So following on from my last post Purity and Preparation my friend Heather (who has guest posted here) told me this story which is a great encouragement.
Heather had decided to give her kitchen floor a scrub on her hands and knees with a scrubbing brush. Her floor didn’t look dirty because she mops it regularly but she felt prompted to get right down close and scrub it.
To her surprise the water in her bucket was soon black and dirty and she couldn’t believe how much ingrained dirt came out which the mop had missed.
She felt the Lord say that this can be the same for us. On the surface everything can look nice and clean but the Lord wants to get down deeper into some of those areas we just give a lick to and give us a deep clean. A deep, deep clean. Some of those bad habits and bad attitudes need to be submitted to God and broken in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit and Cleansed by Jesus’ blood.
Lord you know which parts of our lives, our hearts and our attitudes need a deep clean. Come by your Holy Spirit Lord and show us where you want us to go deeper with you and what needs to change. Cleanse us Lord we pray and lead us deeper with you.
There’s a beautiful worship song written by Brian Doerksen and I have been reminded of the lyrics today.
“Purify my heart, let me be as gold and silver, purify my heart, let me be as gold pure gold, Refiners fire, my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for you Lord. I choose to be holy, set apart for you my Master, Ready to do your will”. Purify my heart, cleanse me from within, and make me holy, purify my heart, cleanse me from my sin deep within.”
The Lord is still talking to me currently about being prepared. This could be a word just be for me but I believe it’s wider and for others in this season.
I think one of the ways the Lord wants His believers to prepare is pursuing purity. He wants us, His followers, to be pure in heart in our service to Him and in preparation for service.
The Lord is calling us to be ready to respond to His call and I discern that the work for some reading this will be great. The Lord will use you to do more than at this stage you could even imagine or contemplate.
All God’s people are to be ready to serve in whatever ways the Lord asks. The Lord calls us and will use us to meet the challenges ahead and to be used of Him to do great and mighty things for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:7-10
If you would like to read my other posts on preparation the I have linked them all in this recent post called Preparation and perseverance in the race – prize athletes. I hadn’t realised until I read this post from July again today that the first line of the word the Lord had given me was a call to purify hearts.
I mentioned in my last post that whilst myself and two friends were praising God & praying recently at the Waseley Hills – the “high hills”- the Lord gave us 3 separate words. I have set them out in the order they were given to us. The first was a tongue & interpretation:
“For the Lord God Almighty says
“Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake, Awake my people. Look & Listen for the Lord God is on the move and He strides out across this nation.
Wake up, Wake up, Wake Up – Hear the bells, Hear the bells, Hear the bells – For the glory of the Lord is going to fall. The glory of the Lord is coming. The glory of the Lord as it sweeps across this nation.
The Lord says “Awake, Awake, Awake – Arise people of God. Arise people of God. Arise people of God & hear the voice of your Master.
The voice of your Master is calling to you. The Lord is calling to you he says “Arise, Arise, Arise My people. Arise, Arise, Arise – Give voice to Me.
For the glory of the Lord is shining upon this nation and here He comes. He is riding. he is riding on the wind. He is riding. He is coming to this nation.
The Lord says He is coming in power and the sword is going forth from His mouth and He is declaring His word over this nation and the Lord says – every knee will bow, every tongue will declare that He is Lord and He is God and He alone is worthy of all praise and honour and glory – to Him who sits on the throne forever and ever – All glory belongs to the Lamb Amen.
After this first word was given, we saw opposite us in the distance on the hillside a bright white light – it was so clear and we believe it was a sign from the Lord. The light was visible for some time whilst we continued to pray.
The second word then came to my friend:
“All My people will see Me in My glory (Jesus). I will shine. You will see Me. You will not miss Me coming because I will stand out and everybody will see Me and the truth will be declared in this nation. All the lies, all the hidden things I will bring forth and the truth will shine. My people will speak the truth out – they will bring the truth to everyone. I declare the truth of the Lord the word of God- that you are coming (Jesus) – you are coming” Amen.
The last word was then given:
“The Lord says “I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail. Satan your days are numbered. You have had your time. You have had your day but you will not prevail. I call to you My people to be aware, to be wise and to open your eyes and see. Do not follow that wide road, do not follow that wide empty road. Look for the narrow path that leads to Me, that leads to life. I am coming. I am going to be there with you and you will see Me in all My glory and your knees will bow and you will profess that I am Lord. I open My arms to you this day and I say “Come, Come to Me, Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, all you who are weary and you who are tired of this life and all you who are seeking. Come to Me. I am the answer. I am the way and the truth and the life. Come to Me.”
There is a scripture in Judges 5:12 which says “Wake up, Wake up Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song! Arise, Barak! Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam”.
I believe that this is the word to us as believers in Christ at this time -it’s time to wake up, to be watchful, to rise up and take action for Jesus. Live out our faith where we are – right in the heart of our communities. Church is changing – it’s not about a building where we all meet. We are a body – connected to each other in Jesus Christ. We are powerful testimonies for Jesus – we are His witnesses. Let us encourage each other to live as Jesus wants us to live as His disciples and co-workers of the gospel. To be bold and voices for justice & truth.
Romans 13 11-14 “And do this, understanding the present time: the hour has already come for you to wake from your slumber, because our salvation now is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently as in the daytime, not carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”.
Ephesians 5 8-20 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. Buy everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
It is so important that we as Christians are awake and not asleep & that we are clothed in Christ – Jesus said if we are not awake then he will come as a thief and we will not know when he comes.
Revelation 3:3 “But if you do not wake up (or watch), I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you”.
Revelation 16:15 – “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake (watches) and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed”
Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”
The early church prospered and walked in the fear of the Lord. In Acts 9:31 it says “and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit they were multiplied”. We long to see new people coming to know Christ and finding salvation. The Lord spoke to us earlier this year about the need for the fear of the Lord to be restored within the body of Christ at this time. I have never heard a word preached on the fear of the Lord and didn’t understand truly what it meant. I knew that fear in this context is not about being afraid of the Lord but didn’t understand that it is an attitude of complete reverence in response to the revelation of God and then responding by living in submissiveness towards Him. Being obedient to Him. Being holy for he is Holy. Job 28:28 says that “Behold the fear of the Lord that is wisdom”. We are constantly asking God for wisdom and this is one of the keys to discovering Godly wisdom.
The Bible has much to say about the fear of the Lord when you look in to scripture. Psalm 25:12 “Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses”. v 14 “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him: and He will show them His covenant”. Proverbs 10:27 “The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.” Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life; And He who has it will abide in satisfaction, He will not be visited with evil” Malachi 3:16 “fear of the Lord and who meditate on His name”.
Proverbs tells us how to discover the fear of the Lord Proverbs 2 1-5 “My son if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding, yes, if you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God”.
Jesus understood the fear of the Lord. In Isaiah 11 2-3 it said about Jesus “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, Spirit of wisdom and understanding, Spirit of Counsel and Power, the Spirit of Knowledge and the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” If Jesus walked in the fear of the Lord and we are called to be like him then we too should walk in the fear of the Lord.
We prayed a simple prayer that we discovered had been written when researching this topic and I encourage you to pray this prayer. “Oh God my Father, I come to you through Jesus Christ my saviour. You have put in my heart a desire for the fear of the Lord. I am asking you from now on to lead me, to teach me and to impart to me this wonderful treasure of yours – the fear of the Lord. In Jesus name. Amen”.