Manage episode 326654299 series 3319995
Pastor Andy speaks about new growth, especially fitting after a ceremony to anoint Sean and Paula Finch as congregational pastors in Portsmouth, allowing Steuart and Carla Payne to further concentrate on the whole of Family Church in its journey forwards.
Pastor Andy speaks of a new season, feeling like spring. We are out of winter, lockdown and Covid having been pruned by Father God to promote fruitfulness and strength in new growth. God is doing something new. We could say God is doing the next thing, bringing us from where we were to where we need to be. So we need to be ready. Read Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”. God is doing something new in the whole church and we are asked if we are aware of it, are we spiritually conscious of this new thing? We are now in a time of expectation of increase. We need to ready our house, personally and the whole church.
In Isaiah 54, The Lord speaks to Israel as His wife, to be restored with many children from being barren. He tells her to sing and then ‘enlarge the place of her tent, stretching to the right and left’…. This is a word for us right now. Sing a song of faith and operate in a way that we believe something new is coming. 2 Kings 4 tells the story of Elisha and the Jar of Oil. The oil only stopped flowing as the last available jar that the woman had gathered was full. The Lord responded to the level of preparation the woman had made. Likewise, we need to make stretching and preparation in order for breakthrough and abundance. Our church is responding with new positioning so we can say we are ready for Gods plans.
For an athlete, stretching always precedes increase. For a guitar player, strings produce no sound until they are stretched. For a mother, stretching precedes birthing. God is a god of change and often he'll bring change before something new. Stretching precedes abundance or growth. Gods character (Colossians 1:13) is that he doesn't want to leave this as we are, but to bring us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the son of His love. He positions us in His kingdom as righteous Sons blameless in His sight. We are forgiven, justified and saved. God is committed to bringing us individually and as a church through seasons of stretch in order to bring us into the miracle zone. Abraham chose to leave a comfort zone and dared to enter the stretch zone so he could encounter the miracle life intended for him where he ended up with children.
Let us not stay in our comfort zones. Let us allow God to stretch us and reveal real intentions for our lives. Stretching precedes increase. Jesus endured terrible stretching on the cross for the joy that lay ahead…seeing each of us personally in loving relationship with God. If we feel as if we are being stretched let us ensure we choose the road of faith, not fear. Let us confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Lord of lords, having an assurance of God with and in us in this life while we wait on the Lord.