Time for a new wineskin

I’ve been on holiday for a week.  Which is always a great time for contemplation. And these are a few of my mullings:

It is time for a new wineskin.

 Then the disciples of John came to Jesus, inquiring, Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, [that is, abstain from food and drink as a religious exercise], but Your disciples do not fast? And Jesus replied to them, Can the wedding guests mourn while the bridegroom is still with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. And no one puts a piece of cloth that has not been shrunk on an old garment, for such a patch tears away from the garment and a worse rent (tear) is made. Neither is new wine put in old wineskins; for if it is, the skins burst and are torn in pieces, and the wine is spilled and the skins are ruined. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved. Matthew 9:14-17 Amp.

Wineskins.

Christ -The Anointed One abides in us. The Spirit dwells within is. We are the earthen vessels, the containers so to speak, the dwelling place of God.

And our revelation of who God is, is what we release to those around us. Our wineskin contains our revelation.

Twenty years ago there was a stretching of wineskins as God began revealing Himself in a fresh way as The Father. Our eyes were unveiled (and continue to be) to His love and intimacy , to His goodness, and near-ness. We became fresh wineskins as we mourned for Him. That is, we began to see our lack in our understanding of who God is, we longed for Him, we cried out for Him, to meet Him in His aspect of the Father that we had not known. We were undone by His love.

Now God is beginning to stretch us again. He is adding to our revelation of who He is. He is beginning to display Himself in His Greatness and Power. It will take a fresh new wineskin to hold this.

We are to contain both aspects of who He is. His intimacy, love and goodness, as well as His majesty, His awe generating Greatness, His Holiness. His Glory. It has to be both. That is who He is.

I’ve heard His Glory described as His reputation. It is who He is displayed. His Glory is not shared with us…it’s not our power and might. Yet Jesus says we are given His Glory. We contain His reputation, we are to be wineskins holding the revelation of who God is. Witnesses of His supernatural love, supernatural peace, supernatural hope, supernatural resurrective power.

I don’t think we are able to comprehend what this will look like. We’ve heard of stories from the past, just take Azuza Street for example. But that was one church. What will it look like on mass worldwide scale?

I know my wineskin needs refreshing, renewing, replacing, updating  – however one would phrase it. New wine is put into fresh wineskins. I am surrendering my old wineskin, saying God I want to hold the fresh revelation you are bringing. Greater understanding of who you are!

 

 

Advertisements

Quietly contemplating humility

If you happen to be a tramper, bushwalker, hiker in northern New Zealand, then undoubtedly you have heard of kauri dieback disease. A fungal infection killing off the beautiful ancient kauri trees, and destroying our forests. Some tracks have now been closed. We are no longer able to enjoy those places and sites. In other areas, before entering a track, one must cross the ‘disinfectant zone’. Boots are scrubbed and sprayed to cover them in disinfectant before entering or exiting a track, to aid in the long term future of those trees.

What’s this got to do with humility?

Allegory.

Because I have been contemplating humility. Yes, that’s correct. Humility.

The way I picture it, we are on a journey discovering God and His kingdom, discovering His glory, we have a future of greater intimacy with Him, of encounters, visitations, being caught up in the Spirit.. and seeing Him minister to the folks around us. It is a beautiful journey, the most stunning scenery, – even if the track gets a bit bumpy from time to time!

And I can see that, for this journey to continue, for greater clarity, for experiencing more of Him, I need to pause at the ‘disinfectant zone’. That is, I am pausing this past week or two, at the vital place of humility.
Contemplating the necessity of humility. How I need it to be increased in my life.

I see how Jesus, when He was on earth as The Son of Man, walked in, lived in, ministered in humility. He is humility.

For us to experience more of the supernatural power of God, to minister out of encounters, to love furiously, consistently, long-term, I am struck by how great a part humility plays in this. 

1 Peter 5 says we are to clothe ourselves in humility.

Col 3:12 speaks of ‘putting on’ humility (along with kindness, meekness ..).

Romans 13:14 Paul writes about ‘putting on Jesus’ the ‘armor of light’.

See that? Putting on – clothing ourselves with Christ. Clothing ourselves with His attributes, that He appears to others through us.

We are to be humble. 1 Peter 5. God looks upon the lowly. Gives grace to the humble. 

Because we are earthen vessels, (yes loved, redemmed, seated with Christ, alive in Him), but still earthen vessels that He has chosen to place His treasure inside, we in our own strength, our own efforts , cannot walk in true humility. We need Jesus’ humility. We need Jesus. To be clothed in Him.
Downloaded with His humility.

As we humble ourselves, allowing and receiving Jesus to clothe us, His grace comes. (Remember: He gives grace to the humble).

I am loving Strong’s description of grace (charis)….

‘Especially the divine influence upon the heart, and it’s reflection in the life’

How awesome is that. How powerful. His Divine influence upon our hearts. His transforming power, His character upon our hearts. And it’s reflection.. wow. To reflect the Divine, that people see Jesus and not ourselves. That people encounter Jesus …

Clothe me with Your humility Jesus.

Today.

Today is New Year’s Day. Happy New Year to you!!

image

Most often, at this time of year, we take stock of the past year, make adjustments for the year ahead, seek God’s directions for where to use our time and resources, and always eat far too much. Or hide our heads in the sand for a short period of holiday time.

This year,
I roll into 2014 feeling full. (Yes, there were many chocolates, but that’s not the type of full I’m talking about – in case you wondered).

Rather, full of God’s goodness. I feel full of anticipation for what He is going to do, and for what I am going to see. His supernatural movings. For the last few months the phrase ‘you have not been this way before’ has echoed within me. And so I haven’t.

I have been, over the last year, and know I am still, in a transition period. And know many of you are.

I go into 2014 desiring to spend more time sitting in the presence of my God. Digging into my Bible. Worshipping Him. Encountering Him. Knowing Him more. Being in awe of Him more.

And I continue to be

Praying for greater discernment, faith and encounter. For greater compassion, grace and power.

The Vats are full. The Vats of His goodness.

so your barns will be filled with abundance, and your vats will burst open with new wine.

Proverbs 3:10

So exciting!!
I feel I am only at the beginning of the journey.

New Beginnings

New Beginnings.

Ahhhh. I drink it in. The fresh drops of a new season. And it tastes good.

It’s been a long parched season. Although un-enjoyable in it’s challenges and struggles, it’s been priceless in God using circumstances to crush, to refine, re-define, purge and shape who I am. Who He has created me as. The purgings of  God is a holy journey.

But there is the smell of newness in the air!  Do you smell it too?

A month ago I had a dream. The dream began with me inside a house with a few other nameless people. We were in a heightened atmosphere of anticipation. Apparently, a volcano behind the house, that had been inactive for a long, long time, was about to erupt.  Then we heard it thunder and we went around the house to look. My first reaction was of disappointment. I had been expecting and anticipating, chaos, a huge thunderous, spectacular eruption. But it was barely visible. What had happpened was powerful but hidden. It was almost like a private residential bore, a well like structure, which had a large pipe running up the middle, like an overflow pipe. I looked into the ‘well’ and it was filled to the brim with thick, molten magma, moving in a rolling boil type action. We went back inside. Then there was an enormous bang which shook the whole house. We went back to look. It looked exactly the same, but I knew that the boiling magma was to stay. It wasn’t going to subside down. It was now a permanent source of power hidden behind the house….  The next scene, I was walking up the road from the house when someone I know came rushing up to me. This person was excited, but the stronger emotion was that of exhausted relief. He told me that now both his parents were living in Jesus. (In other words, both his parents were now walking in a close, healthy relationship with God). His relief, I instantly could tell, was from years of praying for them. Instantly my husband, who had been next to me the whole time, turned to me and said ‘I prophesy it’s a season of new beginnings’. There my dream ended.

There is a lot in that dream to explore. Which I wont do here, but I do want to mention one thing.

We need God’s power. We need that active power. To be as Jesus was as the Son of Man.. ‘full of and under the power of the [Holy] Spirit.. Luke 4:14  . I so very much desire to see the miraculous power of God operate in my life, and to operate in the lives of others.

I am being stirred up. I have just finished reading The Dancing Hand of God: vol 2

Both volumes have resonated so strongly with my heart and spirit.  I am adding the link here, if you are interested.  There is so much in these books, that I am going to go back through them using them as study material, with my Bible.

A new season dawns. It has begun with fervour for His Word. I am hungry for the Word of God. This new beginning has begun with a desire to grow in faith, to have my faith added to, it has begun with a desire to hear and see in a far greater clarity. It has begun with a need for greater discernment. And most important of all, is my longing to spend time with Jesus, in the presence of God. In that secret, still space.

Consecration.

Communion is a time when we can come together before Jesus.  To worship Him. To humble ourselves before Him. Honour Him. To love on Him.. and to receive His love for us.

This morning’s message I shared a word I felt God was speaking to the church.

Consecration. To set ourselves apart to God.  We consecrate ourselves before God. The good, the bad and the ugly. Give Him our skills, our dreams, our relationship with Him, our relationship with others. Give Him our weaknesses, our sin, our struggles. Our disappointments, discouragements, loneliness. Consecrate ourselves as earthen vessels, that He would make holy, sanctified and filled with His Spirit.

Why? Among other reasons.. as the first step into a new season.

I heard the Word ‘Grow. Grow. Grow’.  A season coming of growth. Growth in skills and giftings, growth in intimacy with Jesus, growth in relationship, growth in knowledge of God’s kingdom, growth in wisdom.

 

So

Are there places in your heart that need to be consecrated.. brought before God?  Come before Him, get into His presence, wait on Him, and lay those things before His throne.

And perhaps the word ‘Grow’ is relevant for you too.  Where do you feel God is causing, asking, challenging, opening doors for you to grow?  In relationship with Him, in ministry, in your family, your job? Maybe a growing of fresh passions, of new ventures. Business ideas. Missions.

If this is you… take some time.. (you know.. that luxury in life) and come before God in consecration. It’s time to come before His throne.

 

Psalm 23:4

Let me back track to February this year.

I was getting ready to prepare a communion message.  Sitting on the edge of my bed with Bible and paper, I asked Holy Spirit what to speak on. Immediately He responded with the words of Psalm 23:4.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;

So I did.  I spoke on intimacy with Jesus, of being God’s presence.  In the midst of our adversary. Of our difficulties. Of our circumstances and situations.  His Table of goodness is prepared for us. His sustenance, strength, and love.  Looking towards Him.  Being in His presence. Soaking in Him. Receiving from Him.

Then in March, a visiting ministry came to speak.  Deborah Perez’s message.. Psalm 23:4.

As a side note, I love to discover fresh worship. God speaks prophetically through worship, so I love to hear new sound, new songs, His heartbeat.

Not long after this ministry came, I was having a listen to some worship on the net. I happened to drop in on a live worship session in Sacramento I came across, and heard a song which gripped me.  I sat weeping in the presence of God. She was singing Psalm 23;4!  I could find no link to listen to it again later, and had no idea if it was a previously recorded song, or was spontaneous, as I came in mid-worship.

Until now.  Although not exactly the same as I first heard, and the audio is poor quality, it is a beautiful worship song.

God prepares a table for you.  Today. In the midst of your circumstances.

Let me share it with you.

At the current Durban outpouring, Chelsea Regan singing The Table

 

 

Peggy and Christine

Maybe you have heard of  (or even knew) Peggy and Christine.  I would have liked to have met them.

I know nothing of their early lives. But the legacy they left, and the things they witnessed,  move me. We read of them – one blind and 84 years old.  The other bent over with arthritis and 82 yrs. Sisters.

Age is no barrier, sickness no barrier to living in great intimacy with God. To being used by God.

God spoke

“I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground,”

so they prayed twice weekly from 10pm to 3 – 4am for their area.  In response to a further vision Peggy had, a group of men started praying at the same time in a barn. And then a preacher was brought in.

Prayer and action.

And so began an outpouring of the Holy Ghost, so powerful that communities were transformed. A revival that lasted 30 years.

Revival In The Hebrides

 

That simple verse that God gives you for your area …. don’t tuck it away. Begin to pray it. Fight for it. Declare it. Plead for it. Find other like minded people and pray it together.  If you have no verse/promise for your family or community… now is a good time to seek God for one.

Our nation needs God.

What verse are you pleading over your family, city, nation?