There is a wave coming, a mighty move of the Holy Spirit across the nations. But we don’t need to build a boat like Noah did – we need to grab our surf boards! Jesus is equipping us to ride a wave, to stand strong in faith and to draw others along for the ride. The question is, how can we be ready?
The old wine skins are falling away and the new wine of the Spirit is coming. Some of the things that were important to the Church before no longer seem necessary and it’s ok that those structures or ways of working are laid down. The new wine is birthed through what the Lord is doing in our relationships with Him and with others – it really is the greatest commandment of all time: supernaturally loving one another.
Over the last eighteen months, the Lord has been drawing me to Acts 12 and the powerful narrative of Peter being led out of prison by an angel. I have been reflecting on four things in this passage that seem to have intensified in this lockdown season and shone a light of equipping on the road ahead.
The first is that the believers were constantly in prayer, longing for King Jesus to move. The Lord is calling us to pray like that – to press in to encounter Him in the stillness. ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10) is written over our bed and before lockdown I used to read it thinking, ‘That would be nice, I wonder when and how I can be still!’ And now here we are, hearing the songs of the birds like we have never heard them before. It’s time to KNOW He is God! He is unblocking the ears of the saints to hear Him sing His rallying call over His children.
The second is that the angel of the Lord came to Peter in the darkness of the prison and struck him on the side to wake him up – not a very gentle wake-up call! He is urgent: ‘Quick get up!’ he says to Peter. We may not be in prison cells right now but we are in some senses behind locked doors and the cry of God is coming and calling, ‘Wake up, Church!’ This is right now, and we don’t want to miss it. A move of the King is happening and we mustn’t sleep our way through it.
The third is that the chains fell off Peter’s wrists and the locked doors opened. The angel led him past many soldiers and guards on every side. He was set free. The Lord is coming now to His children to cut off the things that are holding us back, to liberate us from strongholds, to refine us in the fire. Don’t be surprised if you are suddenly aware of bad habits or insecurities but do join me in asking the Spirit of the Living God to scrape them off and remove them by His powerful hand. We don’t want to emerge from lockdown the same as we went in.
The fourth thing in this passage that fascinates me is that when the servant girl Rhoda tells the believers (who have been prayerfully longing for Peter’s freedom) that, ‘Peter is at the door!’ – that Peter is free and standing there – they don’t believe it! They respond to her, ‘You must be out of your mind!’ The Lord is calling His people to believe for more; not just to pray for it but to believe that the answers to our prayers are waiting just outside the door.
The harvest is on the way and the Spirit is moving, not just in China or Iran, but here in the UK. The question is, are we pressing in to hear His voice in the stillness, waking up to what the Lord is saying, partnering with Him to see His Kingdom come, being liberated from the chains that entangle us and trusting for a mighty breakthrough. I don’t know about you but I long to get to the end of lockdown, to open the door and to be overwhelmed as we stand and say, ‘Look what the Lord has done!’
And this is only the beginning of the wave…
Anne Calver is a Baptist Minister and part of the Spring Harvest planning group. She is married to Gavin and has two children. Anne is passionate about people encountering Jesus and being transformed by Him. Please follow the link to get the Calvers’ latest book Unleashed: The Acts Church Today, sharing more about how we can be the Church God is calling us to be.