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Thursday, October 19, 2017

By a Prophet




Hosea 12:13 "By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved."


Here we have a glimpse of the power that worked in Israel's deliverance and guidance - a glimpse, not just of a moment in history but of the Principle of God's working throughout all history…

All else that Moses was - his education - his years of preparation in the wilderness - his strength of character - was laid aside and was subservient to this one thing... he was a PROPHET!

His Vision was the Source and the Sustenance of his life throughout the times of deliverance and the journeying of Israel.
His Vision brought the Birth and Flowering of God's purpose for a nation in his generation.
His Vision brought the dawning of the Light and Glory of a New Era.

Without a prophet it never would have happened.
Without a prophet the darkness would have continued unbroken over Egypt.
Without a prophet the years of slavery and tears would have advanced without interruption.

Perhaps never in the course of the last centuries has there been a greater need of a prophet than there is today.

I’m not talking about the variety of “prophets” who so confidently walk amongst us.
I’m not talking about the ones who seem to be self-appointed and self-anointed to their task.

I’m talking about those who, in the desert, have lost their sense of self importance.
These in their emptiness have seen the flame of a bush ignited by God.
These are the ones who have heard a voice, not of earth, calling them to a task which will demand their life’s blood.

Who among us today, knows what is going on in the 'Egypt' around us?
Who among us today discerns the time of God in the midst of our confusion?
Who sees the connection between spiritual and natural worlds?
Who, beyond the limits of time, sees the unfolding of the plan of God for the next generation?
Who has heard God answer as they have asked, "What of the children?" "What of the future?"
Where is our Solution?...What is our Salvation?

      Like Moses -We need... To see Him
                                  We need... To hear Him.
                                          We need... To obey Him.
To see Him and to hear Him...this is our need.

But what will it take to come to the place of Vision?
  For Moses it took a cutting off from the comforts of Egypt.
  For Moses it took a cutting off from the fellowship and activities of his  brethren.
  For Moses it took a desert, a loneliness, and a total simplification of all
  that his life had involved in times past.
When all was blasted away and Moses was brought to the barren, wind-swept, sun-scorched, horizons of emptiness - then God came with his REVELATION and then Moses became the PROPHET for his people.

Maybe our deserts will not be physical... or maybe they will be, to a measure that we can't even imagine today!
However it be, there will be many, many similarities between our lives and Moses' if God is going to show himself.

The Cost will certainly be the losing of all that appeals to, and sustains, the life of natural man.
But the Payment of God is a Revelation which carries within it the Seeds of Life for ourselves and our people.

My father used to say, 'We don't have revival because we are content to live without it...
So too our revelation of God depends directly upon the measure of our desire - the finding is still to those who seek 'with all your heart.'

How would have us understand, in this critical hour in which we live, that life is not about techniques or methods - A BURNING DESIRE WILL LIGHT ITS OWN WAY TO GOD.
In reality as in the life of Moses, it is not so much us finding God as it is God  revealing Himself to us - while we are seeking Him He reveals Himself.

How important is it to us?
  To lay all else aside and search for God alone?
  To search the scriptures and let them speak for themselves?
  To come with a heart which says only, 'I come to do thy will?'

If there is one word from God for us in this hour, I believe it is this, 'Now is the time to seek God.'

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Our Only Hope




There is an urgency  for us to find a fulness of God’s Reality in a world where everything is under attack.
We need, as the psalmist says, “to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
This is our only hope in the midst of all that surrounds us.


Paul said, “The life which I now live…”


So for each generation, for each individual,
     there is a life given,
           a life to be lived…
And for each one there is something which impulses that life…


Life stretches as a pathway before us, and we live in a time of difficulties.
Looking around the breadth of the world one sees that:
    Peace is taken from the earth.
         Every continent and every nation is affected.
              Civilization is Broken.
                   Man’s order of things has become lost.
                         The way of peace and progress has been abandoned, and                   
                          replaced on all levels with  reactions of emotion.
                               Dialog is forgotten, in homes and between nations.
                                     We are sinking.


The enemy must laugh as he sees us blown about by every theory untethered to reality, and by every impulse of our feelings.


The only path forward for the child of God in this time which is our lot to travel, is to find  a way in God Himself.
We must be able to say with the apostle, “the life which I Now live” I live by that impulse which is the gift of God.
Unless we find a way in God :
     we are at the mercy of all the evil winds which are wreaking havoc with the world around.
              We are, like Samson, without strength before the destroyer... and there can be no hope...our lives and our families unravel day by day, and lostness is our portion for today and tomorrow.


When I was a child growing up in the aftermath of the Second World War I used to hear the phrase,  “a lost world”
Many years have passed, but today instead of progress and a rebuilding of society, we are far more lost than we were then.


Time moves in tides and today the tide has left us with an angry society around, and a church which is weak because it has left the Center of its life.
Safety is not in a place, safety is in God; and we desperately need of God if we are to stand, and not be swept away by the tide.


God calls upon us to call upon Him -
It is a time to leave the trivial things which call us,
And to seek until we find beyond theory and study and tradition,
        and then to go in the strength of that encounter with the Living God,
             finding in Him our strength and sufficiency for the days that await us.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Reality



At the end of the Old Testament Malachi makes an amazing declaration,
(Mal. 4:2) "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall."
After the fall of man,
and all the suffering of Israel's generations,
          and all the sin,
              and despair,
                  and slavery,
                       there is a promise.


...God's last word is a promise of renewal - a renewing of the first chapter of Genesis...
A promise of Light
        A promise of Healing - (a Restoration of the Life destroyed.)
             A promise of Growth and Development.
After all the loss, the promise is Total Restoration through the Presence of God, and the Working of God in His people.


As time moves on we see an age of Opportunity Lost (to the Church and to the World).
Yet,even though all be desert around, God's word to us is that, in the measure of our fear in His presence, there is a promise, of...
  His Coming.
      His Healing
          His Working


There is a burning truth whose essence I feel incapable of transmitting.
It is this:


Among those of us who think ourselves enlightened,
there is a very vast majority which is like those who  gaze through a window and, standing outside, believe they are on the inside.

There are those who have heard the words, seen the anointing, felt an emotion and yet have never really experienced within themselves the life changing reality of being actually present before God.
These are left with a "form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof".
- a life of suppressed frustration and emptiness.


This is not something merely among those who sit in the congregation but something which seems to have overtaken the "leaders" of the church.
How few there are who minister from a place of Light and Life...the words about the Spirit have taken the place of the reality of the Spirit in ministry.


Yet the word is still true...if we seek with all our hearts we will find.
Let us rouse ourselves to press through the days and the nights until we find Him - and in Him find that Life which surpasses all our definitions, and springs in freshness throughout all our days.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Where art thou...?"

Where art thou?...

This was God's cry to Adam when Adam turned from the World of Light to the World of Darkness, 
when Adam dragged creation itself with him, to the realms of Death and Darkness.
It was God's cry when Adam opened a door, and determined a fate, for all mankind.
"Where art thou?... Do you know where this has left you?...
Can you see what a door of darkness has been opened?"


Darkness is not just the Absence of Light, but rather... the Opposite of Light.

Darkness in the Old Testament was the abode of fear and confusion, of despair and impotence, of misery and finally death.
We live in a world invaded with a darkness which is the dwelling place of every destructive thing.

The New Testament exults in proclaiming the work of Christ, the power and glory of the gospel.
It exhorts us to set our affection not on this darkened world, but on the kingdom of Light, upon things above, upon the place where Christ is at God's right hand.

It points us to a sphere of Light where there is no darkness,
a place where all the things which inhabit darkness wither and disappear.

This is the place where All Things are made new, and those who draw near are free from misery, fear, destruction and death.

This is the place of our hope, and here the emptiness of this earth's life is swallowed up in the abundance of a New Life.

Philip asked the Ethiopian if he understood - I wonder today if God does not look upon our so human lives with the same question.
Things which the Bible clearly states are somehow filtered from reality as we read them, and fail to reach our understanding.
It is still true today that the Father is greater than all.
When He is with us there is no darkness, no torment, no uncertainty, no defeat - only Life eternal. undefeated and ever expanding.

All that we leave behind is nothing compared to the glory of Life God sets before us all the days of our lives...an ever overflowing cup.




Monday, August 7, 2017

Only Vision can save us....

  

I'm not talking about "visions," but the vision of eyes open to see.


We find ourselves living in a generation where the horizons are filled with confusion and despair on the one hand, and on the other, filled with false premises and false promises.


God calls us out from it all, to lift our eyes above all.

He calls us to fix them on a land of "far horizons" and upon "the king in His beauty."

All that fills our world is but for a moment, and the tide of passing years soon wreaks havoc with everything that man tries to build.


God alone is Unchangeable - His foundations alone are Unshakable.


If we are to find peace and purpose we must find it beyond the turmoil and the hubris which surrounds us.

We must find it beyond our swirling emotions.
We must find it beyond the mind trying by its thoughts to perceive.

We must leave all behind and seek, seek, seek until in a dawning awareness we find our God.

We must seek until we find, for all our days, and for all our ways, the all-sufficient Creator-Savior ... the Author and the Finisher of the faith we place in Him.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Leonard as I saw him


Over the years since my father, Leonard Ravenhill, passed on to be with his Master there have been inquiries about his life, his trajectory, and the spring of his ministry.

I am hesitant as I start to write a few words at this time - hesitant as I attempt to show something of which I know so little.
I knew my father perhaps as well as anyone amongst us, and yet there
was a part of him which was hidden from view, a part which was forged by God through the years of his life.

I am hesitant also as I put in words something which some readers will examine looking for a secret to copy, while the Way of the Spirit is still as the wind; and we still cannot "tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth."
I am hesitant too because there are very few whose eyes have been opened to see and understand the realm of the Spirit of God which was the fount from which his life drew its meaning.
With the hesitation there is also a hope that some who read may see beyond the enclosing framework of the words, and find a path; a path which is always open to the God Who desires to reveal Himself.
 
There was something placed within him by God which was unreachable to the understanding, and unfathomable to all man’s capacities of discovery.
From whence came the intensity of passion, the holy jealousy, the consuming discipline to spend long hours of searching, prayer and supplication until the very end?
From whence came the the burning words, and the incandescence of spirit?

The things which worked this nature within him could barely be traced; he hardly spoke of the processes in his own life.
The merest of glimpses of the workings were to be seen - and one cannot know the part these things played in what God was doing in his life:

When as  a youth praying in the woods he suddenly found himself speaking in a language unknown.
When as a  young evangelist who, before he ever preached, sang his way across England.
The time  praying with his companions in evangelism when a visible flame was seen to touch each head.
The time he found faith for healing in a tent meeting when asked to pray for a woman bound in her wheelchair.
The time as pastor finding faith for his church -  faith for deliverance from lameness for a girl who dragged herself around with her hip on the floor - faith for deliverance, from insanity, from cancer.
The time when freed from his church connections he stepped out alone and ministered night after night in an apple storage shed in the Irish countryside.
What was the inner impact upon him there as he saw God come to the area, bringing fruits that yet remain?
The time preaching in the United States when he had to jump from the window of a burning hotel, and then spend months in bed-bound recuperation.
There was a rising from his bed at one or two in the morning, interrupting his sleep night after night through the later years of his life, as he looked for God's revelation.

These were some of the outward events, but through the passing years God wrought in him an ever growing awareness of the nature of God, and the dimension of His kingdom.
Through it all there was an awareness of the weight of the responsibility of his calling, and a faith in God’s ability to see it through.


Over the course of his life he worked with different church groups, and then once and again had to turn and leave them and go on alone with his vision of God.
He saw God as Absolute and His will as Non-negotiable.
The leader of one group confessed to my father with tears that his organization needed that which he had told them twenty years previously - but the moment had passed, now it was twenty years too late.
The leader of another organization lost his life after not paying heed to a warning from my father.

​​When he heard another Voice he had to ​​leave behind people he loved, and ​follow ever onward in a consuming vision of God and His kingdom.
An inner quickening of the Spirit held him responsible for different horizons than ​those​ around him - and he walked in freedom.

​When ​his ministry led him away from England to the United States ​he​ went forward into a new stage of his life as a Voice.
I believe he saw the past experiences of his life not as destinations, but merely as milestones in a continually unfolding pilgrimage.
​​He came with a message to the churches and to the nation - a message of repentance, surrender and holiness, always exalting the Lord above all.
It was a message whose aim was revival, a desire that God Himself would come and make things right and show forth his glory.

His was a lonely walk sustained only by the life that God allowed him more and more to understand and to possess.

There was a spiritual dimension, or rather, a dimension of the Spirit.
That which produced the volcanic flow of words was something which sprang forth as God saw the inner longings, sighs and groanings of his heart.
This was a portion which set him apart, a portion found alone with God - although somehow down through history it has always been the portion of men who truly met God.

At the end of his pilgrimage... let me quote from my wife:

"In the last months of his life he would repeat, in a sort of rapture of new discovery, the words of Paul to Timothy, “The blessed and only Potentate. The blessed and only Potentate”.
Here, he who was gifted with a beautiful ability to express his thoughts, found himself with no words to add.
His was merely to proclaim, and repeat again, what he had heard, and what he had seen, as the answer to the condition of a fallen world... ”The blessed and only Potentate.”

Standing by his bedside during his last days, although he was unable to speak and hardly able to move an arm, one was aware of​ an awesomeness about him.   
David Wilkerson expressed it best when he visited and said: "There is a sense of the holiness of God in this place."
Yes, you were not by a sick and dying man, you felt you were in God's sanctuary where there was a constant dialog​ue between the Lord and His servant.
We played recordings ​of the hymns he so loved.   
I was holding  his hand once while we listened, but then he freed his hand from mine and lifted it to heaven...  Worshipping ...
H​e continued to worship His majesty, from a spirit now so free.
​The moment was sublime!!!
What perfect submission to His will… what perfect comunion...

I wonder now, was that uplifted hand also talking to me?   Was he begging me to turn my eyes and my concern away from him and to fix them on the Lord?
Was the hand uplifted in worship also his last message to me, to us?
He had pleaded that we would take the Lord as our all in all - now He was all he had, and he was satisfied​.

He left us on a Sunday - the Lord’s day.
He left us at twelve noon - when the sun was at its height, and the day was perfect.
He left us when the Father called him home.

As he parted, triumph surrounded us, and peace, and glory, and heavenly joy in an inexplicable conciousness."



Monday, July 3, 2017

Miracle

Trust...in God which raiseth the dead. 2Cor1.9

Living down here in South America, I see only one thing that matters.
The thing that matters to me, and I believe to God, is that I see, and possess, the Real - the Living Reality of God and His realm.

Men live in an unreal world of unreal dreams.
Mankind has become untethered, and the dreams of today find their fruit in the disillusionment of tomorrow.

There is no building because there is no foundation.
There is no foundation because God has been left out of the plan.

Jesus came as the Word to bring the revelation of the Reality of God.
"Let there be"...God spoke, and the World and the Stars, the Animals and the Plants came into existence, into Reality.
As with the material world so with the spiritual - we must hear the Speaking Voice imparting the Life of God to our souls.
We must find there, Faith - that faith which is Substance, "that which has actual existence".

The Bible is all about that which is Real.
The prophets stood alone with God and proclaimed to an unseeing world this Reality.

The death that the enemy seeks to place upon us is simply the unawareness of Reality...an unawareness of the Life that flows from God.

Paul says God raises the dead.
God turns back the work of death.
From the place where death has overcome, God comes again and quickens.

He calls us to be with Himself - to be as He is in this world.
He calls us to Overcome, and Overcome, and Overcome.
He calls us to overcome all the things of smallness, and all the bondage with which this world's thought and action bind mankind. 
Our calling is to overcome everywhere, all the time, until the Triumph is Complete - until He can manifest His Reality in us.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Where the Spirit Moves



The realm of the Spirit of God is so hidden from us humans.

The things we talk about, and the things we live, belong to different realms - and the essence has been lost.

Look at what we define as "Praise"...
True praise is not about finding the right words, the right music, together with the right music team, in order to get the congregation to sing with gusto.
This does not fit the definition of praise.

Praise is a spiritual thing - or it is nothing!
Praise is the expression of the Spirit of God in His children.
Praise lies in our Recognition of God...let me repeat that...Praise is our Recognition of God.

Austin Sparks once said years ago, that in the church we say, 
"Let us sing hymn number xxx". 
And he said, what we should say is, "Let us put God in the place which corresponds to Him, and the enemy in the place which corresponds to him, through the singing of hymn number xxx."
What a difference between empty words and music, and that which is a declaration of faith inspired by the Spirit.

There is no true praise unless I see God, and come to Him with all my heart, and soul and strength.

Let us take it a step further.
There is no spiritual Illumination unless I see it in God.
There is no Faith except I receive it from God.
There is no Life except it flow fresh to me from God.

Just as the breath I drew yesterday is valueless to maintain life today, so also God's portion of yesterday was for that day. 
Today I need a new portion in order to be quickened.
Without God everything is Nothing.

The Spirit of God moved over the waters in creation...if we seek the Spirit to move over our lives he will be found, and we will truly live.