Last month, the Lord reaffirmed the foundational words given for the Maranatha Community: HEALING, UNITY, RENEWAL. This month, the whole theme of our gathering was SILENCE – a reminder of the prophetic word given in the early years of the life of the Community: “Incline your ear to hear My still small voice and I will give you words of liberation”. This word led to the introduction of ‘Quiet Days’ and then silent retreats as an integral part of the life of the community, through which Maranatha members and many others learned to listen to God in their everyday lives. During our gathering the Lord reaffirmed that this is an important KEY that He has entrusted to us.
Our online gathering began, as always, with the affirmation of our oneness in Christ as we fixed our gaze on the Lord, offering the ‘blank canvas’ of our time together. After an initial time of verbal expression of worship, we continued our adoration of Him in silence. This was sustained for a considerable period as we experienced, in a powerful way, the Lord’s presence among us.
The following points emerged as we waited on the Lord in silence:
- Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn16.33).
- In the silence of God’s presence there is peace, rest and joy. We can know His presence in our daily activities as we have our hearts orientated towards Him in worship. This is part of what it means to walk the ‘narrow way’. As we commune with the Lord and embrace His rest in silence, we align ourselves with His timing. There is no need for striving or haste.
- A picture was shared: the Lord’s hand holding keys. He is offering the keys, which unlock the secrets of His heart, to those who ask and who seek Him through silent communion and adoration in love. There is a cost.
- We are encouraged to roll back the stone of the tomb (see Jn11.39) where we may be bound by ‘dead’ or ‘man-made’ forms of worship. We should ask the Lord to reveal and set us free from anything that ‘entombs’ us. In Eden, Adam and Eve were naked; Jesus was stripped naked before being nailed to the cross. Are we willing to be stripped of all our worldly garments to be naked in God’s presence?
- In musical composition, ‘rests’ (set lengths of time when an instrument does not play, ie. is silent) are written into the score. When each instrument pays attention to these ‘rests’, the music is played as it was intended by the composer. Often a ‘rest’ precedes a moment of great impact. Members of the orchestra must be in unity and harmony with one another in submission to the composer and the conductor of the music. We are invited to join in what the Father is doing.
- The word ‘grasp’ was given with a sense of the Lord saying: “if you are willing to let me give you this key, grasp it, take firm hold of it; don’t let go of it”. This implies the need to spend time building intimacy with the Lord, meditating on His Word, seeking a heavenly perspective and separating ourselves from the thinking and ways of the world.
- This key is also related to our oneness in Christ. The Lord has spoken to us previously about His keys. A key is given to open the door that is before us.
- “I am True and I only speak the Truth”. This is within the character of God – He only speaks Truth. A key needs to be true to open the lock. Truth opens a door. The key in our hand is not opinion or thought. The Lord gives keys to understanding of His ways. This requires discernment, which we are given as a gift. Importantly, discernment is given not just individually but corporately. Understanding the truth about God and His ways opens the door to advancing His purposes in the earth.
- God established for us an important discipline in the very early days of the life of the community: in our discerning of the Lord’s direction, we do nothing unless we are of one heart and mind.
- Sharing together in silence requires a new language. It is beyond our capacity to describe with words because it is of a different dimension. The Lord is inviting us to discover a fuller depth of communication, which requires a new form of expression.
- Some words given: “A new landscape is here! What was backwards is now forwards. Listen for my refreshing”. “Time to bloom”. “Latter day rains”. “Pentecost”.
- The following was shared from a daily devotional:
I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.
Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written on mental) become and idol directing your life. Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment. He will keep you close to Me. (1 Thes 5.17, Prov 3.6).
Towards the end of our gathering, as we punctuated our sharing with a return to silent adoration of the Lord, we brought people and situations of concern into the Lord’s presence, in silence, and released them to Him, in faith that He would bring healing. The Lord is reminding us that what we receive from Him during these gatherings is for the whole Body of Christ. We pray that the Lord will continue to teach us how to use the keys He is giving and that, as we embrace into our shared life and journey all that the Lord gives, it will bring transformation to His Church.
“You have exalted my horn [strength] like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured upon me.” (Ps 92.10)