“You Won…”

We recently directed some guests of ours from overseas to Kings Cross station London as they wanted to see platform 9 ¾, I wondered what they wanted, 9 ¾ never heard of such a platform, cannot be really?  I had no idea what they were talking about, never heard of it, thought they are not from UK.    However I found out that they knew better than me, the platform was made famous through Harry Potter’s book, you go to the platform quite simply to get your photo opportunity… just in case you wish to see it take the Underground to Kings Cross / St. Pancras, (two main line stations that share the same Underground Station).        Follow the signs into Kings Cross Station when you get to the surface walk along Platform 8 (it’s totally free access).     When you see a sign directing you left to Platforms 9 to 11 keep going on along Platform 8 and the Platform 9 3/4 photo opportunity is a few yards further along on your left. There is normally a conspicuous sign on the platform pointing to the small alcove and out of the wall projects half a baggage trolley.   You have arrived at your destination.

I had no idea of how to get there or how to help others arrive there then the thought came to me, it is a real challenge for us all to answer the question   “where are we going and how can we help each other get there?”.    It is a timely question in the hour we live, with so many changes in society, politics and the economic world , in the business world and in the world of faith, the church change is coming at us as a fast speeding train, whether we want it or not.    Where is it taking us and how can we help each other get  there?

It  is a day for the prophetic people of God to come to the out from under the covers, a day in the midst of much noise and debate, to take hold of the word of God.     Gods’ words when uttered in the past created, they also sustained people who took them up.    These spoken words gave direction and knowledge to those who listen and heard them, those who listened  did not find themselves with out understanding.

Clearly we are in a day of discovering a deeper trust of the Father a new listening and obedience that will lead us into freedom and to the land of promise.    We have to grasp the idea that we are on journey,  that in itself  will empower, challenge and  mature all who embark.

Today as people of God in the west, we find ourselves so much part of societies thinking at large, that it has invaded the church and they way we think, becoming consumers in every way.   Seeking ever-increasing experiences for our emotions, listening to the word of God to consume that which we believe that will give us a quick advance, an edge on life or even fix?    Making decisions on that which we can get hold of immediately, the NOW rules us.    Yet the Journey men and women of old, the pictures of lives of people between the covers of the scriptures walked a journey, not a quick dash with immediate consumer gratification.    Consider the lesson of one of these journey men, Abraham, here is a man who had promise upon promise spoken to him, of peoples, fathering, sons, nation and land, God promises to bless all nations through Abraham, yet Abraham received none of these in his day, but  even 1000’s of years on the promises are still coming to pass.

Even more than that Abraham had a 644 Kilometer journey, once he was willing to entertain the promise.   A 644 Kilometer journey and a 4000+ year, time frame, to get the promises.   Now that is a challenge once he become obedient to the promise words of God it was a long haul walk and a massive time frame to content with.    Now don’t get me wrong on the journey there where evidences, victories of the promise but its fullness took walking on investing time, he become wealthy in his day, he had influence and did finally get a true son of promise, but certainly one son does not constitute a nation!   Once Abraham believed and entered the journey it was counted as righteousness to him, that is keeping in right line with the journey, and keeping it foundational to life’s actions and decisions.   The words of God are living, but how living are they ?  They require movement, obedience, a change of vicinity, a change of surroundings, a departure and a step in front of you.    Actually the words of promise to us all are to bring about sons of God who are led by the Spirit, to bring maturity in light of eternal promise.

I think its time to discover not only the joy of the immediate but the eternal will of the Father, knowing that we have been called to an eternal purpose, to depart from the tent of  the immediate and become the tent of meeting for our life and then our world around us.     We are, the people of God, the ecclesia, the church are to be the place where people will meet the love of God along with a people who are a prophetic journeying people.

Let me encourage you to find others people who will also ask the question, where is all this taking us?  where are we going and how can I help you get there rather than making sure I can get there.

Traveling in a plane has its challenges, but no more for me than the initial film or safety demonstration, we are all shown, there is one difficult line there to listen  to, it goes something like this …make sure your mask when it drops from the roof goes on you first before you see to children or others… that is so against the journey of prophetic people,  firstly seeing to ourselves before others, so that we can all arrive together.    Many years ago  we were taught to play croquet by a great Godly man called Arthur Wallis some 15 or so of us, in a retreat centre in Sheffield.   As we came to the end of our game and our instruction Arthur being the master crossed the line, won the game and a shout of “…you have won Arthur…” went up from all,  with this he turned and said “…no I only cross the line when all my brothers cross…” and with that he fell with his head at the foot of an old wooden cross in the gardens becoming one of the host of witnesses who now continues to cheer on this seen world to ultimate intention of the Father.   What a line to enter eternity with, to depart this expression of life with, what a way to live, asking more how can I help you get to the destination of the will of God rather than consuming, to get there myself.

So find journey men and women, young people, children sojourners who are pursuing the will of the Father in eternal promise and plan and seek to help each other fulfill the prophetic purpose of God.

O really the devils is in the Detail

“The Devils in the detail” ever heard that quoted to you?   I am not sure why the statement is such perhaps this is where we miss out, or is it that where we get caught out in the work necessary involved in detail?     By what I can tell, it actually means that small things in plans and schemes are often overlooked and they are the things that can cause serious problems later?  Like many proverbs which involve the devil, it is meant to sound a note of caution. It may also be used to excuse or explain the obfuscation of an otherwise very simple project or task, now that’s a new word to look up!.

In one sense, one might say “the devil’s in the details” to refer to small but ultimately important components of a larger task.  For example, performing a scientific experiment in a laboratory is a hugely involved task which can sometimes be highly dangerous. A small error at the beginning can translate into a useless experiment at the end, so experimenters are reminded that the devil’s in the details. This reminder is intended to encourage the scientists to check their work, and to be thorough and careful in the lab.

But really I would suggest to you that this is far from the truth and it’s not the devil there, but “God is in the detail”, that all life is detailed through a wonderful and marvelous Father and not some other.     It is rather a miss statement that is a distraction,  it is actually quoted incorrectly, there is a great in the detail of your life, from time to time we have to be reminded of this fact that so easily gets away from us.

The Psalmist reminds us of the very fact that  GOD IS IN THE DETAIL and none other, some times we just end up not seeing God but I can assure you God is.   It is a wonderful truth  that we need  to be reminded of, especially in our society today.     We are reminded loudly and clearly that our Father, God is in the detail.    It is so simple yet we forget, if we could grasp it and live by this simple truth,  it would be transformational.

God is there, God made us wonderfully and we cannot ignore him,  this is the Psalmist in Psalm 139:13-18 he wants everyone to know that God is in your intimate moments, in your beginning, in every detail and continues throughout your life. To be able to see and realise that God is in every detail brings great security and challenges us to step out into great adventures.

This is one of the greatest passages of literature about the miracle of human conception and birth, Eugene Peterson once said “in the presence of birth we don’t calculate – we marvel.”     This small thought is here to trigger you to discover God in the detail of your life.  There is no devil there but there is a God who is intimately interested in every bone formed, every bend of every artery intrinsically weaving, embroidering each one of us and each one of our lives. What a tragedy to miss this truth that God is there, embroidering the pathways of our life before we even walk, God is in the detail!

He planned and determined our days (V16)  which includes the length of our lives (Job 14:5)  and the tasks that God wants us to perform (Eph 2:20; Phil 2:12-13).    These plans coming from a loving God with a loving heart planning all the very best for us (Rom 12:2).   Let us fix in mind and settle on the security of this confession of God is in the detail!

This simple confession, God is in the detail, displays that the Psalmist has the most mature individual faith in the Old Testament, it also indicates that the writer has the clearest anticipation of the life to come. God is in the detail means unbroken companionship, intimacy, detailed knowledge and understanding, we can’t go anywhere to hide from God.

You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

The security of “…you know…” is wonderful and life without it would be all to pot I think.    The knowledge of you knowing is a gift to you and me, a gift of God that he knows, that there is intimacy in his knowledge that there is detail, there is minute inspection in Fathers knowledge.   This is too wonderful for me the Psalmist says and it how great that a great mighty God can have such detail intimate working in you.

You know me inside and out

You know every bone in my body

You know exactly how I was made

You know me – every – exactly  its marvelous, what and who you are with this insight, more than that onward interest.   Great God I want to shout, wonderful  Father, I want to cry  help me as i throw my self back on you  every moment of every day.

God saw every detail.    God pre-recorded all the days of the psalmist before he was even born. This statement may mean that God determined how long he would live, but in view of verses 1-4, it more likely refers to everyday details. God marvelously planned out his life.

Okay where do we go to from here, daily confession that God is in the detail. As we awake, as we journey to work, as we start every day, as we deal with the detail of life we discover God is in the detail and it will change the way we look, change the way we work, change the way we treat life, in the small  things, realise God is there, God is working, and this is his way of displaying his intimacy.

How to Start A Day

How to start a day on the right footing, ever wondered that?   Before you put your foot on planet earth from your floating haven above the ground by 150 mm or more, before you step out of your cocooned security, the warm blankets.    As you decide to make that first small step that giant leap stirred by an alarm call, the sound of creation stirring or just your own body clock, how to start the day comes to mind in various ways.

Whether a fog over your eyes or clear thought “what does today hold?” moves through peoples mind, a day much like yesterday? a red letter day or for some the weight of the day is so heavy a reluctant awaking comes, having to face the riggers of the day.   How do I start my day?

Here’s a thought God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand” this is not about finding my mistakes or looking for my failure, the Psalmist asks God to search him twice at the start and end of the Psalm 139:15-22, investigate me.   The picture painted is of a gold digger going to a deep mine, or panning for gold at a rivers edge, knowing that there is treasure in this stream, to search knowing the treasure is here.   God search for the treasure you put into me earlier before the foundation of the world.   It is  a wonderful secure search, investigate me to bring to light the treasure in side of me, the treasure you put there.   Starting the day with a search for the treasure that God put in side of you will remind you of his works each morning – a good way to start the day!

There is a popular action in many today of going to the streets and conducting a Treasure Hunt in peoples lives, as they go about their daily life, an exiting adventure.   Taking the gifts of God to the street and awakening people to the treasure of God.   Well to see it flow more so, I would suggest start the day with a God treasure search in you, the hand of God in you each day, the eye of the Lord each morning, from there you will deliver treasure more effectively.    Let God pan, dig deep to bring your treasure out to the light of day, that you might see you accordingly to heavens investment in you.

“…Investigate my life…”

“…An open book…” nothing closed – is this not the aim of our redemption which is a deliverance on ward going that nothing can be closed or shut off from Father God rather than just being open to people.    Its about having an open book life before God

“…Never out of sight…”

“…You’re there…”  Fathers companionship, never without God, always with God.

“…Too much…”

“…Too wonderful…”

“…I can’t take it all in…” –  what if life was like this, what a way to work with God at all times.   This  would bring us to a place of overwhelming, an amazing way of life “too much” one would cry, I can take it any more, not that I can’t cope, but its overwhelming me “too much” the God of too much.

May we discover God as the Father of “…Too Much…”

This is a very personal psalm (139) (notice the pronouns ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’, and ‘mine’) it is attributed to David and has been called ‘the crown of the psalms’. It is certainly safe to say it is one of the best loved of all the psalms and of all Scripture passages.

A day started with the attitudes of  “openness” “thankfulness” these are all good ways to commence a day, the writer tells us be thankful to God. Praise him, but how, not as we are inclined to praise God, for blessings we have received, but David praised God for who God is. Our praise will never be what it should be until we ascend to this level.      David starts the day by praising God for his perfect knowledge of him. Nothing about us is hidden from God.

He knows when we sit down and rise up (v. 2). He knows our thoughts before they ever come into our heads (v. 2). He knows all about our ways (v. 3).

‘… God knows what rule we walk by, what end we walk towards, what company we walk with…‘    Furthermore, he knows every word we speak before we speak (v. 4).

The psalmist stood in awe of God’s knowledge.

The things I know for each day :

“…Investigate my life…” “…An open book…”  “…Never out of sight…” “…You’re there…”  

The response I make:

“…Too much…” “…Too wonderful…” “…I can’t take it all in…”

To have this relationship is wonderful, to see the God of ‘too much’ to you at the start of every day, this is too wonderful, I cannot take it in, it is so high and lofty in my experience.

It is the only way to start the day what ever awaits the first touch down of my foot from my slumber!

Trends of the Spirit – Servant – Leader – Influencer

Today the Spirit is re engaging our theology and consideration to realise that our God is a Trinitarian God and not a hierarchical God, as we have so often been instructed.   This simple change in understanding has major ramifications on all thinking and practice within our world.  We realise that theology is at the base of every decision and action in each society – it is time to review and adjust to the instructions of the Spirit and allow the impact to  stretch across our world.

There has never been so much debate regarding the way forward as there is today, with markets changing, people changing, with the needs and requirements of modern men and women.

We actually say that everyone is a leader in some way or another, whether a parent at home discipline, schooling, empowering their children or as a successful business entrepreneur.   You are influencing someone!

Leadership in most people’s’ mind would be thought to be seen, in the charismatic decisive directive goal filled person, with every one else listening and doing as they are told, yet over the years we have seen that this is so far from the servant leadership model, we are all called to.   Willing to pour oneself out for the advance and empowerment of others.

We live in a season where leaders are to be honoured yet Christ poured himself out; this was his style of leadership and influence.    I would even step out and say for true, lasting and worthwhile leadership it has to be “servant style” to be lasting.   As a matter of fact it is in vogue to talk generational in church settings and in mentoring business settings, yet lasting success can only be achieved through servant style leaderships or influence!    It is about time we discovered that once again.

In times of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists”.

Eric Hoffer

The only way to avoid control or domineering of people’s identity, is to rediscover our call to servanthood once again.

As you read through the Psalm’s you can come across gems of thoughts on all emotions and experiences of life, one recently caught my attention “…Finish what you started in me, God.    Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now…”(138:8), we are reminded that we have a God-given purpose, The Father has begun something in us and through us.        We are told in Paul’s writing each one has been given a destiny that has been for ordained, that was placed before the beginning of time.  Then in Philippians we are told that “… he who began a good work in you will complete it…” you see there is no shadow of turning on his behalf, when it comes to his will towards us and towards his purpose.

Each one of us are given the opportunity to imprison, empower, liberate others around you we can entrap friends and employees or bring them into the “… wide open spaces…” the liberty of God. It does not matter whether it is in the work arena or our faith arena, each one of us should be looking to enlarge others.

“The most immediate risk in your present way of operating may be that you could not be replaced, it there should be a need of that”

Robert Greenleaf, Servant Leadership

Decades ago a new book arrived on the shelves called ‘Servant Leadership’ written by Robert Greenleaf it has always amazed me how few books have taken on this focus, although I do believe for lasting impact we are beginning now to realise the distraction we have been brought into.    The term Servanthood, Servant, has been part of our vocabulary for many years and yet we still seem to struggle with its’ full implication in leadership and influence but subtle distractions come our way.   We seem to be still much more comfortable with a dominant leadership style, rather than one the soul reflects the Godhead and the modeling of Christ in pouring oneself out. Perhaps if we considered a different vantage point we could see a change, and move from the idea of being the chief to being a builder.

The servant leader is not the center of attention but the one that matures, releases and promotes others into their position. The servant becomes the stepping stool for others.

It is time that the church becomes aware of their lasting effect and become the leaders and influencers to bring about maturity.

“Servant leaders want to see the company even more successful in the next generation, comfortable with the idea that most people won’t even know that the roots of that success trace back to their efforts” 

Jim Collins, Good to Great

This “servant leadership” will be built on integrity and therefore will attract trust, people will enable men and women to sleep at night as they pulled out their lives for others. There will come a time with the using of others step is to achieve power will cease only as the impact of servant leadership is allowed to be seen.

To lead with the desire to become a successful as you aim to succeed in the very process, servant leadership it is our day greatest cover our call and vocation to evolve into Servant Leaders, to follow the Christ and explain the Fathers ways.

As we move more and more into the day of the saints, advancing from the priesthood of all believers to the ministry of all believers it is the lasting hand of the servant leader that will bring about a lasting impact for the Kingdom of God and his King.

This Kingdom will fill the whole of creation, and the joy of God, the church, will cause Christ to be seen in our world, by being the exact representation of his style in every way.   To love and empower, to free and give course for life, to be the incarnation in our generation through servants of Christ and leaders who are servants of all creation.

This is not a style of leadership but it is a leadership that endures and therefore brings about true lasting enduring advance