CHOICES, DISTRACTIONS, AND DOORS

I’m attempting to take time to prepare sessions for next week’s School of the Heart in Golden Valley Church, but I’m feeling very stirred prophetically about a few things, which I feel the need to put on paper.

I am aware right now of the word I shared a couple of months back in GVC, that it was a “Year of Change” – that was May 17 to May 18 was that year. Much change would happen or could happen. But there was an emphasis on “May” [which was interesting as it was also the name of the Prime Minister, who at that time was standing for re-election]. This is a play on words. It’s about choice and it’s about giving God permission to do what He is wanting. Even in this nation, as the ruling name is ‘May’ I believe there is an unprecedented season of choice before us. That is obvious in a way with issues like Brexit being negotiated, but I think it is more subtle than that as well. There is much that God is asking the church to lay hold of, to intercede over, to declare and to decree. He is constantly saying “May I… Will you let Me do this or that? Will you give Me this decision? Will you allow Me to change this thing or that thing in your life; to take you where I have chosen. It’s a time which has echoes of Jesus’s words to Peter, “Another will clothe you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Peter was no doubt freaked out by that ‘promise’, but he came round to making it his own choice. In effect he said to Jesus, “Yes, You MAY do that with me [because I love You, I trust You, and I believe that the greater glory will follow].”

So I feel to gently challenge us not to treat lightly the choices that are before us, even those which are seemingly minor or insignificant, or those which have no emotional thrill attached. He is saying over and over, “What do you choose? Will you choose Me? Will you choose My Presence over your pleasures? Will you choose to listen attentively to what I am saying to you? Will you seek it out until you understand it, even if at first it mystifies you?”

The last few days, I keep seeing the equation, “DISTRACTION = DESTRUCTION”. This is serious, yet my soul doesn’t get it like it should! My natural reasoning tends to measure distractions by their perceived ‘size’ – just five minutes, etc. Yet, increasingly I think, some of the deposits of heavenly gold are destined for that ‘just five minutes’.

What are we being distracted with? Ultimately we need to wise up that our enemy will literally stack up the distractions. They will stand like a queue of visitors outside our door, and we will have to choose over and over to say, “You know what, you can all wait outside the door right now!” Why do these distractions come? To destroy! We see momentary ‘buzz’ but the devil sees longer term destruction. Sure, we remain saved. We’ll go to heaven…and to church again next Sunday. We’ll even pick up our Bible again the next day. But if something is a distraction, it has been assigned to us to destroy something. It’s the “little foxes” that creep in under the hedge and look so cute we can’t bear to shoot them! But they eat the grapes, or they knock them off the vine in their rough and tumble playtime. And when it comes to new wine time, we don’t have any, because the distractions came in and destroyed the wine before it could be fermented. What is the obvious result? We have to go round another set of seasons to grow some more. Our destiny is delayed. Maybe when we are younger that doesn’t seem so bad as the years stretch ahead of us. But the reality is for all of us older or younger, there is something about right now being the accepted time – Heaven’s choice time. May it be ours. The nations are on a precipice. Political scenarios could go in either direction. There is a great harvest out there to be gathered in. Waves of revival are poised over the planet. And over and over, there is a call to us to “Come up higher”; to enter into heavenly realms and rooms where we have never or rarely been.

[Take times when you tell Facebook to ‘split’! That is get in God’s FACE and get in His BOOK!]

The other element of this that is in my atmosphere right now is that of closing doors. I think Holy Spirit is gently – maybe not so gently – blowing on some of the parts of our present lives to close them off. This is because their time is over. They belonged to a previous season, but not to the next one. They were good then, but if allowed to remain into the next season they will become stale, and eventually disgustingly mouldy. Their staleness would permeate everything in the next season if He allows them to remain. But of course, again, there is a divine, “MAY I? Will you let me close this one off now?” And we can say ‘yes’ or we can say ’no’. But be assured, so much hangs on those little words.

I’ve been spending a bit of time in Acts 16 recently. This is partly due to our own involvement in Macedonian Greece, and my desire to understand the initial wells which were dug in the Spirit two millennia ago. But one of the issues that is tugging at me again is that Paul and team HAD TO go through a period of CLOSED DOORS. It was in God’s plan for them. He set them up to encounter things that didn’t happen like they assumed they would. But He was using the closed doors to reposition a complete shift in their focus. They were looking one way, He was looking in the opposite direction. So I feel strongly to encourage us not to despise the shutting of doors, even if it seems like that season is more prolonged than you would like it to be. We must ‘GET it’. God shuts doors. God shuts things down. Within the sphere of earth, God works in seasons. Leaves which were luscious have to dry up and fall off.

For Paul and team, the season of closed doors led them to a higher level encounter, which led to an open door into Macedonia, Greece, and Europe. The gospel hit our continent because of closed doors in the opposite direction! We don’t usually appreciate the ramifications of God closing doors and opening others. But in heaven’s purposes they are far reaching and often set up a legacy for others to experience, or be influenced by.

We are the DOORKEEPERS of our doors. What we open and shut affects everyone and everything on the other side of the particular door. Jesus said He was the ‘door’, and the ‘door of the sheep’. As the unique Saviour of the world He opened up a door for us which only He could do. He was and is our (only) door into salvation, redemption, and the Mountain of God. However, as a leadership principle, we are all ‘doors of the sheep’ wherever we are called to lead or pioneer (family, church, business, missions, community, etc.). What we are; what we allow; what we open and shut affects more people and more situations than we realise.

Often when there is a seasonal shift, the doors carry far more weight to them. And often there is a challenge to choose something that is beyond – maybe way outside – our comfort zone or the sphere of familiarity. But it it in those places – when they are ordained by God – that our true destiny is discovered, and a legacy is set up that stretches far beyond what our own eyes can see.

Wes

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SCHOOL OF THE HEART

It’s less than four weeks until SCHOOL OF THE HEART. We are excited about this life-changing week, as students encounter God’s love for them and find true change and freedom at a heart level.Untitled picture

Why not take some time out for your own heart this summer?

The Bible lets us know that all the issues of a person’s life are intricately connected to the state of their heart. God instructs us to look after our hearts diligently. Yet in reality, we forget. We become easily distracted. We give our time and resources to other things which appear more pressing or exciting. Yet in doing so, we pass over opportunities to become more free and more healthy inside, rather than reacting to life out of our wounds and disappointments.

In Golden Valley Church, we prioritise the healing of the heart as a primary value of who we are and what we teach and do. We understand that “hurt people hurt people”. We understand that God is calling us all into greater intimacy with Himself, and into stronger levels of faith. These things can only happen as our hearts are as they should be. So many Christians know in their heads that they are loved by God, but so many never enter this reality in a living and felt way from their hearts. The embrace of a loving Father is so often a theory rather than a living and life-giving experience. We want to help that to change!

Come along to the Summer School of the Heart and allow God to meet you and bless you at a heart level!

Topics include:

  • The importance of the heart
  • The love of God the Father
  • Heart issues and conditions
  • Hearing the voice of God
  • Forgiveness and freedom
  • Fresh sensitivity and intimacy
  • Faith and hope
  • Generational iniquity
  • Soul ties, inner vows, ungodly beliefs
  • Living in continual belovedness
  • …and more!

The school runs from Monday afternoon 24th July until Friday lunchtime on the 28th July 2017, from 9:30am until 5:00pm, plus Wednesday evening from 7:00pm until 9:00pm, at the Firehouse, Newton Avenue, Coney Hill, Gloucester. That’s four full days of encountering God’s love! There will of course be breaks for coffee and lunch. The School will consist of worship, teaching, prayer, small groups, soaking, and learning to hear God better for yourself.

Sign up and we will get you registered for a life-changing summer experience! Sessions will be led and taught by Wes & Sharron Boxall and Rebecca Boucker [Golden Valley Church], and others.

Eventbrite - SCHOOL OF THE HEART\

PRESENCE CONFERENCE

We are excited to have Jeremy and Connie Sinnott back with us this week in Golden Valley Church for a mid-week conference.

Jeremy and Connie are loved ministers in GVC and it’s a joy to be welcoming them to Gloucester again. They come from a Barrie, Ontario where they currently pastor the new “Catch the Fire” church plant out of Toronto.

There is no charge for these meetings but offerings will be taken up.

SET ANDREW BRUNSON FREE

We need one minute of your time and a signature to help a friend of our church family who is in great need.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AND SHARE!

American Pastor Andrew Brunson has languished in prison in Turkey since October 2016, falsely charged with “membership in an armed terrorist organization” despite the Turkish authorities having no evidence against him. Pastor Andrew is a U.S. citizen from North Carolina who (with his family) has lived peacefully in Turkey since 1993.


The White House petition for Andrew has collected 19,005 signatures. We need to reach 100,000 signatures by March 8 on the White House petition concerning Andrew, or the petition will be disabled and archived.
The American Center for Law and Justice, Samaritans Purse, Pastor Saeed Abadini and many other organizations are backing this cause. In addition, Jay Sekulow of The American Center for Law and Justice is arguing for Andrew’s release before the UN today.
Click on the link for information about how to sign the petition and help this man who has spent 23 years in Turkey and never once had any trouble with the law.
#ForgottenAmericanInTurkey

PLEASE HELP ANDREW TODAY – ONE MINUTE OF YOUR TIME COULD CHANGE A MAN’S LIFE FOREVER

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/forgotten-american-turkey

FORTY DAYS OF PRAYER

40 DAYS OF PRAYER BEGINS TODAY IN GVC! 
Psa 27:8 ‘When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”‘

Let’s come to God with our hearts, and above all find fresh breakthroughs in our intimacy with Him. May the sweet oil of His Presence be smeared over you today from beginning to end.

Psa 27:8 MESSAGE ‘When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, “I’m seeking him!”‘

MY HEART IS BEING DEEPENED

On Saturday we came to the end of this series of “Deeper Heart Days”. We truly thank God for all that He has achieved during these three Saturdays. Many have testified to fresh revelation, greater freedom, and real heart changes taking place.

We passionately believe that our hearts are the centre and source of all we are, say, and do. They determine what we long for, what we pursue, and what we hold back or hide from. Prov. 4:23 tells us to keep watch over our hearts above everything else we do, because all of life comes from them. God told the prophet Samuel that He doesn’t focus on outward appearances like human beings do, but He looks into what is going on in the inside; in the heart of a person. Jesus told a story explaining four types of heart condition. He said to His followers that unless they grasped the meaning of this story, none of the others would make sense to them.

Let’s continue to allow God to probe our hearts, and then to heal, soften, and clean them up. We all need this, whoever we might think we are.