Thanks for another opportunity to share with you again in the Connections. Welcome to you if you are also visiting with us. I trust you have a warm experience as you worship and fellowship with us.
Well the series on ‘Change’ has come and gone and I have appreciated the positive feedback from many in regards to the topics that we covered. One person said to me, “The older you get the less you see that you want to change, even though the Lord continues to work on us, change is inevitable”. I agree, the older you get the more set in your ways you become, but as this person was alluding to, we still have to be open to the challenges that the Holy Spirit puts on our hearts.
I was sharing with the Elders and the Board recently about an experience a few weeks ago on a Sunday morning. I believe Jessica also referred to it in a Sunday’s service recently. Anyway, we had been preparing for the service as we do always, the CM team tunes up and runs through a few songs, the IT guys load up the powerpoint etc. and a few of us gather in the back room for prayer before the service (You are welcome to join us if you a here early enough!!!). But as the service started there was a change in the atmosphere. It became really heavy. Like walking through a really thick fog or wading through water. It was really tough going throughout the service. In the break between services I spoke to Jireh and Leslie about this heaviness and they had felt it too. We were drawn to pray. I must say that even after all our discussion and our arrow prayers, the second service was still very similar but we pushed through. In reflection, it was a reminder that we are in a spiritual battle. If we are becoming spiritual people that is where our battles take place. The Apostle Paul reminds of this in Ephesians 6:12.
“12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the
heavenly places.” (ESV)
I know that this can be a bit of an over used passage, but wow it is true and of course the following verses remind us to suit up and put on the armour that God gives us to be battle ready. Did you know the best time to prepare for battle is in times of peace, not when the battle is upon you? So being prepared is vital when the battle comes and rages on many different fronts for many of us. Some of our battles maybe sickness or illness. It maybe relationship differences and hurts. It maybe work. It maybe about the wrestle in repenting from sin. Now not all situations are demonic influences, but they are battles that affect us spiritually. Discernment is needed. But in all our toils prayer is what underpins us and helps us to stand. In the last Connections I encouraged us to pray right through to Good Friday everyday for our church. My encouragement is still the same. Pray. Pray for your battles. Pray for others in the battle and pray for the church. We need to do it now more than ever.
On Wednesday the 11th of April I am calling for us to pray together – at the church from 7pm. The purpose is just to spend time praying for one another. There are many who are struggling. Many who are unwell. Many who are mourning. We are encouraged in the Scriptures to make supplication for one another and so I believe that this is a great opportunity to do exactly that.