BATTLE OF SEASONS

I believe we are in a seriously challenging season-change. What we see in the natural world right now – a kind-of battle between winter and spring as to which remains – is a reflection of something much deeper and far more powerful which is going on globally in the spiritual realm.

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At times of pressure – or unclear season change – where we can’t see what is yet to happen, it is easy to make Esau-type decisions. We react emotionally out of our limited grasp on what is going on, and we sacrifice the important for the unimportant; the long-term for the short-term pain relief; our birthright for [what we perceive are our] current ‘rights’.

Things to come are often shrouded by mist. Some of the methods of perception which we learned in a previous season, don’t seem to work the same. Our past experiences don’t provide enough wisdom for the next stage. It’s a Joshua 3 situation. The waters are in flood and threaten to sweep us away. Friends and family are trudging through mud. There’s a lot of noise, and a lot of fear around. And the promises of the new look like they are about to drown.

But God says He has earmarked this very time and place as a crossing-over point! And He says that we haven’t been this way before, so we can’t expect to rely on our experiences so far. Instead we must position ourselves so that we can see where He is moving and what He is doing next.

Our experience of the outward shifts are often dependent on corresponding inward shifts. Our mindsets have to change. Our stubbornness has to go to the cross. Our, “I did it my way” – which is lawlessness – and causes love to grow cold – has to yield to HIS way, which actually might be coming to us wrapped up in “someone else’s way”. We go lower, to go higher. We stop for the one. We bless and give even if it hurts to do so. We ‘bind the sacrifice with cords to the altar’ so that it – I – can’t get off. Ultimately the fire will come.

In House of Prayer today we prayed that we wouldn’t make decisions now which would take us out of line, down the line. I so need this myself.

So much has yet to break open. Season shifts sound great when you prophesy them, but as they work out in you it can be a different story! Let’s ask for grace to stay in a place of steadfastness. Like the watchman, keep your eyes on the glimmers of morning sunrise. God hasn’t forgotten you, but He’s going deeper in your heart, so that you can carry more of Him in the season ahead. He fully intends your crossing over – your shift – your season change.

Wes

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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 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.

Even in this nation, as the ruling name is ‘May’ I believe there is an unprecedented season of choice before us. It 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.

I think 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].”

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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’.

I keep seeing the equation, “DISTRACTION = DESTRUCTION”

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!

Connected to this is another element  that is in my atmosphere right now. It’s 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.

Holy Spirit is blowing on some of the parts of our present lives to close them off

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.

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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 Boxall

21 YEARS AGO

It’s the twenty-fist anniversary of God outpouring the FIRE of His love in Toronto, Canada! That’s an incredibly joyful and thankful thought, but it’s also a very sobering thought!

John & Carol Arnott

John & Carol Arnott

We are so thankful for this renewal which is still continuing and impacting individual lives and nations. We are so thankful that we are alive for such a time as this.We are so thankful for the way that John and Carol Arnott and the team at Catch the Fire have stewarded this move of God, with faithfulness and integrity. We are so thankful for the impact, healing, blessing, and God-encounters we have received ourselves as a result.

But it is also sobering. Where have those twenty one years gone?! This is a big chunk of life! And how much are we going to allow this revival to impact the rest of our lives?

As we reflect today on all that our God has done, may we be freshly inspired to push into more of Him. May we love and hunger after His Presence more than ever. May we find new depths of personal renewal and healing. May we carry His amazing love wherever we go. May we allow Him to take us into all the changes He wants to, laying aside our fears and resistances.There’s still so much more of Him to be found.

PROPHET BOB JONES PASSES AWAY

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Prophet Bob Jones

We offer tribute to Bob Jones who passed away yesterday, peaceful and smiling. Bob was a contemporary prophet, known around the world for his prophecies which spanned over four decades. He was also known for His deep love for God and for people.

Bob prophesied in 1984, that the ‘New Wine’ would be poured out in ten years, which we saw and know happened in Toronto in January 1994, and other parts of the world.

Bob was known and loved by many friends of this church, some of whom he personally mentored. It would seem that his death may mark a change of season.

Bill Johnson tweeted, “Our wonderful friend and prophet Bob Jones went home to be with Jesus today, his first love, on Valentines a Day.”

Christian leaders around the world are mourning his passing and praying for his family. He is survived by his wife Bonnie.

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Bob Jones with Miranda and Jerame Nelson at their ordination in 2010

Bob Jones with Jerame and Miranda Nelson at their ordination in 2010

DISTRACTION OR DIRECTION

This morning in Golden Valley Church, Muriel brought a great preach on apostle Paul’s prayers in Ephesians. He reminded them of all the wealth they had received in Christ, and prayed for them to see it, so they could live it.

Paul penned the letter to the Ephesians who were not grasping their prosperity in Christ and were failing to live in what was already theirs.  God looks for a church of power, not mere words.

When we pray for each other, what do we see? What do we talk to Him about? Shortcomings, failures? We don’t need to remind Him of any of that stuff.  He already chose to forget them and put them behind His back. He sees our potential and who we are in Him. His heart for us is that we live in and access the riches of His grace.

When we live in the riches of God’s grace, we will have direction. If not, we easily become distracted. Direction or distraction – where are you?

We all know how easy it is to be distracted. The ploy of the enemy to take away our focus on the Kingdom of God. Allow Holy Spirit to shine into our hearts and show us our distractions, so we can repent and change.

Where are we laying up our treasure? THAT is where our hearts will be. And THAT is where we will reap.

There is a challenge today in a world of mess and stress, that we focus back on the One Who has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Get undistracted!  Distraction isolates. Direction of Holy Spirit unites.

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FILM STIRS FAITH

The venue didn’t work out like it had been hoped as it was difficult darkening the many windows and the sound tended to echo… but it didn’t stop the message of ‘Faith Like Potatoes’ getting through to people’s hearts. And the fantastic shared lunch together part-way through the film, turned out to be a real feast and important church-family ocassion, as we sought God together.

Angus Buchan’s testimony of how his life was changed and given new purpose and direction by his encounter with Jesus Christ is faithfully told throughout the film. As we watched him experience miracles, and tragedy which God brought him through, and as we saw his willingness to step in obedience to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit, we were challenged again to leave unbelief and complacency behind… and prove God in new ways.

Thank God for this great man and his wonderful story. For those who missed it, or want to watch it again, we’ll be arranging other opportunities.