Life’s Storms

Last night it felt like Manly could actually get blown over and washed away. Victoria was getting nervous that one of the big pine trees outside our apartment was going to come down. On the beach side, the waves came up to the retainer wall and on the harbour side boats were being run up on the beach. It is times like this you hope the foundations of your building are strong.

No life is left untested by storms. Everyone will face sickness, both in those you love and personally. Most go through challenging work situations, staff cuts, strangling office politics. The strongest friendships get tested, the ones closest to us can hurt us the most, relationships can fall apart. Things we once enjoyed can get a hold on our lives. There will be storms.

Jesus says as much at the end of his brilliant sermon on the mount (Matt 7:24-27). Rain comes, streams rise, winds blow and beat… the questions is upon what foundation has your life been built. The wise man has put Jesus’ teaching into practice and like a house built on rock it does not fall. Another whom Jesus calls a fool takes no notice and like a house built on sand does not survive the storm.

Before yesterdays storm I heard a warning to prepare for what was coming. It is the storm that will test the foundations, not the sunshine. When the storm rages I hope that my life is built on THE rock. That I will have peace because I know that I am loved and saved. That I will  have power to transform a situation with grace rather than be overcome. That I will have an imparted strength that comes from the one who defeated the grave!

I am an apostle

Does a comment like that make you cringe? Should it?

Now mandatory disclaimer… I don’t think I am an Apostle (and am dealing with my weaknesses, sinfulness and pride like all the saints). But I do believe that I have the evidence for some of this gifting and as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:31 “eagerly desire the greater gifts.”

Who wouldn’t want to be involved in pioneering kingdom ministry and seeing heaven invade earth? You just have to accept that as Paul says, apostles will be treated like the refuse of the world.

Ephesians 2 says that the church, “God’s household” is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.  That is how it gets built. If we are not theological acrobats trying to argue that these gifts and the 5 fold roles found in Ephesians 4 are not in operation today… then we need to identify, equip and cheer on the people God has appointed and anointed for these roles!

I remember at my church in London there was a lady who seemed to bring along about half of the Alpha guests each course. She was a natural evangelist. Similarly my wife Victoria moves in the prophetic in amazing ways. When she prays for people I see her imparting God’s love and identity into people in supernatural ways. We need to cheer these people on and name them for what they are! This is Victoria – prophet, this is Michael – teacher, this is Stephen – evangelist, this is Sue – pastor, called by God to build His church.

I want to be in a church that honours! I want to be part of a church that ministers and governs according to the kingdom of God and not the laws of man. Law controls, grace releases. I cant wait to explore over the coming months and years what it means to be a part of a ministry team that sees the body of Christ built up, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. And it happens when the apostles, the prophets, the pastors, the teachers and the evangelists are honoured and released!

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