Evening Celebration - Day One
Beth Tays from New Wine Ireland:
“We have such expectation this week. Tonight is going to be a bit different so to kick off the week, we want to share what God has been doing this year. We believe God wants to take us somewhere new this week. There is something special as the body of Christ comes together. God is on the move in Ireland."
“We have worked a lot with 24/7 Prayer Ireland. There is a picture of Ireland as a circuit board… as God joins us together then Ireland is lighting up. People have been praying for decades. Some are facing a giant brick wall. God is moving us into a season where those walls are coming down. He is calling us to stick it out, to stick our heels in and believe Him.”
Smith Wigglesworth said “Believing God for one minute does us far greater good than crying out to him for an entire night.”
Rev Craig Cooney from St Catherine’s Church in Dublin.
What is God saying to the church? As I travel around and talk to church leaders, everywhere I go there is a sense that something is changing. Things that used to be so difficult are becoming easier.
Six points from Joshua chapter one:
1) Moses is dead - it is time to leave the past behind.
This is a new start, a new season but to enter that new season, you have to leave the past behind. We will need to let go of old things, things that are precious to us. The glory of the latter house will be greater than that of the former. “I’m not trying to resurrect something that is dead, I’m trying to birth something new.” We need a church centred on Jesus Christ and not on religious tradition.
2) The river is here, step into it.
They have waited for 40 years, wanting to cross the river but now they actually have the chance to do it. Put your foot into the water and the river will stop - you act and God will move. We want it to be the other way around.
If you are going to expect people to respond to Christ, give them a chance to respond! Don’t expect the fish to jump into the net - fish for them!
3) Be bold - in action and prayer!
Not arrogance, presumption but faith. For too long, we’ve prayed small prayers and we’ve had small vision. God is so much bigger and He is capable of so much more. So don’t settle for where you are. Pray prayers as good as God is. Some folks asked, “What do you need.” I replied without thinking, “A grand a month would help…” Boldness got me what politeness didn’t. A few weeks later we received a gift of $15,000. Expect big things, pray big prayers because He is a big God
4) Expect opposition - it is a sign that you are advancing.
Pray for your pastors. They won’t ask for prayer. They are no more special than you but if he strikes the shepherd the sheep will scatter. Please pray for your leaders. When opposition arises, we think we have done something wrong. Opposition is a sign that you are about to see great things. Goliath was the best thing that ever happened to David.
5) Different tribes are coming together - centred on mission.
The 12 tribes of Israel united to cross the Jordan river. We are putting our differences aside and we are uniting around the Gospel. We are building networks and relationships. God is bringing people together. What unites us is Jesus Christ, His Gospel and His mission to reach lost people.
6) Get ready - there is going to be an acceleration.
40 years of wandering and now it happens in 3 days. The winter is over. Remember snakes and ladders. For some of you it has just been snakes. We are about to hit a ladder… to advance beyond where we thought we were! Pack your bags… prepare to move forward. Stop wearing your winter clothes because winter is over!
Hilary McClay - Willowfield Parish Church, Belfast
God is speaking to different people in different ways and yet He is saying the same things in Dublin and Belfast...
God’s passion for us is that we will be fruitful. God wants our lives to be so fruitful that the world will see His glory. There is plenty for everybody. He has more than enough to bless every single one of us.
We need to prepare the land - Joshua 3:5. The children of Israel were finally ready to cross over but God called them to consecrate themselves. We need to put right anything that will get in the way of what God wants to do in and through us.
We have a walled garden in the middle of the city. It is amazing what rubbish is thrown over the wall! This week, God wants to prepare the way by clearing away the rubbish that has been thrown at you.
The fruit that God wants to build in our lives can get chocked by weeds. He also wants to pull up the weeds, those things that we have allowed to take root. We need to ask the Lord to pull up the weeds of bitterness, disappointment, anger, frustration… Don’t go home without having asked God to pull up the weeds by the root so there is nothing left.
Quoting Beth Moore - “Just when we decide our lives are all about figs, God starts mixing up the soil underneath our feet to bring forth some pomegranates.”
We believe in God but we struggle to believe God. God is interested in every single one.
To be ready for fruit, you have to plant the seeds! Sometimes God entrusts us with incredible, beautiful truths. Many years ago in Japan, a young girl planted seeds to grow pink flowers. She could not imagine what would happen...
Are we ready to let God prepare the ground and plant the seeds in our lives so we can be part of brining about His plans and purposes for this island?