Members of the Maranatha Community gathered on-line, using Zoom relayed to YouTube, on Sunday 2nd October. We started our time together online by praying ‘Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!’, opening our hearts in worship to the Lord who has come, who is present with us now and who will return.
Here are some of the themes that emerged during our waiting on the Lord:
In Christ, we are connected to both heaven and earth
- Psalm 100.4 – the Hebrew literal meaning is “come gates with thanksgiving”. Our lives can be a ‘gate’ to heaven as we acknowledge the Sovereignty of God in and over us.
- When we know the Sovereignty of the Lord and our dependence upon Him, we are people filled with joy, whatever our circumstances, noticeably different to the world. Our unity in this joy, which comes from our confidence in the Lord and His presence with us, strengthens and encourages us. The key is to keep our eyes on Jesus, so that we do not grow weary or lose heart (Heb 12.2-3). We are also reminded that we are surrounded by ‘a cloud of witnesses’ (Heb 12.1) – truly we are connected to the worship of heaven.
- The Lord wants to be seen in His people in a new way. He wants us to be visible, as the ones who bear the light of Truth in the world. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Mt 5.14).
- Our prime calling in this time is to ASCEND and seek the Lord’s face in worship. A picture was shared: Jesus holding up a crystal clear drop of water. As we look through the water to see His face, His face is reflected for others to see in us.
We are to actively, intentionally, breathe and live in and through God’s Spirit
- A picture was shared of the airwaves being filled with clutter causing distraction and obstruction to hearing God. Another had a sense of the air being ‘thin’ with insufficient oxygen. Our lives must not be determined by the things of this world; neither can we ASCEND in our natural capacity, with our natural (worldly) breath. The breath of the heavenly places, where we are seated in Christ, is the breath of God’s Spirit. This is a time when we should actively seek God’s breath for our daily lives. “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1Jn 2.6)
- We were reminded of God’s instruction to Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and to the breath (Ezek 37). For Ezekiel, this happened as God’s Spirit “brought me out” and set him in the midst of a vision. When we ASCEND through God’s Spirit He shows us how to pray according to His way – our prayer is as a prophetic declaration. We can start by praying for the breath of God to soften hard hearts – or by us ‘breathing over people’ in our prayer.
The Lord wants to bring new revelation to His people
- We were reminded of the image of the empty ladder given last month. The top of the ladder is not our destination; it is simply an image describing the way in which we live in communion with the heavenly realms whilst living on earth. The Lord is inviting us to explore the heavenly realms! Another picture was shared – of a never-ending staircase. The Lord always has something more to show/give us if we will maintain our eager expectation for more of Him.
- When we breathe God’s Spirit, that which is unseen becomes visible. As we do this, we become the visible presence of God (think of Moses coming down Mt Sinai).
- There are new depths of what it means to be one with the Lord and with each other to explore. “…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (Jn 17.21). This is the enormity of the Gospel – that we are to be “in Jesus” in the same way that He is “in the Father”. This is the essence of what it means to ASCEND & ADVANCE. This is not a long upward journey; this is the position we have already been given; it is this positioning that gives us confidence.
- We are a part of the way in which God is fulfilling His purposes in the earth. (Rom 8.19). What the Lord is doing in us is for the whole Body of Christ.