(published in Bethel HOUSE Magazine)
I do not know the origin but I have often heard the quote:
“Find the direction the Holy Spirit is going and hoist your sail to catch the wind.”
This quote embodies for me the two great elements of motion or movement in our lives in relationship to God. Identifying the direction of God and what I need to do to partner with it.
This theme has quite literally overtaken my life and become a life message. As I write this Sue and I are preparing to be sent by Bethel to live and minister in Europe. Our repositioning is not at all isolated as it is a continuation of a christian journey begun over 40 years ago. Although this latest chapter has it’s beginning where change is in my experience often birthed, in an extraordinary prophetic word in 2012. It is my belief that prophetic words are encounters with God who knows the future and not just ours but the world in which he would want our prophetic destiny and character to be manifested.
A prophetic word has the capacity to create tension in us, the tension of how can this great word come to pass, am I qualified, am I worthy, is it possible? That tension could easily be shut down by ignoring or denying it and consigning the word to the back pockets of inactivity. But if it is held in front of us and kept alive by faith the tension will create forward movement and ultimately life.
For me an impossible word about preaching in stadiums and raising up young evangelists did just that. It first changed me but then in the change I was drawn in to an emerging story in Europe and the lives of others. I was changed, my destiny was changed and I was set up to partner with others whose desire is to see Europe changed.
God does not speak in isolation and none of us exist isolated from history or the people around us or our family line. As my journey was becoming more clearly about evangelism two key people became close to me. The first our own Ben Fitzgerald who had a vision of filling stadiums across Europe to both see many salvations but also to equip, empower and release Europeans to pursue revival in their continent.
Secondly I would be connected to Jean Luc Trachsel, a man with a life long story and journey of evangelism. From meeting Reinhard Bonnke at 7 years of age he had always responded in his heart on hearing Reinhard declare ‘Africa shall be saved’ with the phrase ‘Europe shall be saved.’ But in his words no General goes to war without a strategy and he was looking for a strategist to put action to his declaration.
Meanwhile a momentum was growing in Europe, prophetic words were being released over Europe, the refugee crisis being seen as a great evangelistic opportunity and even the terrorist attacks heightening the feeling that it is Europe’s time.
And so a personal reassignment met with Europe’s destiny being declared and believed, a movement of stadium events being initiated and strategic round tables being developed and I found myself in a prophetic convergence. I can assure you that my past didn’t necessarily qualify me for the stadium preaching although my strategic planning gift did qualify me to become an architect to a movement. But my prophetic destiny was drawing me forwards and in fact was all the qualification which I needed.
Fifteen years on the senior team at Bethel had also prepared me for this European adventure, my involvement simply would not have happened without this foundation. And so I feel prepared or set up as I at times call it.
I am well known amongst many for a quote, ‘he wastes nothing and he gets you ready.’ This is more than a twitter quote it is my life story. As Sue and I processed our sense of a call to move back to Europe with numerous additional words and prophecies a final piece of the irresistible was the reminder that her grandfather was the Director General of the European Christian Mission. His legacy of giving 60 years of his life to Europe suddenly came alive in us. This is a family inheritance.
As we move, in our case literally towards the continent which he has called us to we do not move alone. We move ever increasingly in synchronicity with our past and Europe’s past, we also move with Bethel’s past, what it has achieved and is continuing to pursue: Revival & Reformation.
In so many ways we have a sense of the timing of God. Knowing what time it is personally and for our nations is a crucial aspect of motion or forward movement. We would do well to pay attention to the sons of Issachar who understood the times and knew what to do. And in the doing is actually rest, not the rest of doing nothing but the rest of his call and direction meeting our purpose and destiny.
Rest is modelled by Jesus, the son of the creator who gave us a day of rest but who then healed on that day of rest. Criticized by the religious leaders who only saw the breaking of a sacred rule he was in fact being fully alive and manifesting his identity. If he hadn’t healed he would have denied his identity and stepped aside form his destiny. He was at rest in the doing. In fact rest has a prophetic edge to it as the writer to the Hebrews said in reference to Joshua in that there was a greater rest to come.
I am in awe of the way in which our loving father stewards our lives within the great landscape of free will and choice on our part. I encourage you to keep moving, lining yourself up with your father, with your prophetic destiny, with the times both past and present and with the destiny on the places and people you are drawn and called to.