Together on a Mission - Day 1 - Session 3.
This session began particularly powerfully due to two key prophecies that were brought during the worship. One was from Guy Miller and the other from Ginny Burgin. I think I'm right in saying that Ginny goes to City Church, Sheffield led by Arnold Bell. Ginny is a remarkable prophetess who most notably prophesied the amazing outpouring of grief that followed the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. I have only really heard her bring words of very specific knowledge at Stoneleigh Bible Week - this prophecy was amazing. It was a crystal clear trumpet call to the Church to "Wake Up!". I hope that it will be on the CD and I promise to transcribe it if that happens. She contributed an article in the Newfrontiers Magazine here on "Hearing the Shepherd's Voice" - vital for those operating in the prophetic who want to grow.
This is a transcript of my notes of Terry's message:
Terry Virgo - Hebrews 11:23-26 - "The Explosive Power of Faith".
"Hebrews 11 is the great faith chapter. Men and women are paraded before us as great heroes of faith. We think of faith in diffrent ways; receiving by faith and so on. Sometimes in a more negative context with the Faith Movements. Hebrews 11 is more enigmatic than just asking and receiving. (v35) is strange. The whole of the Epistle speaks of something better that is ahead for us. Huge decisions are made by faith!
Moses first act of faith was to refuse. That doesn't fit the picture of asking and receiving. It isn't simply accumulating. When Moses refused - the foundation for his life was laid. A whole community's future was set by Moses refusal. Being a leader is often making secret decisions that are costly. Moses could then lead that community because he had proved himself in secret when only God saw. Moses was born into a believing community that prepared him for God who was about to break out. He was raised in Pharoh's house and one day had to decide to refuse riches for rags. We must emphasise the faith aspect to Moses because he is so often associated with law. We can live the whole Christian life never getting that foundation. It was by faith because Moses didn't see the giving up of the riches of Egypt as a sacrifice.
Faith made him very happy to turn down those riches. Without that like faith we will never build counter-cultural churches. Moses had seen something better than Egypt! Christianity is so much more than just a prohibition list. He had no pressure to make his decision. Egpyt could offer a phenomenal amount! He knew the wisdom and privilidge of Egypt and yet he refused the whole deal - by faith. The root must be cut by a revelation of faith. The aspect of giving is an example. (1 Timothy 6:17) is a key example. The rich are instructed not to be conceited. We are not to tithe out of wealth. By faith we must do something that cuts out. "Conceit". The danger with wealth is to stay independent. It is okay to be rich but Paul tells us to have a completely different world stance! Giving must become generous giving! Giving must become laying a good foundation!
Today in our world people are making devastating compromises and are out of the race. Weariness is a time of danger during temptation as is anonymity. When no one is watching - when you are at your computer alone - or when you are with your girlfriend alone - will you compromise? It isn't an issue of rule breaking! God is inviting us into a new kingdom! The pleasures of sin shouldn't shape our thinking! This is a delicate balance that must be maintained - we are not to be governed by rules but to realise that our value system is in another world. We are building for eternity! Moses call was to:
1. A New Identity.
An identity with the slave community - a despised community. The Church is a despised community also! He become associated with something that is so out of step with the culture he was in, and if we are associated with the People of God we too are out of step with the culture we are in. We believe in a Creator! We believe in the Only Way, the Only Truth and the Only Life. We believe in an inspired Word. To hold Christian views makes you completely outside. We have seen something bigger and eternal. We don't belong here - we are passing through!
However we are not going to withdraw. (Acts 17:7) "There is another king!". We don't accept Caesar's rule. There is another culture! "These men who have upset the world". We upset them because we are confronting them with a New Coming King! Victories in our personal lives will be governed by those secret decisions that we make.
2. Ill Treatment.
This goes deeper than mockery. It can lead to martyrdom. God is saying to us - come alive! He sees decay! Some of that is disqualifying us to fulfill our potential! It must be cut out. It must be removed.
What Moses saw genuinely excited him. He believed God's promises and saw a wonderful future for his people. God had promised Abraham and Moses something that had implications for world history. This slave community was to become the light of the world! The story of Jonah demonstrates a prophet who had forgotten who he was. Even the heathen were calling him to wake up! The people of God caused the storm because God was determined that His people's voice be heard again.
Terry quoted from a secular newswriter who challenged the Church of God; "You modify your morality - for fear! Christ's followers are urged not to accomodate their views to the age but to the mind of Christ". And this was written by a non-Christian!
When Jonah repents - the world gets scared. When the church repents - the world takes notice. Why must we compromise? Wake up! I want that out of your life! Sound the trumpet! Moses trusted God's love. We carry world history among us! He trusted in God's wisdom. It does seem foolish to identify yourself with the people of God - but Moses trusted in God's foolish way. "He endured seeing the unseen". Are you persuaded that God is alive and true and real? The heroes of Hebrews 11 didn't receive the promises but they had seen them. They desired a better country. "By faith Moses refused".
It makes sense to go! Let's live consistently with what we've seen. God is looking for courageous people. Much must be shaken so that what cannot be shaken will remain.
Terry ended by praying: "Without Moses refusal there would have been no exodus. Without your refusal - who knows what God would have built on your life".
This was the first message of Terry Virgo's that I have heard that had me squirming! Terry normally oozes with the lavish grace of God in such a way that even when he is teaching correctively - such as when God used him so mightily in me last year to get me going back to church - I didn't mind! Yet this message was different. This time he was preaching as a prophet of God. And the Spirit of God was pointing at me and saying "You are the man!".
After the message I couldn't just go home and turn on the TV and forget about it so we went down to the beach and sat near the old pier and talked about exactly what the Spirit wanted of me. There was a whole list of things that I knew without a shadow of doubt I had allowed to compromise me, yet now the Spirit was saying "Enough!". I knew that I had to leave Brighton, come back and begin saying "No" to things that before I had given in on.
It was tough. But so good and so exciting that God is demanding things of me. How can I say no? How can I, as Terry said, compromise any further and risk missing the moment?