Tag Archives: vision

Galatians 1:1 – Commissioned.

Paul an apostle – sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. (Galatians 1:1 NRSV)

Who has sent you? Who has commissioned you? Is it God, or is it man? If it is Christ who has commissioned you then, like Paul, you can be confident in your call. If you only have been sent by men then you have no real basis for spiritual authority. As spiritual authority comes from God alone.

I have been commissioned by Jesus himself in a vision to ‘Go!’, I can be secure in his call and can move in his authority. You may say, ‘I haven’t been commissioned like that!’, that may be true, but we have all been commissioned to go in Jesus’ power and authority.

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:18-20 NRSV)

Lord Jesus, help us to take your commission seriously, and to go in your power and authority, whether it be to the one or to the many. Help us also to know your calling on our lives so we can glorify you in all we do. Amen!

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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)

My Vision for Prayer #1 – Supporting Others in Prayer

This is the start of yet another occasional series of posts on my website.  In this series I shall be outlining the vision that God has given me for prayer in the UK.

In the near future I shall be setting up two ministries, Kingdom Prayer Ministries (KPM), and the Kingdom Prayer Leaders Network (KPLN).  In these posts I shall be sharing different aspects of those visions which will aim to grow and promote both personal (KPM) and corporate church based prayer (KPLN).  The ministries will provide teaching and consultancy, but one most important function, will be to connect churches, individuals and ministries to grow each other in prayer and to provide and encourage prayer support for other ministries, in whatever way I can.

A few weeks ago I got a request from Steve Mullins of Dry Bones Trust and Now Is The Time … to write a prayer partners page for his website.  If you do not know him, and have not heard of him then I recommend you to go and have a look at both websites.  He is an evangelist with a heart for the lost both in the UK and abroad, and in this country he knows that this is God’s prophetic time for the Christians in this land to rise up and to take hold of the promises that God has given for revival.

This request really encouraged me, so I said ‘Yes!’.  At first I thought it wouldn’t take too long, but when I started praying about it that I knew it was going to take longer than I thought.  Why?

  • Because I was writing the prayer outline for someone elses site, so I needed to be sure the outline would work and would fit in with the focus and style of the rest of the site.
  • Because unlike the prayer meeting outlines I write for Kingdom Revival Prayer that prayer outline was not going to be transitory aimed to be prayed through for one meeting, but to be used more than once and part of the site for a longer period.
  • Because I needed to be certain that the outline would work and flow naturally so anyone could use it for personal prayer, or for leading corporate prayer easily even if they have little experience.

So I sought God about the Scriptures to base the outline upon, as I find using Scriptures as a basis for prayer is very powerful, which I then applied to Steve and to the vision of the ‘Now Is The Time…’.  My next step was to pray through the whole outline to see how well it worked as a basis for prayer.  As the outline worked I then sent my first draft to Steve, and after a few changes it was ready!  If you want to see the final version here is the link, Prayer Partners.  Please use it for praying for Steve, and for other evangelists that you know, as the beauty of a prayer outline is that they are infinitely adaptable, and you are also praying in unity with other Christians even if the details are different, as you are asking about the same things.

This is just one way of supporting other ministries in prayer.  Other ways I shall seek to do this will be backstage prayer teams, other ways such as offering training tailored to supporting their work, raising up people to pray, or helping them to improve their own prayer network.  Basically, I will try to help in whatever way I can to support their ministry through prayer, by praying myself, and by raising up others to pray.

How has God called you to pray for, encourage and serve others that serve the Lord?  We are all called to full-time ministry for God and to be people of prayer, some get paid for it, some have no salary at all, and others have another employer.  How can we use our own gifts and callings to promote the gifts and callings of others?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this, or about anything else I have shared on this page. God Bless You All, Amen!

Olympic Games #2 – The Men’s Road Race

The Men’s Road Race for cycling was run on the Day One of the Games.

The British cyclist Mark Cavendish was expecting to get a gold. The whole British cycling team was determined to get him into a good position so he could win with a sprint finish.  But it just wasn’t to be!

After an early breakaway the British team were left in the front of the peloton, along with other good teams with other good sprint finishers (Australia and Germany).  They were behind the leaders, but the whole group could have caught up if they had all worked together, and taken a share of leading that group.

But the rest of the teams decided to leave all the work to the Brits, and it was too much work for four men to do!  Because the rest of the best teams in the peloton were not prepared to do their share of the work and risk Cavendish winning, they also sacrificed their own medal hopes.  The final winner, Vinokourov of Kazakstan, deserved it, he took a risk and pushed ahead and the glory went to him.

David Millar, one of the British team summed it up quite well, ‘We lost out, but a lot of teams lost out by planning against us.  We can’t complain because everyone knew what we were going to do, so it was their job to derail us.  Which they did.’

What is God saying through this to his church?

We are all individuals, and part of different churches, but we also are all part of God’s universal church.

Now, here’s the challenge.  Do you seek solely your own personal growth and advancement?  Or your church’s?  Or do you seek growth and advancement for the whole of God’s universal church?  Or are you prepared to let others do the work which will in fact mean that everyone loses out in the end?

The Apostle Paul says ‘Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win it.’ (1 Corinthians 9:24 NRSV).  Let’s support each other and run to win, that we may each get the prize that God has for us.

What does this mean in reality, go after the vision God has given you and do everything you can to support those with a greater vision than yours!  In the case of churches let us spur each other on and seek to learn and grow from each other.  If we are petty or insecure and don’t support each other, then we will all lose out in the end.

Lord Jesus, help us to run to win, and to help others too, both individually and as your church.  So that you may be glorified in all we do, in your name, Amen.

Ezekiel 1:26-28 – A Vision Of The Glory Of God

‘And above the dome over their heads there was something like a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of the throne was something that seemed like a human form.  Upwards from what appeared like the loins I saw something that looked like fire, and downwards from what looked like the loins I saw something that looked like fire, and there was splendour all round.  Like the bow in the cloud on a rainy day, such was the appearance of the splendour all round.  This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.  When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of someone speaking.’  (Ezekiel 1:26-28. NRSV)

Ezekiel was very much a seer, God spoke to him visually and he also experienced the hand of the Lord on him, the heavens opened and visions of God.  If you have ever experienced the glory of God or a vision of it then you would say, ‘WOW!!! What more can I say?  Nothing!!!’, as you can connect with what Ezekiel is saying.

If, however, you have never experienced God in this way then it can be a bit difficult to get your head around it.  I’ll look at three things to help you get your head round it a bit, at what is in this chapter in Ezekiel, from elsewhere in the Bible and from my own experience to help you connect with what he says more.

What is a vision?

What Ezekiel saw was a vision of heavenly beings (the living creatures with their wheels that he described in Ezekiel 1:5-22) and of God himself on his heavenly throne.  But what is a vision?  Is it just like a dream or a day-dream or is it different.

With a vision you are definitely awake, it is not an idle day-dream where your mind just wanders, it is God touching you and all your senses physically.  Dreams and pictures can be gentle, but there is nothing gentle about having a vision, it is God touching our physical reality with heaven’s reality (which if anything is actually more real than this physical reality).  You are there physically, and all your physical senses are working and you also can physically interact in the vision, as Ezekiel did when he ate the scroll in Ezekiel 3:2.

[Now one word of warning, some people say there are different levels of visions and differentiate between visions in and out of the body as if it is important – it is not.  I say this with confidence as this was Paul’s view, ‘I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows.’ (2 Corinthians 12:2 NRSV).  If Paul didn’t consider it important as God is the only one who really knows the answer anyway, then neither do I!]

Indescribable glory!

If you have had a vision yourself, or you talk or read about one that is in the Bible then you get ‘like’ coming up a lot.  In the NRSV we read ‘like’ 23 times, and that is just in Ezekiel 1!  There is always a difficulty describing a vision because there is difficulty in expressing heavenly things in our earthly language, we don’t have a frame of reference of heavenly things, only of earthly things so there is always this difficulty in describing a what has been seen and experienced in a vision.

Another aspect of God’s indescribable glory is the fact that God’s glory has physical weight.  This is one reason why when people encounter it they are very soon flat on their faces, on the floor and unable to get up like Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:28)  was until the Spirit lifted him up (Ezekiel 2:2).

When the prophet Isaiah was called we read, ‘In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple.’ (Isaiah 6:1 NRSV).  Royal regalia is heavy, it is not just for show that Queen Elizabeth II had Maids of Honour carrying her train when she was crowned, that is the picture here and gives a good description of the glory of God.

God’s glory has a physical weight and presence.  If you have a vision of God then you will experience it, and you may experience it at other times as well, both in corporate gatherings and alone.  Even in corporate gathering not everyone will experience the same thing.  There are occasions when God’s glory falls in a mighty way, such as times when he is moving in revival power, when this happens then everyone will be flat on the floor and will know it is God who is present in a mighty way.

If God does have his hand upon you and you experience the weight of his glory then you won’t be able to move until he either removes it or until he enables you to stand in his presence by the Spirit raising you up, we see examples of both in Scripture.

The Fear of the Lord.

A vision is never like a nightmare!  When you have a vision you experience the fear of the Lord in a very real way, this is completely different from the frightened fear that you have when you have a nightmare.

What do I mean? For one thing, ‘perfect love casts out fear’ (1 John 4:18 NRSV), for another, under the New Covenant God is our Father.  If I watch my young 3¾ year old son interact with my husband, his father, we see what this means, he is bold with his dad and loves him beyond measure, he does not fear him, but he does know that his dad is the ultimate authority, and that what his dad says goes!  This is how it should be with God, and is why the fear of God is so different from a frightened fear.  You could say that it is perfectly rational fear, it is the awe we were created to experience, not an irrational fear that fears punishment that is a result of the fall of humankind.

Have you ever seen a vision or experienced God’s glory like Ezekiel?  Do you know what it really is to know the fear of the Lord?  If you haven’t, has this post helped you understand better what Ezekiel is talking about?  I would love to hear your views.