What is the Spirit saying to the church(es)?
Sun rising over the Moray Firth
As the sun rises on a new year what are we seeing and hearing?
In his Christmas Day broadcast of December 1939 King George VI addressed a nation facing dark times: he was speaking to a country at war. He concluded his address with the lines:
'I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." And he replied, "Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.'"
We too are living in dark days - in a nation at war. We are living in a nation that is at war with the things of God. Look around and we see the degradation that the enemy of God has fostered and is continuing to wreak within our nation. Whether we examine social trends, crime and health statistics, new government legislation we see the same picture - a nation that has not only turned its back on God but is actually thumbing its nose at Him (and that's putting it politely).
But the darkness of the whole universe cannot extinguish the light of one small candle. And darkness, as someone has rightly observed, vanishes at the speed of light.
For those living in China, 2008 will soon be the Year of the Rat. For Mark Stibbe, author and Anglican pastor of St. Mark's Chorleywood, he feels that 2008 is the year of 'The Gate'. He writes:
In Hebrew, the number eight is rendered by the letter CHET, which is depicted in the form of a GATE
The number eight is related to new starts and new life in the Scriptures –
Eight is the number of the gate… And I sensed the Holy Spirit saying this:
2008 is the year of the open gate. Prepare to pass through the gate. There are new beginnings ahead for those who have been waiting patiently for their moment to come. Obstacles are being removed. The Father is breaking his children out of a sense of captivity to past restrictions. The anointing for new beginnings is on many in this year. The time of frustration and exile is coming to an end.
This is the Lord’s time for his people to rise up and follow him through the gates of opportunity. New starts are looming. Many are on the point of experiencing the new life that convergence brings. And the true church – even though it will know many trials - is on the point of experiencing new life, a new season of vitality and creativity, a brand new Reformation. A highway is being built, stones are being removed, and a banner is being raised for the nations.
So get ready… and do not be afraid. Do not be anxious. 2008 is the year of the gate… And there is a BREAKER ANOINTING on those who are pushing up to the threshold of their opportunity:
One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
they will break through the gate and go out.
Their king will pass through before them,
the LORD at their head Micah 2:13
Imagine the scene.
You are walking out of your local shop and you bump into a journalist. He turns to you:
"I'm told you are a Christian. If so, I would like to ask you what you feel God is saying to you in this new year."
How would you answer? Could you answer?
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