I’d like to begin some reflections on the word that was given here. It is a key prophecy, both for me, our local church and quite possibly wider afield. As ever, let the reader judge.
The prophecy was given in January 2004. The following May we began to formulate some kind of response to it. I think it’s fair to say that both it and I remain very much a work in process. I am very grateful that the Master Carpenter is in charge, even if I do need reminding on occasion, and all will be accomplished in the outworking of His plan!
So, with no further ado, here’s Part 1.
• How shall we respond to this call? What does it mean? How then shall we live?
• This prophecy (as in scripture) requires an actual response – it’s not simply sentiment.
• At the same time, an impetuous response will not help. Prayer and reflection is required, both on the veracity of the message, and on our response to it.
• This needs to be a group-effort – no one person has ‘the answers’.
• The message itself is plain enough, and is a challenge to our lifestyles and way of living. God is calling His own back to Himself; salt and light in a time of darkness. The message is strong, and is intended to be so. When you see someone running towards a cliff edge you do not gently talk to them about why it may be unwise to keep going. You shout ‘stop’! It’s not that He does not love us; it’s that He loves us more than we can ever imagine. And where there is darkness, he calls us out into the light of His presence, where no darkness can be.
• Why this message now? It is my personal conviction that God is bringing forth a new Church, a revival of things of old, separating the righteous from the unrighteous (understand that I am talking about the Righteousness of Christ, not of ourselves). Separating those who truly have faith, and want that faith to have substance, from those who now follow their own paths. I believe that he is using many things to accomplish this, even those who are currently preaching unbelief. We should not be worried or anxious; it is ordained of Him who moves all things for His glory. We should simply stand in love and fellowship and wait on Him.
• We should not be concentrating on the birth pangs, but on what should be born. When I asked the Lord about the situation, the reply I received was: “I will raise up new leaders”, along with a sense of God’s plans already being put into place and moving, and that we are to prophetically look ahead to what will be, not at the current situation. Stand in love, not in critical judgementalism. It may be that many will fall away who seemed strong, while others who seem weak will rise as princes of His people. So don’t judge on what can be seen, for many are the secrets of our hearts, and the Lord will call whom He will call.
• Now as to what is to be born and raised, that, I think is what the ‘spirit of the age’ seeks to address. The challenge, as it appears to us now is how to live an authentic Christian life within our cultural setting.
And that, friends, will be the subject of Part 2…..