So here we are in the finishing straight. The final push. I was never a runner, at least not one that moved quickly, which I believe is the point, but I did have the misfortune of many nights doing laps of a running track in pre-season training. That last straight, where the finish is in sight, but it still seems elusively far away. Everything in you wants to slow down or stop and yet you want to get to the end. You want to be finished but not have the pain of getting there. That’s what today feels like for me, but as Nigel, who planted the church, used to say years ago “You’ve paid the price, now make the price pay”. I want to get out of the last day everything the God has for us, every last drop.
At Dwell last year we felt God was instilling courage in us again. Many of us were feeling a bit battered, a bit discouraged as we waited to see the things we believed God had promised materialise. I believe that process was not a one event job but something that God is continuing to do in us. The image in my mind is of a big tent that represents our expectations of what God can do in us and through us in our lives and spheres of influence. It’s growing in size as God changes us by the power of his Spirit to be more like Jesus. The interesting thing here though is what God says in Isaiah 54:2
Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
He expects us to expand our tent, for us to stretch ourselves to make more room for him. We don’t sit and wait for him to stretch us, we stretch in anticipation and expectation and He fills the space.
Clark quoted Dallas Willard when preaching on spiritual disciplines, of which fasting and prayer are two, a few weeks ago:
The disciplines promised to give our lives a form that would serve as a receptacle for the substance of the Christ-life in God’s present Kingdom.
As I fast and pray I am enlarging the place of my tent, I’m lengthening my cords and strengthening my stakes so that the King of glory may fill that space increasingly with His life.
Is that too much of a mash up of metaphors and imagery? Hopefully not.
One of the ways I’m trusting to make more space for “the Christ-life in God’s present Kingdom” relates to Eph 1:19 I’m praying that I will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.
I’ve seen many prophetic words over KingsGate and Kingston in the last 9 years. Words about the increase in God’s government in individual lives, words about captives being set free, words about binding up the broken hearted, words about influence in the community, words about healings, words about business ventures. Some have happened but many haven’t happened yet. Increasingly I want to live in the experience of the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, operating through me to transform my community so that all the words God has spoken over us come become reality. That’s my prayer for all of us.
Prayer points for Kingston:
- That we would increasingly know who we are and what we have been created to do.
- That our interactions with our community would reveal the love of the Father.
- That many would respond to that love.
- That the poor would hear good news, the captives find freedom, the blind receive their sight and the oppressed be released.
- That our building would continue to become known as a place where people can come and encounter love given without agenda.
- That we would see more and more of God’s words to us come to pass.
We will be praying for the sick and anyone who needs to see God’s power breaking into their life situations.
Looking forward to sharing a feast with you tonight.