically in prayer by KNEELING, LYING ON OUR FACES BEFORE GOD, RAISING OUR HANDS etc.

Jesus’ model prayer demonstrates humility in his final words “FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER AMEN”.

Let us not forget (particularly when prayers are answered or when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation) that the glory always belongs to God and Jesus.

2.THE WORD OF GOD;   If we are going to give voice to our faith and understanding of GOD’S Character, His Works, His Wonders, His Glory and confess our belief in God, His promises and His Word then we need to have our bibles or other access to the Word of God to hand whilst we pray so that we can confess scripture out loud or meditate on the Word.

Try and get into the habit in your prayer times or meetings of praying with your bible to hand or other access to the Word of God through your phone, tablets etc.

Isaiah Ch 55 v 11 “ So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth: It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing which I sent it”.

When you proclaim the Word it will build you up spiritually and encourage you in your faith. You are also proclaiming God’s word to spirits, principalities & powers and you will learn to use it as a sword. e.g. if you were in a situation where you needed to be assured of God’s victory/might in battle you could read out the song of Moses in Exodus 15 1-18 when God rescued the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians. If you needed to declare Christ’s sovereign position and authority then read out Revelation 19 11- 16.

It will take some effort initially to look up relevant portions of scripture but the Word of God is the sword of the spirit (Ephesians Ch 6 ) and one of the weapons of warfare so we need to know how to use THE WORD effectively in prayer.  This doesn’t mean picking out scriptures without any thought to throw at situations but by prayerful meditation on the Word allow the Holy Spirit to direct you to passages of scripture.    When you meditate on the Word in prayer it also gives God the opportunity to speak to you through HIS WORD and His still small voice in your spirit.

3. WORSHIP –   Prayerful confession of God’s name is also part of WORSHIP which literally means – giving worth to HIS NAME . Our response to the name of the Lord is to worship (Psalm 66:2) and to give thanks, praise and bless (Psalm 100:4) and to lift up our hands (Psalm 63:4) – See later notes on Solomon’s attitude in prayer.

It changes the atmosphere when you speak out and give voice to the praises of God and Jesus in your prayer times. Praise and worship should always be part of our times of prayer as it is the pathway of praise & worship which leads us into His presence.   If you find it difficult to praise and worship on your own or in a small group then perhaps start by reading a Psalm of praise out loud/ putting on worship music/reading out loud the lyrics of a worship song.   I have found that repeating the name of Jesus over and over and meditating on His name and telling him how much I love him is helpful at such times.

ln Psalm 103 we are encouraged to “Bless the Lord O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name” and in Psalm 99 “Let them praise Your great and awesome name – He is holy”

4.REPENTANCE – Confession/revelation of God and His character will lead us into repentance. Ask God by His Holy Spirit to reveal areas of our lives where we are not living right. Take time in prayer to allow God to search our hearts. Pray and meditate on Psalm  51 v 10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me”.   Repent of anything revealed and receive and thank God for his forgiveness and cleansing by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.   Remember this is conviction not condemnation. We should repent of sin (including sins of omission, bad attitudes etc) then receive forgiveness through Christ and move forward. We can’t be effective in prayer if there is sin between us and God. We need to be right with God before we can pray effectively.   It is the “ FERVENT PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN WHICH ARE EFFECTIVE” James 5:16

PRAYERFUL CONFESSION in SCRIPTURE;

An example of prayerful confession and the importance of declaring God’s name is found in many of David’s Psalms but also Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple to God in 2 Chronicles Ch 6 v 12-42.

In these verses first of all we see Solomon demonstrate a humble attitude before God by kneeling down before all the people and lifting his hands up towards heaven.     Kneeling before God in prayer/lifting up our hands to heaven demonstrates submission to God as mentioned earlier.     Solomon did this before “all the people”. He was the king but he wasn’t too proud or embarrassed in front of the people to adopt this humble posture before God.

Solomon starts by confessing who God is “v 14 LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with your servants who walk before you with all their hearts”.

Then Solomon goes on to ask God to hear and answer the prayers which the people will make in the temple. He points to the responsibility of the people to seek God for mercy and the importance of repentance and confession of God’s name (v24 & 26) as part of this.

RESULT: “ When Solomon had finished praying fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices and the glory of the Lord filled the temple” Ch 7 v1

If we want the fire of God to fall on us and spiritually ignite us in prayer so that we experience God’s glory then I believe we need to give God a sacrifice of prayer, praise and worship. This means spending time in prayer and making prayer our lifestyle.

THE BIG QUESTION WE NEED TO ASK OURSELVES IS AND I COUNT MYSELF IN THIS TOO – AM I WILLING TO SACRIFICE TIME IN PRAYER TO SEE REVIVAL IN MYSELF, MY FAMILY, MY CHURCH, MY COMMUNITY & MY NATION?

If the answer is yes, particularly in these troublesome times, then let us all spend time each day seeking God in prayer and asking Him to increase our desire for him, actively seeking Him, for Him to give us an urgency in our spirits to pray and to pour out the Holy Spirit upon us in power and the fire.

John the Baptist said of Jesus “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire”

Let’s agree to pray for some of that fire.

“I pray that you will know God and the Lord Jesus Christ in a new and deeper understanding. That you will have a deeper revelation of who Jesus is and the power which is His.

I pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened.   That your spiritual eyes will be opened.   That you will have a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ from this day forward.

I pray that fire from heaven will fall upon you and the power of the Holy Spirit. That you will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and will go out and do great works by the power of His holy name, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Let the fire fall and let your heart be aflame with love and revelation of Jesus and the power that is in Him. Never tire of doing His good works and walk in His footsteps forever and ever. Amen”

Prayer – What’s in a name? Part 1

Praying and declaring from a high place

If you feel the call of God and prompting of the Holy Spirit to go up to a high place in your area, city, region or town, wherever it may be,  then I encourage you to do it.  Seek the Lord before going and ask Him to reveal the strategy for your prayers and why He is calling you to this specific place.     We were led by God to pray to Him and declare the Word of God and prophetic words from a high point overlooking our area,  the Clent Hills.    We believe that this was a very strategic place.  A place that had been and was being used by others for purposes which were not of God and were corrupting and influencing our area.   It was a place that we needed to speak out with authority God’s Word and promises over our area for change to happen.

We spent a number of evenings in prayer seeking God before going out on this prayer walk as we believed that God had a specific strategy for how we should pray.   The Holy Spirit led us to a number of scriptures – Isaiah 59 – “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord raises up a Standard against Him” and “Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is shining upon you”.  Isaiah 60.      Isaiah 59 says “So shall they fear; The Name of the Lord from the west; And His glory from the rising of the sun,  When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a Standard against him; The Redeemed will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob says the Lord.   As for Me says the Lord – this is My covenant with them; My Spirit who is upon you, and My Word which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your descendants.”      God gave us instruction to carry a standard with us when we climbed the hill – a red flag with a picture of the Lion of Judah on it.     By carrying the flag we were making a declaration of the truth of this scripture to the enemy.   We had a picture of God’s Holy Angels being released into the area for God’s purposes – a vast army – to battle with the enemy.     Amos 4 v 13 says “For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is , And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth – The Lord of hosts is His Name.   God was releasing His angels to help us – We declared He is the Lord of hosts.  We also believed that we were “lifting up a banner for the peoples” – Isaiah 60 v 10.

Psalm 24 was a key in preparing us for this time of prayer walk.   “Who may ascend the Hill of the Lord?   He who has clean hands and a pure heart and who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully”.      The Lord searches our hearts and any unconfessed sin has to be dealt with.     It was really important for us to take time to ensure that our hearts were right before God before going into prayer warfare such as this for the area.   The heart is deceitful above all things so we allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to us and confess it before each other.

The Lord also gave us a word to declare from Amos 4 “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, “Bring us wine, let us drink!”  The Lord God has sworn by His holiness:   “Behold, the days shall come upon you when He will take you away with fishhooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.  You will go out through broken walls, Each one straight ahead of her, And you will be cast into Harmon” says the Lord.

A word also about wicked Rulers Micah v 1-4  – “Hear now, O head of Jacob, and you rulers of the house of Israel:  Is it not for you to know justice? You who hate good and love evil.  Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones, And chop them in pieces like meat for the pot, like flesh in the cauldron”.   Then they will cry to the Lord but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds.”      Leaders cannot do ill, oppress those underneath them who they should be protecting and expect God to hear them.

In our prayer time there was a tongue and the interpretation.  This was to be an invitation to abundant life and call to repentance.  – Isaiah 55 1-13.  “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money Come buy and eat.  v6  “Seek the Lord while He may be found.  Call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.  Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.”  v12  “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands”.

Also, Hosea 6: 1  “Come let us return to the Lord.  For He has torn us but He will heal us.  He has stricken but He will bind us up.  After two days He will revive us.  On the third day He will raise us up that we may live in His Sight.  Let us know.  Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.    His going forth is established like the morning.  He will come to us like the rain.  Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”.

We fasted on the day that we were to do the prayer walk.   We felt called to do the prayer walk on a particular date.   On the evening of the prayer walk, we took communion together at the bottom of the hill.   We prayed and spoke from Psalm 121. – God the help of those who seek him.    “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”.   We then walked up the hill, praying and singing as we went.   We played the song by Robin Marks – “Shout to the North” – “Men of faith rise up and sing, of the great and glorious King.  You are strong when you feel weak, in your brokenness complete.  Shout to the North and the South, Sing to the East and the West, Jesus is Saviour to all, Lord of heaven and earth”.   We felt led to walk in a certain order – I walked first as in a spearhead and then we came two by two with a rear guard as well.    We also brought a Shofar with us to blow from the top of the hill and a compass so that we would know which direction we were facing when declaring the Word.

We waved the flag at the top of the hill as we prayed to the north, south, east & the west and declared all the scriptures which God had previously given us.    We poured water and oil onto the ground as led by the Holy Spirit.   We then asked for the angelic host to be released to do God’s will in our area,  to carry out His orders, to help people and to battle the enemy.   We blew the Shofar and called to the wind to blow, for the wind of God to blow across our area and in that moment the wind completely changed direction.    If we had not been flying the flag, we would probably not have noticed the change in direction and we believe this was a sign from God.  We believe that God had heard our prayer and something had shifted in the spiritual realm.  Praise God.

Before we went to pray, one of our group had wanted to start a fire on the hill but we did not have peace about this particularly as open fires were forbidden.   It did not sit right in our spirits to break the law and so we gave that to God and refused permission for that to be done.    When you go to pray as a group you need unity and to be in agreement.   Sometimes,  the leader will have to exercise Godly wisdom and discernment to avoid anything being done which is not right and take authority in those circumstances.  On the evening, as we stood on the top of the hill and looked in the distance we saw a bonfire burning brightly.   There were no other fires in the area and we believe this was the sign of fire which the person had seen in the spirit.   We didn’t need to start a fire the Lord God would do that.   The Lord is an all-consuming fire – He can burn up the dross and purify.    As Elijah called down fire from heaven we called down the spiritual fire of God on our area.   Let us be on fire for God, burning brightly for Him.  Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of God is shining upon you.