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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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

PRAYER IS AWESOME

We are in week five of a special season of prayer in Golden Valley Church. What an awesome privilege to be able to come boldly to the God who loves us and ask for our requests for ourselves, our community and nation. We are so thankful the He invites us to come to Him and ask; to call upon His name.
Recently we have continued praying for our nation that it will turn in repentance back to God. We have prayed that God will raise up the honour of His Word, the Bible, in our lives and land.
As Sharron reminded us on Sunday, as with Abraham, God has called us His friends. And in the same way that Abraham interceded with God when He was about to destroy Sodom, so we can intercede also for our city and nation.
When we pray, we sense the pleasure of the Father. And we sense His Presence in the midst. How awesome it is to pray!!

SUMMER CHANGES

As we have now arrived at the holiday period, there will be changes to our Sunday services over the next couple of weeks.

Due to the number of people away at one time, next Sunday 31st July the meeting will take place in the small room at Innsworth Community Hall, and there will be no separate ‘Gladiators’ session for the children.

The following Sunday, 7th August, will be a day out at The Forest of Dean, so there will be no meeting at all at Innsworth.

We wish everyone a blessed and happy holiday season.

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

by Jean Packer

We are now well into our season of contemplating the Acts of the Apostles in-depth. Throughout this time various speakers; Wes, Sharron, Ian, Muriel, Penny, Bex and Marjan have each opened up the scriptures to us. Each speaker has had different perspectives because of their diverse calling, gifts and talents. They have brought us a rich spectrum of insights into the life of the early church in order that we can discover what the Holy Spirit is saying to us individually, and corporately as the body of Christ. This article is my attempt to summarise the amazing words and truths that have been brought to us. I do not feel that I can do justice to the knowledge that the speakers have but hope that I am generally on track!

By progressing through the book chapter by chapter, we have seen how relevant it is for us today to reach up and take hold of the same power of the Holy Spirit that the apostles had so that we too may demonstrate signs, wonders and miracles to the world around us. The acts of the early church shows their transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit to become bold witnesses. We cannot do anything in our own strength but we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). We, (the body of Christ in Golden Valley Church), are being exhorted to take hold of this truth and step into the God’s slipstream.

We are called to be supernaturally powerful. The early church were ordinary men and women who were fearful and timid until the Holy Spirit came upon them. Sound familiar? Yes, we often feel that moving in the power of God is for others, more mature than us. We forget that It is through faith that we please God. If only we believe His word, which is living and active, take hold of it, then God will bring us focus to see what He is doing, fortitude to endure any hardships and the fragrance of Jesus to carry with us wherever we go. We are being encouraged to step out into new things. Look for them and allow God to take us into His heavenly realms. We too can enter in, like Esther (5:1-3). We are inspired to daydream our hopes and desires and see what is happening, then reach up into the heavenlies and bring down the glory of God into our world, to recognise the opportunities that we come across in our day-to-day lives and seize the moment and share the kingdom! (James 4:3) tells us that “You do not get because you do not ask”. We need to boldly ask and believe that we have what we have asked for. His promises are yes and amen. Or, (James 4:2) says “You do not get because you ask amiss”. Sometimes He won’t give because it’s not His heart for us, not good for us. We cannot put God in a box because He is beyond our comprehension but we can know that He knows best and can be trusted completely. As we seek intimacy with God in relationship our will becomes submitted and we receive His heart.

We have heard that it is through God’s grace that we are transported to another place in our lives, a place of security and peace. God’s grace is like wings that lifts us up and out of any persecution, the things of the world that try to pull us down and ensnare us. Acts shows us how a diverse people came together in unity. Unity was established (Acts 4:32 – 35); tested (5:17-40); triumphs (5:41-42). This allowed God’s power to be verified, realised and legitimized. We are in God’s hands and fear has no room when we have this assurance. There are five foundation stones that Christ is building into His church. These are: Calling-our testimony of salvation. Vision- to send and to go. Obedience- to do what He has called us to. Preaching- the building block of the church that imparts the audible heart of Christ. Power- when the Holy Spirit comes upon us to do His will.

Our times together are becoming increasingly powerful as we learn to walk in the heavenly glory realm. We have entered into this realm of the Spirit through worship, ministering to God, and to one another. Prophecy has increased and people dance in freedom as the spirit moves. There is a sweet warmth and fragrance of Jesus that overwhelms us corporately. As the body of Christ we are interdependent upon one another and our lives are enhanced. God’s kingdom is multiplied amongst us. We have been drenched with the oil of His manifest presence and we can carry this out and take it to others. wherever we are, in the supermarket, at work or play, as ordinary men and women who love God. Through the power of God that we are experiencing in the life of our church, people are testifying to the change of circumstances in their lives, and the lives of their families. We are more aware of His nudges to step out in faith and trust, and are seeing God move increasingly in our daily lives. New things are being brought into life. Our community is responding and a new group is springing up.

We all have our faults and flaws and are a work in progress, but God uses us anyway. He loves us and delights in us. He loves the world that we live in and wherever we go and whatever God asks us to do, we can do in His strength. We are His hands and His feet. He wants us to move Him to act. We are all on mission and can start simply with what we have, and give it away. The more we give, the more we will receive to give away. There will always be enough and the pot will never run dry! Step out! We are entering into a new wave of the Spirit. One that the world has never seen before. A Tsunami is coming! Lets ride the wave!

PRAYER EVENING FOR THE UK

We watched the news of the changeover of Government last night and spent an evening in Churchdown, praying for all the parties, and for this country which is in a crucial stage. We pray for unity and lasting togetherness in the new coalition – and bless them to do well.

Here are a few of the things some people felt God was showing them as we prayed.

“There were interlocking round shields going up all around the perimeter of Britain. A defensive wall was formed from the North East to the South West. Protection…” W

“I saw God on the throne speaking things out.  Angels were there waiting.  As soon as God spoke Angels were very busy taking decrees and dispatches to earth, to Great Britain. A  place of busyness and activity.” S

“I saw the map of the UK and I saw four angels coming from the North, South, East and West.  They were each blowing a trumpet.  I asked God what that meant and felt Him say that it is an awakening call… Then I saw the cross being upheld.  I asked who or what did that and I felt He said it was the church holding the cross up because it is all about the cross!” M

“Heavens armies were amassing (like in the film ‘Gladiator’).  Soldiers forming into lines…Words: The time is now – The time is yet here. A crown was being thrown down onto the British Isles. Revelation:  That the UK will once again become a leader in the world’s stage. The UK will be a country of authority speaking truth over the nations.” M

“I saw Big Ben and felt God saying, ‘It’s a New Day in the Nation and over the Government and Houses of Parliament’…” R

“It was quite dark.  I saw a rat in a sewer, and felt that the sewer represents what British politics have become.  I saw the rats leaving.  Then I saw the sun rising over the nation.  A new day, new growth, spring time.  Have faith because God wants to do good things.” N

” I had a sense of a multitude of angels with clocks, watches, stop watches – synchronizing time – bringing alignment.  This is a long-awaited season that God has ordained before the beginning of time to bring a paradigm shift to the nation of Britain.  A shift and dawning light coming to the minds of people.  They will spread out to the nations … “J (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

” ‘And the earth shall be filled with the Glory (knowledge) of God, as the waters cover the sea’. God is accelerating His purposes and filling His people with the Glory ‘extending the places of out tents’.  I looked down from the heavenlies and saw a map of the British Isles.  It looked like pizza dough.  God picked it up with shaking and swirling and making it extend, as the coastline is rather jagged parts of the nation touched other nations, becoming bridges…” R

 

SEASON OF PRAYER

As we lead up to the Glory School in May, and as we share a desire for our city and region to be blessed and prospered by God, and as we know that He has a desire to pour out His love and grace to heal and free people’s lives, we are commencing another season of prayer for our region, commencing today. We will begin by praying for the Innsworth and Longlevens areas of Gloucester, and over the next few weeks will also pray for Churchdown and beyond.

If you are a GVC member or friend and are not able to join us in corporate prayer times, please join us anyway and seek God’s heart for this area and the people who live in it. We believe He has not come to judge and criticise but to help, heal, and bless. We ask for that as we pray together.