Prior to this month’s online gathering on Sunday 6th November, we had been given the phrase: “The Lord Almighty is about to speak! Are you paying attention?” We believe this sentence was not so much for this particular gathering but, rather, an indication that we are in a ‘kairos’ time – a time of opportunity, created by God, when He is speaking. We need to be attentive to recognise His voice.
During our time together, united in the Lord’s presence, the following points emerged:
- In order to hear the Lord’s voice, and to see what He is showing us, we need to clear space in our lives to be fully present to Him. The space required includes time as well as personal capacity. Images on this theme were shared – a computer crashing because the storage memory was full; a phone not able to synchronise dates in the calendar because of lack of working memory; a rucksack full of unresolved problems, increasing in size and too heavy to carry. We were reminded again, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” (Is 43.18).
Questions: What are we holding on to from the past that the Lord wants us to release? How are we to make more ‘space’ available to listen to God? These are questions for us as individuals as well as a Community.
- ‘Forgetting the former things’ also relates to the way in which we carry out actions in our lives and the way we think about situations. It may even relate to the way in which we hear the Lord speak to us. “As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge.” (Henry Van Dyke). We can take encouragement from Joseph (Matt 2.13-15) whom the Lord prepared to hear His voice and respond without question.
Questions: Are we receptive to the Lord speaking in unfamiliar ways? Are we prepared for God to move us into different situations or positions? Or are we ‘pre-occupied’ with other things which prevent us from giving attention to the ‘new thing’?
- Jesus includes us in His relationship with God the Father. It is a relationship of oneness in listening and response.
Question: Are we free to step out of the rut of our daily plans to embrace the Way of Jesus – listening to the Father and responding immediately?
- From our ‘ascended’ position the Lord shows us how He intends things to be. From ground level we see those things that are obstacles to the Lord’s intentions. An image of a stretch of water with a blocked outlet was described. Not only was the water prevented from flowing to where it is needed, it was contaminated from the debris – another image of the need for the clearing of a clear channel. The words were given: “It’s time to get our hands dirty” – this exact phrase was given to another member before the gathering, along with the words: “Step out, I’ll make sure your feet don’t slip”.
Question: Are there ‘blockages’ in our hearts which prevent us from being open channels for the Living Water of God’s Spirit? What are the obstacles the Lord is calling us to address – as individuals and as a Community?
- This time of opportunity is marked by an unexpected hunger for God and His Word. We should be ready to speak of Jesus and the Hope of the Gospel at every opportunity with expectation. In this way we are light in the darkness of the world. Similarly, as people of prayer, we should expect to see prayer answered.
- In all this there is a sense of urgency to be prepared for what is ahead. Several have a sense that something is about to happen suddenly. We prepare by being in position, attentive to the Lord’s voice, ready to respond to His instruction, without question or even understanding.