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“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” — Albert Einstein
I’ve just put up a page on the church site about what we believe at Williamstown Baptist Church. I’m pretty sure I will get flack, or at least some questions, about some of it. Have a look – it’s at http://www.bethtephillah.com/resources/teaching/what-we-believe/
I’d welcome some discussion.
Yesterday we ran the first part of our first Hearing God’s Voice course. Previously it has only been part of a full year prayer ministry course. There were about 40 students and helpers – pretty cozy at Beth Tephillah Ministry Centre. It was great fun, and God really came through for us. They’re off now for a month of practicing their listening exercises before we come back together for some deeper stuff.
You might like to visit the associated website www.listening2god.com and/or join the discussion group there.
While the Hobsons Bay pastors were praying together on Thursday morning about divisions within the church of Hobsons Bay God reminded me that after Jesus’ resurrection he surprised his disciples by appearing through walls. He was no longer bound by them, and neither are we as he has given us his power.
So, we should begin walking through the walls between our churches and community.
And I would expect that we would find that Jesus is there ahead of us.
On Tuesday night, while ministering to someone, I had a vision which was partly related to that person’s situation, but I also knew that it was also for me and the church at large. So I’ll describe it and leave it up to you to judge.
First the man being prayed for saw himself in a boat moving in quite unsettled water, and Jesus said, “Do you know where you are going?”. Looking ahead, there was smooth sea to the horizon, and a sense that there was something or somewhere out there towards which one could head, but it could not be seen clearly.
At the same time, as we prayed, and not knowing what he saw, I saw an island, which was almost entirely an errupting volcano. The boat landed on the beach and I climbed to the high rim of the crater. The mountain was full of the fire of God. Looking into that fire I knew I was in the presence of God, just as I imagine it was like for Moses on Sinai. As I stood on the rim I turned to look out to sea and all around. From every direction, the waves were moving towards the island. The wind blew towards the island from all directions too. The island was the centre of everything – the centre and reason for existence of the whole creation.
There were just a few people in boats and in the water, and they were all heading for the island. I knew some would climb the mountain, including the man we were praying for, because they wanted to be near God. As I stood on the high rim, with the fire of God in the crater behind me, I felt no fear, even with my back to God, as it were. This was the safest and most right place for me to be: with Father God, as he and I called his children home.
A word of explanation – by “calling his children home”, I do not mean that final home at death, but to be with him NOW in this life, as Jesus lived on earth in his Father’s presence.
As is usually the case in such visions, you are yourself the focus, which can make it sound a bit arrogant. This is not my intention, it is just because it was to me God was showing this. I believe it means it is time for ALL of God’s servants and friends to be concentrating on bringing his children into a true, intimate, passionate, clearly-hearing-his-voice relationship. There is no time left for playing around with doctrinal hair-splitting, denominational rivalries, and ego-boosting ambitions. The fire of God is HERE – that all-consuming, purifying fire!
I also find the timing interesting – because on Saturday at Beth Tephillah we begin our first intentional training course for those who want to learn to hear God’s voice. I am becoming even more convinced that God is birthing something with this course and am excited to see what comes out of it. Until now we have focussed specifically on prayer ministry training, with its obvious emphasis on listening to God and obeying what is heard, but now it is the listening that is the focus, and it is for all of God’s people, not just those called to a specific ministry.
Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting results.”
As we embark into this new year it would serve us well to keep this in mind as we plan our events and programs.
The Lord is my Shepherd — THAT’S RELATIONSHIP!
I shall not want — THAT’S SUPPLY!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures — THAT’S REST!
He leadeth me beside still waters — THAT’S REFRESHMENT!
He restoreth my soul — THAT’S HEALING!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness — THAT’S GUIDANCE!
For His name sake — THAT’S PURPOSE!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death–THAT’S TESTING!
I will fear no evil — THAT’S PROTECTION!
For thou art with me — THAT’S FAITHFULNESS!
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me — THAT’S DISCIPLINE!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies — THAT’S HOPE!
Thou anointest my head with oil — THAT’S CONSECRATION!
My cup runneth over — THAT’S ABUNDANCE!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life — THAT’S BLESSING!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord — THAT’S SECURITY!
Forever — THAT’S ETERNITY!
I believe you are right Murray. Quite apart from scientific exegesis, logic alone tells me that if Rabbi Jehoahin uses a bow to tie his string, despite believing string was not used, while Rabbi Saul says string was used because the string was tied in such a way as to be easily removed (obviously using a bow) then they have contradicted each other.
So we are left not knowing anything – which is beginning to feel more comfortable the further we go.