Flow of heaven

Flow

Flow (Photo credit: Yogendra174)

We have already discussed that heaven is just like God’s home. It is where his fullness of character can be seen unhindered. It is where His will is carried out perfectly without glitches or resistance.

There are authors like R.F. Delderfield who in their writings focus on a community over a space of time. In his great story telling style Delderfield writes about “The Dreaming Suburb” and how it became an avenue going off to war. Whenever you walk into the avenue in the stories something is happening, something has changed. Where there are people there is life and activity. There is a flow of  life in each home that progresses over time. How much so God’s house – where He is there is a flow of life and activity.

In a home this flow of life brings with it a  flow of people and their roles of activity. A mum flows from being a nurse, teacher, cook, cleaner, carer, lover, painter, taxi, etc It all depends what the needs are in the home to how she responds in love. So God the Father flows in his house becomes a teacher, counselor  healer, proclaimer, protector, judge, restorer etc.

Each time we meet with God to be intimate with him He might come to us in a different role. It is an expression of His flow of life in love, depending of what the needs are. He may be our protector and then our teacher. If we come to God expecting to be protected again and again, we may be surprised that God might not protect us from a specific situation that we actually need to be taught wisdom in situation instead. Let God be God and let us respond with Him in the flow of life.

Flow of the presence

Moses and the people of God moved from place to place. They followed the pillar of fire

Whirl-fire

Whirl-fire (Photo credit: Loving Earth)

and the pillar of cloud in order to follow God. He is not static. He is always moving. Even before creation we find Him hovering over everything and moving around. He is always on the go.

Lets have a look at some of the movement in heaven.

9 and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.

24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. Ezekiel 1

In heaven there is movement of momentum. A movement of unity. Those heavenly beings are moving together in unison to fulfill the purpose of God. His plan is coming to fruition and everyday it comes nearer. This oneness of heart requires no obvious leader of a creature for all are flowing so closely with the winds of the Spirit that they flow together. This army under its commander works completely differently than any army seen before.

God’s Spirit is like the wind and like rushing waters, flowing and accomplishing what it desires. God’s word is being spoken and never returns empty. The Father is forever giving out gifts to his children and creating new things. Jesus is forever interceding for us. The angels go to and fro with God’s bidding. The saints are falling in worship and the great cloud of witnesses are cheering us on. Heaven is not a static place. It is full of life.

I used to feel that when I worshiped and then came back the next day I could start where I left off. It was as if heaven had almost stood still waiting for me to come back. I guess it is a little like magic toys that can only come to life when I came to play. Heaven is not going to stop whilst I disengage myself for a while – the movement continues. Each day we move closer to Jesus’ return than the next so every day will never be like the one before. I think perhaps heaven is more like the song in Pocahontas (click here to listen to it). She describes the sensation of stepping into a river. You never step in the same river twice because when you step into it again the water you first stepped into has now passed down stream and fresh water has now taken its place.

When we come to worship God and partake in heaven we need to approach it with an active spirit ready to assimilate ourselves into what is going on in heaven. It is a stance of action, purpose and unity. What an exciting place! What a privilege!

Presence and Character

My eye

My eye (Photo credit: orangeacid)

‘God could trust Moses with this level of revelation because his heart had been tested. In His mercy, God gives us the level of revelation that our character is prepared to handle. At the same time, He continues to reveals himself in order to expose our character and invite us to know him more.’ Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p88

We are all loved completely. He presences himself in all of us by his Holy Spirit in His fullness (for those born again). Many of us experience His manifest presence in times of worship but it clear that some people experience a greater revelation of God’s presence than others. John saw into the heavens and found himself standing in the very throne room of God. The whole of the book of Revelations is about what he saw. John witnessed  so much it would make your eyes pop out ; angels, beasts, a lamb, things with many heads, a scroll, a dragon, trumpets and worship. Just imagine what it would be like seeing that kind of revelation!

God is calling us higher, to see more and the only person who can stop you seeing as much of God as you like is you. With each revelation there comes responsibility. It takes character to carry this responsibility. With each powerful encounter God has to make sure our spirits can take it. Our hearts and character must be ready.

It says in the bible that we can grieve the Holy Spirit. If we want God to manifest His presence to us we need to be sure that we do not hinder a full outpouring by grieving the Spirit. He is sensitive to rebellion, bitterness, doubt etc. Like a dove He will not land in fullness where He feels aggrieved. Let us check our hearts for habitual sin, proud hearts, bitterness and unforgiveness. Let us walk with our hearts right with God and expect a full outpouring of His presence.

Presence – what is it about?

Together

Together (Photo credit: ~FreeBirD®~)

Gills comment from yesterday made me think about what we mean by the presence of God? It may seem obvious but I would like to ponder it a while with you.

Immediately my thoughts go to the name Emmanuel – God is with us. This is the name that points to the purposes of God. The plan that God would do whatever was necessary to presence himself with us. This was shown in the life of Jesus. God’s desire for relationship was so highly valued that he was even prepared to sacrifice His Son to gain it.

This blueprint of his plan was first revealed in the garden of Eden where God is clearly enjoying the presence/company of Adam and Eve. As soon as sin enters the world the enemy knew he had managed to attack the core intent of God. Adam was now found hiding from the presence of God in the cool of the day. Adam is banished from the presence of God (Genesis 4:14) and God’s enemy thought he had won. He had broken connection between mankind and God. But God had an idea already how to restore mankind to himself -but it would cost him everything.

God began with calling Abraham. He was a man, the bible says, stood and lived in God’s presence (Gen 24:40). It wasn’t enough for God that one man at a time lived with him in His presence so he calls a nation and gives them the honour of building a tabernacle to host his presence. Exodus 23 onwards speaks again and again about being in God’s presence. Then we find Moses who had an incredibly high regard for God’s presence and whose hunger for God’s presence is astounding.

16 How will anyone know that you look favourably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” Exodus 33:16 (NLT)

18 Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence” Exodus 33:18 (NLT). What an amazing prayer. Moses has seen thunder, lightening, smoke,  breath taking miracles come from the presence of God and yet bravely stands and asks to see God’s glorious presence. I am sure he knew it could kill him or overwhelm him yet he doesn’t cower with the rest of the Israelites. He knows that it will cost him obedience and life change but he still is prepared to ask and encounter.

Was the key to the revelation Moses received of God something to do with how much he valued God’s presence? That he was prepared to lay his life on the line for it?

There is always a tension in the bible talking about God’s presence. The Psalms say ‘I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence’  (Psalm 139:7). This verse suggests that we are always in God’s presence. The Psalms also say ‘ I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells.’ (Psalm 139:7) and this verse implies there is a special encounter with God’s in His presence where He dwells. Perhaps it is both.

When Jesus came it was all about His presence -Emmanuel. It wasn’t enough for God to send another He came himself. Nor was it enough to presence himself with one nation he wanted to redeem all nations to Himself. He wanted all of mankind to enjoy His company and He have time to enjoy there company. This was the joy set before Jesus on the cross. Mine and your company forever.

We find in the New Testament talk of living and moving in God’s presence (Acts 17:28), an indwelling of presence of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16) and being asked to clothe ourselves with the presence of God (Romans 13:14). We still find something special mentioned concerning an encounter with God in the fullness of the heavenlies in a verse from Ephesians ‘Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.’ (Ephesians 3:12)

The presence of God is where we live. We can never run away from His presence and for those who are born again we have the Presence of God dwelling in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We can, however, not get away from the fact there is something special about meeting God on His home turf. When we enter the heavenlies and experience God’s attention something powerful happens. Perhaps it is like walking into someone’s home – you can meet that person on the street and say hello but when you enter their home you really get to know them. You get to understand their tastes, their identity, their interests and perhaps their skills. The whole atmosphere in the home speaks of their values, their character and their understanding of life.  Their hospitality helps strengthen friendship, trust and love. God wants us to enter the room He is in and spend time with him out of choice and intent. To do this we need to be prepared for the impact and power of the atmosphere of His home touching earth. We need to be prepared to lay everything down and be changed. Are you ready?

Moses and the presence of God

English: Border collie dog Deutsch: Border Col...

English: Border collie dog Deutsch: Border Collie Hund (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15&16

I am challenged by the thought that Moses was not prepared to move anywhere without God. He insisted on following the presence of God himself, saying, “If your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here”. He wasn’t satisfied just to make things up as he went, he was not content to keep on going and hope God would turn up at some point. The presence of God was so vital to Moses that unless the presence of God went with him he wouldn’t move, he wouldn’t just guess, he wouldn’t carry on. No matter what the pressure or the embarrassment – he was happy to wait for God.

This is mirrored in my collie dog Gemma. When I take her for a walk she is constantly checking to see where I am. Now and again I try to hide from her, it is very difficult, but if I manage it as soon as she realises she has lost me she comes charging through the undergrowth to find me again. She is not prepared to go anywhere unless I am walking with her, unless she is aware of my presence.

‘We need to pay a price to see God more clearly. Moses’ whole life groomed him to see God. His success as Israel’s leader depended entirely on his ability, moment by moment to perceive and follow the presence and voice of the Lord.’ Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p86

Am I prepared to pay the price to follow the presence and voice of God? Will I lay down everything at the call of His voice? Will I be prepared to wait on God again and again for as long as it takes? Does the desire for His presence bring tears to my eyes with longing? It is challenging to ask these questions. It is easy to be in a meeting full of habits and empty of presence where there are no risks and we are in control. It is easier to follow the clear loud voice of man than the small whisper of God we may have to wait for.

The presence of God is so special we should hold it in high esteem. We should give time to it, cultivate it and enjoy it. In his presence we are changed, set free and find our identity. In his presence we glimpse heaven, see eternal truths, experience revelation and receive dreams. In his presence we find unity, freedom and flow together. In His presence we receive healing, experience miracles, sense his breath, know his touch and laugh with joy. We should never ever undervalue the importance of the presence of God.

‘Moses was the great leader he was because he was not focused not personal success but on the God who could be known.  Moses preferred the wilderness with God to the Promised Land without God, a noble choice for sure’  Bill Johnson Face to Face with God p87

Today: How much of your daily life relies on the presence of God?

Hunger is not enough- its expectation that brings encounter

Worship

Worship (Photo credit: Josa Jr)

I often find myself standing as close as I can to those whose hearts are to lead me deeper into the presence of God and my desire is to follow their lead. These are the anointed worship leaders of the church. My heart is to be responsive to their spirit and join in with their intimacy with God. As they hold the door open for me into the throne room my desire is to press through into the fullness of an awareness of heaven.

I always thought that to be hungry for him was enough, but I have reconsidered my thoughts. It isn’t hunger that brings change and encounter with God, but expectation. It is the understanding that God’s desire is to meet us with revelation, love and intimacy. If we seek God we can expect him to turn up.

As a youth I remember walking through a camp one summer crying out in hunger to God, but I didn’t expect him to come down and meet me as I wandered through the damp evening grass. I thought he would listen, but wasn’t sure if He would be persuaded to act. I now have a revelation of his passion for me. Someone once prophesied into my life God was more passionate for me than I was for him. I now expect him not only to listen but also to come in fullness and be there for me.

So now I ask myself what do I expect his presence to be like? How is he going to meet me? In fullness of power, with overwhelming emotion, with signs and wonders, with visions and new spiritual gifts, with heart to heart intimacy, with amazing signs and revelation, with fire and rushing waters, with the roar of a lion? What do I expect each time I move toward God to know him? Are my expectations high enough? Do I really expect the heavenly places to be opened to me so I can see the angels, the heart of God and the beauty of the spiritual realm. Knowing all God could/ can/ will do stirs my hunger to exponential levels.

There is so much more to know and experience in God’s presence and I can expect God to meet me in power and intimacy every time.

Today: What are you expecting?

More thoughts on creativity

Creativity

Creativity (Photo credit: Mediocre2010)

Creativity of Egypt and Israel

Egypt was rich, there was plenty of gold and silver. I have never seen the pyramids but in the national museum in London you can see beautiful artefacts from Egypt. They had skilled craftsmen and perhaps woman (I am not up to date with equal gender rights in Egypt).  So what is the difference between the creativity of God’s free people as seen in Exodus and the Egyptians?

Egypt in the bible is a picture of the world.  All people are made in Gods image wherever they live, whatever they believe – creative and skilful. There is some fantastic art filling the four corners of the earth. If, however, we believe that being full of the Spirit of God adds a new dimension we need to ask the question how? and what does it look like? (cf Exodus 31:2-5)

I am aware that I will be making massive generalisations about art and creativity but please give me that licence to work my thoughts through. Creativity in the world is often measured, assessed, pondered written about, judged and criticized. Many make art for a commission, end product or money. Even at college or University the students are expected to be creative for a finished assessed product to attain a pass. This probably affects the way the artist progresses further on in their life. For many artists the appreciation by others of the finished product is their main motivation.

Could it be that creativity for God is not about the end product but of being. Could it  be as an overflow of the mix of our spirit with God’s Spirit? Could creativeness be an expression of freedom with no purpose but just because I am. Is it for our own exploration and for God to enjoy? There is no right or wrong way.

If we are being the creative masterpiece how do we live our life? Predictable, staid, controlled,? If your life is a canvass what colours are you using? Are you constantly learning new skills, developing new thoughts?

Creativity is….

  • A process not a product
  • Treasure inside coming out not made to make treasure
  • Made from enjoyment not for enjoyment
  • Made for heaven not made for earth
  • Has heavens fingerprints mixed with human fingerprints all over it

Creativity in the wilderness reminds me of 2loaves and 5fishesm- the little boy who brought what he had. I mean they had to build a tabernacle with what they had escaped with the land of Egypt with. They didn’t have sophisticated workshops and skilled equipment. They didn’t have furnaces for smelting metals or the right tools. The people used what they had. All their skills and knowledge, and a heart connection with the creator.

What helps creativity?

  • Confidence not self-consciousness,
  • Acceptance not rejection of ideas
  • Flowing of our spirit. God is spirit and we are spirit –we are made to flow together. We can be moving, active, filling spaces, bringing life
  • Reaching into heaven and expressing it on earth -seeing new colours, new shapes, hear new sounds, experience new relationships
  • Taking away the boundaries and boxes – no longer holding tight or controlling but uncontainable, free, open, powerful,
  • Learning new skills
  • Making space and time
  • Drawing the best out of each other