Leaders Away Day

TCF Leaders Day Seeking God at Southend – Saturday 10th February 18


I went to the bathroom and right in front of me on the counter was that – a bottle of  “Fresh Start” – lemon shower gel and it has at the bottle of the bottle the words “essential oils”, and I though this is a gentle way that of God saying to us that our time in TCF is a “fresh start” – but He is going to provide the oil. There are essential oils for this, because without the oils of the Holy Spirit it is pointless having a fresh start.

Seeing the gel bottle got me going but I already had in my mind the book of Zechariah which I feel is one of those “partly opened Christmas presents or gifts” we were talking about. We were encouraged as a Church to get into Haggai and Zechariah, but we haven’t got into Zechariah in the same way as Haggai and other books. In particular Zechariah Chapter 4… 


Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened
from sleep.
 He asked me, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”
I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
He answered, “Do you not know what these are?” “No, my lord,” I replied.
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
“What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’”
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.
10 “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range

throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone[a] in the hand of Zerubbabel?”
11 Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?”
12 Again I asked him, “What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?” 13 He replied, “Do you not know what these are?” “No, my lord,” I said.
14 So he said, “These are the two who are anointed to[
b] serve the Lord of all the earth.”

So there is an oil connection here between what is on the gel bottle.

There is another verse in Zechariah 2 v 4 + 5 :-

Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.

My feelings are that we are leaders are Zerubbabel. Who was Zerubbabel ? – he was the renewed governor of Jerusalem who came back and was instrumental in getting the temple rebuilt. He was before Nehemiah and was in a sense the one who laid the foundation and the got the whole place rebuilt. We are Zerubbabel and if you look in Haggai 2 v 23

23 “‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Now the signet ring in the hands of a person represented complete delegation of the king’s authority. They could virtually make laws, they could command, they could make contracts, they could do everything under the king’s authority. That is what a signet ring is all about.

I just sense again that God is saying “I am giving you my signet ring. I am upping your level of authority. Things that you say and declare, you are going to do with my authority.

There is loads more in there and we need to have another good look at that. Chapter 4 is key – but there are other scriptures from the book of Zechariah as well. We may have to look at the Zerubbabel as a person as a character study as well.

Each one of us can look at that and say “I am Zerubbabel” and ask ourselves – “What does this say to me ?”

One important thing that is mentioned – “don’t despise the days of small things”. We may be impatient for us to grow large, and it is not God’s heart for TCF to stay small. I know the whole thing about size is not everything, but unless we grow large there will be loads of people who should get saved who won’t get saved. We are part of the redemption of Thurrock. We need to work as leaders and plan for a large future whilst not despising the days of the small thing which was when Zerubbabel when laying the capstone into the proper place.
 

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I just sense that God is saying that not only do we have angels, and we are fully clear on that, but we also have dinosaurs and he wants us to take them out into our lives, our world and to the people we engage with on a day to day basis and to allow the pressing down their pads and bringing of water and life to others.

When the dinosaur that was on tour, it was assembled together in a hall in Dorchester, and then a class of local school children was filmed coming into the hall. The camera zoomed in on the faces of the children and recorded the impact it had on the children and you could see how amazed they were. There was nothing that the organisers had to do – just take out the dinosaur from where it had been kept inside for years and the impact simply followed. From this all of the children wanted to know more about dinosaurs they were keen to know everything and anything about dinosaurs. In the gift shop there were soft toys, dinosaur eggs, models of dinosaurs, fossils – you name it anything associated with dinosaurs. They were just so keen to know more. None of this would have happened unless the dinosaur had been taken out from where it had been kept inside for so long.

The analogy here is to take Jesus out with us in our lives to bring water to the thirsty and bring everlasting life to people. Doing this will have such an impact on people’s lives.

In reading the prophetic words about the dinosaur and the water rising out of TCF – the word says that a group of women have been praying but have never got to see the fulfilment of their prayers. From reading this again I get a strong sense that this fulfilment is going to come very soon including all of that He has said to us in recent months. The fulfilment will come because what we have been doing in recent months is re-digging the wells through our prayers, our heart to understand, and application of what God has been saying to us.

“All sorts of dinosaurs came rushing in when they saw the water”. It was a herd and you can’t have a herd with just one of two dinosaurs. This is type of language that God is using at the moment – “expect herds that are going to come rushing in”. It’s similar to people seeing that there is bread in the house – and when people hear of that they will come to God. There is a similarity here when people see the water and the life it will bring. The prophetic word ends with “get ready”. Rain is necessary to bring life and growth even though we might prefer the sunshine. Floods mainly come after a long periods of rain where it has rained for several days and the ground cannot take soak up or take any more. We are entering a time where it has never been like that, where it has been raining for a prolonged period of time. It is not torrential rain – but it has just been raining for a long time, and the spiritual land is so saturated and God’s flood of water of life is coming.

The women who didn’t see the fulfilment ties in with Matthew 13 v 16 :-

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

A number of the “big names” in the Bible didn’t get to see their inheritance. We know their story but they lived their lives in faith and passed their inheritance on.

Hebrews 11 v 39 :-

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
 

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I just sensed God saying “Put your hands over your eyes”, and when I did I couldn’t see anything at all, it was just total darkness.

If I put my hands over my eyes again it may seem that I have just done exactly the same. But this time my fingers are slightly open. And as I did that there started to be light, just tiny bits of light coming through. I thought “What does mean ?”  - and I sensed God was saying that there are loads of people that we engage with who are living in darkness and they don’t know God as their Lord and Saviour and Friend, but He just wants to encourage us that cracks are starting to appear in people’s lives and the light of Jesus is starting to shine through.

Now it might well be from our perspective, that they still have their hands in front of their eyes, but we cannot truly see what is actually happening. We may think there is darkness and there is still darkness. What we don’t notice is like my fingers, they are starting to open up, cracks are appearing between my fingers and God’s light and life is starting to shine through. These cracks are getting larger, and it only takes the tiniest of cracks for light to shine through. Things are happening which on the face of it we are not aware of and it may seem that things are not happening. From this we may get frustrated and ask ourselves why are people not getting saved. We want to grow we want that to happen. God just wants to encourage us by saying to us today that cracks are definitely starting to appear.

 

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Genesis 45 v 17 – 20
17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’

19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”

I get the sense form these scriptures that God wants to remind us that Gold and Silver is mine says the Lord, and to the Church he has reserved the best, whatever that is. Never mind what may happen, God has all that is best in His creation and He gives that to us. His encouragement to us is that He has plenty of good things for us and that we can enjoy the fat of the land and all that He has to offer.

Another aspect I had was the word “consecration”. There is a lot said of the priests in the Old Testament about consecration and what they needed to do, and how they needed to minister to the people of Israel. From this I was reminded that as we minister to the people in our Church we need to be aware of consecration and come to God on a regular basis. Allowing the Holy Spirit to present ourselves before God, sanctified, pure and holy. In that we as leaders will have an impact to the people we lead.



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When we started this morning I could hear music coming from the main hall which had the words “Let go my soul and trust in Him”. I had forgotten this, but really like it. It finishes “It is well with my soul” – that’s where the song goes.

It’s that phrase “Just trust in Him” and from this I wrote down these words….

“Trying to live a heavenly kingdom life, from an earthly perspective, is what I think so many of us do. We are so into that groove, because that is our default position, and we are unaware that this is very hard as we cannot conceive what Kingdom life is from that earthly perspective. We are basing our goal on our knowledge. We can try to do it by taking on the values of direction from the Word, but this is not being “It”. We can only do this by being transformed by understanding that we are a new creation from the moment that Christ gives birth to us. At the moment my mind is very focused on my mum and the influence on my life, and I was going to write down “The moment Christ invades us” and I thought “Christ gives us new birth. He gives birth to us as new creations”

I wrote about my mother – “I have spent so much time with my mother, I am like her, for she has filled my life with her values and her character” How much more is Christ able to transform me ? To think like Him. I just reflect of what my mum has given me, and I am just so honoured and so privileged to have a woman like that in my life. And that’s a woman ! Imagine the transformation that God begins from the moment He gives birth to us.



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I asked God to really speak to me today about TCF and I immediately had a picture of a beautiful sunrise over fields. It was a very big picture and it was a beautiful sunrise. I immediately thought about “New beginnings” but God said “No, look at the detail” so I brought my eyes back to where I was standing and looking at this beautiful vista, and the landscape was frozen. You can see every ice grain. The air is that really cold still air, but the sun is rising ! It is absolutely stunning, and it is frozen.  So I concentrated on the frozen and God said “Yes, TCF has been frozen in time. Beautiful as it was, it was frozen. The ground is hard and there is a permafrost, and everything is captured in that moment, which is stunningly gorgeous, you want to keep it, but if you keep it, you would have to work very hard to break the land, and for the dinosaur to put his foot down. There is a permafrost so you have to get through the outer layer before you get down into the ground. The labourer would never work the soil as is it too hard. There are other things to do. We do not have to strive because if we let our gaze go – the sun is shining. And what does the sun do to frost ? – the sun is rising and the frost is going to melt.

So this all came back to “Trust in the Lord, let go my soul, and trust in Him. Trust in Him with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding.” We all try and manufacture things. Let us not “lean on our own understanding – but in all ways acknowledge Him, and He will give you” ---- I want to see those people in my community come into His kingdom ----because otherwise they are going to be lost --- he will give you the desires of your heart.

After we were encouraged to give ourselves some more time to seek God, I felt God saying “Don’t force the crop” In modern farming we have irrigation, fertilizer, greenhouses. In East London they have even grown an underground green house in the sewers with no soil. They are engineering crops that can feed the world. You can get genetically modified crops that look the same. Man is so clever. God has given us everything that we need, we can do this. But God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, and His timing is perfect, and His crops will taste much more real and better but do not force the crop. Because if you force the crop you will have weak plants.

I know we keep talking about how we can implement this, but God says do not busy yourself with organising the harvest. Focus on promoting the author and creator. Point to Jesus, focus on Jesus, because he is the “sun” that will rise and will melt the permafrost.

Already we are saying “How ?”. We cannot remain passive and we have a responsibility as leaders to implement this stuff, yet this will only lead us to a default position of an earthly perspective trying to conjure up a kingdom way of living. We have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, if we force the crop, we will take the default position of how we want to do it. We are capable of doing it like the people who can engineer crops, that’s a position of adopting a method, whereas it should be about being transformed and reflecting the character of Jesus. We must become less so that Jesus can become more.


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Pretty much every day – at sometime during the day – I will look at the weather forecast on the BBC website and if you have ever clicked on that – you can see a 24 hrs forecast which is broken down hour by hour by hour. I like the BBC weather forecast because it is very very accurate. For example you will see that in the morning it is due to be sunny and then between 2pm and 5pm the symbol changes to rain clouds. Then just after 2 o’clock it starts to rain. It often happens, and that is why I use the BBC forecast. Yes I know that they have all the back up technology, and it moves away the old interpretation of the word “forecast” in that the tell you what they think may happen, and nowadays if the weather forecaster predicts it is going to snow – then basically it is definitely going to snow.

From this what I sense is that what God has said he will do – will actually happen. So if we look at The Threshing Floor, Bread In The House, Growing In A Spacious Place, etc etc – these are going to happen.

Also when the weather is going to have a major impact you always get what is called a “weather warning” and I sometime smile when these are issued. If there is a warning for a hurricane – what can we do about it ?! – we are just mortal men and can’t do anything about it – all we can do is just prepare for what is coming. E.g. if ice and snow is forecast – then the warning might be not to take a journey unless it is absolutely necessary.

I feel God is giving us a weather warning – “a spiritual weather warning” – and that “warning” is to plan for a large future. What God has said is going to happen.


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Then the next thought I had was a picture of a beautiful sunrise !!!

In thinking about this – I sensed God wanted to say to us that we are in that period of dawn just before the sunrise, and we are waiting for the actual sun to appear above the horizon. We know that is going to come because it is slowly getting lighter and lighter. We all know what a beautiful sunrise is – I’m sure that all of us at sometime will have experienced a beautiful sunrise. When you see a sunrise – every part of it comes from God – there is nothing man made in it and everything that we are going to move into – and we are on the cusp of that now – God is going to do it His way. There is nothing that we can do other than be ready for that.

When we look after Jake the Labrador Glenda would take him for a walk early in the morning and sometimes this would be at sunrise and she knows how wonderful a sunrise can be, and even took a photo of it on her phone and bring it home to show me. We are going to move into a time where we will say “what another wonderful thing that God is doing” a sunrise is amazing, what God is going to do in our Church will be amazing. We can be blown away by the beauty and the colours of a sunrise and likewise we will be blown away by the beauty of what is going to do. In a sunrise we see the handiwork of God, and we will stand back and see the handiwork of God in His Church here and wonder “how did that happen ?”

At the moment we understand what it means for God to do “immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine” and this next stage or level on this from is to allow and see God’s handiwork in His Church.

There was one time when I was at work on a night shift and we had to prepare for a royal visit to an Essex University. I with others was up all night looking after security and such like and me and my team were to remain until the early shift came and took over from us. It started to get light about 4am and I though “Great, it will be sunrise soon” – but the actual sun took ages to rise above the horizon – it seemed to take forever. It seemed like hours but the sunrise did actually come in the end and we were then relieved and were able to go home to bed. I believe God is encouraging us in the fact that the sunrise is going to come, but don’t worry or fret about the timing of it, don’t try and force it, we just need to rest assure that God’s time is coming.


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Looking at the picture over there on the wall….you can see that the sun is rising and spring is coming and I believe that that is what God is saying to us – the sun is rising and the spring is coming there is blossom on the trees. Also there are three pictures, it is not all one big picture – it is three pieces coming together to make the full picture. Blossom is coming and that is showing new life. I sense that God is saying that what is going to happen is not going to come in one big thing, but instead is coming in stages, whether it is in 3 stages I don’t know but it will come in stages nonetheless.

 



 

I then looked at this cushion with the flower design. It is just really an outline, there is no detail. In real life when you look at things from a distance you only really see the outline, you don’t see all the detail.
From this I believe God is saying that you will recognise the coming, but you won’t see all the detail. You will only see the detail when you start to move towards it and doing it.

Then I remembered something out of John 5 where it speaks of Jesus saying “you can only do what you see me doing” Jesus is going to do it first and as we do what Jesus did the detail will come. In John 5 it also talks about the man at the pool, and I think we are going to be surprised by people - a bit like peering through the fingers of the hands – the people who come to Christ. The man at the poolside when asked by Jesus - did he want to be healed – he didn’t say Yes”, he just raised excuses as to why he couldn’t get into the pool. He didn’t say he wanted to be healed. Then when he had been healed, and was challenged by the Pharisees – he almost blames Jesus for him carrying his own mat. The man doesn’t even acknowledge or say thank you – unlike all the other people Jesus healed did. But later on, Jesus finds him in the temple, and that is where the man recognises that it was Jesus who healed him. I think we are going to see people who we didn’t expect to see, those people who do not acknowledge Jesus or never wanted to know anything about Him.

Finally I was just thinking about the whole thing of meeting God in the quiet place and in the secret place and not sharing everything about. God is speaking to us and doing some amazing things. When I went to the rest and wet room, it has a shower in there as well and I was thinking that if you used the shower – you could either pull the curtain around and you can keep all the water and everything inside or you can have a shower with the curtain not drawn and the water goes everywhere and makes a right mess. I feel that what God is saying that we need to be really open and share with everyone what God is saying to us, not only in the Church but in our everyday lives as well, and allow there to be a mess. In a way it is also about being natural about what He is saying to you.

When you allow the water to splash, it will also cover and cleanse others and bring them into what God in showering us with. It could get really messy !