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!

Phew what do smell like?

Nose

Nose (Photo credit: World of Oddy)

For those of you who have just joined us –welcome. Let me explain the things us ramblers are chatting about. We are looking at the way God is bringing us from an old culture into a kingdom culture. To help us do this we are looking at the Philippine culture and seeing what God is saying to us through it.

Smells

Every country smells different. The different fauna, food eaten, spices used and manufacturing going on. In the Philippines there are the lovely smells of food and the most beautiful flowers, and then there are the less pleasant smells of rubbish, open sewage and the exhaust fumes from all the traffic. Banana bunches smell quite strong, the chlorine from the swimming pools, the smell of heat in the air, the sweet smell of pineapple and I love the smell of a wood stove with something delicious cooking on it. The fragrance on the air can change quite dramatically in few steps and then change to something else in another few steps.

Philippines has such colourful, large flowers. The national flower is the sampaguita a type of wonderfully scented pure white jasmine. The smell is very strong and is carried on the air quite a long way from where the plant is situated. You can’t help but be arrested by the smell in the air after a thunderstorm when the air is fresh and the frogs have all woken up, swam with the running water to the river below and started their frog chorus. This noise is so loud it sounds like car engines revving.

For too long I have smelt unpleasant smells in ‘churchiness’ :the smell of frustration, the fragrance of sweat and toil, the odour of grease and dirt. Perhaps in the air there has been the whiff of staleness and putrid rottenness. Sometimes their is the artificial smell of an air freshener trying to cover up a smell that shouldn’t be there, something unpleasant. Then there is the smell of sparks flying as people with chips on their shoulders clash in relationships.

Yesterday I listened to a talk on worship by Jenn Johnson and she talks about people not being real in the church. They are trying to be perfect so when they make a mistake they don’t know how to deal with it. “Everybody poops, so everybody needs to flush. It is just in the church there is a lot of poop lying around”. I guess that might smell a lot! You can listen to it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?=3mIOnVpJDnY&list=PL330BDC3EE47414D9A

This new kingdom culture has a fragrance of its own. It comes a beautiful smell of freshness. The air reeks of freedom and excitement, liberty and power, creativity, acceptance and love. There is no smell of striving but of finding fulfilment. There is no air freshener of cover up but of beautiful unity.

I don’t know if you have ever been gathering worshipping before the throne before now and actually smelt heaven. It has happened to me a couple of times. I have wanted to hold my breath to keep the sweetness of the fragrance in my lungs. It smells of heaven, of beauty, of holiness and purity. This kingdom is heaven come to earth –it is the smell of heaven.

You know what else I smell in the air at the moment? – revival coming. There is the whiff of it coming like the strong aftershave announcing the arrival of a man in pursuit of beauty. In our travels What is so exciting about exploring this new kingdom culture is that so many people are talking about it. They may not talk about it in the same terms I am using, that doesn’t matter. Having spent time travelling and talking to people over this last year I have met people from different backgrounds, nations and Christian streams. I get the same impression –something new is happening. Many talk about a near revival, many are seeing healings like never before, many are seeing a new heart connection across different church tribes bringing unity, many are experiencing afresh the Fathers heart, or times spent soaking in the Spirit. From Australia, Philippines, Norway, India, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Rugby, Wolverhampton, USA, Canada, Congo, Italy – I have spoken to people from all these places (and more) and felt something new.

Can I take you back to the Sampaguita flower? It stands for purity, simplicity, humility and strength – how beautiful. Imagine a church full of purity, simplicity, humility and strength and what a beautiful fragrance they would carry in their towns and cities. I feel these are the keys to fill the atmosphere with the fragrance of heaven.

Today: What fragrance are you giving off? What do your relationships smell like?  What smell is filling your atmosphere? Is it beautiful, sweet fragrance of heaven?