Meeting with God

On Sunday I woke up after a long night out with my friends, intent on lazing around and doing laundry. I was starting my daily BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) chat with my best friend when I realized that I was feeling a nudging, an insistent poking in my spirit.

God was prodding me to go to church.

I resisted, because I have been running from him for a while, not wanting to face the painful past few years. I have holed away in my bedroom and not ventured into assembled worship for months because I have felt a lot of bitterness, pain and betrayal against both God and his people.

Anyway, today I was being prodded.

As anyone who knows me well knows, I may fuss and fight, quarrel and all-out bitch at God, but I ultimately do what he says. So, very unwillingly, I got ready to go. I wasn’t exactly sure which assembly I was to go to, but I was going. While driving, the particular assembly I was to go to was impressed on my heart, so I dutifully went, expecting that it would be on the verge of starting and I could slip into the back row. Oh. My bad. They start an hour later than I thought.

I sat in my car for the hour feeling the incredible urge to drive home; I had my best friend tell me over BBM – command me, really, “You are not moving from that spot!”

The assembly started their worship set, and as I started singing, I just felt the strong impression that I shouldn’t sing, but should just soak in the worship.  The power of the Lord hit me as the songs continued and I found myself on the floor, with the weighty glory of God pressing me to the carpet.  Normally I would just enjoy lying there in God’s presence, but recent bad experiences with people in church not understanding how my body reacts to His glory prompted me to try to get up and sit down – but really I felt like I was fighting through something like honey – sticky and hard to push through.

Anyway, I eventually got to sitting and when I was able to compose myself I thought it best to go outside – didn’t want any more attention drawn to myself.  (In contrast to what I have been accused of, I really don’t like being the centre of attention; I would rather NOT have everyone looking at me when I’m worshiping.  I don’t do anything for show!)  As I was going out, I stumbled as another wave of God’s presence hit me – and I found myself falling ….but this time I was caught by a couple of the men of the church who assisted me outside and started to pray for me.

They prayed until I had a mini-deliverance outside …. I felt something leave as I coughed and spit up, but I am not sure I can identify it.  They prayed until the pastor of the church was called – an old friend of mine from college, actually.

He prayed for me, and as he released the power of God over me I started shaking again. Then he started to prophesy to me.  In part, he told me that God was restoring the voice of the prophet to me, and that my prophetic mantle is my protection.  He said that the anointing on my life is strong, and is scary to some, but that God would validate my calling. (At those words I am sure I started to cry – the last couple years have been tough as I have not been ministering at all.)  It felt good to hear him say those words – I have not used the word ‘prophet’ in reference to myself for a long time now.  After the prayer time, we just talked.  I told him that what he said rang true in my spirit and my experience, and he prayed for wisdom for me.  He told me that my reactions to the presence of God are in part because I am holding back. (I agreed – I so don’t want to be a spectacle and be accused of ‘showing off’ that I try to rein in when God releases his presence… but it has the opposite effect: like when you take a bottle of Coca-Cola and shake it vigourously before opening it!)

So that was my first meeting with God after over a year in an assembly.

Since that time I have seen my prophetic voice pick back up again….  there have been prophetic words for friends over BlackBerry Messenger, interpretations of dreams, and prophetic encouragements – but those will have to be written in another post!

How have you met with God recently?


Miraculous Reconciliation!

I just want to give God a HIGH note of PRAISE for his WONDERFUL, POWERFUL intervention!  I can’t stop praising the Lord for how he has done in about three / four days what I thought was going to take the whole year to do… God is restoring my marriage completely!

Let me preface this by saying that one of my closest Spiritual connections – my South African sister Jennifer – had a prophetic word for me on November 26 last year, where she said in part,

Jennifer: yes….true….well there u go….u won’t even need to lift a finger….THE FINGER OF THE LORD IS POINTING AT YOU and He will work this out!!!!!

And he has been true to his word!

My wife Lesanne went to a leader’s retreat at church over the past couple days and on Saturday came home and lined the whole family up and prophesied to us each in turn… Through her, God told me that I had to pass through the way that I did because he was preparing me for the new season in my life. She prophesied over the entire family as a unit as well – and it was a powerful experience! She was severely impacted by the presence of the Lord while praying and laying hands on us – especially our younger son Jonathan.

But that’s not the best part!

God worked on her over the retreat so that we have become one again! There was a lot of confession, and asking for and receiving forgiveness on both our parts, and all the past has been washed away in the power of the spirit of reconciliation! And, just like Jen prophesied – without me lifting a finger.  Isn’t God AWESOME?

Since that time, we have really been re-linking and really connecting on a deeper level.  We woke up on Sunday and worshiped together, singing songs of praise and worship together on our bed – something we hadn’t done in a LONG time.  I remember when she said, “I love you,”  and I could actually see the love shining from her eyes again – that sight nearly broke me.

After the singing, I, following the prompting of the Spirit, told her that I would put our wedding tape (still VCR, haven’t had it copied to DVD, yet – I know, lazy, right?) in so that we could have it playing in the background while we got ready for church.  Guess what it started on (it wasn’t set at the beginning)?  The first things we hear are the prophetic words spoken over our marriage by the leaders of my house church at that time – an observation that the colours chosen for the wedding were white and gold, and how gold represented the glory of the Lord, and prayer – and that how Lesanne was being called into a ministry of prayer which included me, her husband.  The prophetic symbol for her was a piece of gold coloured cloth that was draped around her shoulders; when the word included me as well the cloth was extended and placed around both our shoulders together.

The prophetic word over me was an encouragement to continue in the prophetic call I had been released in – the call to show the church its dimensions and what it is to look like. Prophetically, I was given a gold coloured straight stick, representing a measuring rod. Ezekiel chapters 40 -42 detail the account of the prophet seeing an angel measuring out the exact dimensions of the Temple area with a measuring rod.  In fact, there was a time that the Lord literally forced me (naturally I was bored out of my skull at the time, but I was compelled!) to read that entire account – and I knew afterwards that this was my call.

That’s what was shown immediately after our prayer time.  Is God saying something to us?  I think so!  He is re-establishing our call together as a couple, and speaking the words over us that he did on our wedding day!

I went with her to her assembly as well that Sunday, and we were touched there powerfully as well.  The sermon was on the fear of the Lord, taken from Acts 9:31, which reads in the NIV –

31Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

See this same verse in the NASB

31So (A)the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase. (my emphasis)

The sermon used the analogy of needing two legs to walk, with the two legs being the fear of the Lord AND the comfort of the Spirit.   That sermon was so powerful…. the congregation was challenged to come forward as the Lord wanted to release a new awareness of the fear of the Lord on us.  Lesanne and I both went forward, and suffice it to say that the Lord touched both of us quite tangibly.  There were tears and shaking and having to be picked up off the floor and everything…

And I took my diamond to lunch as well – the glass of wine went well with our meal … 🙂

We have a lot to thank God for! That’s a major understatement…. I am in awe at the majesty of our God!

Join me in praise and worship and thanksgiving as the Lord has restored us!  I pray that he puts in place what is necessary to continue to knit us together, and I pray that you will continue to pray for us as we seek God’s face together – a pride of lions roaring to our King!

Reminiscing – 4

The best thing about my UCCF days were the retreats!  Every UCCF’er knows what I’m talking about…. young people in a remote location for a couple days (usually a week) to seek God and fellowship with each other.  And every retreat was a God encounter!  We met God in powerful ways every single year!

One staple of UCCF retreats for me was the protracted periods of worship! We’d start, and just sing and sing and sing …. until God would just come and break out among us! Take into consideration – we are from different denominations, with different belief systems, but ALL united in one accord under our love for Christ!  I can sooo relate to the Upper Room experience, where 120 disciples were in one place in one heart and mind, and the Spirit of God was released on the entire assembly!

There was one time when we were singing together, and when God came in, things just got wild! (As it often does!)  I can remember while worship was going on having spontaneous deliverances happening – one girl was curled up in a fetal position (she was one of the most composed people I know, naturally, so this wasn’t like her) as she was reacting to the death of her father years ago.  After she received prayer, one of the other girls, Kerrie – who had recently come to Christ – just spontaneously got filled with the Holy Ghost!  She was dancing a dance that some had said was one from Israel…. and her mouth got filled with ecstatic tongues – first French, then Spanish, and then some form of Aramic or something… (so said one of the most widely read girls in the room!)

That happened on a Tuesday.  The next day, Wednesday, Kerrie comes to me and says, “I want to worship!”  Me, I’m all for worship, so we go into the girl’s dorm with two other girls and we just start to sing.  After a while, people start trickling into the room… until every person at the retreat was in there (all 40 or so of us!) worshipping the Lord.  Then the presence of the Holy Spirit intensifies and as we dance, people fall out under the Spirit spontaneously!  (I can remember one time hearing a loud BANG – one girl had fallen out and hit the door, so she was sprawled out under the power of God, and the noise was the door slamming open and hitting the wall!)  The president of UCCF at the time, Natalie Roach, was like a doctor in an emergency ward – or like a policeman directing traffic! She was directing different people to ‘Pray for this girl here’… ‘Lay hands on this guy here…’, so although it looked like bedlam, everything happened in a Holy Spirit rhythm!

I remember seeing Lambert getting hit with the power of God, and he’s down on the floor, jerking periodically as though he’s being shocked!  I remember tongues flowing, spontaneous prophecies about grades – “I see “A’s”!” (A lot of the participants were going to do A’ level exams when school started back – and they did get A’s, a lot of them!)  I remember Graham begging to be prayed for, but Natalie was directing him all the time to go to this person and then the next…. it was just AWESOME….

Finally it died down… the heavy presence lifted.  I remember Dawn was asking, “Ok… that was wonderful! Who’s going to make lunch?”  It had felt like we were worshipping for one hour.  When we went outside – we were all stunned!

We had started at 11 AM.  It felt like it was one hour…. but actually, it was dark outside.  The clock was going on to 6 PM.  We were worshipping for SIX HOURS.

Zakar – A Word Study … and Reflections on Manhood

Zakar’ – a primitive root; properly, to mark (so as to be recognized), i.e. to remember; by implication, to mention; also (as denominative from ‘zakar’ (2145)) to be male:–X burn (incense), X earnestly, be male, (make) mention (of), be mindful, recount, record(-er), remember, make to be remembered, bring (call, come, keep, put) to (in) remembrance, X still, think on, X well.

Interesting thought on manhood I heard while going to a men’s service at Restoration Ministries last night. The sermon was on the ‘male man’ and the pastor spoke of Zakar being the Hebrew word for masculinity. He said that it had two meanings – the sharp male organ (sharp? Never thought about it as sharp….hehe, no pun intended) or to remember –  call to rememberance.

(Incidentally, the Hebrew for man speaks of his penis – and the Hebrew for woman means to pierce or bore through… look at this quote I found while trying to research what I was told at the assembly: Male” is the Hebrew zakar from the Arabic for penis, meaning to be sharp, and “female” is the Hebrew neqebah, which means perforata, from the Hebrew naqab, to bore through. ‘ 1 Interesting, huh?)

Calling to rememberance is linked to worship, as quoted in the Voice of the Sheep  blog (originally in an essay written by Timothy J. Ralston , Th.M., Ph.D., The Spirit’s Role in Corporate Worship)

To remember” invoked the existence of a binding covenant, calling all to recognize and fulfill their responsibilities, joining with all who ever participated in the same covenant as a single community under God’s rule.

Ralston comments that “Every festival, sacrifice, and memorial designed to promote the worship of God was instituted as a “memorial.”  He goes on to speak on Passover as Israel’s act of rememberance in the Old Testament, which affirmed God’s covenant with the people; the New Testament’s equivalent is the Lord’s Supper, commonly called communion.
The linking of the male to worship is interesting.  The pastor made the point that men are inherently made to worship.  Makes you wonder – traditonal ‘worship teams’ are at least 80-90% female…. men are not supposed to shy away from worship, as it is built into our DNA.  Food for thought…