I felt that God spoke to me recently about the fellowship that I am attending currently, that it has a pioneering spirit. I believe that they have been gifted in God to be pioneers in their community and to bless the local community in this way. I have been encouraged to hear how God has already used them in this way and I believe will continue to use them in this way in the future. I have heard about their work in pioneering street pastors, the food bank, the life centre, the bereavement group, prayer on the streets etc.. and I am sure that there is more that they have pioneered which I don’t know about. As we were in worship a few weeks ago, I saw a picture of their fellowship on fire for the Lord – it was as if I saw a picture of a map of the local area and the church was on fire. It was burning brightly. As I looked the fire also started to take hold in other fellowships in the area and they started to be on fire too. Perhaps this fellowship will be a catalyst for something God is going to do in this area and which will then spread.
We were taking communion on Sunday and I was reminded of God’s banqueting table and that His banner over us there is love. The words are from the Song of Solomon but we also sing a worship song about God bringing us to His banqueting table. It is only through that act of selfless love when Christ died on the cross that we have the ability to come to that banqueting table and to the place prepared for us there. Christ issued the invitation and I accepted. Christ’s banner of love is over me and all around me when I am there. I have a place at the banqueting table and so I have access to the full provision of God. I am dressed appropriately for the banquet with the garments of salvation and the robes of righteousness because I have accepted Christ as my saviour, so there is no chance that I will be refused entry, but how often I can neglect to go there and take hold of and enjoy all that Christ has obtained for me at the Cross. Thankfully, the invitation from God is always open to come at any time – 24/7. There is always a welcome and my place will never be filled by anyone else so there is always a guarantee that I will have a place at the banqueting table. God can do exceedingly above all that I ask or imagine there because he is a God of abundance. The banquet is a picture of abundance and plenty for everyone. The best food and drink are laid on at the banquet for the guests. Let’s not neglect to ask God for the things that we need and to trust Him to provide for us and sustain us. It might be physical or spiritual sustenance that we need and we can be sure that whatever it is, He will be faithful to meet our needs. Allow Him to fill us there with His love there so that we can be changed and overflow that love to others. There was a time a few years ago when we were away on retreat and the leader encouraged us all to take up the invitation to come to God’s banqueting table. He pulled up a physical chair and invited us to take our seat at the table. We did so and as we did that physical act we saw and imagined ourselves seated at the table feasting on all the provision of God that Christ had obtained for us. It had a profound effect on me. I encourage you to take up your place at God’s banqueting table today. Don’t leave it empty.
I preached on Joseph a number of years ago and as part of that preach the Lord gave me 3 words for the church. The Lord has reminded me of those words now and so they may encourage you. The first was that the wealth of the Egyptians and the treasures of darkness would be released to the church for God’s plans to be accomplished for His glory and to advance His kingdom. Those who had need of resources to fulfil the vision that God had given them had to ask in faith for these resources to be released to them. The resources would be released but not from the traditional church giving etc. but would come from external sources – “the wealth of the Egyptians” and “treasures of darkness”. It did not matter that people may not have all of God’s purposes revealed to them but as they walked out the purposes of God and His plans then more and more would be revealed. It just needed that first step of faith. If you need resources to fulfil the vision that God has given you then ask God to give you the wealth of the Egyptians and the hidden riches of the secret places so that you can be a blessing to others. – Isaiah 45 v3. v 14 “Thus says the Lord – the labour of Egypt and merchandise of Cush; and of the Sabeans, men of stature, they shall come over to you and they shall be yours.”
The second word was that some would suffer for the sake of the vision and calling which the Lord had put on their life but that God would never forsake them. He would be with them in every situation and would reward them when they stand before His throne. If you are going through a difficult situation then hold on to God in faith and run the race until the end. The Lord will reward your faithfulness and will never let you down. He is with you in all the suffering and pain to uphold you.
The third word was that some would leave and go to foreign people and foreign places and that was part of God’s purpose and plan. He was calling them out. If you feel the call of God to go out to foreign places then follow that vision with confidence that it is God who has put the desire in your heart.
In 2004, we had a picture of people from all churches joining together to pray for the area. We were pushing heavy gates and everyone had to push together. The gates were like large sluice gates and water was stored up behind them. As we all pushed the gates opened and water flooded in to revive the area. We believed this was a sign of unity in the body of Christ leading to revival in us and then the area. We sang that song “Swing wide the gates and let the King come in” and prayed from Psalm 24 verses 7-10 about the ancient gates being opened and letting the King of Glory Jesus come in. The other picture was of a cloud bringing the refreshing rain of God’s presence. As in the story of Elijah when he is praying for rain after years of drought and sends his servant to report what he sees. Elijah has to send the servant seven times to look and then the servant reports that he sees a cloud but it is no bigger than a man’s hand. Elijah knew then that was the sign the rain was coming. He had already heard it in the spirit. We have to keep looking for the cloud and believe in faith for this to happen. The Lord said the rain was coming but just as Elijah sacrificed we also have to get into His refining fire first and sacrifice self and our fleshly desires. The rain is coming Prayers for Stourbridge.
In February this year as I was praying I felt God say the following to me. There is power in my Word. Whatever I declare from heaven concerning a matter or nation will be performed. My angels act on my commands. My Word is powerful. My Word is creative but also destructive. It can build up or it can tear down and root out. Whenever I speak My Word will perform whatever it is sent forth to achieve. I have declared a new time and season. A new day for the church in this nation. Too long she has been weak, ineffective and struggling like a new-born babe. Now she will rise up with renewed energy & vigour. She will have learned how to use the tools with which I have equipped her so that My kingdom can advance. It is time to take the kingdom of God and push forward. To take the light into the darkness. I do not need a vast army to achieve my purposes – only those who are willing to fight against evil (in prayer, in truth & doing good) willing to persevere, willing not to count the cost, those who are bold, those who have courage and who take their strength from me. Those will be part of my army. Those who are skilled in the Word, those who know their position, those who listen and obey – they will receive the words to speak and declare in My name. They will see My wonder-working power at work. They will be my vessels to bring Christ’s healing, holiness and salvation to nations. I am on the move and my body the church needs to discern where I am leading in this season. It is not time for the faint hearted, the men pleasers, the timid – this is the season for those who fear the Lord and show that reverence and fear. Who love righteousness and hate wickedness, injustice and wrong and will stand up and be counted. To be the carriers of my presence into all situations where I have placed them – whether in the home, work, family, government, schools, everywhere they find themselves. They can have an impact for good. – I sense that this is like the day of Gideon’s army. In the last few months, God has been calling us out to pray on the streets and at strategic locations and has given us scriptures to pray each time. It has been amazing the things God has shown us and inspired us to pray about in each location. He truly opens our eyes to see. I believe in faith that prayer changes things. Trust in the Lord and do Good – Psalm 37:4