(This publication is created to encourage and open minds, and is not aimed at any specific group of people. It is aimed in a general sense, and is intended to be an encouragement to all, that there is much more in our fathers plans for us, and the abilities to ACT that he wishes to give us on this planet.)
There are many opinions about what God is doing in the earthquakes that are continuing to rock Christchurch. The combination of natural and spiritual events may be too much to get our heads around completely, but we seem driven to try to make some sense of these things. Many opinions are just human points of view and do not come from the heart of God or represent who He is. Some opinions are unfortunate because they come from a belief that God is a wrathful God who is handing out "judgement to the house of God" or punishing the city of "Christ-church" because it doesn’t live up to its name, even though there probably isn’t a city on the planet that does follow God and His ways. It is also not helpful that we call such events “acts of God” even when they aren’t necessarily so.
We live on an unstable planet which has known areas of movement and activity throughout its history. Those of us who live in Christchurch and on the Pacific rim are familiar with the fact that it has been called the "fiery rim" for decades and many grew up with the knowledge that at any time we could be dealing with volcano eruption or earthquakes. Theory and knowledge is all very well, but when these events happen from time to time, we tend to suddenly feel threatened and powerless and "need" to find a personally acceptable rational or irrational explanation for our discomfort.
In Luke 13:1-5, Jesus was asked if a recent natural disaster plus an act of religious persecution by a ruler were judgements of God. He replied that they were not, but that all should ensure that they were right with God because they could likewise perish at any time. In Matthew 24:7 He also warned that in these last days we would see earthquakes in various places, along with wars and famines etc, encouraging us to look to Him to be guided through it all.
Over the past months I have wished to write a general encouragement that brings some balance to the increased collection of “prophetic” voices that are all over the internet, TV and email. These voices can create concern and fear, while causing distrust, if not confusion for many sincere people. When praying about this one day recently, I received the following parable. It describes just one aspect of the overall situation that our Father in Heaven views, but I hope it will be helpful when thoughtfully considered from His point of view. In this picture, the term “sons of God” simply refers to those of His kinship or tribe, applying to men and women alike.
The Sleeping Giant
I was given a picture vision which showed that the Family of God in this city and surrounding area is like a slumbering Giant. It has huge power and potential, but is not living it out. I saw an arm and hand reaching out from my right, which began grasping the giant's shoulder, and shaking him awake. It was very clear to me that this arm was not God Himself, but nature.
In the picture, creation was desperate to get this Giant to wake up, to shake off the sleepy dust of all the things that prevent the Giant from being awake and empowered. While this Giant is sleeping it is dreaming of the things Jesus did and promised, wishing they were reality, but not actually doing them.
The creation groans and travails for the appearance of the sons of God ( Romans 8). Creation longs for the Giant to repudiate (rebuke, disown) and shake off the mindsets that tell each of us that we are too small to do anything effective. These are part of this cloud of “sleepy” deceptions that hold us back from Kingdom reality and keep us locked in a place where we only dream of glorious and supernatural action.
Genesis 1:26 - And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creepers creeping on the earth. (The word used for Dominion, in the Hebrew, is the word ‘Radah’, which means to tread down, or to have dominion, prevail against, reign, and rule.)
As I look more closely I see that this giant is made up of many smaller figures who are the people of the family of God (the church). Many of them are inactive, but some are kneeling in prayer, some are preaching and teaching, one or two here and there are ministering to others. Unfortunately, many of them seem to be trapped into thinking that they cannot live a life of miracles. They seem to think that whatever they are doing is mostly about nice words and “being good”, but don't see that there is much, much more. I could see that it was the sleepy dust that was doing this. There are also many in this Giant who are hurt and need God's healing to bring them out of this, and there are some who just don’t understand.
A belief that holds many of us back, is that of being irrelevant, and ineffective - “I can’t”, and “I’m only one person” - when this is far from the truth. Some are afraid of what others will think of them, and strive to be accepted in their group.
The “sons of God” that creation is looking for are those with the imprint of Jesus Christ within them and who are living out Jesus’ life to the fullest of their ability. John 14:12 - I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the same things that I do. Those who believe will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (NCV)
Living out Jesus’ life is not just about praying the “sinner’s prayer”, or belonging to a particular Church movement. There is so much more to this life of dynamic relationship with our Father. Jesus lived it, and showed us how to live it also.
Paul talks briefly about the relationship between the creation and the “sons of god” in Rom 8:14-20 –“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
And if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; so that if we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but because of Him who subjected it on hope
that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
And we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
Nuts and Bolts
We have a loving, caring Father in heaven and a loving King in Jesus Christ. We have the greatest friend and coach we could ever want in Holy Spirit. As Jesus told us in John 8, all of God's power lives in us, so patiently waiting for us to give Him room to speak, and for opportunities to pour out miracles through us. And this is on a daily basis!
What I have discovered is that we don’t really know how to give God permission. This is often because we don’t really understand what it means to journey spiritually and to grow, or trust God in a deep and confident way, to lead us into action.
Journeying is trying to follow His lead, even when it is uncomfortable (and it comes with mistakes, and stuff-ups. But that's part of it so get up and move on!). Journeying is also about God dealing with all the stuff inside that may be broken or getting in the way. He won’t do that until we give permission, because he is so loving and kind to us, but He can be very persuasive and persistent at times! It is very helpful when we have other believers around us who understand and can relate to where we are at, and what we are struggling with.
Find some Christians you can learn to be a bit “prophetic” with. The experience gained as we discover how Holy Spirit speaks and guides us is of immeasurable value. The many miracles (supernatural events) that Jesus modelled, are supposed to be normal and everyday occurrences. But we must learn to believe and expect, for them to happen. It is this kind of expectation and belief that gives Him permission to make these miraculous things a part of our lives and our spiritual journey.
All through John 16 , we see Jesus speaking to his disciples about the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth, showing us all that Jesus did and said, giving us the ability to walk like Jesus Christ walked. Through Him we will glorify our Father in all we say and do. This is all inside of us! John 16:13 ; John 14:17
If you are looking inside yourself as you read this, wishing you could live this kind of life, ask for His help! You are not expected to learn to do these things all by yourself. Talk to Holy Spirit and ask Him to teach you.
My life changed when God showed me this, and I pray that yours will too.