Joseph Hero of the Faith (7)

We’ve been looking at Joseph’s character over the last series of posts, which had so much to encourage and teach us about Godly character as disciples of Jesus, but today’s question is Why Egypt? Why was it necessary for the action to take place in Egypt.

Jacobs’ family lived in Canaan. They were shepherds with livestock who moved their flocks around in search of pasture. Their environment and pastures were suitable for that but not for large scale agriculture. The famine that was coming was going to be devastating on an unprecedented scale and preparation was key.

It was not uncommon to have famines in those times. We read in the bible that there had been several famines already. In Abraham & Isaac’s time they had been forced to travel to foreign lands to buy food. This famine was going to be different though. 7 years was a long period of famine. It was going to affect a large number of people.

Where was a fertile place that could produce enough food to sustain the people and surrounding nations over seven long years with planning and preparation. Egypt was the answer. It was a natural resource.

The river Nile regularly flooded and the delta region around the Nile with its mud flats was rich in minerals and natural fertiliser. It was an extremely fertile region and capable of producing great harvests. A land of abundance.

Joseph was found and placed in the place where the resources were. God put those resources in his hands to be a blessing to many.

Has God given you a vision or mission field but at the moment you just don’t see how it’s going to be possible because you don’t have the resources currently. If God has given you the vision then He will provide. He is Jehovah Jireh. The Lord who provides. God knows where the resources are and can make them available to you for His glory and His purposes. God will provide according to His riches in glory.

God can provide not only the resources to make the vision come to pass but can also direct your paths to the place that is ready to receive. Your mission field. The place of harvest. God can take you to a place which is fertile and ready to receive God’s Word. You might already be right in that fertile place. A place where the soil of men’s hearts, through the work of the Spirit of God, been turned from stone into flesh, softened and ready to receive the Good News of Jesus.

Prepared in prayer with tears of intercession for men’s souls. Brother Alan posted recently the passionate plea of John Knox “ Give me Scotland, or I die”. What passion in prayer for the lost. You can read that post here John Knox

The Nile valley was so fertile that any seed which was sown didn’t need to be ploughed into the ground. The ground was so softened by the regular floods it was ready to receive the seed and the seed could immediately take root and grow.

The fields by my home ploughed ready for the seed

The Lord will show us those people whose hearts are prepared ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus. They are out there desperate and thirsty for the gospel. Jesus told His followers that the harvest was great. There are people who are open and desperate to hear the Good News of Jesus.

Then He (Jesus) said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2

One of the greatest lies the enemy would have us believe is that people are not interested in what Christians have to say. They are interested. People are hungry for the Truth and are looking for it in all sorts of places. Be encouraged and bold that the Lord will direct your steps to share with those who are open and ready to receive.

If the ground is hard and not ready to receive then the seed is going to wither and die. Have you seen what happens when a heavy rain storm falls on hard ground. The water can’t penetrate the ground quickly enough and there is flash flooding. The ground was not prepared ready to receive the rain let alone the seed. It doesn’t penetrate the soil but runs off.

We don’t want run off.

We don’t want our words to run off like that water but we want them to penetrate and water the soil of men’s hearts. Ploughed soil is ready to receive. Ground that is broken up is ready to receive the rain. Little raindrops from heaven. Little words sent in due season.

If the soil is not ready to receive then it needs to be prepared. If those around you currently are hard hearted to the gospel message then we can intercede in prayer for them before God’s throne for the Holy Spirit to minister to their minds and hearts. For those hearts of stone to be turned to hearts of flesh. We can cry out for them to God. May our cries reach the ears of our Father in Heaven who sent His son to seek and save that which was lost.

If you are like me then I’m sure you have experienced rejection by people who were just not ready to receive you. It can be discouraging and cause us to hold back in future. I am learning that I need to recognise the conditions and discern when to sow and when to reap. To be led by the Holy Spirit and move on if the conditions are not ready yet.

Jesus told those that He sent out to minister that if there was no Peace in the house i.e the place was not ready to receive them – then their peace would return to them. If the disciples were not received then they were to shake the dust from their feet and move on.

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
Matthew 10:14

Even though those disciples must have encountered some of the rejection that Jesus warned them about, they still returned with joy to tell Jesus the things they had accomplished in His name.

We will do likewise. We will rejoice over those who receive Christ and come into the Kingdom of God.

Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

The seed sprouting in the fields

Prayer – Being Confident

How can we be confident that God will hear and answer our prayers.

The bible teaches us that:

James 5: 16 “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” NIV or  “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” NKJ

Righteous means “in right standing with God”.   

We are righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ because “without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” Hebrews 9:22   “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” v 28 “ For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” 10:14

Praise God for the righteousness we have through Christ.

2 Chronicles 7: 14-15” 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place”.

Psalm 24: 3-4 “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord. Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false

Let us ask the Holy Spirit give us a spiritual MOT so that we can be confident that God will hear our prayers.

Here’s some things we can do:

Step 1:   Take a step nearer to God: Confess and repent over any obvious sin in our lives which we know is displeasing to God.

James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to You. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded

Step 2:   Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to search us and reveal anything (i.e. hidden sin/wrongful attitudes/things which take the place of God in our lives (idols) which may be a barrier between us and God.  

The Bible teaches us that we can deceive ourselves into thinking everything is ok which is why we have to humble ourselves under God’s hand and allow the Holy Spirit to search us.

Psalm 139:23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Step 3:   Don’t rush – Be Still and Listen to His still small voice – Take time over this – Don’t be surprised if when you start developing your prayer life you spend a lot of time initially in these stages – It’s all about preparation and softening our heart before God and developing our relationship with Him. That is REVIVAL.

Psalm 51v10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me

Step 4:    Repent over any sins which the Holy Spirit has revealed in this quiet time.  Repentance is when we:

a) Renounce the sin and decide to turn away from it; and

b) Submit that area of weakness to God.  Allow God to let you grow in obedience in that area according to His Word (be teachable).

Step 5:   Receive – RECEIVE HIS FORGIVENESS through Christ our High Priest. Jesus said “Ask and you will receive” – We know God’s nature is merciful and he is just waiting to pour out His forgiveness on us.

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days say the Lord “ I will put my Laws into their hearts and in their minds I will write them then He adds “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” Hebrews 10: 16-17

Step 6:   Ask the Lord to refresh and refill you and pour out His Holy Spirit upon you.

Once our hearts are ready then we can know that “if our hearts do not condemn us then we have confidence before God ” 1 John 3: 21  and “this is the confidence we have in Him, if we ask anything according to His Will then he hears us”. 1 John 5:14. 

Hallelujah and Praise God.

Let our prayers this week be according to His Will. He will hear us and answer. Amen

547 days..God’s perfect timing

My dear friends, I want to share a reworking of this post today from last new year’s Eve 2020. It was a specific time when the Lord got my attention very clearly about timing and being prepared. God’s timing is perfect in every way. His ways are not our ways. The Lord prepares and uses each one of us for the good works He prepared for each one of us to do. What has God prepared for you and I today and each day my dear friend for His glory to be shown among the nations?

This is what I discovered last year:

I was reading back through my prayer journal and something I had written from a church prayer meeting on 3 July 2019 got my attention. I had written 547 days. That was all.

As I was curious, I decided to find out when 547 days was and so did a google search. I searched backwards.

The result blew me away. It was the exact same date of the prayer meeting 3/7/2019 when I made that note.

So what was the Lord saying on that night in 2019 and why was He on this New Year’s Eve 2020 pointing towards it now.

On that night of 3 July 2019 there was a call to preparation.

God said that He was calling the lost and were we ready to receive them.

I believe God is asking us the same question today. Are we ready to receive the lost?

When there is an incredible revival of people coming to Jesus Christ then we as believers need to be equipped and ready to teach, shepherd, disciple and restore the lost.

There will be a great need to establish sound doctrine and teaching on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ as the cornerstone of our faith and teaching the whole gospel. Sound biblical teaching.

To see people baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit.

To see people set free and healed from the effects of their pasts and discover true freedom in Christ Jesus.

In 2008, I had a vision of a small cloud and God reminded me of the bible story of Elijah at Mount Carmel after the defeat of the false prophets of Baal. After the fire, Elijah prayed for rain and sent his servant back to check for any signs of rain coming as he had already heard the sound of rain in the spirit.

On the 7th time of looking the cloud was seen and Elijah knew the rain was on its way so he hitched up his garments and ran. He ran so fast that he overtook the kings chariot. There was a deluge of rain.

I believe God is encouraging us to look and listen and discern what is coming and understand what He is doing in these days so that we are not unprepared but are like the virgins with our oil ready and more in reserve.

I pray that all God’s people and those called as Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers appointed for these days will rise up for the days ahead to prepare the body of Christ for maturity and to be ready and prepared for all that God is calling us to do in these days.

That each one of us believers will be rooted in Christ, will grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and will discover the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has given each of us. That we will be bold in our witness for Jesus and our faith and the reason for our hope. That our family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues will know that we are followers of Christ and where to come in times of need. When people need answers or have needs which only God can provide.

Bless you all in Jesus name.

Don’t miss out!

My dear friends, I want to encourage you today with these words that I heard the Lord speak to me this morning in our church service:

Don’t miss out!!

Yesterday morning, I had the urge to contact my fellowship group to encourage them to attend the church service this morning or to watch the live stream on line. It was a definite “unction” from the Lord which I didn’t realise the significance of until today.

The presence of the Lord was so powerful amongst us today as we worshipped and the Holy Spirit ministered.

If you as a believer have withdrawn from the Lord (or you know someone who has withdrawn) in some way from Jesus or from fellowship with fellow believers in any way at all and for whatever reasons (the Lord knows all circumstances) then I encourage you and them to reconnect with the living Word, the Lord Jesus, our Father God and the Holy Spirit in worship. To connect with fellow believers who can encourage, support, disciple. We serve an awesome God.

The Lord wants to take off that spirit of heaviness or apathy from those who feel burdened and pour out the Oil of His joy. He wants to refresh you and take off those burdens. He wants to stir up the hunger and passion for Him. He is ready to pour out that living water on you.

God is saying to his children “DO NOT MISS OUT”.

Position yourself ready to receive and run with what God is going to pour out upon you. You are going to be the ministers of His Glory and His Goodness in the days ahead for the benefit of those around you-your family, your friends, your workplace, those on the street, those in need. You are going to have the provision and goodness of God to distribute.

This is the time to get into position ready to receive. May the Lord lead you my dear brothers and sisters to the place He wants to meet with you, fellowship with you and pour a fresh anointing of His Holy Spirit upon you. It’s time for the sons and daughters to be revealed for His glory and His good pleasure. Let fear, apathy, sluggishness, bitterness, division be cast aside as we rise rejuvenated and refreshed in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

This is the bible reading the Lord gave me this morning which is for each one of us: As my friend said it is a reminder of who we are in Christ and the calling on all our lives to be the ushers of change.

The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace— a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies— and to comfort all who mourn, To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness” planted by God to display his glory. They’ll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They’ll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new. You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks and foreigners to work your fields, But you’ll have the title “Priests of God ,” honored as ministers of our God. You’ll feast on the bounty of nations, you’ll bask in their glory. Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever.
Isaiah 61:

Bless you my dear friends and may God use you for His glory. May His Kingdom come and His will be done. Amen 🙏

Awake Awake

Morning my friends. The Lord has reminded me of 3 words which I posted in 2020 which started with a post called “Awake Awake”. This post is a warning that the Lord God is a God who will judge righteously. We are called as followers of Jesus to stand for truth, justice and righteousness and not conform to this world. It’s a call to be ready and persevere in the times we are in. Trust in God.

I am re-posting these words again as I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. Please read them again or for the first time. I hope they bless you and speak to us all in some way for God’s glory and to advance His Kingdom. Perhaps there is a word in season for someone that will speak to their heart today.

The second post that linked to Awake Awake was The Heavenly Steed which talks of Jesus’ second coming and the glorious horse that bears Him. A reminder that Jesus is Lord and is coming again. The time is set and will not be delayed. He is the King of Glory. It’s a call to salvation for those who do not yet know Jesus as Lord. Call on Him whilst He is near and there is time.

The third word in the series is Take hold of today – Make it count which reminds us as followers of Christ that we are called to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus and do His good works. The power of the Holy Spirit is at work in each one of us who has been born again into the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus. One day we will each give an account to our loving Master Jesus.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Purity and Preparation

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.

Have a blessed day in Jesus name.

Preparation and perseverance in the race – prize athletes

Morning all, today’s post is different to my recent posts with a return to sharing a word which the Lord has spoken to me recently. I am sharing what I believe the Lord spoke to my heart but as with any word please weigh and test it.

Last Saturday 17th July in a time of prayer, the Lord Jesus spoke to me again about preparation [for earlier posts on preparation please see Prepare, (Re-)Position, Let Go , Being prepared & persevere, Be ready for the “Suddenlies” and impressed upon me that His bride, the body of Christ has been in a season of preparation. The Holy Spirit has been speaking this word about preparation for some years. Those who have heard what the Spirit has been saying have responded, sought the Lord and started to prepare. However, many have not heard what the Spirit is saying or have heard but their hearts have not received the word.

I believe the Lord is encouraging those who have been preparing and also encouraging those who have not to act now. I heard the Spirit saying that this time of preparation is drawing to a close and a day of action/change is just around the corner. Believers need to be ready to respond in this new season – fit and prepared.

For some in this season there will be new difficulties to overcome, new obstacles put in our paths, new persecutions to be endured, new challenges but there will also be new opportunities to advance God’s Kingdom.

I wrote the following as I received it from the Lord- The day draws near – Purify your hearts and raise up holy hands for it is time to cry out to the Lord until He hears your prayers and answers. Those who bend the knee before My throne and not before man are the ones who will be heard before my Father in heaven. Seek Me in all things for I alone can guide and lead you in the times and days ahead. Great upheaval is coming even worse than the Covid that has ravaged nations. My body of believers must be prepared so that when they hear My trumpet call and when they hear My still small voice they can respond immediately.

I hear this challenge from the Lord – Is your heart prepared for Me. Is your Soul prepared for Me. Is your life laid down for Me.

Those who are not fully committed to Me, who are lukewarm – They will turn back. They will not finish the race to My heart’s grief. I want My children to run the race and complete the course but it requires discipline, commitment to Me and being prepared in Me to overcome and push through so that nothing will cause you to turn back or give up. The road is narrow ahead, the road is difficult but for those who persevere to the end they will receive the Crown of Life. They will understand what an honour they have gained in Me.

I have given all for you My children – I have it all for you. Come to Me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls. Take My yoke which is easy to bear because we bear it together. Always remember that you do not run this race alone. I run it with you and so do the rest of My believers. You are running for yourself but also with others running with you on the same course. Some ahead and some behind but all going in the same direction and with the same purpose in Me.

Blessed children – prepare yourselves as prize athletes – for the time has come to be ready for the next phase of the race.

Dear friends – whatever stage of the race you are on or whatever lies ahead, I pray that you will be prepared and will overcome. That you will endure to the end and will claim the prize in Christ Jesus your Lord and Saviour. May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you to keep you in the times ahead. May all you do for His Kingdom prosper and may God use you for His Kingdom in ways that exceed your greatest plans, dreams and visions. Let the double doors be opened and may you go through – enter into all that the Son has for you and may you be filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit to flow through you. To God be the glory and honour forever and ever Amen.

Time for Great and Mighty Things

Those who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits – Daniel 11:32

A tongue & interpretation given at our fellowship on Sunday 20th October 2019.   

The Lord said it is a time to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.  

Those who know their God will do great and mighty things.    

A great shaking is taking place and we must know our God.   

We must know the Father, Jesus the Son & the Holy Spirit.  Not just about them but to know them.  

We must know God’s character so that we are not deceived by the spirit of deception which is at work in this age.  

God is a good, good God.  

He is a God of love, grace & mercy.   

We must know His Son Jesus – the authority which is His and His righteous judgment.   

There is a time for His righteous judgement.    

We are to know the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us and to discern between good and evil, truth & lies.   

We are to come to the table of the Lord for He is our daily bread and our provision.  

God asks us a question – who do you serve?  who do you serve?

Amen 🙏 blessings to you this day.

Being prepared & persevere

This is a time for the body of Christ to wake up and get prepared.  To be like the wise virgins who had enough oil in their lamps and were ready when the bridegroom came.  

We need spiritually to store up oil as without oil there is no light and without oil there is no fire.   We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit – the oil of joy is our strength and to be on fire for Christ.   

This is a time to discern the season and what God is about.  The cockerel has crowed for this nation and the clock is ticking down.    

God is on the move.   

Our faith needs to be strong and our feet planted on the solid rock – Christ Jesus.   If we are then we will not give up in this season and will strive on to see Christ’s work accomplished.  

We will climb the mountain to experience His holy presence and see Christ face to face. 

Not everyone will follow and some may lose their way but those who press on will go through the Refiner’s fire.   All the muck & chaff in us must come to the top and be skimmed off.  Then, we will be as gold reflecting God’s love and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.  We need to step into His holy fire as it will refine and purify us.  

The time is coming for the wave to break.  It has gathered in the deep waters and is now pushing towards the shore. 

In the spirit, I saw this wave and it was huge – like a tsunami.   The time for the wave to break will come soon and it will bring such a revival in the body of Christ.   Those who turned away will repent of their sin and lack of faith.  They will return to the Lord and He to them.  They will go out to do His works.  

Isaiah 33 v 14 – “Who amongst us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who amongst us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?  He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly.” 

Hosea 3 v10 “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord till He comes and rains righteousness on you”. 

It is “to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being confirmed to his death”.

Amen