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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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.

SONS AND DAUGHTERS

imageBy Jean Packer

Peter Jackson from Toronto, shared with us a wonderful encounter where he found himself looking into the eyes of God his father. He saw Gods eyes gazing at him with such inexpressible delight and unconditional love that astounded him and totally ‘undid’ him. This experience has transformed his life entirely. He has never been the same again and he now longs for the body of Christ to realise their full inheritance and walk as true sons and daughters of God on this earth. Peter carries one message from God. In his own words, he plays a one string guitar, and it’s always in tune!

Peter reminded us that our father delights in each one of us just as we are. His love is unconditional because all of the conditions were met by Jesus. He loves the worst of the worst in a wild and reckless love and we can allow ourselves to be wrecked by His love. Wow! How do we do this? So often we live under the law of sin and death, comparing and competing with one another and finding we fall short. This is shame based. We are either living out of a blessing or a curse. Galatians says we are one in Jesus. This is the truth but do we believe it? It’s easier to believe the bad stuff about ourselves. We cannot live out of two opinions as this is double-mindedness. Only God’s opinion is the truth and good news has to be freely received.

God wants to work in us from the inside out and turn us upside down. We are His church and are not our own as we’ve been bought with a great price and God is only interested in our complete transformation. Religion is working from the outside in. Christianity is working from the inside out. Peter admonished us to let God out!

God wants to give us His power to glorify Him in this world but he can only give it through humble hearts. Power is dangerous in the hands of an orphan. Humility is the currency of the kingdom of Heaven and Heaven is a kingdom of honour. Jesus prayed that “all of them may be one” He went to the cross to give us redemption, but not just redemption but also adoption and placed as an older son to the father. He has brought us ALL of the way in. We are co-heirs with Christ! It’s not adoption papers but a bonding – the spirit of adoption.

We are so thankful for the truth that has been brought to our hearts over the weekend. Peter has urged us to be as vulnerable as we are able so that we become all who we are called to be. We must remember that God never allows us to be tested more that we can bear. We can let an avalanche of grace comes down the mountain to surround us. Lets step out in faith and risk it. Open up the gates of Heaven so that the King of Glory will come in!

I WENT TO A STRIP CLUB

Such a great article. Thought provoking and necessary. Thank you for sharing.

just a jesus follower

strip clubA while back I was asked by a group of pastor’s wives to go with them to strip clubs.

That sentence alone sounds strange. But hang with me.

At first I was a little hesitant. And not for reasons you might think.

I love people. Especially ones who are broken; it’s part of my calling. But, given what I’ve walked through, I know how fragile broken people can be.

And I know how insensitive the church can be.

And I was uneasy.

But, these weren’t just any pastors wives.

They had a vision.

One that longed to love on women that society had thrown aside.

It reminded me a lot of Jesus.

So, I jumped on it.

Their plan was to visit these clubs once a month to deliver a meal and gift baskets. I joined them the first night and I’ll be honest, I had NO IDEA what to expect.

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ABOVE ALL ELSE

Your heart is the one single central part of you that needs more care and attention than anything else. Many Christians don’t pay attention to what is going on in their hearts, because they are ignorant or too restless. But ONLY if we give our hearts the attention they need will we be aligned for the next level of the River!

Proverbs 4:23 NIV “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

If you haven’t booked to be on the DEEPER HEART DAYS yet, you have just over a week to go! I strongly encourage you to take some time out for your heart.

TESTS WILL COME FOR TRANSITIONING 

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

DEEPER HEART DAYS

DeeperHeartDaysA.jpgMany Christians live out of their heads, rather than their hearts. Life goes on like a treadmill and they bounce from one thing to another without giving attention to, or taking time for, the needs of their hearts. They accept unhealed wounds as a normal necessity, and limp rather than walking or running in the plans and purposes of a loving heavenly Father.

Why not take some time out for your heart? Let the deep love of God the Father pour in and bring fresh freedom, wholeness, and authenticity into your life. These days will include key point teaching, personal prayer, and guided soaking time in God’s Presence. Deepen the soil of your heart for fresh encounters with God. Define the doorways of the heart, and enter into more of Heaven’s Kingdom and plans.

Sessions will be taught by Wes Boxall and others.

Each Saturday will run from 9:30am to 8:00pm with breaks for coffee and meals.

DAY 1 – 13th FEB.2016  –  DEEPENING IN FORGIVENESS AND FATHER’S LOVE

DAY 2 –  9th APRIL 2016 –  LIBERATING YOUR GENERATIONAL LEGACY

DAY 3 – -4th JUNE 2016 –  MOTHER WOUNDING AND THE SIBLING HEART

Eventbrite - DEEPER HEART DAYS