Acts 3:24, 25
24 “And likewise, aall the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days.
25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God 1made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessedc
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ac 3:24–25). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
Let’s take a moment to be honest shall we? It might be refreshing in these days of electioneering that we find ourselves in, whether in recent days of USA or in the coming times of South Africa and at least in the UK, the immediate political landscape is one of spin. Being British, I can say, I’m not sure if any of us are any clearer today than when we first heard the election machine or Brexit busses cranking their motors. All the noise indicates that the UK is quite well divided hearing different thoughts in different parts of the country, voices saying, “I can never vote for that, but I don’t like the thought of that other, Party leaders divided which can be quite normal but a little worse presently. I hear well the current PM will not be there for long after 29 March as a Prime Minister,??? or “I like the policies but I don’t like the personalities”, “I believe in empowering the have-nots but I don’t trust him or her”.
Honesty, honest to oneself it must begin here, this means we have to deal with common statements that so easily roll off our tongues and be honest to discover what we really mean. Here is one example of common statements made, to be honest I can not recall when we first heard a message on a “time of transition”, it seems to be a popular theme constantly. Covering individual and corporate experiences.
It seems as if there has hardly been a year, since I don’t know when, when a message or repeated theme has not been about Transition, changing seasons, overlapping eras, paradigms shifts, Reformation etc. Why is it, every year we feel as if we have entered into a time of transition, without playing semantics I think a better summation of what has been taking place, would be to say, we are caught up in a purpose that is constantly changing, constantly advancing through this change and therefore we feel we are constantly in transition.
Firstly I guess we need to settle what we mean by transition. Let me put a peg in the ground suggesting transition to mean moving from one fixed state of existence to another. However I hope, I trust, I believe we will experience something better. You and I are involved in the progressive emergence of God’s kingdom in life and empowerment, progressing towards maturity, to the maturity of God’s people, this is our transition.
Our world is full of one-line clichés, one-line statements, wisdom abounding everywhere, one of these clichés you often see on posters says ‘if you only do things the way you’ve always done, then you only get what you’ve always got“. I would put to you that maturity, progressing to the fullness of Christ, is only possible if we escape fossilisation of the religious status quo. Only if we cease doing the things in the usual way, doing it different or at least contemplating different ways of doing it again. It really is a time to behold and step aside of the influence of society, of structures, of systems telling us verbally or emotionally the way we MUST do this, it is the way its always been done and will always be.
The transition to maturity is calling out once again for a prophetic wind, prophets, people declaring and prophesying with inspiring words discovering again passionate, purposeful prophets individually and corporately. It is time once again to see women and men who in everything in their lives are passionate, lives lived with passion. People who, in what they hate, they hate absolutely and in what they love, they love totally being totally abandoned. Moving from individuals to a corporate people, a corporate prophet who clearly are the characteristic of a prophet people, making know the mind, will and aim of God in our hour to creation. A church that knows no half measure, a sharp cutting edge in their lives and conviction in their voice, men and women deeply moved by the Spirit of God…. Passion
Let us take time to train a people to expose their life in God, a life that is aflame with the Holy Spirit , the Holy Spirit who recognises passionate people. A life aflame with the will of YHWH, people passionately given to the higher agenda of YHWH rather than our immediate structures. When we hear each other talk we hear the heart burning as the mouth speaks, women and men believing what they are saying as people carried along by the word of God.
Before you challenge me, I do agree that passion by itself is no guarantee of truth, but truth without passion! Lord help us, ‘the letter kills, it is the spirit that gives life’.
Samuel and his successors were at the forefront of God’s purpose in his time and brought the people, the nation, the burning message of God. They spoke to kings and rulers, who in turn put pressure on to change the tone and change the message to change their declaration prophesying. These were first and foremost servants of God and despite all the religious and political correctness of the day remained such.
We live in a day when political electioneering has lost its anchor, as politicians seek to discover through opinion polls, what the people want them to say, we have lost faith in opinion polls following the Brexit vote. Politicians on occasions, are willing to change their emphasis according to the lead of the opinion polls. The church should be different not making advance on popularity but coming to know its purpose, should find the heart of God and speak Gods word loudly and clearly, we should stop being politicians but be prophets. Purées i mean the unchanging purpose of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Let us never be people who measure ourselves by people’s response to a word. Women and men will know they have been the voice and heart of God in their moment their time. The passionate, the prophets, the church to deliver what we know is the word of God. In a declining spiritual and moral value base there was a small beginning. A child, one of little influence, a child in the world of men how frequently this has been God’s way.
Was it not a little slave girl who brought a word of cleansing to Namaan, that could have so easily been missed? A child in the world of adults? The vehicle of deliverance could easily have been dismissed and missed as it did not fit the royal courts of the day!
Humanity likes to launch itself when everything is full-blown, when every finishing touch has been put on all things before we cut the tape and declare it open. It seems to be not so in God’s plan, God plants seeds. God will take a woman, a teenager and impregnate her with a seed that then brings God’s voice to a world that is needed. God never fears the pressures of time because purpose is always on task.
Samuel stood in the overlapping timeframe of a corrupt priesthood and its growth along with the developing of a young hearted righteousness. Samuel was to bring his life and voice to make his mark and play out Gods part. The fulfilling of a mother asking for a son and a God needing a prophet – Heaven and Earth meet with purpose. You see purpose a Divine purpose makes one creation and Creator.
Here we are again with something small coming to purpose, we have arrived in an era when the small is threatened by death, mocked at, laughed at criticised, prophesied against, pushed into a corner according to the success of our day. Today a Godly people in whom a vision of relationship and understanding of relationship and its cost, in whom a commitment to the order of God – Kingdom is vigorously captured in pursuing becoming the spoken word of the day. Stay believing holding on to the prophets promises of a restored world, the earth shall be filled with the glory of God.
The story of Samuel is interesting as it does not begin with the call of the young child while lying near the altar, but the voice, the change in the situation is as a result of a woman in anguish of soul, asking for a child.
I wonder if you put the two things together a woman who desperately wants a child and a nation, a world that needs a living expression, needs corporate prophet.
One of the jewels in this story that will marry the heart of the woman and the heart of God together is one that will say it ‘if I get what I’m crying for I’ll give it wholeheartedly to the Lord’. My need I will give wholeheartedly to God when It arrives all that I received is for God’s higher interest. I won’t run away with my little baby son, my child but he will be yours lord.
Can we become a passionate people who are calling on God for their nation, and this world along with creation? if so we must become a people who will not tolerate anything less than that we are calling for in our homes and in our lives as in the nation.
The story of Samuel speaks so loudly of God’s commitment to the covenants of history, we become those with an understanding to the continuity that is in Gods heart.
We conclude in saying this: firstly, God will never allow the spiritual state of God’s people to deteriorate to the point where everything former, testimony and commitment to God’s purpose is lost. God has heard the cry of all those that have gone before us and God’s purpose as their passionate high purpose.
Secondly we must remind ourselves of the covenants of old and the continuity of the line of God’s will, that this purpose of God moves successively through generation and ages to accomplish itself there is a continuity.
Lastly every generation must serve God in the freshness of its own word and vision, this is what makes us authentic, it is not that we are different from everything that is being or everything that is around us, but we are continuing the purpose of God, the purpose that others formally embraced, that which they along with us are building on and not turning against. As I read the scriptures it seems to suggest that it is pride itself that makes us build on our independent foundation, we are to build the foundation has already been laid.
Let us be a passionate people…