As I write this blog, tears are streaming down my face. I remember the time just before we opened our little café in Blacon, Chester. It was ten years ago that we got the keys. I’d been feeling a mix of emotions all that year: of joy and excitement coupled with a holy discontent and hunger for more. It followed years of hard work, laying down of everything, contending, searching, desperation, disappointment but persevering anyway and not giving up.
And when we opened our café in February 2009 it happened. A move of God broke out. Things I could only ever dream of began to happen. In real life. Every day. A move of God was birthed from that little café that touched the world. Miracles and supernatural demonstrations of God’s power that blew my mind.
And now it’s happening again. Those same feelings over the past year: I knew something tremendous was going to break out this year. But this time it’s different. Of course, the move of God that began in Blacon in 2009 hasn’t stopped, but it was like a tributary, a small stream running into the main river. Hundreds of people encountered Jesus for the first time, receiving dramatic miracles, experiencing love, forgiveness of sins, spiritual rebirth and a sense of purpose and belonging. This move of God has been quietly gaining momentum but now as more and more choose to lay down their lives and follow Jesus no matter the cost and wherever He leads, it’s gaining traction and coming out into the open. It’s being made public and it’s becoming a fast flowing river.
I contended for years for God to move in power through me. Years of really pressing in through the disappointments and knock backs and hard work and sleepless nights and no money and laying everything down, including my career, our business, our pay packets, our dream home. We’ve been living by faith ever since. But now He’s asking us to do it again. Leaving the comfort of our home. Leaving our families and our new grandson and stepping out in faith, into the unknown but knowing that God is with us. He’s sending us out to help others all over the world.
I’d love to build something. Something that people can see, like successful businesses, and a big ministry and buildings, an apostolic network, equipping centres, hubs and churches. But the Lord has told us just to lay everything down. Not my will, but yours Father God. He’s shown us that we’re to extend His Kingdom and go wherever the Holy Spirit leads us and just do what He shows us and speak what He tells us. And He will build His church. I think we’ve had it upside down. We’ve been attempting to build something, but that’s His job. And He’ll do it through many people working together. We’re each to be obedient and extend His Kingdom, no matter what it looks like. No matter what people say. It isn’t about me after all. That’s what I’ve come to realise.
The Lord has spoken to us clearly. He is sending us out, this time to partner with people all over the world who He is also speaking to. People who have been in His training ground, whom He’s been preparing, often in secret and now He’s commissioning them. Some of them have only come to know Him recently and others have been following Him for years. But He wants us to birth this move of God together, and the Holy Spirit is connecting us with the right people in the right places so we can help them, not build our own movements, but work together, partnering to bring in His harvest, not in competition but laying down our lives and doing what He shows us. And that’s why this move of God is with great demonstrations of His power and of love. We will be known by our love. Just as when Jesus went to the cross, laying down His life for us in love. At the darkest hour, when it looked as though it was all over, when it looked as though death and darkness had won, that’s when the resurrection power of God was released. And so it will be with us.
I don’t want this move of God to be stillborn. One of my daughters was stillborn. It was horrendous. I will do anything to see this move of God become established and not cut short. The signs of new life are everywhere. In the last few of my video diaries, you can see some of these new converts giving their lives to Jesus. But this time it’s different. They’re not just saying a prayer and for the most part never seen again. These new converts want to be mentored, they’re becoming His disciples and are ready to follow Jesus wherever He leads them. They’re hungry for the things of the Spirit.
Where are the harvesters? Where are the mothers and fathers? If you’re there, please let us know. We need each other. Are you willing to lay down your life? Are you willing to die to your own ambitions and goals and fulfilment? Are you willing to lay down everything and help birth this move of God? Will you be a labourer in the harvest fields?
As you lay down your life and reckon yourself dead, along with Christ (see Galatians 2:20) only then will you be able to step out in faith and move in resurrection power, releasing the Kingdom of Heaven everywhere you go, with signs and wonders following. Only then will those hungry for the things of the Spirit, hungry for God, be convicted by the Spirit of Jesus and turn to God with all of their heart.
This time it’s different. This is a new season. There is so much good soil around for planting. We’ve been ploughing for long enough. The soil is fertile with our tears and all that we’ve laid down. Jesus says that as the seed of the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven is scattered on good soil, it will produce a harvest beyond your wildest dreams. (Matthew 13:23 MSG). It’s time. Who’s in?