Monday, June 9, 2008

You can all prophesy in turn

I have been reflecting this weekend upon an unusual incident in the life of King Saul that we find in 1 Samuel 10. After Samuel anoints Saul with oil in anticipation of his becoming leader of Israel, he sends him off to Gibeah and warns him as he goes he will meet a group of prophets coming from their place of worship, carrying musical instruments and prophesying. When he encounters them, Samuel says the Spirit of the LORD will come upon him and he too will prophesy and be changed into a different person. He then goes on to make an interesting statement ... "Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hands find to do, for God is with you." [v7]. Sure enough, when he gets to Gibeah he meets the group of prophets and things transpire just as Samuel had said they would. Such was the impact that those who formerly knew Saul were amazed and said to one another, "What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"

Some thoughts ....
  1. There seems to be an important connection between singing/worship (including the use of different instruments) and the manifestation of the Spirit. We see this also in the New Testament as Paul urges the Ephesians to be filled with the Spirit ... speaking to one another with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
  2. The Spirit comes with power ... sufficient to change us into a different person (in New Testament parlance, a 'new creation', indwelt by the presence of God.
  3. The experience of God's Spirit/prophecy/God's presence brings a measure of guidance into our lives (I sense this is especially important for us as a community)
Under the new covenant, our expectation (and hopefully desire) for such a manifestation of the Spirit as we gather together, should be even greater. I sense that some of this is behind Paul's injunction to us in 1 Cor 14 to eagerly desire the gift of prophecy. He also says that should an unbeliever come into a gathering where God is being revealed through prophecy, it will bring conviction upon his heart and he will be convinced that God is among them [v25] (oh, that we would see more of this). Now that the Spirit has been poured out upon all those who are in Christ, so Paul says that we can all therefore prophesy - so that all are taught and encouraged.

Carol and I feel compelled to set time aside during the summer months to get before the Lord, to enter into his presence and worship - making music in our hearts, to pray and to seek a greater manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit - especially that we might (all) prophesy. To this end, we want to open our home to any who would like to come on Thursday evenings from 7pm (when we are in town). So please come when you can, bring an instrument ... or at least your voice, come with expectation and hunger, come with the sick (for healing), come with a friend if you wish. I believe that this is a God-thing, so not just necessarily just a 'BridgePoint' thing. We want to promote the unity of the Body, and hence our connection with all believers.

I truly believe that the Lord wants to 'light a fire' so to speak in our lives and our missional communities/simple churches that will never go out. Just like the lamp that was to burn continually in the temple. A light that will touch the lives of many with whom we live and work. We need his presence, his guidance, his power as much as those first disciples needed it and were told by Jesus to wait together for it. So we want to gather and wait until the Lord pours out his glory and lights a revival fire for his glory in our city.