Wednesday 20 March 2013

March letter to Havant Church

How Fatburning is related to spiritual leanness

Dear Havant Church
I am fat.

I don't need you to tell me. My body kind of knows it.
Thirty years of tuning and driving between tunings, customers biscuits and
snacking on service station garbage.
I'm not going to get condemned about it. I'm just going to learn the tricks that will help me lose weight.
Apart from the obvious. Put less in and get more active.
I know Cambridge Diet works...but if you ever go to a Cambridge Diet event and study the counsellors
you'll notice that they are yo yo dieters. See, our bodies have this weird emergency state, that tell us
to store as much as possible in case that person decides to diet that drastically again!!!
So, slow sure weightloss is best....AND it has to be enjoyable and it can be.
You justhave to know some tricks. Well it's early days and I'm still learning, but I've shed half a stone
by eating!!! But radically changing what I'm eating....and errrr...when. For example I was skipping
breakfasts...but now I'm not....and I'm losing weight. It's to do with kickstarting your metabolism.
And there are ten to twenty tips like this that are really sneaky, and really work!!

Tonight I was thinking, you know, our spiritual life really is the same.
I want to share some tricks.

I was born again at 13, and when I was baptised in the Spirit I led my grammar School year,
and some above us in revival. It was part of the Jesus move of 71/72, and it was completely
spontaneous. Now, just as in the same way obesity has kind of crept up on us westerners,
the same sort of fat sluggishness has crept up on people of that move. Nobody meant it to happen.
Nobody radically did anything for it to happen. But as we look back we can see signs that it has
to some extent happened. And just as we don't get condemned about our obesity....we just
start learning some better it's the same spiritually. Except that this will be a first.
No spiritual generation as far as I can tell has ever woken up again in all of history. But
they have all without question done the same as Israel in the wilderness. DIED OUT.
Leaving it to another generation.

Let's look at some of the main things we had 40 years ago.
Remember, this was an England that had had the Bishops declare that God was dead in the 60s.
And here was God presenting Himself through Billy Graham as alive, that we could be born again,
and by the 70s, that we could be baptised in the Holy Spirit. Revolution didn't cover it!!!
We were gobsmacked. And none more than me. having been raised by two physics teachers
who had taught Kofi Annan in Ghana, and having garnered 11 A's in my twelfth then
realise that this whole system of learning was majorly flawed, because it left no room for the supernatural,
meant that we retraced our steps completely, trying to work out which bits of our reality could be trusted.

No joke. We were round each other's houses like in Acts. We loved each other with great affection. More
than that, we were actually IN LOVE with each other. We didn't want to be apart.  We studied together.
We prayed together. We had new songs which we shared. We prophesied. We shared in the new
supernatural way of running meetings. Small key of David meetings.

When Christine and I joined Havant this is what it was like:
some of the first things we went to because Ben was small, was the children's playgroup.
Was it the two Ruths running it? Is that right? The lady that went to Eastbourne? Anyhow
we just couldn't break into the cliquey nature of it all. Now I know this is no different from any group of mothers,
especially on an Island like Hayling Island. But one thing was for certain, it had nothing to do with the Christianity
I was born again in.

Jesus is the glue.
The Living Jesus.
We all process Him in different ways....and different churches process Him in different ways.
But however we process Jesus it takes a basic spiritual form underneath everything.
It is "hearing His voice" and "doing what He tells us" by faith that it is Him telling us.
And how do we know? because He speaks to our heart.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your insight.

When Jesus is speaking to our hearts, then when we get together it's fun, because
we are all unpacking fresh manna together in the meetings. And we are reminded
that that's why we love each other so much. because it's Jesus Himself who came
in when we were born again. And it is the same Jesus in me as in everybody else
regardless of age....and that's the incredible thing.

I was prophesying at 13 and 14 into my new church. By 18 I was pastoring.
I knew about as much as Terry Virgo probably knew at the same era, except that
he had lots of Baptist knowledge from his pastoring days.
You see in those days it was simple. You were born again, and you were baptised in the Spirit.
Period. That was more or less it. That's all we knew. The fact that that covers only about the first 24 hours
of Israel's flight from Egypt had somehow escaped us.
That 1 John 2 clearly says there are three stages of growth....well forget it. We just didn't know.

So right there are two tricks:
Trick 1 is make sure you are loving the Lord with all your heart, soul mind and strength, so
that you have a daily are receiving fresh manna and working with it by faith...oh and sharing it.
Trick 2 is make sure you are geared up for more than what Jesus referred to as a "half built Tower"
which people laugh at....which is to preach the equivalent of spiritual babyhood and spiritual teenage,
but never preach what Fatherlevel Christianity is about. So ofcourse, we in the charismatic movement
have given the world's media carte blanche permission to just laugh at Havant church and all other churches
like it.....why....because we never ever grow up and take over the area, as St Paul would say.

We don't meet because it's the done thing to do. We don't go round each other's houses because
Alan has organised an area meeting. We naturally do all those things even if it's not a Sunday,
because we really love each other and because we are bursting with so much to share.

So what are some of the other "fat-indicators"?
Well , funnily's the spiritual stuff itself.
Let's look at Jacob.
His spiritual teenage was learning the faith tricks of speckled sheep and striped sheep and how
you could supernaturally work the system so he always ended up wih more. Laban got increasingly
hot under the collar!!  But Jacob was getting fat. he was going through the motions and getting bored.
So he left. He should really have faced up to Laban...but that was still part of his cowardly spiritual he didn't and fled secretly by night.
Now Peter Stott,Mariette, Paul Butcher,John and Wendy, the worship group, Molly and Lydia
have been at this game for forty years. They know which strings to pull. They know if you put in
so much in personal prayer, and prayer as a church, plus preparation of the worship group, plus
prayer before the meetings out the back and in.....they know they are more or less assured of getting
speckled and striped sheep
of the Presence of the Lord coming down
of meetings being to some extent real
real things happening to folk.

But it's a trick really.
It's knowhow.
It's not relationship.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. like forever washing your hands.
Havant even have prayer meetings about prayer meetings about prayer meetings.
It's kinda like tithing mint and cumin and making sure all your bases are covered incase
this angry Genesis 3 God is going to say " Well they've only prayed 9 hours this week
and not made the compulsory weekly total of 9 hours 40 minutes, so I am afraid I cannot
come down this week.

But the first thing is heart relationship. There are not two Jesuses. There is only one.
So if Peter is claiming to have a relationship with Jesus, but it doesn't meld with the Jesus in Kevin and Lois,
or Rohan Barton, or Paul Noble, or Elaine Waterfield, then he's in cuckooland.
There Is Only One Jesus.

If we don't discern the Body Paul says....for this reason some are sick and have died.
We don't need so many hoops if we are actually obeying the Living Christ.

He has told us that the Body is ONLY JOINED by that which each joint supplies
BUT ONLY when that joint is working properly. In other words it has to be Christ
supplying through that joint for the rest of the Body to grow. Only Christ builds
Words about Christ, but that don't originate in Christ don't do it.
It's like the game Simon says. It has to be Simon saying it.
Christ lives, reigns and operates in what Hebrews call the Melchizedek order.
This is an order that He established as soon as He came out of Jordan River.
He has made us Kings and Priests of this new order. That's the training
we receive in meetings. To learn to operate in this order.
When someone speaks and it isn't of that Order, it's something else, but it isn't Christ.
If Paul Butcher says today I am talking about stereo speakers, and he gives as his
example some music played in mono, he can talk all he likes, but it isn't stereo so we
all remain clueless.
One time he did the spiritual equivalent. He relayed the entire talk of Mark Stibbe on
Fatherhood I think. But when Mark said it he spoke under an anointing. Paul
killed the whole subject. He probably prevented anyone from ever wanting to learn about it.
But when Paul speaks of something the Lord has shown him personally it comes across a lot better.

These are some of the tricks behind learning to be a spiritually lean church and not just a fat blob
like me. If for no other reason you resolve to be lean spiritually...just think. I do not want to be
like that fat blob Welch.

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