‘These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng’ Psalm 42v4
It’s a wonderful feeling to be ‘on top’, to know you are in the flow of what God is doing, carried along on His wave. I have been there a few times, fulfilled and purposeful, positioned in a strong rhythm of prophetic prayer and worship or in an exciting season of making connections with God-incidences all lining up. More recently I was in an amazing flow of creative writing! But I also know how David felt in this scripture, as he looked back on those times from a place of dryness and discouragement… ‘All Your waves and breakers have swept over me’! Psalm 42v7
Oh to to stay in that place under God’s hand, in His tangible favour, not moving without His Presence! I remember one old friend saying “Anything I do without the anointing is at best useless!” I wouldn’t go that far, because there are things we just have to do that don’t require anointing, just obedience to the obligations of life – like getting out of bed and going to work, going shopping or making the dinner! But I do know what he was getting at: ‘If Your Presence doesn’t go with us, do not send us up from here’ Exodus 33v15.
What if where the Lord is leading doesn’t look so obvious, perhaps looks more like the desert? Well… Jesus was ‘led by the Spirit into the wilderness’ (Luke 4v1)! Elijah and John the Baptist did serious wilderness time too! Am I listening when the pull comes to draw back, stop, come aside? Do I recognise when the grace for something lifts off? It is because we are not good at stopping doing things that there are so many religious structures, empty of wine. I don’t want to keep going through the motions when the Holy Spirit has moved on to something else and it’s time to be repositioned…
Ebb and flow and ebb and flow – the Spirit moves like wind and water. He/She is a Person – not just a Power or a Presence – with sensitivity, likes and dislikes, purpose and desire. We can make room for Him or quench Her, yield or resist. What are You doing now, Lord?
The prophets help us to discern the times and seasons of God. Just this week I was sent a word about a time of supernatural activity happening this month: “This is a strategic week and a month of turnaround…”Get ready to ‘March Forth’ starting on March 4th” The American prophet, Doug Addison talks about a major shift and a revolutionary time – as we have seen clearly in the Middle East! – with 7 year restoration of things that started in 2004, and new freedom and opportunities opening up. If you’ve been reading, you’ll know I felt something about a time of release starting on March 4th – I went to a significant meeting that day and am looking forward to some more unaccustomed activity in the next couple of weeks. Seems to be some sort of flow opening up? I could get carried away!
Doug also mentions the old proverb: ‘March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb’ – which refers to the weather being traditionally wild at the beginning of March, but fair by the end. He interprets it as negative things happening that God will turn around for good, and that we should be encouraged to move forward with boldness and confidence into the rest of this year as the new season opens up.
So why am
I feeling that for me there is yet another call to rest not far away? Perhaps because I am tired!
Martin always teases me that there cannot be just one season for everyone to follow – that it can be dangerous to latch onto some all-embracing prophetic word or think that God is doing the same thing with everyone at the same time. I am sure he is right – there are different flows and different paths, just as the tide times vary on different beaches! How helpful it can be when a ‘rhema’ word strikes to our hearts – “that’s for me, I’m having it!” – bringing confirmation and clarity to keep us on track, or when there is such significance in a prophecy that we can use it to track the progress of a nation (see The Word and the Spirit) I am sure there are those that God graces to see the bigger picture and that He does have a Divine Plan and a heavenly timetable that is moving forward, with which we need to align: 2011: a watershed year!
But where do I fit into that? Am I able to hear and flow with the Spirit for myself? Ah, it seems I am always writing about this… some of you will surely be bored! I am bored with myself, taking so long to learn the same old lesson! From Coming up out of the desert to A voice in the night, and I arREST you… to …face(book)down I just keep returning to the same old theme – of drawing back and being quiet, making space for intimate relationship with Jesus. I keep challenging myself and anyone who is listening that without rest and time aside, right choices and willingness to be drawn out of the mainstream into a quiet backwater for a season, we will quite simply miss the point...
I have been given a tide table! I recognise the tide is turning for me soon. After I have marched forth like a lion I am going to need to lie down like a lamb 🙂 At the end of the month it will be 2 years since our lives changed – Sam’s initial hospital admission was on 1st April 2009. Martin has recognised the toll that he has paid and has requested 2 months off work – compassionate leave for the whole of April and May to regain his spark and energy. I too have been feeling so tired and ill that I think I will have to join him. Somehow, both together and separately, through the grace of God, we need to find a whole new rhythm of rest by throwing ourselves into the ebb tide – trusting to the waves of mercy on the ocean of Love.
‘Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength and rise up again…’ Isaiah 40v31. It’s time for some waiting: first time to ebb – and then time to flow.