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.

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That tweet.

What are you chewing on at the moment? Or gulping down in hunger… or licking in thought? Is it a word from God, The Word, an Encounter, vision or dream , maybe a song, a book, a podcast? How is He ministering to you at present?

For me – I made a discovery last year.

It all began as a tweet that appeared on my phone, that caught my attention. I don’t recall the exact details.. but it made mention of a book volume ‘Ladies of Gold’. And for whatever reason (again forgotten), I followed the link to check it out. Decided it was a must-read and added to my GoodReads list. (And it still is in the to-read category because I still haven’t obtained a copy – YET).

Anyway, I didn’t recognise the author’s name.. sorry James Maloney if you ever pass by here. But I had heard zero, zilch, nought about you. But saw a recommendation by Bill Johnson.

So my reasoning was as follows.. based on the fact that what I’ve read and listened to of Bill’s, and the fact that I first discovered his ministry through Randy Clark… and many years ago I went on a ministry team trip with Global Awakening (Randy and co) … I figured James Maloney was someone to ‘check out’. So I was quite excited to discover an advert for a trip out to Auckland, New Zealand (Nov 2012). My city!

Wouldn’t you know it.. but of all the weeks of 2012 (which was a year of quiet evenings.. my most busiest week fell the same week as the conference. I could only make the first night. And first nights aren’t always the highlight, you know?

So I went hungry to grab all I could of what he carries in God. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs from under the table..’. No matter it was the first night, it was my only night.. I was going to soak up all I could!

And soaked up I did. God poured into me. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you may have learned how my heart longs for people to have intimacy with God. To know His love for them. And in turn minister His love. How I long to see the supernatural – the deliverances, healings, dead raised.. the book of Acts being our everyday experience.

Here was someone who carried and experienced this far far more than I. I was eating up every crumb I could. Then, God in His great beauty led James to minister and anoint with oil, all those who wanted it, an inheritance in all that he carried, and those who had ministered into his life. (Remember that Ladies of Gold I haven’t read yet..) . Wow. Just wow. I felt so humbled and honoured to be present that night, to receive that. A precious precious evening. I know I haven’t grasped it properly even now. A sense of solemn responsibility meshed with excitement and being loved on.

And, so to continue to soak up what God was doing, I bought a copy of The Dancing Hand- vol 1, and The Panoramic Seer. I’ve read both and will reread both more slowly a second and probably third + times. I thoroughly recommend them.

So, at present God is ministering to me through another man’s ministry. Plus I want to check out a couple of other ministries he recommends. There is some teaching material I think I would like to get my teeth into.. and I have a few more books added to my must-read list! 2013 has begun!

Voice

At home we have been following the Australian version of ‘The Voice’ over the last few evenings.  And I’m really enjoying it.

What I’m loving the most, is watching the effect that the opportunity given to the contestants ‘to be heard’, is having. Dreams that some have carried for years are being given a platform. This opportunity is gifting them a voice. It’s gifting them affirmation, and it’s giving us the pleasure of listening.

I hear a lot and read a lot of messages inspiring people to go after their call.  To not hold back, to step out in their dreams, their visions, their destiny.  And I am all for that. I’m all for people discovering what they have been created for. What plans God has for them, and seeking God’s direction and going for it. Yes. Absolutely.

But what I hear a whole  lot less about, is messages on giving opportunities.  Yes God has His timings and His seasons.  But He  uses us. Our hands open the doors for others to step through, for others to develop  their areas of ministry and giftings. And in turn, enable further people to be ministered to, by their giftings.

What number of teachers, prophets, preachers, worship ministries, community programmers, pastoral care ministries, prayer houses, youth or children’s workers are lying dormant due to lack of opportunity?

It’s not going to look pretty.  It wont looked polished.  It might even go pear-shaped and outright crazy…. but isn’t that the journey we’re on?  Journeying together?

I love to look around and see who I can offer an opportunity to.  When I ran children’s church I loved to give opportunities to others to use their giftings.  A musician to come in and play, an artist to do creative lessons,  youth to bring a message.

In my day to day job, I have a lot to do with interns. The same principle works. Giving them opportunities to do varied roles.  Not just the dud jobs that I don’t like doing, but standing back and letting them do the fun things. Many times people struggle with lack of confidence or low self-esteem, thereby not speaking of their dreams within their heart. Often we need to be the proactive ones asking God to show us someone to offer an opportunity to (and allowing Him to surprise us with His choice!). It’s also training oneself to recognise opportunities that can be given.  ‘Just another job’ could be a door for someone else.

I honour the men and women in my own  life who have gifted me opportunities. Their grace. Their willingness. I honour all those that  open up doors of opportunity to the folk around them. The releasers. The equippers.

And I look forward to the hidden jems that will be unearthed!

It’s simple. Isn’t it?

Two commandments.  That is all.  It’s that simple.

Love God

Love one another.

As I began to explore John’s writings on abiding, and reading of the relationship between abiding in God and loving others, I kept coming back to these two commandments.

Having experienced revelation of Jesus’ love for me,  I began asking for His love for others. Because let’s face it, I think we don’t really know how to love others as He does. I’m not flogging myself in saying that. I just think human nature is self-serving to a large extent.  So I decided on asking God for His love, to see people through His eyes.  Because I know it’s His love that ministers.  It’s His love that delivers, heals, encourages, strengthens, makes whole..  And because I believe He is fully able to place the grace for that love in our hearts.

It’s been many years since I first prayed that. There have been the ugly seasons. Where I have learnt that love takes risk. And pain. And forgiveness. Where I have learnt it takes initiation. And persistence. And it takes my time.

And I have seen God ministering to people.  That’s the wonderful part.  I have seen the impact of loving others as I learn to recognise and respond to His prompts.

And I have had precious encounters with God as he has shown me aspects of  Himself.

It’s a journey I feel I’ve just started. And absolutely want to continue!

Just today I read these beautiful words in another blog (the full post can be read on the link)

I believe there is new movement waking to Love. A movement like the Celtic saints of old.  Out of broken places comes beauty that transforms brokenness itself.  Interconnected communities embracing the marginalized, seeing the unseen, choosing the raw and real.  Supernatural molten hot glory filling our lives to be a river to the low places changing landscapes within and without. 

Michelle Perry

 

In honour of Sunday School teachers.

Sunday School teachers. Kid’s church workers. Children’s programme leaders/helpers.  Whatever the lingo, here’s a post to celebrate your work.

I want to honour those of you that are called to minister to children. And to those of you who aren’t, but serve in this role nonetheless.

You turn up week after week, regardless of whether you feel prepared or not. You miss out on countless messages, prophetic words, morning teas, worship and prayer times. You can spend hours of your personal time preparing, or challenged by the lack of time and resources.

Yet, you minister into the very heart of our future nation.  You inspire, teach, train young ones, laying foundations for their lives.

I love how God loves children.  And how children do not have a small god.. they can have intimacy with the Holy Spirit as any of us.  I especially love God’s promise in Isaiah:

I will teach all your children,

and they will enjoy great peace. Isaiah 54:13

That God is even more desiring for children to grow in their relationship with Him, than we are. That we can trust Him in their journey of faith.

That doesn’t mean we dismiss our responsibility of ministering, teaching and training children, but we can trust God with them. That their ups and downs are part of their journey in Him, just as it is for us.

Over the years I have spent time running children’s programmes. I fit in the ‘nonetheless’ category.  There has been a need and I’ve stepped in.

A question I love to ask children when they come into their programme, after spending “worship time” with the adults, is what do they think the Holy Spirit was doing during worship?  Depending on the kids, I often get a stunned look. But it’s a great way for them to start thinking about worship time. About learning to sense the Holy Spirit, where the anointing was? What was happening around them.

Teaching them sensitivity to the presence of God.  To share in their journey of Jesus being revealed in their hearts.

And so, if you are ministering into small lives… I applaud your hard work. I recognise your challenges, and encourage you.  It’s a precious work that you do.

 

 

 

 

 

Seek and Surrender

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..   Matt 6:33

I love this verse. A simple yet profound statement. And one which always needs revisiting. Seeking God. Knowing Him.

My God, The Great I Am, loves us with an everlasting love. Passionately. And Faithfully. How well do we know Him? What aspects of His nature do you have a revelation of?  Or even a glimpse of? I encourage you to seek Him. To pursue Him. As he reveals more of Himself to us, not only do we become closer to Him, but our hearts begin to reflect more of His heart, to the world around us.

And Surrender.

I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in me.. Gal 2:20

I desire to live a life in Christ. And surrendered to Him. Surrendering is trusting. Laying down ourselves, our weaknesses, our strengths, our dreams, futures, our hearts, our loved ones, into the hand of the one who created us. Who saved us.

The journey of surrender is painful, yet it is one of beauty. We feel the heat of God. His purifying fire. It’s not an easy walk – it takes the narrow path, but He meets us with His grace.

And it’s this place of seeking and surrendering that I choose to live.

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To hear my full audio message preached :

Seek and Surrender Oct 2011   

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What’s in my hand?

When was the last time you were encouraged? Where someone said something, sent a txt, emailed, rang, invited you for dinner, or just turned up to show their support? There is a huge need for encouragement in the hearts of believers. For the body. Just watch the crowds flock to hear ‘prophetic ministry’.

Such a desperation shows me two things.

Firstly, that people are going through tough times. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The Bible assumes afflictions. Although knowing that, doesn’t make things any easier! 🙂

Secondly, that there is a shortage of encouragement.  Encouragement is a result of action. Practical love.  It takes initiation. Risk. Obediance to the directives of the Holy Spirit.

Just look at Paul the apostle’s ministry.   Look at his heart towards the churches he ministered to. His travels – his ‘itinerant ministry’ was not to give him a boost in income. Not to give him a ‘name’. Not to promote himself.  Read both books of Thessalonians.  He writes of a trip to the church

‘So, affectionately longing for you, we were pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.’  1Thess 1:1

Again he longed to visit them.  He prayed for them,’ remembering without ceasing’, he was ‘eager to see their face’.  And when he could no longer endure not seeing them, Paul sent Timothy to go and encourage the church.

And, then he wrote the letters to tell them.

We are instructed to encourage one another and even more as we see The Day approaching.

So I challenge you to develop or strengthen this form of practical love. God can use whatever is in your hands. Do you have a cell phone? If you find yourself thinking about someone… don’t just pray for them (and yes that is important). How about flicking off a text to say you are.  Do you have a child and crayons? How about them making a card for someone?  Have a spare evening? Create a ‘guest night’ and invite different folks over for dinner.  Yes it takes initiation. Yes, it can take effort. But God can take the little in your hand, and minister mightly to another.