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Drop Your Umbrella

It’s been absolutely ‘persisting it down’ in Bolton over the holidays, really chucking it down! ‘Abundant’ rain if you will. Today is sunny, which is great since it is the bank holiday and the start of a New Year. 2012 is going to be a breakthrough year, if we ‘let go and let God’.

All this rain got me thinking about getting wet and umbrella’s.

Job 36 describes the rain God sends: 27 For He draws up drops of water, Which distil as rain from the mist, 28 Which the clouds drop down And pour abundantly on man

However with the help of an Umbrella it is possible to stay dry even if it is absolutely chucking it down!

So if the rain (ie the Holy Spirit) is what we are seeking, why are we putting our umbrellas up? And if we are, what do those umbrellas look like?

Don’t Care or Don’t Know? Well the Holy Spirit is promised to all who commit their lives to Jesus Ephesians 1:13. And the Holy Spirit is the assurance that We belong to Jesus and that we have begun eternal life. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and a bringer of joy. The Holy Spirit is the anointing on us because of which, gifts, such as teaching, healing, faith and hospitality work through us. List of gifts here

John tells us perfect love casts out fear. Our Father is pleased with us, he is in a good mood, Jesus has taken our punishment! If you are unsure of what you are afraid, seek the Lord, seek him with trusted friends, He is above all else, gentle and never forces anything upon us. God does not want to make you cry, laugh, shake, fall over or any of those things! (though you may . .) He just wants to gently minister his healing and wholeness to you

Sometimes, perhaps because we have had some success or because we are puffed up with knowledge, we are prideful. No one likes to admit to this so I will go first! All the lovely folks in our housegroup may have seen me jumping in with ‘I know the answer’, ‘I know the answer’ . . it could be that once or twice I did know the answer, mostly, I was trying to show off! Besides there is a difference between knowing the answer and living the answer. And that’s the point with prideful knowledge, it stops us living the answer. Combined with fear, pride can really hold us back. To give an example, `impartation’ is a word I know that I and others have been very uncomfortable with (going back to around 2008). In fact, someone said to me they had studied the bible and had found that, ‘impartation’, was not in the bible and was in fact ‘unbiblical’. So what do you think? The important thing is having an open mind and the context. This issue had come up because of the Florida revival, visits by UK church leaders to Florida, visits by us to churches taken up with the revival, etc. What we find is that fear and pride come to the fore, both for protagonist and antagonist alike, so what’s the answer? Just as a by the way, 2 Timothy 4:14 and 2 Timothy 1:6 will help cast light on ‘impartation’. Of course, ‘Impartation’ wasn’t the real issue here. Often when God provides an opportunity for more of the Holy Spirit He also provides an offense or a number of offenses, and this will give us the opportunity to turn away and say, ‘no thanks’. We justify ourselves via the offense, strange that God provides this. However, we should remember that the gospel itself is an offense, as described in various places, the cross being described as an offense and Jesus being described as an offense ‘and A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense. They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed’ 1 Peter 2:8 So is it true that the gospel can continue to be an offense to us, even after we have become Christians? Definitely worth thinking about . .

Nearly 200 times the scripture bids us to rejoice, so how come we don’t? When we first become Christians a well of joy is opened and from this well joy gushes upwards, overflows as it were. However, various things come along to block the well and for Joy to break forth again these things need to be dealt with. If we can cast off fear in the knowledge of His perfect care for us, we can go to Him and ask him to reveal and deal with what’s blocking the well. Ask the Lord to awaken thirst in you again, this will drive you to pray and seek prayer with others. This could be something that is restored to you quickly or it may be the Lord is leading you out of darkness and the journey could be a little longer. Be assured though, we will arise in darkness, greet the dawn and become radiant and filled with joy, as it says in Isaiah 60.

Having arrived, as it were, we set about making our new den nice and comfy. And we will do anything to protect our den, even pretending that we are helpless. When circumstances come to shake up our den, we just don’t like it. If Jesus called by with His army and asked you to come with Him to war, would you go or stay home? The trouble with staying home is that the war eventual comes to us anyway, and of course we are ill prepared, because all we wanted to do was stay in our comfy den.

*Unconfessed Sin
Being constantly distracted by activities that aren’t helpful or holding onto a sin is going to stop us experiencing more of the Holy Spirit. The only way is to, ‘get low’. Humble ourselves once again. Decide that we are all or nothing . .

Move Your Umbrella
Umbrella’s aren’t always entirely reliable, so why not try just moving ours a bit and see what the rain feels like? Who knows 2012 could be the year we really get drenched! And we get drenched people around us tend to get wet as well!

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