Monthly Archives: January 2013

The 7 Ps of Revival.

Coal Fire

The seven Ps of revival:

PROMISE – God gives general promises from Scripture and specific promises from prophetic words.

PRAYER – This is not nice tidy prayer, but costly prayer as we humble ourselves before God and seek him and his face and hand before everything else. Continuing prayer movements is also a mark of revivals

PROCLAMATION (1) – This is both bold proclamation of the Gospel and of what God is already doing elsewhere.

PRESENCE – One hallmark of a true revival is the presence of God, both in a building and beyond it and associated with people wherever they are.

PURITY – One response to God’s presence is confession of sin and sin being dealt with radically, compromise is no longer an option.

PRAISE – Whenever God moves in revival power a new sound of praise and worship comes out of it as people sing a new song to the Lord.

POWER – Revival is a power encounter with God, God moves in healing, deliverance and miracles in an extraordinary way.

PROCLAMATION (2) – Continued boldness proclaiming the Gospel and new missionary movements are born out of revival.

I’ll look at each of these in turn in blog posts and link them to this post as I do them.

Revival – A Short Definition.

Coal Fire

Here is a short definition of revival I came up with, it’s not perfect but I think it sums it up quite well:

Revival is a sovereign move of God in response to the Prayers of the saints for God to fulfil his Promises, where we see an extraordinary manifestation of the Kingdom of God by his Presence and Power, and the church restored to Purity and resounding with a new sound of Praise.
This then goes beyond the walls of churches with bold Proclamation of the gospel which results in souls saved, and leads to a radical change of the society where it happens that is beyond that which could be accomplished by human power or reason alone.

Matthew 5:13 – Salt

Over Christmas I cooked a few gammon joints, and also enjoyed eating them, as I am sure many others of you have.  To cook and eat a ham or gammon joint is a little ritual many do over Christmastime that they may not do any other time of year.  If you are like me then you will always soak your gammon or ham before you cook it.  I do this as I do not like things too salty, so by soaking it before I cook it I can get rid of excess salt and I personally think they taste far better as well as being far healthier as soaking greatly reduces the salt content and as we know too much salt is not good for your blood pressure among other things.

It got me thinking today about salt and water in the Bible. I shall look at salt in this post and water in the next post, as it is too long for just one post.

 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?  It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.’ (Matthew 5:13 NRSV)

In Biblical times salt was precious, it was costly. Salt has always had two primary culinary uses, both in antiquity and in the present day.

  • The first as a condiment, to improve the flavour of your food during cooking and on your plate when you are eating it, used in this way you use relatively small amounts.  Salt used as a flavouring does not alter the nature of what it is adding flavour to, its nature remains the same.  It may taste better but will still go bad if you don’t eat it within a short space of time.
  • The second is as a preservative of fish and meat, this takes much larger quantities to have the desired effect.  Salting meat or fish changes the very nature and permanently changes the flavour of that meat or fish, it means that it can be kept for a long period of time and will no longer bad if you don’t eat it within a short space of time.

Now here’s a question for you.  Do you want to just add a little flavour to the society, or do you want to change its very nature?

 Jesus wants us to change our society.  If we look at how he and his disciples modelled ministry, they spoke with spiritual authority and moved in the power of the Holy Spirit, this had a radical effect on the society they lived in.

If all we settle for is just to flavour society, then we are selling ourselves short and missing the point.  We may make society seem a bit ‘nicer’, but we will not change it.  This is why prohibition failed in America and it strengthened criminals and corruption, it did not deal with the root causes it just tried to deal with symptoms.

But what if we are to be a preservative in the society we live in, what does it really mean? What does a preservative do? Here are a few things:

  • It changes the nature of the thing being preserved so it will last for longer so that it will not start decaying. This is what the gospel does to our lives, like the meat or fish to be preserved we are already dead, but we will just decay even further if our nature is not changed. The gospel doesn’t just flavour our lives, it radically changes them. We go from being dead to being alive when we accept the gospel and make Jesus our Lord and Saviour, we are born again to the abundant life God has for us. Can people see that life in us? Or are we just like them so that we blend in.
  • It ‘stops the rot’! It is best to start preserving something before it starts rotting, but if you left it a bit late and things were already starting to rot you don’t need to worry, just cut out the worst bits and preserve it anyway, it will stop rotting, and you will even be able to eat bits that had just started rotting as they are altered by the preserving nature of the salt or salts used. (This is not recommended these days, but in the past people were used to more bugs in their food than we are these days!) We live a very perverted society these days, where sex sells anything and everything, alcoholism is on the ascendency once again in this country and drug use is considered acceptable, I never smelled cannabis until I was at university, but these days I smell it in the street at least once a week, generally more. We have to stop the rot and restore things to how they should be, this will only work if we are a preservative!

So we are to be salt as a preservative, people changed by Jesus who stop the rot in society.

 We are also to be salt as a seasoning, but must never let our being salt just be reduced to this. Paul said ‘Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.’ Colossians 4:6 NRSV. From this we can understand what the salt is, it is truth, God’s truth. It is his truth and the out-working of it in our lives that enables us to see changed lives in others as our lives themselves have been changed and to bring radical change to the society in which we live, and to touch the lives of others through our conversation.

 The salt Jesus refers to is truth, and this is how we lose our saltiness, by reducing God’s truth so it fit in with truth as defined by the society in which we live. If we either actively rebel against God’s truth, or just try to blend in then we will not see lives changed or stop the cycle of decline in society. What then? Well all we will be useful for is to be thrown on the ground to clear the snow, for people to walk on! If we lack God’s truth in our lives then we will be mocked by men, I would rather be mocked for standing boldly for Jesus, and walking lovingly in Spirit and in truth than be mocked for standing for a powerless Christianity that stands for nothing at all!

 Heavenly Father, help us to be salt as you have called us to be, people who’s lives have been so changed by Jesus that we speak the truth by our actions as well as our words and lead others to Jesus to change their lives too. Help us not to be so bothered about fitting in society that we lose our saltiness so we are worth nothing but being thrown out and walked on, then we will see lives changed, society changed and you glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Kings 18:41-46 – A Cloud The Size Of A Man’s Hand

I originally blogged about ‘A Cloud The Size Of A Man’s Hand’ in October 2011 when my blog was elsewhere, and had shared about it in the church I was in about a year before that.  I was just thinking of reposting that blog post after mentioning about it the other day on Facebook, but on re-reading it I could see that a complete rewrite was in order, so here goes!

Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of rushing rain.’  So Ahab went up to eat and drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; there he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees.  He said to his servant, ‘Go up now, look towards the sea.’  He went up and looked, he said, ‘There is nothing.’  Then he said, ‘Go again seven times.’  At the seventh time he said, ‘Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea.’  Then he said, ‘Go and say to Ahab, “Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.”‘ In a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind; there was heavy rain.  Ahab rode off and went to Jezreel.  But the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; he girded up his loins and ran in front of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.  (1 Kings 18:41-44 NRSV)

The land was dry, Israel had been in drought for three and a half years, it hadn’t rained since Elijah had prayed that it wouldn’t.  God had answered Elijah by fire when he burnt up the sacrifice on Mount Carmel and the false prophets of Baal had just been killed, but the land was still physically in drought.

The land was still physically in drought, but it was no longer spiritually in drought.  Like Jesus centuries later Elijah saw and heard  what God was doing and responded accordingly.

Elijah HEARD and PROCLAIMED, he PRAYED  and EXPECTED, then he PREPARED and RAN.

Elijah HEARD ‘the sound of rushing rain’ in the Spirit. He heard it because in the spiritual realm it was already raining.

Elijah PROCLAIMED what God was doing to Ahab.  It is powerful when we start to speak out God’s word.  Even before Elijah prayed he proclaimed what God was doing. In the spiritual realm it was already raining, it would soon also be raining in the physical realm.

Elijah PRAYED for the rain, in fact it could not rain until he had prayed for it, which he did.  He returned to Mount Carmel to pray, he had prayed for fire which God had answered there, now he was praying for rain which he knew God would answer.  Elijah’s prayer was prayed in faith, he was expecting God to answer.  In fact, God not answering would not even have been considered an option by Elijah.

Elijah EXPECTED rain, he sent his servant to see the physical signs of the spiritual reality, if there was going to be rain then there would be a cloud.  It wasn’t until the servant had been seven times that he was able to see what Elijah already knew was there.  We do not know if Elijah just prayed once or if he prayed more than once, but both his actions that of praying and of sending the servant to look were done out of faith expecting to see the answer, than out of fear worrying that it might not happen.

Elijah PREPARED himself. He ‘girded up his loins’, or to put it another way he hitched up his garments and tucked them in his belt. This was a short time of preparation and change for Elijah, now was the time for him to change his focus from prayer to action.

Elijah RAN in the power of the Lord. It is between 15 and 20 miles from Carmel to Jezreel and although we cannot say for certain what that chariots top speed would be it would probably have been at least 12 miles an hour. Elijah could have done this in human strength alone if he was a world-class marathon runner on flat ground. The terrain is definitely not flat, and though probably very fit by modern standards I doubt that he was a marathon runner! If the chariot pace was higher he couldn’t have humanly done it at all. Elijah ran because the hand of the Lord was on him, we too must run in his power as his hand is upon us.

So where are you? Are you hearing and proclaiming the future in faith? Are you praying in faith and expecting the answer from God? Or are you preparing to run or running in the power of the Spirit, with the hand of God upon your life? Where are we as a country? Can you hear the rain? Can you see the cloud the size of a man’s hand? Are you running in the rain?

Different people and different churches and areas are at different places, so wherever you are seek God to move you on. What if you can’t sense anything at all? Than ask God to open your spiritual senses and let you hear and see what he is doing.

Heavenly Father, thank you that you are on the move in this land once again, you are speaking revival and the rain is coming. Help me to hear and proclaim your word, to pray and expect you to answer in power and to prepare and run with your hand upon me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Revelation 22:20-21 – Its All About Jesus

‘The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints.  Amen.’ (Revelation 22:20-21 NRSV)

These are the last two verses of the book of Revelation and so are also the last two verses of the Bible, but these are also the two verses that I feel that God wants me to bring into 2013.  They are my verses for the year.

Now in context this is referring to Jesus’ Second Coming.  I am not quite using it in context, but am interpreting it prophetically for this year ahead.

What do I feel God is saying about the year ahead?  I feel he is quite simply saying ‘Its all about Jesus’.

God has promised that he will move in revival power once again in the UK.  If there is one thing about a true revival it is always Christocentric, Jesus is always at its heart.

It was Jesus who bought our salvation on the cross, Jesus who is the firstborn of the dead, Jesus who is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit and Jesus gives the glory back to the Father!

It is Jesus who must be central to our prayers for revival as we seek the Father’s face, power and presence in his name alone.  In fact to live in revival is to experience the ultimate expression of the Kingdom of God here on earth that we can until Jesus returns.  Our prayer is Lord Jesus touch us again with your glory for your sake!

Yet it is still more than that!  We need Jesus to be central to all we do!  We need to be like Jesus in doing only what we see the Father doing.  We need to be like Jesus by sacrificially serving one another.  We need to be like Jesus in moving in the power of the Holy Spirit and glorifying the Father in all we do.

We also all need to grasp that we are saints who are seated now in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, we are defined now by God’s holiness, not by mankind’s sinfulness.

And we need more of his grace, both for ourselves, and to extend to others.

Heavenly Father, help us to make this coming year all about Jesus our Saviour, God and King, and about seeing his kingdom come on earth as it already is in heaven.  Help us to know his grace, truth and power in all we do.  In his name we ask, Amen!

2012/2013 Looking Back/Looking Forward

This is my first blog post of 2013, I had originally intended it to be my last blog post of 2012 but it doesn’t really matter either way!

 I am looking back with thankfulness for the year just past, and am looking forward with expectancy to what the future holds, and in both case I am looking to God and what he has done, what he will do in the next year and beyond.

 2012 was for me primarily a year of envisioning, but it has also been a year of prophetic declaration as I have started to share the vision that God has given me.  2013 is going to be a year to start moving out and doing what as yet I have mainly talked about.  And 2014 and beyond, well that is in God’s hands.  The examples I am giving are but a few examples of what God is doing, it is by no means an exhaustive list.

 2012 has been a year when things have shifted, when we have really seen the spiritual tide noticeably beginning to turn, in such a way that even those in the secular world are tapping into it.

  • Nationally we not only managed to pull off The Olympics, but did it with style!  Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was spot on, his inspiration was definitely divine!
  • Locally Staines changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames.  This may seem insignificant, but is far from it.  Around here a great problem for a long time has been apathy, in the secular world to some degree but especially in the churches.  This change instigated by secular people, but it is a sign that God is working to change this in his church in this area as well.
  • There was the National Day of Prayer at Wembley, which was awesome.  This is a definite turning point in the spiritual life of this nation, but we must not see it in isolation, as this year was also a full year of constant prayer across many churches with the Kingdom Come 2012 initiative from 24-7 Prayer.

2013 will be a year to build on what has been done, God is on the move, we need to keep our eyes firmly on him.

  • In London and the Home Counties we have the Crossing London 2013 initiative, this is the first large-scale evangelism for generation, and will be part of seeing the church regain its confidence in God, and in the power of Jesus to save sinners and see many start a new life in him, this is exciting.
  • I am going to be looking to set up the first Kingdom Prayer Leaders Network in West London and/or Surrey, the geographical area covered is yet to be decided on.  I will also be seeking greater involvement with the church we moved to last year, Maswell Park Church in Hounslow.  Although I know now God is calling me beyond working in one local church, I also know that local church is central to God’s plan and I want to use my gifts, talents and calling to grow the church of which we will be members.
  • The National Day of Prayer is going on the road this year with a Roadshow, again this is really exciting.  The baton for praying continually is being passed from Kingdom Come 2012 to young people with United.

 2014 and beyond…

  • Groundbreakers have a vision for both large-scale evangelism in 2014, and an ongoing vision for building and empowering local churches to reach their local areas. They are working with God to see 100,000 saved by the end of 2014.
  • For me God has said that the first phase of my working with him will be for 18 months, beyond that God knows and I look forward to seeing how things progress when the time comes!
  • The National Day of Prayer will return to Wembley, and will fill the stadium completely having built on the vision being shared through the Roadshow.

 Let’s look forward with expectancy and faith, and in prayer seek God’s face and his hand.  Let’s seek to deepen our relationship with him, and in humility seek revival in the UK once again, as ultimately that is the only thing that will turn this nation around.

‘Amen. Come Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.’ (Revelation 22:20b-21)