God wants us to be free. He is the God who sets the captives free. The God of deliverance. Jesus died and rose again so that we might live in spiritual freedom. I believe the church is entering into a season during which God is going to reveal by the power of the Holy Spirit the things in our lives or mind sets which are obstacles or hindrances to us living fully as Jesus wants us to live and doing His works. The power of the gospel working in and through us. Jesus wants to set us free from every oppressive work and lie of the enemy which is operating in our lives and restricting us. It might be fear, unbelief, guilt, lack of self-belief, un-forgiveness, trauma, depression, anxiety, sinful behaviour or addictions – there can be many things which hold us back and from stepping out in faith. Things which restrict the flow of the power of the Holy Spirit in and through us to others.
There is a word for this season from Isaiah 60 verse 1- “Arise, Shine – for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you”. The Lord asked me -What is stopping you from rising – what is trying to stop you from doing things for me? What is stopping you from shining? What is tainting the light shining from you? In my case it was fear – fear which I didn’t even realise was there. The Lord showed me that a traumatic event in my childhood had left a mark of fear on my life. It wasn’t a gripping, completely debilitating fear which paralysed me but it still used to rise up out of the blue causing me to question and torment myself over things I had said or done. Decisions made and actions taken – Was I right or wrong. It caused me to worry about making mistakes and over analyse the decisions I had made. Thankfully the Lord set me free and healed me from this fear. Who the son sets free is free indeed – Fear no longer has a part in me because of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross and His resurrection power.
I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit reveal things which may be holding you back in this season or which may be tainting your light so you are not shining brightly for Him. Jesus wants you to be free and He alone can set you free.
As I was fasting and praying, I believe I heard in the spirit, the Lord, Jesus saying the following “The day is coming when My fire, My breath will blow across this land. Great swathes of the land will catch fire and the fire will spread. Those who submit themselves to the fire of my holiness and glory will be refined. They will shine like the stars of heaven. They will go out like a mighty army of people to serve me with whole hearts and faithfulness. The process of refining will be quick now. It will be a time to jump into the fire of God to be refined. All the muck and chaff to come off and away and what is left to be pure and reflect My glory. For I am a Holy God and I desire a holy people. Totally committed to me and with faith in Me. For this time is coming soon and the bride must prepare herself. Those who will not get into the fire will have no place in the ministry to come. They must be pure in Me, cleansed in Me, redeemed in Me. I have come to bring fire down from heaven. All glory and praise and honour to My name. He who has ears let him listen and understand what the Spirit is saying. The things which are not of Me are required to be burnt up like dross. They are required to be burnt and destroyed so that new life can come. Those things which are dead need to be put on the fire. I will breathe new life into you.”
The Lord has been impressing the importance of the gatekeepers taking up their positions as watchmen in the gateways of our nation. To stand against the wicked schemes and influence of the evil one in and against our nation. There is a sense of urgency to pray for the protection of the nation, especially that any schemes or plots (particularly terrorism) which would seek to bring violence and destruction in public places will be discovered, foiled and exposed. Please pray for those who are in positions of authority and overseeing the security or involved in the security of our nation on any level that they will be blessed with Godly wisdom, foresight and knowledge to stop any such evil plans and expose the works of darkness. Pray that eyes will be anointed to notice and see the truth about situations especially to see through things which are not what they seem. That people in positions of authority will heed any warnings and not ignore them but take the right action at the right time. We declare our trust in God. God help us, protect us and guide us at this time. We declare that light is more powerful than darkness.
As I was praying today, I felt the Lord say to declare that the gates of this nation are to be opened and not closed. In Jesus’ name, I declare that the gates of this nation are and will be open and not closed. The ports will be opened. The trade routes will be opened. The gates of this nation will not be closed but open. This nation is not a nation of shop keepers but door keepers. The doors of the nation are to be opened. Let the appointed and anointed door keepers take up their positions in the North, the South, the East and the West of this nation and open the gates for the King of Glory to come in. Swing wide the gates of this nation and let the King come in. We declare that this nation is open. Let our walls be salvation and our gates Praise to the King.
Isaiah 60 v 10 “The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, And their Kings shall minister to you. For in my wrath I struck you, But in my Favour I have had mercy on you. Therefore your gates shall be open continually, they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring you the wealth of the Gentiles and their kings in procession.”
Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, Jesus, come in. The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle. Gates are important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions. Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them. We all have gateways in our lives and minds. Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad . There are gateways in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil. Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open. I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be. Trust him to help you overcome and strengthen you and bring freedom.
I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town. At one prayer meeting we stood on a bridge over the river which flows into and through our town. As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24 and then the two people in the middle break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord. As we did this and moved apart we looked down and a wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge. We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time. The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God. He had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened. We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus so that we can bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation. I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.
The words of Isaiah 55 remind us of God’s invitation to abundant life. Jesus issues this invitation to all – regardless of race, gender, creed or colour – everyone is welcome. Jesus calls people to come to Him – everyone who is weary, thirsty or hungry – only He can satisfy and give us true life in all its fullness and the promise of eternal life. I attended Encounter at my friend’s church last night. Their mission statement is simple -to help people find Jesus and follow Him. An invitation to church or a special service can be one way to help someone you know discover Jesus as Saviour for themselves. It is providing an opportunity for someone to meet and see Jesus – perhaps for the first ever time. Christmas is just around the corner and we have the opportunity to invite people to a variety of events. Jesus told a parable about people who were invited to a wedding feast but refused to come – they made lots of different excuses. People will always have the choice whether to accept the invitation or not – that is up to them, but we should not give up or be discouraged from issuing the invite because it gets refused – Jesus isn’t. He told the disciples to shake the dust from their feet and move on when their message was not welcomed at places. Perhaps we need to shake off some past disappointments and defeatist mind sets and start sending out those invitations. I know I do. There will come a time when it will be too late to issue the invites but we can encourage others to “seek Him while He can be found”. Isaiah 55 v 6. Who can you invite today to find Jesus?
Over recent weeks God keeps bringing these verses from Isaiah 55 back to mind. v1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
Many years ago our Pastor had a vision in which he felt God say the following to him.
” I am going to restore the appetite of the church for the manifest power and presence of God. A spiritual famine has touched your land. It’s not the result of the lack of or withdrawal of God’s presence and power but it’s a famine of the appetite of God’s people.
Then I looked and saw two groups of people. The first group looked thin and drawn and slightly withered, they were frail and looked prematurely old. God said to me, these people are not the result of an imposed famine. Their condition is the result of a famine in their appetites for the presence and power of God. They have withdrawn in their faith, belief and expectation of God. As a result their appetites have been suppressed, reduced and their health is at risk.
Then I looked and saw another group of people, they were overweight, large people. I said to myself, they must have an appetite Lord. And I felt the Lord say to me “they are also part of a famine. They have just filled their lives with something other than the manifest power and presence of God. They have substituted their appetite for God for other things, as a result they too have suppressed their appetites. I was reminded of this scripture. Isaiah 55 v 1-2. Ho everyone who thirsts come to the waters and you who have no money come buy and eat, come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is good and delight yourself in abundance. “
I pray that God will restore our appetite during these days so that we may hunger and thirst for righteousness and will overflow the “goodness of God in the land of the living”.