Tag Archives: God

Vision – A Prophetic Word for 2014 – The Ring of Fire.

On New Year’s Eve as I was going to bed I had the following vision:

In the vision I saw a of a ring of angels and messengers of God who were like flames of fire. The phrase God brought to mind for this was ‘The Ring of Fire’. Overhead were storm clouds, very dark, swirling and ominous.

In the centre of the ring was one angel who had been sent from the throne in heaven itself. He had raised a great sword which was the Word of God which was cutting through the clouds and allowing light to reach the ground.

As I was watching I saw others coming, these were the saints in prayer who were seeing what the Father was doing and were responding. As they too raised their swords the hole got larger and more light was able to stream through the clouds.

The numbers of those who were raising the Sword of the Spirit in prayer were not great but they had a massive effect on the region within the Ring of Fire where they were, they were changing the spiritual climate where they were.

This happened as God broke the power of the storm clouds and shone his light on the land. This light did two things, it revealed that which people had hidden in the darkness, and it also gave new life and hope to those who could before only see darkness and despair.

 Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.” (Hebrews 1:7 NRSV)

 … and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:17-18 NRSV)

 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NRSV)

 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.” (John 5:19-20 NRSV)

 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NRSV)

Galatians 4:21-5:1 – Children of the Promise.

Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac. (Galatians 4:28 NRSV)

In this section Paul uses the allegory of Abraham having children by the slave woman, Hagar, and the free woman, Sarah, for the two covenants – the first, the law given on Mount Sinai and the second, corresponding to the covenant from Jerusalem above, given through Jesus.

Were we born into slavery or freedom? Through an act of the flesh, or through faith in God’s promise?

We are all, like Isaac, ‘children of the promise’, born through faith and into freedom.

Paul had known the weight of the Law, he had lived as a very strict Pharisee, but now he had tasted freedom in Christ he could not imagine choosing to be enslaved once again by the law that leads to death. It is no wonder that Paul’s pleas in this letter are so heartfelt and genuine. His pleas touch your spirit, as you touch his heart while reading his letter.

Were we set free to remain free or so that we could choose to go back into slavery? As Paul says, ‘For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.’ (Galatians 5:1 NRSV). Are we going to be firm and remain living in the victory that Jesus won for us on the cross or are we going to act as if Jesus never died and rose again and return back to slavery?

Heavenly Father, Thank you that I am a child of the promise, and as such I choose to remain in the freedom that Jesus won for me. Help me never to go back voluntarily into a slavery to a system that can condemn me but never save me. Amen.

Galatians 4:8-20 – Back in Bondage or Living Free

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits? How can you want to be enslaved to them again? You are observing special days, and months, and seasons, and years. I am afraid that my work for you may have been wasted. (Galatians 4:8-11 NRSV)

Before we became Christians we were slaves to false gods who were in fact no gods at all. One person’s god might have been alcohol, another’s could be evolution, and someone else’s the false gods of Hinduism or some other religion. On the surface these gods give freedom, but in reality all they bring is slavery, but a slavery that those enslaved cannot see.

Once we have become a Christian we now know God and more importantly, he now knows us. This is as real a relationship as any physical relationship – if anything more real – as we are now spiritually alive and our spirit and the rest of us is now known by the Living God. This is true life and freedom.

Knowing this it is no wonder that Paul is shocked and incredulous that they are turning back to legalism, slavery and bondage instead of living in the permanent Sabbath and Jubilee that is in Christ Jesus.

The spiritual eyes of the Galatians seem to be closed, and so they seem to be back to living solely by natural sight. It is no wonder that Paul is shaking his head in frustration.

It is no wonder that about 10 years later when Paul writes to the Ephesian Christians that he says how he is praying, ‘that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.’ (Ephesians 1:18-19 NIB) It is so important that we pray for spiritual light, life and growth for each other so we don’t turn our back on the great salvation that we have in Jesus!

Heavenly Father, open our eyes to see if we have slipped back into bondage and slavery in our lives, or if we are living in the fullness of all that you have for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 4:1-7 – Children and Heirs.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. (Galatians 4:4-7 NRSV)

In Paul’s letter to the Galatian church he is dealing with Judaizers who were saying to the Gentile Christians that faith in Jesus alone was not enough, but that they also needed to become Jews and live under the law of Moses.

The whole letter is a treatise from Paul calling Jew and Gentile alike back to living by faith, not by works. This is central to the gospel, and the crux is Jesus’ death on the cross. It is not the whole counsel of God on faith, works and their relationship to the rest of the gospel. We need to see things in context, only then will we be good workmen and women when it comes to our handling of the Word of God.

The law of Moses was given to the Jews, yet all it did was reveal the sinfulness of all people. Even throughout the OT time we see that people lived by faith just as Abraham had done. But the law was necessary, at least for a time.

Jesus was born a Jew, ‘of a woman’ as Jewish lineage even today is through the female side of the family. If your mother is a Jew, then you are a Jew. He redeemed everyone under the law (the Jews) first, and then everyone else (the Gentiles) through the blessing of Abraham. We are now all equal children of God!

We are now children of God and this means something, this is one thing that makes being a Christian unique that, ‘God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts’. We are now indwelt by the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and what the Holy Spirit says in our hearts to God is ‘Abba, Father!’ We never need to doubt our relationship with Father God because the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ Spirit, living inside us confirming that relationship both to us and to Father God.

We are now heirs who are old enough to receive our inheritance through what God has done for us.

Father God, help us to grasp what it means to call you Father and to live as children and heirs in the freedom you have for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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.

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.