This month’s ‘Pointers’ is a summary of the key points from our Maranatha gathering in Birmingham in July and our online gathering on August 6th.
- Consecration – this is a decision, made by individuals or groups, in anticipation of what is about to happen. It is not retrospective. In our current context, the Lord wants us to make ourselves ready for what He is about to do in this ‘new time’. It requires us to decide what will be our focus and priority and whether we will wholeheartedly give ourselves to God for His plans. Put another way: ‘How much of what is about to happen do you want to be a part of?’ In ‘laying down’ the Community, we responded to the first part of Is 43.18-19: “Forget the former things…” . We are now responding to the ensuing question in the context of the Lord doing a ‘new thing’: “…do you not perceive it?” As we step into the new, in faith, with our ‘yes’, the Lord opens our eyes to perceive what we could not see before.
- Readiness – this is God’s gift and declaration over the Community and all its members. He has made us ready as we have endeavoured to respond in obedience to His call. As we have ceased activity and waited for Him, the Lord has spoken into the still place. Readiness is part of the armour of God (see Eph 6.15). We are wearing the shoes that bring the Gospel of Peace.
- Heavenly patterns – Just as Moses was given the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle, as God’s ‘pattern’ for the way in which the Israelites would relate to Him, we should ask the Lord to reveal His heavenly pattern for the Church. Unity is one facet of this heavenly pattern. We reveal God’s glory in the measure that we are aligned to the heavenly pattern. The Church is God’s chief agent for manifesting His glory – His nature – on earth. Jesus brought His heavenly nature – the Son of Man – to earth, as He became the Son of David. We are His body now. Part of the discovery of heavenly patterns is about learning what the Lord wants to teach us about the role of angels.
- Opening gates/uncapping wells – this emerged as a particular theme for our Birmingham gathering through a prophetic word and two passages of scripture: Ps 24.7-10 & Gen 26.18. The uncapping of wells relates to 3 generations: Abraham dug the wells, Isaac, his son, reopened them after they were capped by Philistines, so that Jacob’s generation would benefit. In a similar way, we are the ‘gates’ connecting the generations before and after ours. The Church has a responsibility for the continuing flow of God’s life and grace. We are able to ‘stand in the breach’ where there has been discontinuity. We can declare Prov 5.15: “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.” This applies to our families, our local communities and to the nation. We have a rich national ‘deposit’ of godliness, to which there needs to be reconnection. In order to be ‘open gates’ we need to be in a place of rest. This means being at peace with God, ourselves and others, in body, mind and spirit, and being in alignment with God’s will and purposes.
- Slaying the giants – there are ‘giants’ in the land that have played some part in capping the wells of Christian inheritance. The first step to slaying the giants is for the Church/Christians to be delivered from the ‘fear of man’ – this is what marked out David, the youngest in his family, from the rest of Israel’s army. He proclaimed the Name of the Lord over Goliath and defeated him with a simple stone. We are asked the question, ‘Do we have faith to see this happen in the UK and Ireland?’ With members present at our gathering from the 5 constituent nations – England, Scotland, Wales, N Ireland and the Irish Republic, our youngest member at the gathering prayed in the Name of the Lord (figuratively using 5 stones) for the toppling of the giants.
- Our capacity to do what God wills is NOT related to our physical resources but to our faith and alignment with God’s will in our lives.
- Stay in position – the Lord has been ‘re-positioning’ people – geographically and in relation to work and ministry – over recent years. It has been a time of transition from the ‘old’ to the ‘new’ time. Our positioning is related to our relationships with God and others. The armour of God (Eph 6.10-18) protects us from being tempted to moved out of position. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun to different degrees, according to its position, so we reflect the light of Christ, according to our position. This affects our ability to see the way ahead and also enables us to be light for others in need of direction.
- Humble dwellings – a picture was shared: whilst at altitude, climbing a mountain, a small hut with a single door and window came into view, with the awareness that it housed basic essentials, including strategy for the next part of the climb, as well as being a temporary shelter. It was constructed of stones, carefully built together, able to withstand adverse weather. Whilst holding this image in prayer, there was a sense that the Maranatha Community is called to be like the hut for those desiring to ‘ascend’ in their relationship with God, in response to his call. Every Maranatha gathering is like the hut, providing encouragement, sustenance and discernment for next steps. It was considered to be like a ‘base camp’ – a temporary stopping place for acclimatisation to higher altitude, as well as rest and refreshment. It is not the final destination. We recalled the previous word about our need to depend more fully on God’s Spirit for our journey, rather than the ‘oxygen’ of the world. Most importantly, the hut shows that someone has travelled this way before and is a sign of God’s provision and direction. This image may be applied to each of us, as we make ourselves available for the Lord to use for the encouragement of others, as well as the Community as a whole.
- No retirement! – we should beware of a worldly perspective on what it means to be ‘retired’. Those above a certain age, who no longer have the constraints of responsibilities at work and for raising young children, are ‘positioned’ for the most important period of ministry for the Lord.
- ‘Something is coming into view’ – this sentence was given with a sense that the Lord is going to make His people, who bear His image and likeness, more visible in the world. Each individual is accompanied by a ‘cohort of angels’! We are being ‘drawn’ by the Lord into His plans and purposes for this time of opportunity. A drawing is composed of lines in specific positions – we are the Lord’s drawing!! With the psalmist we declare, “May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;” (Ps 68.1). God is raising up an army in this generation. We are a part of it and are poised, ready and waiting for His command.
A series of words were shared at the Birmingham gathering and subsequently:
“Shocking, shocking, shocking, what I am about to do”
“I am marshalling a host so great you cannot conceive it. It is already strategically, covertly surrounding everything puffed up against Me.”
“I am advancing. I won’t be hindered. My purposes are more magnificent than you can imagine.
The network I have prepared of resources and prepared foundations and prepared people is beyond what you can perceive at this moment. But I have prepared what I intend to do and I won’t be halted or hindered. I am unstoppable. The Sovereign God cannot be restricted.
The world believes foolishly that I am on the retreat or that I am laying low because I am unwelcome. But this is complete foolishness. My strategy is perfect, unaltered, unhindered, unstoppable and will be shocking to many as it unfolds before your eyes.
All you have to do is to make yourself available in every possible way. Receive Me, My attitude, My purpose, My character, My ways, My Word, My principles, My angels, My elders. My people, receive all that there is about Me; all that I am, all that I bring with Me, all that I will do. Receive it, welcome Me. That’s all I want you to do. Be welcoming, receiving, accepting, trusting people; and I am prepared to take you forward with Me. You just need to remain in My shelter, attached to Me, connected to Me, part of Me, joined to Me, submitted to Me, rejoicing with Me, walking with Me. I am unstoppable so you will be within My purposes. The world will be shocked. You will not be shocked. You will be with Me. I am fulfilling My purposes.”
We believe it is time to arrange a series of Maranatha gatherings, in different parts of the country, to share what we believe the Lord is saying to the Community and to the Church at this time. Further details will be announced soon.