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!

 

 

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Courageous One.

Last month Liberty Christian Church ran an annual women’s event. I say event , because unlike a conference with teaching/preaching, and structured session times, this is more of a contemplative, meditational, soaking, intimate time with the Lord.

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The auditorium was divided spectacularly into smaller ‘rooms’ and various other spaces were commandeered, and all were designed with their own theme.

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One moved from room to room, spending time in God’s presence and being ministered to, at one’s own pace.

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I spent the morning helping on the prophetic team where we wrote or could draw prophetic art for the woman seated in front of us.

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Courage

A few days prior to this event, I wanted to spend some time in prayer, asking God for words for people. I was not expecting what He said. I hadn’t even ‘organised’ myself yet..
I was passing through my bedroom to get my bible when the Holy Spirit spoke ‘courage’ and simultaneously the gift of faith was released, just as if I was preparing a message . In that split second, I knew He had downloaded the word he wanted me to bring to each woman that would come to my table . It would be how He was going to minister to each of them. 

Courage.

Many times throughout scripture both in the old and new testaments, God is speaking about courage. He is speaking ‘Take Courage’. Be strong. Be confident. Do not be afraid.

I love how He speaks in Psalm 31 about letting your heart take courage. Giving yourself permission to be courageous.

And in Matthew 14:27….
Take Courage! I Am!

I love that . He is the Great I Am. He is God.

And I love how it is written of Jehoshaphat, regarding the Lord establishing the kingdom in his hand, that ‘his heart was cheered and his courage was high in the ways of the Lord’.     2 Chron 17:6

These are just a few of the scriptures that were brought to my mind for different women.

Maybe, one of these scriptures stands out to you. Or maybe courage is what you are needing right now.

Be strong and courageous, and do it. Fear not, be not dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you….. 1 Chron 28:20

Take the courage He is giving right now. Receive Jesus’ strength, Jesus’ courage, Jesus’ confidence.

Note.. All pictures on this post have come from Liberty’s Facebook page. Someone else’s camera worked far better than mine:)

Door opening

Door opening.

This is something that I have been pondering on for sometime now.

Are you a door opener?

Okay, let’s backtrack bit.

Firstly I want to say that, yes, absolutely, God is the ultimate ‘door opener’. Seasons are in His hand. He has crafted each one of us, and His hand is on each one of you. He knows what is in your heart, the plans and purposes, the dreams and visions.

And I think that yes, many of you will agree that you have been in a season of being hidden in Him. And for some of you that season has been long, for some it has been challenging, for some, you have all but given up.

So what happens when the season begins to change?

You see, I look across New Zealand, and I feel the season is beginning to change. I think of folk with God’s anointed messages in their hearts, business plans in their dreams, songs on paper,  prophetic words in their journals, hidden, not yet released. And I am beginning to feel a stirring.

Now, I love to sit under well known ministries. The fore-runners – with the impartations, the faith building stories, the anointings, the revelations, the wisdom, the teaching. Come on! That is all good.

But, the stirring I feel tells me, that there are anointings, revelations, teaching, prophetic messages, music, etc that God is wanting to begin to release in New Zealand , that right now are hidden in homes, churches, towns, marae, across this nation.

So let’s begin to think as door openers. Because God always works in partnership with us doesn’t He?!

We pray for open doors, we declare doors to be open, we look for open doors, we are ready to receive open doors. And that is all good. The keys of the kingdom being released. But, who is doing the opening? (Remembering that I said although God is ultimate door opener, He uses His people). If all we are doing is looking for doors to be opened, then there is a problem… and will be a problem.

Some may call it being a releaser, or raising up the next generation… but I see it as more broad than that. A door opener carries the heart of a giver, of an encourager, of a visionary, a supporter. It is not aged based.

It is seeing what God has created in someone, and providing space , resources, an open avenue, opportunity,   for that person.

Remember in Galations, where it is written of Paul, that due to his revelation, he decided to double check with others that he was on the right track..

  and when James and Cephas and John, …, perceived the grace that was given to me… (ESVST) Galations 2:9

They perceived the grace on him. As door openers we need to perceive God’s grace on others. Just because someone’s revelation, gifts, skills, call maybe radically different, we can still open doors for them, or accept them as the people who God leads through the door we opened.

So,

Who is in your sphere? Who do you know that you can open a door for?

Or what doors can you open, and see who God leads through?

Remember the 11 disciples deciding to cast lots to see who would replace Judas? They opened a door, and God lead Matthias through.

Let’s be door openers and look for opportunities to release the giftings and dreams of the folks around us.

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!!

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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.

Pulsating Words

I am not much of a gamer. A farming app on my phone is about my scope of gaming. But I share my lounge with a well used PS3. And I observe certain things. That when the graphics begin to pulsate.. that is an indication of something needing further investigation.  A new weapon. A reward. A new doorway to go through. A new challenge.  One doesn’t just jump up and down, excited at the pulsating.. but instead, takes time to investigate.

God invented that.  His name is the Holy Ghost.

Scriptures pulsate when we read God’s Word. Pulsating with life and as an indication to stop and investigate.

What scriptures are surging in your heart today?

For me:

Habakkuk 3:

2 O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid;
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy.

3 God came from Teman,
The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah

His glory covered the heavens,
And the earth was full of His praise.
His brightness was like the light;
He had rays flashing from His hand,
And there His power was hidden.