Jesus wants to go a little further….

It’s been a while since my last post. I wrote then about Jesus’ journey from meeting Nicodemus to the woman at the well and how through those two conversations He demonstrated the move from practicing religion to encountering the I AM.  This heart felt prayer of Hosea of ‘Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him’ resonates  with me that Jesus wants to take us much further in knowing and experiencing Him than we have yet understood. For myself and the people we meet with there is a yearning to encountering  the depths of I AM in a greater, fuller way. Jesus wants that too. Luke 24  v 29 says, ‘He made as though he would have gone further.It’s from the road to Emmaus with Cleophas and another disciple that I’ve seen the different ‘stages’ Jesus walks us through and the little further He wants to take us. 

Confusion and Conversation

 It’s actually the resurrection morning, as it’s the third day since Jesus died but I’m not clear why they would be returning home.  After all :-

  • They are disciples of Jesus so had been with Him during His life and listened to His teaching: saw His miracles and shared life together. 

  • They’ve been in Jerusalem and have witnessed His death, the events He told them about.

  • They’ve heard personal testimony from the woman who found the empty tomb and were ‘amazed’ by it ( v 22) 

  • They’ve heard from the other disciples who also found the empty tomb and  explained that they’d ‘even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.’ (V 23)

  • They expressed how they recognised Jesus as a ‘prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. ( v 19)

  • They profess they ‘hoped’ in Him ( V 21)

 So why, with all that history and evidence do they walk away? Why do they leave to go home?   It’s one Jesus wanted to know too. they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.  And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad Their eyes were still not quite open to Jesus’ presence with them despite how far they had come in their journey with Him.

  • Perhaps it’s because they didn’t actually go and see the empty tomb for themselves. 

  • Possibly it’s because they didn’t hear the angels declare to them personally about the living Jesus. 

  • Maybe it’s because they still referred to, and limited Him, in His flesh identity as Jesus of Nazareth and not yet understood Him to be the Son of God.  

  • Could it be they still think their interpretation of events is the only way to see things?  Why else do they ask Jesus. ‘Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?  (Very Ironic as the story revolved around the one they are speaking to! He wasn’t a ‘visitor’ to Jerusalem-  it was where He belonged as His place of destiny.)

 All of these played a part along with the perspective that the story had ended and not quite worked out as they had wished for. They’d come a long way, enjoyed it all while it lasted but now it was time to go home. Plenty of us have moments like that right? We’ve been with Jesus, saw Him at work. rejoiced and enjoyed. We’ve heard the testimonies and hoped and trusted, but like Cleophas and his friend we need our own personal encounter with the Living Jesus. There are so many who clearly seem to be steeped in Jesus’ Spirit,–it is evident from the way they live and love–but they haven’t yet, for whatever reasons, recognized who He is or how close He is to them.

Coaching through the Scriptures.

The compassion of Jesus to come along side them and listen to their external processing is lovely. How He takes the time  to remind them, again, of all the promises and plans of scripture- to open up the familiar words so it’s stirring their hearts again. He gently starts at the beginning and urges them on to the glory. And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (v 27)  What a fabulous place to be having the scriptures explained. We’ve all loved it when we hear a good sermon that stirs our hearts up to ‘ wow – that’s good such insight!’  Jesus makes to go a ‘little further’ and the disciples urge Him to stay as the day has ended. Who wouldn’t want that ‘season’ to end right?  Such a great choice not to let Him walk on with out them though. A more significant invitation than they realised at the time to actually receive Jesus into their home. 

Communion.

And here is the  turning point: in their home they let Jesus host.  When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. v 30 That simple act opens us more than their realised at the time. Finally letting go of their agenda to be in charge of events and along with it their perspectives change. They have received Jesus and now receive from Him. In that moment sharing communion their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. They tasted and saw Life in a new way, finally recognising that Jesus was with them all the time. Finally they saw the complete, alive Jesus present with them.  The little further doesn’t stop with a meal though- It’s only just begun!

Conscious we are His Body

The two disciples made a response: they changed direction. They didn’t stay home but returned to Jerusalem leaving at once at night. Suddenly at night because staying put wasn’t an option now. It’s easy to say I’ll wait till morning when I’m refreshed and have the light to walk in and not  inconvenient. Perhaps it’s easy to be satisfied with conversation, teaching and fellowship.  They went forward, not back, to Jerusalem. Forward because it’s not the Jerusalem that they had left defeated and confused but the new Jerusalem where Jesus is alive. The bible says lots about the ‘new Jerusalem’ but it’s enough here to say it’s the place of a full manifestation of God’s goodness. It’s the completed work that Jesus has bought appearing. That’s what we get when we eat the Bread and eyes are opened to Jesus being alive. That’s the place Jesus wants to take us.  Jerusalem was where His ‘church’ was born. It’s where the new Life of His body came into being.

The wonderful thing I notice here is that as they finally understood whilst eating, Jesus vanished.  I struggled to understand that till I caught that as they eat the Bread it becomes part of them. Jesus Himself, the Bead of Life, becomes part of them. He’s not vanished but now  IN them. When we partake of Jesus we are eating resurrection too, swallowing it down, letting Him become us. We are being remade.  When they arrive in Jerusalem to tell the eleven disciples Jesus appears again because He travelled with them – in them.  Where they are, He is and where He is in Spirit, is where they are! He’s constant in the communion. The Lord, who often used visual signs around Him to make a truth become real to His followers now draws attention to His body,  He said, ‘See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see.’  He’s showing His aliveness but they understand they are part of Him too.  They’ve ate the Bread of life, tasted it, they have seen it, (well not it but Him) and as their eyes wander to their own skin they know the Life is in them too. 

This is the place I see so many people at the moment. We’ve enjoyed time with Jesus, saw Him minister but it didn’t all quite work out the way we thought.  And we’re all a bit busy talking about it and having our conversations. Our faith rises as we raise our confession and beginning again looking at scripture and  enjoying great teaching. But none of that makes His Body. It’s in the conscious, constant communion with the source of Life that the Body manifests. Eat the Bread – partake of Jesus, Himself. Accept Jesus’ out stretched hand to go a little further. Let Him host you. Let Him write the story, not you. Lay down your expectations and the comfort of ‘home’ and enter into His story – because there is MORE.  There’s a change of direction for you  to though.

  • If you want to stay talking about Him and hearing other people’s testimonies- that’s ok Jesus is still with you …..but He’s going a little further….

  • If you want to hear lots of teaching and have your heart stirred up – that’s ok too- He’s still with you…..but He’s going a little further….

  • If you want to invite Him to stay have fellowship with you – that’s great as well- because He’s present…..But Jesus wants to go a little further….

He wants to manifest His Body and Life in you and through you in a much deeper way. He wants us to sense the unity of heaven and earth, – so our existence sings with the life that is Life.  He wants to display His body through the Bread of Life shared with us, through us and to others.  He wants us to eat the Bread then be the Bread for others. He wants us  to walk on into a full manifestation of His Body living out the Hope that is in us- Christ.

 Who wants to come a ‘little further’?

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When being a nobody with nothing is just right

I’ve been pondering more on ‘Christ in You: the hope of glory’ and my thoughts have taken me to John 3 and 4.

In John 3 Jesus is talking to a ‘Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews‘ but shortly after in John 4 He is talking to an unnamed woman at a well in Samaria. The two encounters seem very different.

  • It is night time when Nicodemus speaks with Jesus but in the heat of the day at noon for the woman
  • Nicodemus has a position and standing in the community as a ruler but the woman is isolated visiting the well alone instead of typically in the cool of the day with the other women. She’s doesn’t even have a position in a family, let alone the community.
  • A Pharisee would have lived strictly by a moral code and seen to do the right thing . The fact this woman had 5 previous husbands and living with a 6th reflected not just her different moral code but also the men who placed no value on her.
  • At least Nicodemus sought out Jesus to ask questions. The woman doesn’t know who Jesus is and simply encounters a stranger at the well.
  • the man responds to Jesus with rational, reasoned questions whilst the woman reacts to the experience of truth.

Different, but still the same and if we are honest our experience is found in both of them too.

They are both hiding who they are from other people. Nicodemus perhaps couldn’t have asked those questions in public with his position of ruler. He would have been perceived as having all the answers already. The woman attends to her chores alone in the inconvenient heat. She too couldn’t be herself around the other women who knew all about her and her disgraced position in the community because of failed relationships. How many people can we actually be ourselves around?

They both meet Jesus alone- a private moment of vulnerability. It’s this space that allows for the personal encounter with Jesus. You see both have questions, but it’s Jesus’ questions that opens them, and us, up. To Nicodemus he asks, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?‘ for the woman He says ‘go call your husband‘. Both these requests would have cut to the core issue. Nicodemus for all his study and observance of the law still had not found fulfillment for what he craved. For the woman she had sought to find meaning and worth in her status as a wife which offered her no answers either despite trying 5 times. The joy here is that Jesus doesn’t do that to belittle them or pass judgement but to truthfully expose the driest area in their lives in order that Living Water flows to restore, revive and renew every place. When you meet Jesus you can open up and it’s not so you expose the real you to Him: it’s so He can reveal who you really are, to you!

John Anderson, in his book, Jesus the Inner Spring’ puts it this way, ‘ We shall admit that our lives, with their relationships and their out workings, are dead. we shall say,’ I have nothing.’ That is preparing the way for the Inner Spring’

When we all see that we are a no-body with no-thing, the Someone with everything is right there offering Himself. We’re born again into hope by water and spirit. Living water that becomes a well inside of us springing up into life. The well is Jesus Himself abiding with us. Christ in you: the hope of glory. Christ in us takes the no-body with no-thing and puts the Someone inside us. The real you is revealed in all of who He is.

John the baptist understood when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” It’s not about having or not having a position or title. It’s not about our efforts or lack of them. It is all about being a nobody in ourselves so we can reveal the Somebody that is Jesus.

We’ve actually moved from no-body to being His-body. Our significance and security is settled so that we understand how special we are because we are in union with Him.

I can’t acknowledge this quote as I don’t know who wrote it but it’s profound:

“you carry the fountain of hope in you. The Kingdom’s way is you carrying the life of Christ, the Presence of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s NOT about you but it’s ALL about the One Living inside of you. When people encounter you nothing happens but when they encounter the Presence of God abiding in you, the atmosphere shifts because of Him dwelling inside of us. HE is life! HE is light! HE is healing! HE is provision! He is wisdom! HE is love! In Him ALL things consist.”

Nobodies with nothing is now just right: joined to the Someone with everything and the only think we can help with is step out the way long enough for Jesus to be Himself through us. Let’s be empty so He can fill and overflow!

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Hope’s Home

Home is a very powerful word to me.

  • It’s meaning exceeds being just a noun naming the physical place where we live as part of a family.
  • It’s not merely an adjective to describe care and nurture or the security of a safe place to flourish.
  • It’s larger than a verb to explain the space we return to that created an environment where we are comfortable to be who we really are.
  • It’s deeper than the emotions of knowing we are ‘seen’, loved and accepted.

Home is all those things but more. Home is an experience: it’s a feeling that you fit somewhere, with someone, and are wanted and belong. This last weekend it struck me afresh that I’m not looking for or creating a home, I am home. I don’t mean in four walls but I, myself, am a home. In Revelations 21 it says,

God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God Himself will be with them.

When Jesus was talking to His disciples (John 14) He promised there would be a day when we realised, “that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you… and we will come to (you) and make our home” God Himself chooses to make my skin and yours, His home. We are home to the Divine Life.  God Himself feels my body is a place where He can be accepted and loved, comfortable and welcomed to be Himself. It’s a place he feels He belongs!

 So because I am a home, I AM is home.  As my body is the space He comes to dwell and live in, all that I AM is, becomes my home too.  Who God is becomes my home where I  live and move and have my being. We abide and live together and the relationship and union makes a home.  Wonderful. Wonder-full and not just a truth but something to be experienced.

God wants us to realise we are home. In fact Paul tells us in Colossians, “ God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” God’s pleased to reveal the riches of this to us.

This home (Christ in us and us in Him) carries hope. So what’s hope?

  • It’s not wishful thinking. ( I hope that this will happen)
  • It’s not an expression of uncertainty ( I hope we get it)
  • it’s not a desire either ( I hope I get the good of this)
  • A believer KNOWS that their hope is solid.Hebrews 11 talks about ,”the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen
  • Hope is faith – a faith that cannot be moved by circumstance or what the eye sees because an unseen God is seen in His faithfulness. Faith isn’t believing – faith is a Person. ” Jesus Christ is our hope.” ( 1 Tim 1:1)
  • Hope is Living. 1 peter 1 ;3 says, ” In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”  This fulfills Jesus’ promise in John 14, “ because I live you will live also

Hope is the assurance of the Person of Jesus living in us- it’s the anchor that does not move us from home base. Cynthia Bourgeault puts it like this. “Hope’s home is at the innermost point in us, and in all things. It is a quality of aliveness. It does not come at the end, as the feeling that results from a happy outcome. Rather, it lies at the beginning, as a pulse of truth that sends us forth.” Hope is our assured foundation. We are not waiting to die to go home to glory – quite the opposite -it’s actually the starting point, that we are in union with Jesus who is at home living with us now.

This home (Christ being in us and us in Him) carrying the assurance of hope, adds glory.  So what’s glory? Well it’s more of the riches of His Presence!

  • God’s glory can be the recognition of external manifestation of His being: think of “the heavens declare your glory.“(Isaiah 6)
  • It’s also His character and nature. When Moses asked God “show me your glory” God’s reply is to talk about His compassion, graciousness, abounding love and faithfulness. ( Exodus 33)
  • When John writes about Jesus He says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Glory is experienced here as relationship with the Father; identity in sonship; and characterised by a fullness of grace and truth.
  • Doxa is N.T Greek for ‘Glory’ and means the manifestation of God’s presence. When you encounter that ‘doxa’ it is the atmosphere of His presence. We have compassion, abounding love and faithfulness living in us.

How incredible that we are the dwelling place of God – That He comes and makes a home with us! Incredible that we are not striving to obtain it but can turn our attention and become aware of what is already given to us . We need to give thanks and receive the Person. Welcome Him home then fling wide the  doors of this place and as Russ Walden puts it, ” We are called upon to walk in glory:the manifest Presence of God. Someone on the inside of you is pressing to get out. when you walk into a room, learn to say in yourselves, ‘I release the glory here…”

We need to turn up with love in every situation and allow Jesus to be Himself. Maybe Julie Glover is right too, ” those who serve most potently work on levels of cosciousness that have to do with radiating love -God’s love. The basic premise is that you allow something, (Someone) to come through you… from somewhere deep inside.”

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Sitting with Jesus at the well

Wasn’t August great?  It’s been a different routine with the school holidays and I’ve so enjoyed extra time with our youngest daughter. I’ve been so blessed watching God at work in different ways too. What I’ve noticed more and more is that what God’s been showing me in my times alone with Him are overflowing and working out in everyday life. Just the way it’s supposed to be I hear you say! Here’s one story that happened this weekend.
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Our church wanted to make the most of August and we spend our time together looking very practically on sharing Jesus in everyday life.  My ‘slot’ was to share some new opportunities to intentionally be involved in our community.  I arrived at our new venue for a young couple to take me out into the courtyard. There is a pond and the reeds had been cut back to reveal a water feature and it had been turned on.  There stood a woman with a fountain of water flowing out of a pot close to her stomach- another pot discarded by her feet.
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So I knew I was on track as I was sharing from John 4.
“In that case, “ they encouraged me, “take everyone outside and sit by the well whilst you share!”  I so should have but God worked it out in another way.
That day I shared
  • how Jesus goes out of His way to be in certain places. He didn’t need to go through Samaria, most Jews avoided it, but He did. It is so easy for us to just mix with people like ourselves or who are acceptable to us. We need to go out of our way to make opportunities.
  • He was weary with His journey, so understands how sometimes we feel it is an effort to be intentional. It’s easier for us to want refreshment ourselves rather than give it to others. It’s important to be vulnerable though and share that  we have the same challenges as everyone but we do know where to go to get refreshment that lasts.
  • Jesus was thirsty- but more than His physical thirst His need was to fulfil the Father’s purposes. Jesus has a need to give Himself away to others.
  • the well was a regular meeting place for connections and community – the woman would have gone for water for washing, cooking, and watering animals but would have talked and shared their lives at the same time.  Those kind of wells happen in our culture now. They look like family homes,  our garden fence talking to the neighbour, work places, sports clubs, schools, pubs, coffee shops or churches.
  • This woman went in the heat off the day by herself. She was in a community yet isolated and not accepted. Although in our communities frameworks are in place to connect people many are alone, unseen and going through life not really living.
  • The conversation Jesus and the woman have is just beautiful. She talks in the natural and He responds with the spiritual. We all have ‘normal’ conversations with people in our everyday life but it is easy just to speak very naturally the words that come from God. Just look at how Jesus did it!
But the difference in all of this is Jesus saying, ‘if you knew the gift of God..’  Do we really know the gift we have from Him? Being in relationship with Jesus means we have the very Source of who He is living in us. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. The Father has made us participants in His Divine power giving us everything we need for life and godliness. My body is part of His body -it is a temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell. We need to recognise the huge gift that we carry and recognise that we are taking Jesus to the wells we are part of. We need to be active in taking Jesus to wells and waiting there so others can encounter Him.
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What was different about this well was the man at the well.  She’d been to the well many times but this time Jesus was there offering living water: a river of it springing up. When we go about our daily routine we will be at wells all day, and as carriers of His presence we are taking Jesus to those wells. We can be intentional and bold enough to let Him show out. The natural conversations that we have can become extraordinary as the Spirit works.
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This Sunday  I walked around the ‘well’ in our venue. I saw the benches by the pond and listened to the water flowing. I asked Jesus that we would experience His presence refreshing us; that we would sit with the man at the well and let Him change us as we encounter the I Am.
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We had a few new folk visiting for the first time and about half way through one of them stepped out into the courtyard. Two of us followed her out and sat by the fountain. #Cheryl (not her real name but it means beloved!) was very low and finding the meeting difficult. She didn’t say much as she lit one cigarette after another but it was obvious she was very low. It was her birthday and no one had visited. Each sentence she shared I could hear the woman at the well from John 4 more and more. A lady in a community yet isolated. God prompted me to mention how nice her shoes were. Bought the day before apparently but later she shared how she never knows what to wear as she doesn’t look good in anything. Her self esteem and worth was rock bottom. So there we were at the well and Jesus wanted to speak to her. We talked about the John 4 story and how Jesus knows exactly how we feel when we are weary,lonely and cut off from others. Jesus wanted her to know that she was accepted, just as she was, loved and known. He wanted Cheryl to know that despite everywhere she goes looking for answers or refreshment He will be the only one that will satisfy the need in her. There is a gift waiting for her to open on her birthday- a gift only God can give.
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All the time the fountain was flowing. all the time  Jesus trying to break down barriers so eyes could be opened to choose Life and a fresh path. We were able to pray, bless Cheryl for the year ahead.
We trust God that the living water will do it’s work with in her, that this will be another step on the road to a complete turnaround of her circumstance and that Jesus will bring transformation.
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What a lovely picture it is. God gives us an insight to His heart when we read the scripture but He wants to make it real. He is still busy incarnating the truth of it. This weekend we were able to let Jesus speak to a woman sat at the well and let Life flow. Literally re create it! But what He is really after is the transforming affect His Life has on each individual so the truths of who He is permeates every part of our lives and community.
 Keep taking Jesus to your wells- keep letting Him reveal Himself to speak to other so that living water can do it’s work.
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Jesus is the Promised Land

I’m feeling very blessed these last few weeks. Our lovely friend Liz came to stay after her surgery and after a few days at home with us we retired to the seaside to recuperate together some more.


I cann’t decide if the highlight has been watching Liz walk further and more freely each day ; or her grateful heart at being able to cook us pancakes; it might be  how we’ve sat together in an evening acknowledging the day’s progress; watching sunrises over the sea is definitely a contender;

 or our youngest daughter swimming and playing. Maybe it’s been the leisurely afternoons in castles grounds and the provision of a wheelchair so everyone could be involved. Eating fresh fish has been a joy. God’s grace in healing and strengthen is evident.  His Presence bringing peace and refreshment as we’ve fellowshiped together.


 We had a BBQ on the beach one day and treated ourselves to some prawns. Have you every seen such a big prawn? It was a giant!


Then I had some oysters and they were giant too.


We visited an historic cinque port and strolled by the river. The gaint supplies were present there too. This time in lights.

 Seeing oversized items reminded me of the men spying out the promised land for Moses. Their report after 40 days was that everything in Canaan was oversized and big.

  • one bunch of grapes had to be carried between a pole carried by two men. They must have been the size of apples!
  • the people were ‘all tall’
  • the walls to the city were all ‘large and strong’
  • the descendants of Anak ( giants) lived there


The men’s reports were large too. 10 gave a report on how large the challenges were- so gigantic it was not possible to possess the land.  Joshua and Caleb gave a bigger report on their confidence in God  – that He would do what He had promised.  They had a large understanding of who God was. They had a huge confidence  that God was good.

Many of us have promises from God and I’m holding some from years and years ago. What I’m beginning to understand in a deeper way is that the promised land and fulfilment is found in Jesus not in the answer or what I think it looks like. 

Everything in the promised land is meant to be large and oversized but it starts when we rest securely in a magnified awareness of who Jesus is.  When He is the main focus taking up the way we view things our gratitude is larger; our love flows greater; our relationships are more meaningful and our blessings manifest because His kingdom is appearing. 

The promised land is the presence of Jesus living like the truth was true. Seeing all the oversized items made me realise how I’m in the promised land with other areas of my life. We’re seeing Jesus reveal who He is to us more and more.


I’m really stuck by Job’s words in Chapter 42 when he says, ‘I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear but now my eyes see you’.  God’s plan for this world has always been that what He spoke actually happened. Think of creation when He spoke and light happened, land and sea were formed, animals and people. Then The Word, Logos, became flesh and dwelt amongst us. That very Life giving Presence became Jesus. 


 I believe we are entering a time when all the study and theological information we have on who God is from a ‘church’ setting, is suddenly going to burst out of the limits we have created or  perceived as Kingdom is exposed. The Spirit is yearning , along with all of creation for us not to just hear about God but actually experience and see Him. We are meant to receive a fullness of God not only a part of it. Hearing about God, of course increases our faith and hunger but as we press on to know Him He reveals more of who He is to us in our own lives and the circumstance we find ourselves in. There are no giants of lack or circumstance that limit us, no  illness that binds us when our eyes are open to see the huge gift that is Jesus.  I’m not denying the existence of those things but I recognise that Jesus reveals another facet of the diamond He is as He turns towards us. The Light of His Life anchors us. Peace floods us as Jesus overshadows the constant view.  The promise is already given – Jesus gives us Himself – and I am watching Him grow larger in my understanding and heart as fullness blossoms more and more. We not only hear but see God tangibly.


So I want to encourage you to join me in asking God for a revelation of more of who He is to us, so that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened to grasp how wide, deep, strong and long His love for us is. That our spirits would fathom the gigantic gift of Jesus. He, Himself, simply is enough. I think we’ll be surprised and flooded with joy as we notice all around us that we have already entered the promised land because Jesus is Present.

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Exposing God

 

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 Expose. It’s a word that suggests something has been revealed that really wanted to remain hidden. Like a secret or a bad habit. On the other hand it can mean you have now had a new experience because you have been exposed to something or Someone.  I just love how God can take one perspective and completely transform and redeem to another

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I have a dear friend coming to stay today as she convalesces after surgery and it’s going to be a joy.  A few months ago she fell coming down her stairs and had to have her hip replaced. During the care she received  for that, other issues were detected and revealed the cancer. One difficult situation thankfully exposed another silent one that may well have otherwise remained hidden for too long. The joy comes, not through the challenge of illness but that it’s exposing Jesus. Like all of us her family and friends are a mix of believers and seekers so the way she speaks has had a profound impact on people. There is no fear or anger but a peace that comes from knowing that Jesus is present. She’s expressed that naturally and openly and shared the Life she is receiving.

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 Yesterday I was supposed to be making the room look nice – except I got distracted by a journal that was on the side and started reading. Smile  It had lots of notes on David and Goliath and it was relevant to me today but also to the challenges we have in facing the giants of terrorism and change that the news is so prevalent in reporting.  Goliath means uncovered, expose or reveal. So recent events are…

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  • exposing the giant.

 Goliath had been intimidating the Israelites for 40 days and He had exposed himself to be aggressive and destructive.  The last few weeks in our news we’ve read about attacks in nightclubs, (US) hospital (Germany), community festivals (Nice), fast food restaurants ( Germany), a disabled care centre (Japan) and now a church (Rouen). It has brought the terror and fear away from warzones and into everyday ordinary life very close to home.  We may not live in those countries but we identify with the communities who are going through it: these are places we visit in our own countries.  I’ve read on Facebook so many status’ saying ‘what is happening in the world?’  These reports  give witness to how the ruler of this earthly kingdom is manifesting all too regularly.  Evil and terrorism is exposing itself openly.  Other giants are present in job situations, relationships, illness or finances. It exposes fear, hatred and division but also by exposure,  they over play their hand as it brings it to light and therefore something can be done.  The giant though is also……

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  • exposing our hearts

Our reactions to the giant reveals what is in our hearts.  For some in today’s world it exposes fear of other cultures or the unknown. It can expose our doubt in our leaders or solutions. In ourselves.  For believers it exposes a trust in a faithful Father. Scripture says that out of the abundance of the heart speaks the mouth.  So when some giant is shouting defeat at me what will my heart say back?  I’m  reminded of when Moses’ 12 soldiers went into spy out the land of Canaan. On their return 10 say it’s a good place but they can’t take the land because of the giants. One of them reports, ‘And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.’  The giant exposed that they looked at their own strength and it was insignificant and small. Having eyes on themselves and not on the promise and character of God made them believe they were as small as a grasshopper. The Israelites did the same in the face of Goliath and sat immobilised by the fear. However, when the young shepherd boy David arrives his hearts had plenty to say about who God was in the situation.   David’s eyes were on how big God is.  The giant exposed that David’s heart had transformed fear  into faith and doubt into confidence.  His eyes weren’t on himself but on the might and ability of God. His heart knew it and his mouth spoke it. How about our mouths – what have the circumstances shown is in our hearts? Jesus’ words are Spirit and Life and we need to be using them.

The giant is also……..

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  • exposing weakness and strength

I don’t mean the giants strength and our weakness but the completely opposite.  Giants are often disadvantaged if we’d only see them for what they are. Look at Goliath:

  • He wasn’t very observant. He talks about David coming at him with sticks but no mention of the sling. Giants have limited sight where as David’ focus was very clearly on God and who He is.

  • He was arrogant. He didn’t even draw his own sword in the fight.  In contrast David ran confidently, humbly carrying the stones fully aware perhaps that God wins not by might not by power but by the Spirit

  • He was rigid in his approach. He only knew one way to fight and that was with fearful speech and violence. David was flexible realising he could not wear Saul’s armour or wield his sword. He used the skills God had given him thus far.

Do we identify with feeling strong in our weakness? We can rest confidently that God is holding and sustaining us through whatever the situation is.  We are on the strongest side. We trust wholeheartedly that God’s promises and presence is true because of His faithful character. So whatever the situation we must be faithful in……

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  • exposing God

The giant is revealing our heart but it’s also revealing God’s heart to pour out His goodness. Joshua and Caleb speak to the other spies and say, ‘neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us’ (Numbers 14 v 9)  They understood that the giant situation they faced was going to make a way and reveal an experience of God that would sustain them. There would be living Bread that nourishes them in the midst of the land: the Living God who is active and present and more powerful than anything we face. Whether our giant is a personal one, a community one or a global one, we can expose God.  This was what Jesus did after all. He told His disciples, Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.’ (John 14 v 9)  and it’s what He wanted for us.

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It is the most precious prayer Jesus uttered the night before He died, ‘ I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one-as you are in me, Father, and I am in you’ (John 17 v 21) 

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Jesus is not just with us through this life -He is IN us. We are one with Him and the Father -an extraordinary source of communion.  For such a long time I have tried to be like Jesus or imitate His character and got very tired working at that. I am now conscious that I can rest in Him because He is in me. Jesus gave Himself, so I could receive Him so He can be Himself in me. I need to  get out the way long enough to let Jesus do that. The Jesus that reveals love and grace.  Jesus Himself exposing His forgiveness and grace. Jesus revealing kindness and truth through me.   The woman at the well was in everyday life yet she encountered Christ and He revealed the I AM to her.  It wasn’t the well that was important – it was the Man at the well. He creates living water inside us, connected to the source of supply that springs up into Life.  

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We become a well where people can met Jesus too as our flesh is housing Him. We are called to expose God in our being. Joey Le Tourneau puts it this way  ‘Wherever you go, not by title or position, but by presence, faith, hope and love may each person who encounters you say, “Because I have seen you I have seen The Father.”

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I truly believe there is only one reality, that which resonates with Heaven, is in harmony with Jesus and in one accord with each other. This union is the reality that will expose God amongst us and defeats the fear and ruler of this world to establish God’s kingdom. Our world is crying out for the answer and we have Christ in us, the hope of Glory who we can uncover and release to speak Life, love and peace into the people we meet. Let’s get busy revealing and releasing Jesus in our homes and towns by worshiping Him; declaring His truths; speaking His words in every situations; by trusting and resting in His goodness

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School’s out – It’s Harvest Time

I’ve just picked our littlest princess up from school early. The end of term excitement is bubbling up as summer has arrived with 6 long weeks before us, giving space for lie ins, holidays, day trips and general fun. Rest is on the cards for the teachers as they get to spend more time with their own children and families.   We’ll watch our children grow at least a foot before our eyes, as this terms uniform will testify in September when shoes and clothes no longer fit.   A different routine where rest , fresh air and fun makes them develop more.

 It hasn’t always been like that though. This long summer break has it’s roots in our agriculture heritage.  Education was put on hold because everyone was needed for a new season’s task.  An army of people would descend on the fields ripe with harvest.   Whole families went to live in make shift homes on farms by the coast and formed new communities. The gathering in of the crops began at dawn each day and when the tally man said enough had been picked they stopped to go and fetch water from the well and would eat around a camp fire sharing all that they had between them.  Parties would often break out long into the night as they celebrated the amount that they had managed to gather together. Other people had planted the seeds and tended the crops as they grew but now all these labourers, young and old, gathered the harvest together.  Long days and hard work but time was of the essence -the harvest was ripe and ready and needed to be brought in.

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This history isn’t relevant to our educational system now but I think it is to our spiritual journey.  John 4 says:-

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Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.  Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for.

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If we open our eyes to what God is doing in this season we find ourselves in, we will notice that the field of people waiting to be gathered into the family of God are everywhere. The back drop of news and life’s events in 2016 has been busy ploughing and preparing the ground.  Celebrity deaths; fear from Brexit, our economy changing, bad news stories of terrorism in other countries have been constantly reported in the media. And very present in people’s lives closer to home too.  It’s made people question what is going on as they look for order in the chaos and security in the confusion. People are questioning deeper what life is about and as a result lives are ripe for the good news that is Jesus. I really believe people are waiting to hear and respond.  We may of only just met them, or known people for a long time but the time is now to harvest and gather them in.

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It’s a season to change the routine we find ourselves in. The culture of church as a classroom of information or encounter is moving to a field trip where the truths are experienced by putting it all into practise outside the constraints of 4 walls.. We can pause the teaching programs that we create because the fields are ripe and the harvest is ready and we need to mobilise ourselves with confidence for the task at hand.  We are going to do that by sharing life together in closer proximity to our ‘neighbours’. We’ll reap a harvest when we share what we have -the Life of Jesus.

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And yes we need more labourers. The pastors or the full time evangelists need an increased army of labourers to be joining in. Everyone in the family of God is involved in forming a community where every generation participates. The young people amongst us have lots of skills that can be harnessed to including them and shouldn’t be overlooked. Think of the young shepherd boy, David, who changed his community by defeating a giant. Or the small boy who offered his loaves and fishes to Jesus so that everyone got feed.  Jesus often uses unexpected people to bring the break through.

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So it’s a summer break, a different routine but in God it’s a season to move things up a gear. We are not on ‘holiday’ from his kingdom . I want to encourage all of us to open our eyes to see where He is working and to get involved in speaking Life to the people we meet. Although my last blog had some prayer points on the situation in France,it is also very relevant to the season the Body of Christ is in. We need to press in for more of God focusing on Him so we are not distracted by the voices of fear. We need eyes to see what is happening in the spiritual realm and partner with God to establish His kingdom here now.  God is making a new creation So be bold to speak Jesus into the conversations. Offer to pray with them more or for them. Challenge people to meet Jesus.     School’s out (not just for the children)– the harvest is ready.

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  What Elisha would tell us to pray for France

 

My husband is currently on a mission trip. He walks with a 12 foot cross from town to town sharing the message of Jesus as he goes. It’s prophetic as the cross goes through a town declaring the symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection in everyday life rather than in a church building or service.  He prays as he goes declaring God’s words and asking God to bless the areas. He has wonderful conversations with people and has opportunities to pray with them for their situation, salvation or healing. He’s walked in 13 different countries.

He left on the 2nd July to start in Brussels and yesterday he arrived in Paris. He posted photographs of the celebrations for Bastille day with the crowds pouring through the streets outside his room and blogged about how he had been amongst them in the day sharing and praying with people. 

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At the same time of his postings different events were enfolding in Nice, southern France. Being a national holiday the same crowds and party atmosphere manifest in that town until death and panic arrived with a man driving a van into the crowd.  Shocking. Awful.  Oh how we need to pray!

As I tried to get some information for him I read about 2 days of national mourning being declared. The comments under the news article was where God spoke to me about how to pray. And it is a picture of how God turns things around for good. One commentator was generically hating on religion being the root of all division and hatred. She quoted the Quran and the Bible.  She put chapter and verse to her comments – except those verses don’t say anything of what she had written. Not in interpretation either – she had mentioned rape and death being ordained by God- it was simply a completely different story of events with Elisha. The verses actually were, “My Father, My Father  the chariots of and horsemen of Israel.”

You can read the  whole story in 2 Kings 2 but here’s how I’m feeling led to pray:-

  • It’s a time for us to press in and keep following the things of God. Elijah was the prophet and Elisha had been serving him. Elijah had tested him  by saying to him 3 times ‘please stay here’. 3 times he gave him the opportunity to deny the call on his life. Sounds familiar to Peter being asked 3 times did he know Jesus? Elisha’s reply is always,  “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” No matter how hard things are in circumstances or how much we want to remain in a comfortable situation we have to press in. God lives and we need to be using our words to keep declaring in situations that God lives – which means I can live and you can live. There is hope to be spoken. An assured hope. In France right now and in lesser degrees in our own communities there are circumstances of shock and confusion but we need to press in to find God in it. We can declare the hope that He lives and is very present. It’s not a time to hide or remain silent about our faith in the Person of Jesus but speak it out and pursue it wholeheartedly as the only real answer to what is faced.
  •  Don’t be distracted by the voices of fear. A school of prophets rightly tell Elisha that his master will die but Elisha ignores it. There are people around, and the media, who predict with doom and gloom how present death and destruction is and whilst it can be accurate, the interruption of it need not bring fear.  This is a time not to be distracted by the voice of fear but to press into the things of God even more. Elisha was not distracted by the other prophets warning: he did not change course but kept following, trusting and understanding, perhaps deeper, than you don’t change anything by being frozen in fear or living reacting to it. Life happens and death is part of it but God is present in everything and will remain focused on bringing LIFE. We need to pray that people in Nice and in our own communities come together in times of difficult and confront it head on, standing together so that the situation doesn’t divide us but unites us. Compassion does that. it means ‘suffering with’ we don’t ignore it or ‘not go there’ we take Jesus with us into it and find He is already there working.
  • It’s time to speak relationship not religion. Elijah dies and is taken up in a whirlwind and at this moment Elisha says ‘ My father , my father the chariots and horsemen of Israel.’ In this moment Elisha has eyes to see what is happening in the spiritual realm not what is happening in the earthly one. Oh how we need to ask for clear vision to see the things of God happening in France, and our own communities, and not the earthly visible one. We have to look for the invisible things of God and call them forth into reality. If we see them in our spirit then we can pray and partner with God to establish them. We can pray that God will rise up people who will see clearly and then speak as God’s ambassador into the individual lives; that the right people come along side the families who have lost loved one; that the believers in the town will rise up and speak words of hope and comfort and of Jesus’ Life as they rebuild theirs. We can pray that, like Elisha, they begin to say my Father and that thoughts about a ‘religion’ that has to master you will change to an  intimate relationship connected to the Father. We can pray they have a double portion – My Father My Father-where the Spirit of sonship rest on them to bring security and comfort.
  • Find the courage to move on to new Life. Elisha had to pick up the cloak and move on with his life.  Life was going to be different now. After such a life changing event we need to pray for strength for the individuals and the town ( including our own with the changes we face) to have strength to move forward. But it’s strength to move on in God not our own .  Elisha walked on to Jericho, a place known for defeat and miscarriages. In other words there was a lack of life there. He salted the water and the town was restored. A well of life sprung up with refreshment and hope for a future. This isn’t just a prayer for Nice and the rest of France. It’s a prayer for us to press into for all communities where ever we live. We can pray that the source of the living water springs up and transforms dead end defeated situations back to Life. We believe in resurrection and God loves nothing more than making that a reality in situation here on earth rather than us just surviving our time to get to a resurrected life in eternity. Father, let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Establish it here now in the barren places transform lives, communities and countries because the water they drink is from you- living water.

So join me to pray. Pray these things over Nice- Pray them over France and our own communities. Pray them to silence the voices of fear. Our God ALWAYS triumphant over death.

If you’d like to read more about Alan’s mission trips you can find it here. https://crossthenations.wordpress.com/

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Poured Out

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I had a long overdue catch up  with a friend this week and it was lovely to pick up where we had left off and share news on our families, church developments and what God has been saying. We giggled lots too particularly over another recent lunch date she had hosted.  She was busy in the kitchen preparing the roast potatoes when the guests arrived but as he made his way into the kitchen to say hi, she swung round in surprise and poured all the oil from the potatoes over his feet and shoes. It gets a bit worse as the shoes were new leather ones bought the day before and seeing as he’s a global speaker who visits lots of churches in lots of countries she can already hear the sermon illustrations of her embarrassing moment of ruining his shoes whilst anointing him with oil.
As for me I could hear God picking up where we had left off in the conversation He has been having with me.  My last blog was on breaking the jar open over Jesus feet in worship and having a pure devotion for Him. And the last time my husband and I had shared at our friend’s church we had focused on ‘being poured out for God.’ So I looked at it afresh- If we are breaking the jar – what is it exactly that’s  getting poured out?
Come with me and picture the scene of King David (2 Samuel 23) in a cave whilst the Philistines were in Bethlehem.  He needs a bit of a breakthrough so they can re-enter Bethlehem but rather than a strategy plan his thoughts are on his own wants. Obviously weary and wanting physical refreshment David craves water. Not just any old water though – water from the well at Bethlehem.  He’s remembering his home town and thinking about days when things were a bit easier and comfortable and probably mindful of what that water from that well tasted like: wonderful blessings and experiences. We can all feel like that when we are up against it and our minds wander to past comforts and the way things were. Three of his men fetch the water for him at considerable risk and these men were quality folk who were committed to God’s service. (2 Samuel 23 v8-11)
  • Josheb-Basshebeth had killed 800 men in one battle. That’s stamina and perseverance.
  •  Eleazar had fought the philistines till his hand froze to the sword. He wasn’t going to stop or let go. 
  • Shammah stood in the the middle of a field and protected and held it single handed till others came. He was wholehearted.
 David however, didn’t pat them on the back and savour every drop for fetching it for him, instead he refused to drink it. As the men present David with the water he asked for, he has a moment of humility and clear sight. Recognising the value of his men and the efforts they had gone to he must have remember who they were and the lives they had lived poured out for God. This was a gentle reminder that his own devotion and life was to and for God and some natural water wasn’t going to satisfy him. So David pours the water out as a drinks offering and as he does he’s giving his own wants and desires to God along with the lives and service of his men. Maybe the men watching joined in with worshiping God and saw it as a greater honour than a thank you could have ever brought. David is certainly refreshed in God as He worships.
Is that what God is trying to show me about being poured out for Him?  The challenge I hear is,
  • can I empty myself of all my flesh wants? 
  • can I pour out all my valid desires for home, comfort and safety so that it is nothing to me now? 
  • Can I wholeheartedly pour that out so I’m empty of myself to create a space for Him to be ALL in ALL?
  • Can I take all my committed acts of service and working for Him and count that as nothing in pursuit of knowing more of who He is and worship Him? 
  •  As I empty myself of my ‘flesh’ can I trust that I am in return actually being filled up with the Life of God as I worship Him?
 Those aren’t questions you just gullibly say ‘yes of course ‘ too!  That’s costly surrender, some what uncomfortable as we let ourselves die so that God can come alive in us.  Mary Magdelene worshiped by washing Jesus’ feet with oil and the nard would have been all over her hands and hair too. I can see she was preparing herself for burial too in her worship. The sweet fragance that must have risen from that moment isn’t just the spinkarad: this is the refreshment of living water that springs up into eternal life. Its the pouring out of human flesh so that at the same time we are filled up with the Spirit’s Life that then gets poured out too.
You see I’m pondering what this all looks like in everyday life. I can have moments of completely surrender and letting go so that I connect and receive the very life of God but how do I take that new life in Spirit and pour Him out? I’m mindful of Jesus here in the garden of Gethsemane praying, ‘ yet not my will but yours’.  Worship isn’t a song but a lifestyle, so can I practice that surrender in every day situations? We become what we behold just like  2 Corinthians 3 v 18 says, ‘And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.’  So it follows that if we’re beholding God in worship then we will be transformed into His image. And if we are living lives that incarnate and reflect God then we are lifting God up for others to see and it naturally follows that they will see Jesus. John 12 v 36 says, ‘ And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself’.
Our moments of completely surrender are so that God can be poured out to others. Can we be that broken jar where the living water isn’t in a cave or a cup but flowing out into every crack and groove that is our life relationships and circumstance? I hear the call ,’Do you want that? because the Glory that comes will be more than your eyes have seen yet and more than your mind and heart can imagine. Consecrate yourself’
My most favourite quote in the whole world is one by Daniel Berrigan, ‘sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the Bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought or even kneaded it yourself. for that look on his face , for your meeting his eye across a piece of Bread, you will be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or even die a little.’
 Jesus is worth that –recognising the value and worth of who He is and what He has done is worth that. That worship is worth it so the Bread of Life can be shared.
You might like to have a listen to this song- it has a heart about it that is definitely worth joining in with!
 Misty Edwards  POUR MY LOVE ON YOU

 

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Breaking the Pot

I’m not much of a gardener and we only have one plant in our house: a special miniature yellow rose by my kitchen sink. You’d have to know a lot more about my story for me to explain why yellow roses are special. Enough here to say they represent how my friendship with God is new life to me. Isaiah 61 in the message says, “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.”

God certainly did that for me with my past so it was a thoughtful reminder some years ago when I was bought this plant after I had a miscarriage. During that time lots of other stuff ‘died’ too yet God was, as always, faithful to bring good.  I look after it, not to be morbidly sentimental about the little life we lost, but because it’s a reminder of the providential care God brings: He ALWAYS brings beauty from our ashes and new Life blossoms where there was death. So it’s a plant that speaks to me about death and resurrection and whilst I was watering it this week I heard God say ‘pot bound’ and in the context of my recent blogs on  the process of resurrection  it got me thinking. Again.
When we are experiencing a ‘death’ we feel at the end of something and there seems no where to go from that place and we are limited. Restricted if you will. We would like to break out into something new but find ourselves blocked. Think of Lazarus being in the tomb with the stone in front of it, Jesus too. There can be no further grow when we are contained in a certain place, or attitude, or certain way of doing things like we’ve always known before. These are the times we all face: a dead end; when we need God to move a mountain or when we need Him to part our red sea. Or in other words we need the stone rolled away from the tomb we are in so we can let new life out.
But How?
In my last blog I mentioned how at the point of resurrection Jesus draws attention to the Father and Himself.  At Lazarus tomb He prays and gives thanks to the Father who sent Him and talks about the glory of God. At His own tomb when talking to Mary He talks about ‘My Father and your Father, My God and Your God.’ With Cleophas he opens up the scriptures and explain about entering into Glory. With Simon Peter He encourages him to ‘follow me’. focusing on who Jesus is and our relationship with Him is key to unlocking the future. Here I can’t get away from Jesus conversation with Mary at the tomb. ‘don’t cling to me I have not yet ascended to Your God and my God, Your Father and my Father’  and what I’m beginning to understand is,it’s
  • don’t cling to me in the flesh. Not just physically but also in principle.
  • don’t cling to what we have know of Him in the flesh and everything He has already shown us whilst He was on earth.
  • Don’t cling and remain in that place and experience, however good it was, it has now past.
His resurrection means He has now ascended to the Father so the Spirit could be poured out. He doesn’t want us to remain in a flesh experience but worship in Spirit. This is what Jesus was talking to the woman at the well about. “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” Resurrection is worked inside out.  God reveals truth from His Spirit to our spirit and brings us alive there. It’s not what we do in our flesh trying to gain approval or by doing right or wrong.  It’s not found in us trying to imitate Jesus’ actions in our flesh – it’s purely receiving the new life Jesus brings in Spirit and recognising that we are connected at the Source. After encountering Jesus at the well where Jesus has spoken about a well of water springing up inside her to eternal life the woman leaves her water jar behind.  I can’t imagine she placed it neatly to one side: perhaps she just dropped it and it smashed! It symbolises much more than she was just so distracted she forgot what she was doing.
  • She’s leaving behind everything she has known that has brought her refreshment and life thus far. 
  • She is leaving behind the old ways of doing things and her old self.
  • She leaves behind the past instead carrying inside her the revelation (that is the well of Life) that Jesus is the great I AM.
She doesn’t have a limited amount that fits only inside a jar –she has a continuous supply that can and will flow in and through her fresh and limitless. She’s not pot bound but free. And the life flows on as she draws attention to Jesus by inviting the village to come and see a man. This was a resurrection of new life for that woman when her situation was very dead and new resurrected life flows out to others. So How do we break our pot?
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My mind wanders to Mary Magdalene and another pot. (Luke 7, John 12)  Picture the scene of a men’s dinner party and in comes a woman with a reputation. and kneels before Jesus. She breaks open a vial of very expensive perfume, referred to as a years salary. Today in the UK that would be a bottle costing £26.500. She’s crying over Him and letting her hair down to wash the precious feet in an incredibly intimate personal act of worship. Although the other men ask questions about her reputation as a sinner, or the money that would be better used for the poor, Jesus simply says ‘she did what she could’ Her worship will be talked about for generations to come.  What I notice is that she isn’t asking Jesus for anything, she isn’t thanking Him for anything- she is simply loving Jesus with everything she has and owns. She’s giving Him worship just for Him. It’s an extraordinary pure devotion full of sincerity.  Then I read this.  Mary poured out all she had on Jesus. Anointing Him with her finest and rarest perfume–spikenard–she gave up her inheritance and chose Him above all.  As the king surrounded me at His table, the sweet fragrance of my praise perfume (spikenard) awakened the night. Song of Songs 1:12  Mary broke open her costly pot in worship.

Isn’t this worship in Spirit and truth?  It the place where we awaken out of the darkness of night to the light of a new day. It is the moment when we arise because we are lifting Jesus up. Habakkuk  knew something of this despite everything perishing around him he declared yet. Yet.  Yet will I rejoice in God.  The cry of a heart that is lost in a dark place struggling with death around doesn’t  waste time on other questions of why? how? what now? please do this! please do that! would you come and …? (all valid and reasonable to ask) but  it’s a heart that takes the focus of himself and on to Him. A foundational first fruit offering

  • where we no longer ask God for something;
  • where we no longer say thank you for what you did before,
  • where we no longer say I believe you can,
  • where we no longer look at the circumstance around
but where we simply and purely break open our pots and say Jesus, Holy, Holy, holy are you, ALL that I have I give to you. All .  It’s a place of worship that is in complete surrender and letting go of all known or expected outcomes. A place that we give to God and honour that in ALL He is ALL. It’s a focus on Him and not our circumstance and a slightly difference place than giving praise for who He is and what He does. It’s also worship of God that is already being sung in Heaven. I’ve had the verses in Songs of Solomon for a while now Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.The flowers appear on the earth,the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.”And I sense that  part of the arising to new life is by breaking the pots of limitations open so we step into the new life that Jesus has for us. This begins for us as we join in the song that the Spirit is already singing.  We are invited to awaken from our dark restricted place into newness of Life by laying everything at His feet just like Mary did and give that offering to honour Him – an offering that has cost us something to bring -and as we come to that place we will realise that Jesus truly is All in ALL He is all we need. The dead situations or hopes or circumstance won’t matter, the outcome or answers fade away as our full and complete attention is focused on Jesus. This is the dwelling place of peace and union that connects us to the source of Life. It’s a call for the worshippers in Spirit and Truth to rise up so new Life can blossom.
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