During the autumn I had a picture of a blanket of grey fog settled on the congregation. The fog was soft and comforting. In this vision the fog started to dispel and was gently blown away by the Spirit. I felt that God was saying to me that a new season was coming and that in His gentleness He would start to blow away the fog and would start to bring fresh clarity. As He brooded over us there was invitation to rest in His safety, but the invitation was to move from comfort to compassion. He was sending a fresh new wave of love and compassion.
Have you noticed a change? Over the last two weeks I 'feel' there's been a shift during our corporate times of worship. As we gather together, everything's the same but there's something different. Suddenly in the middle of worship there's s p a c e where Holy Spirit lingers unusually long. His presence has been manifest by peace and silence as we wait on Him. My heart has been beating hard as His presence thickens in the air.
This week I was chatting to a number of people who spoke to me specifically about what God was doing and speaking to them in those silences. There's been calls to intercession, there's been calls to count the personal cost of revival, there's been a burdening to seek after Him. In all this there's been a feeling that hearts are coming into alignment with His. I've been receiving emails about what people feel Holy Spirit is doing as He broods over us. How about you, what do you feel?
I've really appreciated how Holy Spirit has been resting awhile and many of us have sensed Him draw close and it's been unexpected and sacred. Two people recently had visions of dew coming down from heaven and raining on us during worship. There have been tongues and interpretations, faith filled prayers imparting fresh faith and I sense a hunger for more stirring within. I'm sure there is so much more that God is doing that hasn't been articulated by people or shared and I'm also sure that there is an increased burdening for Him to move within and amongst us.
Colossians 3:12-17 says:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
We've been in our EMCF series ‘Better Together’ speaking about unity, and I think for all of us there has been a healthy measure of challenge about how we walk in love for one another, how we reach out with one another, who we are and where we find our identity. It's been good hasn't it? A timely reminder that we are called to this walk together and to know who we are in Jesus Christ.
I'm not surprised that Holy Spirit delights in our unity.
Last year, in the Hub, we felt convicted by two things:
- That we needed to host regular nights of prayer for personal revival and revival for the city, so in October we launched Awakening. We felt it was important to provide a space for everyone to engage in this, so we made the decision to have a space for youth and young adults to pray, worship and receive input alongside the rest of the church praying, worshipping and encountering God on the same night.
- That we needed to get scripture in us, we needed to know His word come alive in us to sustain us and nourish us, so in January we launched Bible in a Year.
Awakening nights have been times of encountering God and hearing His heart for us and the places we put our feet. There's something supernatural that happens when we sing and speak out our God-given dreams because they somehow reach to every corner of the Earth. When we lay our hearts on His, we somehow access His joy and desire, and as we speak we prophesy His desire into our reality.
Moving from comfort to compassion is something only God can do within us. If you sense that feeling of God wanting to breathe fresh hope, fresh vision, fresh love and fresh compassion into your spirit, perhaps there's an encouragement for you to act - get along to an Awakening night and spend an extended time in prayer and worship, perhaps it’s time for a revival in you.
If like me you are sensing this shift in our corporate times together, get in touch, we'd love to hear what God is saying to you and laying on your heart.
Are you ready to ride the fresh new wave of the Spirit that's coming?