As you seek to transition to new seasons in God, be aware of the ‘tests’ that the Father will send your way. Those tests are designed to bring out what is truly in your heart, and to measure the credibility gap between what you pray and preach, and what you actually do. Those tests will also probe the level you will trust God and the levels where you will interfere with or seek to control what He is doing. He tested the Israelite nation as they gathered at what to them were bitter waters. He tested them as they stood opposite the crossing point into the Promised Land. Their responses and choices affected who crossed over, and how long the transition season would actually last.
Last week in the amazing prayer guide from the European Evangelical Alliance, we read and prayed again over the most intimate of Jesus’s parables depicting the Father, as He knew Him. I was stirred again as I reflected on His incredible love and embrace.
It’s true to say that as the father’s younger son appeared on the horizon, everyone back home began to be tested. Customs and traditions would handle the situation one way; the Father, a totally different way. There was a test on everyone’s heart. Hence the father ran, as the guide pointed out, and in doing so made a loud declaration to the community that he was ok with this son returning home, and he wasn’t going to reject him, as customs said he should. We assume, thankfully, that the community accepted the father’s lead, because enough of them turned up for the welcome home party to make a noise of celebration that could be heard in the fields outside.The older son’s heart was tested too. And sadly he failed the test. I so realise how often there is a part of the older son in me; how easily I make judgements on others, and how difficult I can sometimes find it to be with those who don’t line up with a lifestyle I am personally comfortable with. But the Father, I know, is calling me – and all of us – to enter in to what He is like.
I believe that only as we do, will we pass the tests. This next season in God is, I believe, going to see a move of God amongst people groups and sectors of society that for the most part have so far been rare in our churches up to now. The responses we have to the ‘test cases’ will determine whether or not we are able to transition to the next season, or not. They will test whether God is able to continue bringing the cutting edge of revival and what He is about, into existing churches and movements, or whether He will have to start new ones that are more open to His broken bride and sons.
I pray for us in GVC having completed this past “week of prayer for the lost sons” that we will be irreversibly marked by what we have read and what we have prayed, and that as Father seeks to take us forward in reaching the lost and broken we will pass the tests He sends our way embracing those He has loved, called, and honoured in their journeys, first in a trickle, and then in a rush! Wes