Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Who are we serving - God or man?

 This morning the Lord has been challenging me and showing me and asking the question – “Why am I doing what I am doing?  Am I doing it for Jesus or for man?”

Over the past weekend I kept calling people ‘Mary’ and I clicked this morning what was going on, the Lord was reminding me to be a ‘Mary’ to sit at Jesus feet and so I looked up the story about Martha and Mary.  We all know the story but for me this morning as the Lord is saying to ‘prepare for expansion’ he is also saying in the preparation to keep sitting at his feet.  Luke 10:40  “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. “  In this season where we need to make room for expansion, it is easy to get distracted with all the preparations that need to be made, easy to not sit and be with Jesus. 
Luke 10:38 – 41, a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

The scripture above spoke to me personally as we are opening our home to the Lord and to the people he brings, how do we sit and listen to all that Jesus says and yet still get the preparations done?  I pondered this question and then the Lord reminded me once again of what happened last week.  People came and helped with the things that needed  to be done.  One woman turned up at my home and started to help clean when I had had no time for cleaning.  I didn’t need to ask her, she was prompted by the Lord to come and do it.  He reminded me that he will bring the people that will do the various things that need to be done.  We all have our part and we need to respond to the part that the Lord puts on our heart and do what he releases us to do.  But first we need to listen to him.  It was in listening to him that the woman responded and came and helped clean.  When we listen to him, when we sit at his feet, we hear what we need to do and we then need to trust him to do the rest.  We can only do what he gives us to do, and if we find ourselves rushing around then we are often doing things that he has not asked us to do.   

In my rushing around this morning and preparing my home, the Lord gently asked the question – ‘Sarah who are you serving, God or man.’  Are you serving the people more that I am bringing to your home than you are serving me.  He prompted me to go and pick some roses but at the same time someone came to our home.  I was tempted to go immediately to minister with the people but Jesus showed me not to and to go and pick the roses because actually Jesus was more important and I had felt him say to go and pick some roses, but because someone turned up I felt the need to go and be with them.  God is big enough to minister to the people on his own without me.  He doesn’t need me.  He can turn up in a cloud all on his own and bring what needs to be brought and so I took my time and went and picked the roses first and then God did what he wanted to do and it was so much better than if I had gone in rushing and not at peace.

God is sooo good in realigning our focus and shifting it back to where it should be.  And so I share this with you and hope it helps you to keep your focus where it also needs to be and ask that you would pray for me in the shifting of seasons and the preparations of expansion that I would take that time to just sit at Jesus feet and listen to him and trust him that everything will get done that needs to get done.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Don't be afraid of the giants

How quickly we forget the promises and the victories in the Lord, the testimonies that we have testified too in the past when we come up against a new ‘giant’ that we have not encountered before.  In Deuteronony chapter one this morning I am reminded of the promises of God, of his provision, that he goes before us and will show us the way to go through.   Chapter one is of the spies being sent out to spy out the land and how only two came back saying we can take this land, and all the others became fearful.  

How easily we become fearful especially when we look at our own strength and our own capabilities but the Lord would say this morning, "Trust in me, I am leading the way and you will be victorious, yes, you can’t do it, but I can."

I believe we can take this land of New Zealand for the Lord because this is where I have set my feet (for now)  Deut 1: 36  “I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.”
When you follow the Lord and believe him, we will have the victory in whatever area we need to see victory in.  We will take that land, whatever land that might be for you, whether its seeing change in our children, whether it’s seeing a breakthrough in a broken relationship, whether it’s a breakthrough in habits for instance smoking, whether it's taking a nation for Christ.

But I believe the encouragement this morning is that whatever giant we may be facing in our lives, we will see the victory if we continue to trust in him and follow the Lord wholeheartedly.  You might be struggling in an area in your life that you just get the breakthrough in, but don’t give up because you will see it.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and let him open the way through your situation.

I have seen how God has gone before us in other things, and he leads the way and clears the path like the parting of the Red Sea with Moses where there was no way forward but the Lord made the way.
But when obstacles come up and things don’t happen easily do we keep going?  I know for me it was a great encouragement reading chapter one this morning.
Verse 29  "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them.  The Lord your God who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt (or in our cases, in Africa, in China, in my whole life).. …. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place”.  The Lord himself is carrying us!  He will continue to carry us until we reach the destination.  Thank you Jesus!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Make way for the new development

This morning I had a dream and in this dream I saw Jim & I were helping clear out the rubble and things left in houses that were being demolished.  Whole rows of houses were being demolished and we were asked to come and help clear the area before new things went in.  But while helping shift stuff (although a bit reluctantly as I am not a fan of hard physical work) we were blessed to be able to take the pickings of what was left and I found myself picking up the antique ornaments., the treasures.   There was also a big white fridge that actually was a safe that couldn’t be opened or moved, it was stuck, solid, so wedged in nothing was going to move it.

I realise in processing this, this is actually the call the Lord has on Jim & I,  we are called to shift stuff in the spirit,  in peoples lives in order for the new to come in and in seeing the big fridge which was actually a safe, it made me think of Matt 6.  The fridge often represents the heart and a safe of course represents money and the storing of money.

Matt 6:31: 19  Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,  where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  …. V24  No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.

The scripture is self-explanatory and doesn’t need me to say anything but please do not let the treasures of this earth, and the love of money become so wedged in your life that it cannot be moved to make way for the new things that the Lord wants to bring in your life. 

Sometimes things are so wedged in and we feel like they cannot be moved and we don’t know what to do or how to do it.  All we have to do is ask the Lord to shift it in our lives and he will do it.  We just need to give him permission and open our heart for him to do it.  Some of these areas are so wedged in us that like any solid object in a corner, it takes a bit of manoeuvring in order to get it out it out but evidentially it shifts.  Nothing is impossible to the Lord, we just need to allow him to shift things and open up our heart for him to come in.  And his promise is that when we ask, we receive and the promise too is that there are new things he wants to put in that place.  Its like a old property that is being torn down and making way for a new development which is going in, which will be more modern, cater for more people, and make a lot more money but first we need to get rid of the old.

Have a great week everyone.  Bless you all.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Our latest update, next steps and prayer needs

Dear friends, supporters and prayer partners of Glory Release Ministries, & of Jim, Kate & I.
Its hard to believe its over a month since our return from Africa.  Time flies when you are having fun.
Some things are developing that we would appreciate your prayer on.
Earlier in the year we had the conference "Step Up & Step In" as we believed the Lord was saying to step out by faith into those things that you believe for so we did, not only for ourselves and what we believe but also hopefully to encourage the body to do the same in their/your own worlds.
And then the Lord challenged us again with Africa and stepping up to a whole another level and the things we saw and all that God did, blew us away.  It's been a time of growing this past year, from one level into another level.
And that leads us to now and what we believe him for now. 
Some more detail to share within that bigger vision  of :  
Evangelistic Gatherings - Where the body of Christ is brought together all from different churches and walks of life, being released in their giftings’ to bring revival to this Nation, firstly in Hamilton, and then to the Nations which through Gods Love, Glory and Joy will transcend culture, denomination, age, gender etc. bringing radical transformation and turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. (Mal 4:6) 
The Lord is saying to prepare for expansion and so we have been asking the Lord what that looks like and this is where we would ask you to pray.  
Part one : Resourcing & Equipping
Nearly every Wednesday night we are holding a meeting in our home when we are around and we are seeing anywhere between 20 - 40 people coming and it is growing and so our home in future will not be able to hold what we believe the Lord wants to do. But we still believe it is not to become a church, as we desire that people would stay in their churches and take back to them what they are carrying and impart it to those around them.  We believe that God is setting up some sort of 'resource place' where different people from all walks of society can come, be imparted to, grow in unity in the spirit across the different parts of the body, grow in the areas of their need and then go out again into their worlds, whether they take it back to their churches, their workplaces, their homes, their ministries.
Part two : Going
A part of this we believe is the taking of teams out into different parts within New Zealand  and also to the nations to release what the Lord has given and enabling others to walk in the same things but also to receive what other parts of the body have to teach and give us.
This has been happening already on a smaller scale with the various people we meet but it is growing and more and more people are coming and going and we are seeing the fruit of the dream that is within our heart.  We are seeing people growing in the Lord, being released in their giftings, building in confidence and going and doing the same.  It is so encouraging.  In this we feel like the Lord is saying to prepare for expansion and one of the ways we believe he has said is to take on interns and people that want to be a part of this ministry & vision on a day to day basis where they can help to grow this vision the Lord has given but also at the same time to grow themselves, be released and go and do the same.  But also where Jim and I would grow and learn as well.  Like Jesus where he had the 12 disciples that he walked and talked with along the way and then he sent them out two by two.  This is happening already on an 'informal' basis but the Lord is saying to enlarge the tent and so to step out again.
And so on the practical details of this we would ask you to stand with us in prayer for;
1.    At the moment the Lord we believe is saying to set up a resource training type room, prayer room and more office space and so we are readjusting our garages and our home in order to set this up.  And so is there anyone out there who can help line some garages, perhaps input some finances to buy lining and sliding doors/windows etc.  We have thought about taking it in town to other facilities but we are hesitant in that as we want it to remain reproducible, homelike and hospitality orientated user friendly that anyone can feel a part of and not a 'church'.   Also in that might be the possibility of moving into a Thursday night as well but not at this stage.
2.    We are still needing to see more finances to come on board to enable this vision to happen and release Jim and I from this concern of having to find work to eat and be able to concentrate fully on the ministry.
3.    For the right people to come on board in the day to day running of the ministry that would sew into this vision and enable it to happen as we want to step out in more things/outreaches but we cannot do everything and are not gifted in some of these areas to make things like that happen, so to see different people step up and offer their time and gifts into this would be fantastic and already we have seen two people in this past week step forward, so thank you Lord!  
4.    For us as we step into another level of faith especially in the arena of setting up some sort of internship type programme without it being a 'programme' but a hands on day by day led by the Spirit type walk with the Lord and how the Lord would develop this. 
5.    Pray for us as we learn to use the people that the Lord brings in a way we have never had to before.  
6.    Whangarei North is on our heart to go to next and so we are thinking of heading up that way and seeing what the Lord will open up.  But we really want to see teams of different people going out into these places that the Lord would open up and so would ask you to pray that the doors that would receive teams of people would open.  We already have teams of people waiting to be used and ready to go so we need those doors to open.
So that will give you some idea of where things are at in the detail of the bigger vision and how to pray and ask that you would join with us to see all that the Lord wants to do in this Nation and the Nations of the world.
Thanking you and please don’t forget to have a look at the blogsite at gloryreleaseministries.blogspot.co.nz where inspirational day to day words and insights are put up that would encourage you on in your walk.

Many blessings! 
Love Jim & Sarah

Declare the Glory of God to the Nations

Share the testimonies

Oh for so long the testimonies of the Lord have been shut down and yet there is power in the testimony!  Why is it we do not share the testimonies?  I think some of it is because people think we are being boastful, we are being proud, that we are spiritual know alls, mainly because of what other people might think about us when we share it.  And yes some people do think that, but the real question is – what are the motives of your heart in sharing?  Is it to give glory to God and what he did, no matter how big or small the testimony, then no issue in sharing the testimony, how other people receive it is up to them.  Let him who boast, boast in the Lord.

Something the Lord is speaking to me about is declaring what I see in the spirit and speaking it out and so I was looking about scriptures about declaring and I came across this beautiful Psalm of Davids’ that I just had to share.  Read the whole thing if you have a chance but this is a shortened version;
1 Chronicles 16:8-36 
v8  Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
Tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
Seek his face always….
….V24  Declare his glory among the nations,
His marvelous deeds among all peoples
For great is the Lord and most worth of praise
He is to be feared above all gods,…
…V29 Ascribe to the Lord
O families of nations,
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name
Bring and offering and come before him;
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
…v34  Give thanks to the Lord
for he is good; his love endures forever
…Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord”

When we share, when we declare the glory of God – then all the people will say amen and praise the Lord and he will lifted up on high and glorified!

Will you play the piano - will you spit and touch a man's toungue?

We had our worship group the other night and to begin with I saw someone playing the playing so I asked if anyone could and would play the piano because that is what I saw happening in the spirit.  I may have been wrong in the what I saw but I stepped out in faith but alas no one stepped forward to play the piano so Jim played it and I believe in this the Lord was teaching us some valuable lessons.  Jim cannot play the piano at all but he was willing to be used.

This morning I was reading in Mark 7:32-35  "There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man...   Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears.  Then he spit and touched the man's tongue.  He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!).  At this the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

I was reminded of the other night  as I read the story above,  would people spit and touch a man's tongue in the belief of seeing it healed?  There are things the Lord is going to ask us to do that is out of our comfort zone, makes no sense and yet if we are asking to see the things that are talked of in the bible, if we are asking for deaf ears to be healed, blind eyes to be opened, legs to grow etc then we need to learn to step out on what we see in the spirit by faith so that our faith is activated through humility and allow the Lord to do what he said he can do.  If we will only do what we know we can do in our own strength and ability then we will I believe not see the miraculous things God wants to do.  If we are a  people who believe that "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me" not because of my own ability but because of God's ability through me as an empty willing vessel then we will see those things because God wants all the glory and to do that it must not rest on man's ability or strength.

God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.......Therefore, as it is written: Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.....1 Cor 1:27- 2:5  ......my message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."  

The other day at our home I now believe there was a worship angel in the room and because Jim stepped out in faith our household received that gift because the next day Kate who used to play the piano and hasn't for a long time and she was not a part of the meeting just started playing the piano again and it was so nice to hear it being released again in our house.  But I also believe there were others that were being challenged to move out in that arena to another level so if you are musical in any way I encourage you to step out in faith and pick up those instruments you haven't played for a while and start to practise them and be willing if the Lord asks you again to play, then play not resting on your own ability but trusting that God will give you what you need when you need it and it will be like the angels worshipping before the throne day and night.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

It's time to throw out the rotten eggs.

The other day I had a picture of old rotten eggs being thrown out.  In order for being positioned for expansion we sometimes need to throw out the old ideas and thinking in order for the new to come.  Eggs can represent ideas.  We have had many ideas about the ministry and how we can see it happening but what the Lord was saying to me this morning is in order for the new to come, for the expansion to come, the old ideas of how the ministry could happen or what it would look like need to be thrown out so that the new can come.  We need to check those eggs, are they rotten and needing to be thrown out, or are some of those eggs (ideas) that we have still alright for the season we are in?

Often we get a vision or a dream or an idea of how things can be and they were good for that time, but the time moves on and we have to move with the times and the time for those things that was there has now come and gone.  Whether or not they happened is irrelevant now because it is a new day, the old has past and the new has come.  We cannot be held up because of the ‘what if’s’ in life, or the ‘if only’s’ because it is past.  We need to move into the future asking the Lord to direct our steps.  There may be an asking of forgiveness from the Lord as to why we didn’t do those things that we believed were from him.  When we do that we realize the areas in our hearts that we didn’t believe Him for, or fear of failure or need of approval from man, whatever the reason, but then to learn from that and receive that forgiveness and move forward into the hope and future he has for us and those around us.

Isaiah 54:2-5  “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.  For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.  Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.  Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.  You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.  For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

We are in a time of enlargement as a people of God I believe and like any family in which a new baby is about to come on the scene we need to make room to accommodate it.  And so in a home rooms get shifted around, sorted out, the old thrown out and perhaps a garage sale happens and new furniture, like a cot comes in for the new baby.  What are the things in your household that need rearranging in order to accommodate the new things that the Lord wants to do?
What are those things we need to throw out, a time of spring cleaning :)

With Love, Sarah