Climbing down the ladder to fact is the way up and on out of the prison of interpretation. Confused? Listen in…
…. ask the Holy Spirit to help you find the plug in the bath…
Back in December in Glencoe I had a prophetic moment when I saw people calling on the hills and mountains there to fall on them to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. Later on that day there was in actual fact an earth tremor in that very place. I felt the Lord saying something fearful was on the way. A few days later I had a vision of a whirlwind breaking over the land. Unlike the mountains falling which was simply a picture of terror, the whirlwind felt both wonderful and fearful. It had the feeling of both awesome revival but coming out of a fearful experience.
While in the Lord’s presence a few days ago, just wondering about these experiences as I have often done in relation to the pandemic, I believe He at last spoke into my to and fro wondering this way and that, with greater clarity. “This is not it.” We need to learn to call on the Name of the Lord before “it” does come. No medical science will make any progress when “it” arrives. No common grace blessings will be sufficient to face it or make the slightest dent in its progress. It will result not just in a huge part of the world in lockdown, but one quarter to one third dying. Only calling on the Name of the Lord will bring it to an end.
This is not “it” yet, but have we, even as God’s people never mind a lost world, learned in this pandemic thus far to call upon the Name of the Lord for mercy and help, or along with the world have believers erected a few new man shaped idols in which we trust for salvation? Have we gone beyond thanksgiving where it is due to people and to God, to worshipping the gifts of His grace to a fallen world which come in the form of knowledge and skills to relieve suffering?
I have not the slightest idea of timing as to all of this. What I have written here, is the sum of what I have been given: nothing added for effect and nothing left out to make it more palatable or less shocking. I have only very occasionally been told timing windows for God’s purposes but have not been given the slightest hint about timing in regard to what I am sharing here.
“ Cry out!” “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is like grass… the wind blows and carries it away.” “The Word of the Lord endures forever.”
“But Kenny, how can I pass on the love of God to my younger hurt self while I am still not yet sure of that love, even now?”
Which “You” is waiting for “You” still in a lonely place?
A few folk have been in touch to say that Lockdown is somehow magnifying aspects of yourself that you do not like, that may indeed be harming yourself or those near to you. Thought it might be good to do a few wee vlogs about that subject. This is the first one. Hope it helps those of you who may be feeling that way at the moment. Kenny
Conquerors look like conquerors and you see reasons why they have conquered. We are not called to be easily explainable. We are not called to be Conquerors, but “More than Conquerors.” That sort of victor is not explainable in terms of the trappings of power, or ability, or natural authority. He or she confounds the world, unsettles the world so deeply that along with all things truly carrying the presence of God’s immediate confrontational presence, they may become a sign spoken against, like Jesus, who was not just a king, but the King of kings. A “More than a Conqueror” is an uncomfortable enigma to the world, so uncomfortable, they have a history of being expunged from the face of the earth down through the centuries, singing praise as they went to earthly obliteration, sometimes at the hands of a godless and Christless Church.
These sorts look weak, vulnerable. It is easy to mock them, mistreat them, scoff at them, point to how pathetic they seem, dismiss claims of their God and their relationship with Him, mock their speech, their knowledge, their thinking and their message. Cutting it short … their keeping going with living, believing, serving and worshipping is inexplicable, save in terms of miracle. More than Conquerors often look so drained, so close to a point of inevitable collapse, that a feather might knock them over…but when the frequent storms come and pass on, there they are, still standing while a thousand of the world’s strong, the great and the good, have fallen to bits at their side.
If you feel the stuffing has been knocked out of you once too often, this may well be your moment to be claim the honour of your membership of “The More than Conquerors Club.” Get rid of the idea that you should look like Charlton Heston’s Moses at the Red Sea, or today’s “Woman of Power and Significance” equivalent. Weakness is the sure foundation to being strong in the Lord, to inexplicable conquering.
In Thurso, a young single Mum told me that she played recordings of my sermons to her fractious toddler at night… to put her off to sleep! This is offered with the hope it will have the same effect upon you! God bless.
It is possible to miss the moment. I remember a dream I had in the 90’s in which Renewal of God’s Purposes in Scotland was represented in the form of a lion. The lion walked into one of the biggest churches in the city. The congregation fled and only returned when the lion left. They picked up their hymn books and started to sing at exactly the point they had been at before the lion came. Meanwhile the lion moved on to other more welcoming gatherings. The moment of renewal in that confident church was missed, indeed fled from, in favour of “no change, business as usual!”
I am not suggesting Coronavirus represents God renewing the Church, but it would be really sad if we all picked up our hymn books and sang from where we left off as it were once this is over, as though that somehow represented faithfulness that merits a pat on our backs from ourselves. This really is a season when new things can blossom that maybe would not otherwise have come about. Of course there are those who wax in learned tones as to why we should not change this or that as though a change represents a denial of our heritage.
Have the courage, humility and joy not to be one of those voices nor to pay greater homage to them however illustrious than to the Word and Spirit of God. Sometimes aspects of our heritage need to be left behind in favour of a truer faithfulness to the Christ of Scripture rather than the Christ of a particular theology, or the practices of a particular time that were perhaps one way of being faithful to Christ at a given moment, but not the only way for all time.
Dave Rankin, a fellow Church of Scotland minister, is doing a series of interviews in these days of Lockdown. This is but one example of creative ideas for ministry, mission and building one another up in the faith, that seem to be flourishing. This is the interview with me! Sorry that my face goes light and dark in the bright sun sun and fast moving clouds of the afternoon!
I should perhaps say that there was no prior knowledge of the questions, but I felt God was in the questions, and, dare I say it, in the answers I found myself giving. No prior warning is the way I prefer it.
Anyway, here it is. If you want to know what makes me tick, you might find some understanding of that from what follows…
…because of Psalm 101, my thoughts went wider than myself. What influences do you need to tear off and say “Goodbye” to, once and for all time?
Meant to post this on WordPress on Easter Evening for those who do not use Facebook. Kenny
“Finding the right question is as crucial as finding the right answers.(Henri Nouwen.)
Jesus asked questions that exposed the persistent secular or false understandings of “self” and worth in the hearts of his disciples. He did that before His dying and rising: “What were you talking about together?” (They had each been presenting to each other their reasons for believing in their superior greatness within their circle.) He did it after He died and rose: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” (Peter’s security was once based on such a claim.) Hearing Jesus question was hurtful but necessary for Peter’s peace and progress.
In our secret place with God, let’s listen for Jesus asking us those questions which will bring us into rest from our false identities, the drivers and compulsions ( which may at times seem religious, moral, biblical and Christian) that perhaps even since we started to follow Jesus have been our hidden and our never satisfied task masters.
Thought I should just bring the links for “Shotts Thoughts” together in one post. Pray for Prisoners and Staff as you watch…Thanks. Kenny
This is a sermon I recorded for this Easter Sunday for Storehouse Church in Kilsyth. It covers “Good Friday” and then goes on to the story of the risen Jesus talking with Simon Peter as they walked beside the Lake together. It is full short sermon length, about 30 minutes, but you may like to listen to it at your leisure over this Easter weekend. God bless. Kenny.
“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.”
I have usually used the language of the Father turning His face away,” to describe the cross. That, however, in the light of the revelation of God in the Old and New Testaments, and in the light of Jesus own revelation of God, is only half true. The Father’s face was turned away in terms of comfort, but it was also turned towards Jesus in judgement, a judgement so full that in Gethsemane, Jesus, the Holy One, shrank from becoming sin for us and bearing it. While we are tempted because of our sinfulness, it was Jesus holiness that made him recoil from embracing the cross. That hour was fast approaching. It was the hour of the cup of God’s simmering wrath at human sin boiling over in righteous judgement for love of sinners: Judgement Day breaking into time and history. “Lest I forget Gethsemane, lest I forget thine agony, lest I forget thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.” Only Jesus understands that calling on the mountains and rocks to fall on us is preferable than facing the Day of Judgement without a Saviour. For anyone else to say it, it would just be words.
It was no light thing for the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. I want my response to reflect that more and more. I don’t follow the Christian year with any great diligence but I am glad for Holy Week.
My wonder at what Jesus suffered for me has never left me since the day I heard at SU camp that, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone of us to our own way, but the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all…He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities…it was the will of the Lord to crush him.”
As I awaited the arrival of my “Shielding” letter today, I was reading Psalm 133. What a blessing there is in the reality of together. I feel sad today for anyone who got their letter today, for whom there is no reality of “together.”
(Sorry for shakiness of the video posted here! New Tripod on order.)
Apparently the Coronavirus came about as a collusion between Nancy Pelosi and the Chinese to derail Donald Trump. Must be true. An American Prophet said it…So there you are. Blame the Democrats in the USA. Now we know. The bats and Pangolins can breathe easier tonight. It is all Nancy’s fault. By the way the Prophet, the Man of God with secret information from mystical experiences, said His fellow Americans don’t need to stay in their homes.
Folly triumphs over Faith once more, in the Name of Christ. It is blasphemy. It is a breaking of the Commandments, it is a misuse of His Name. It is attaching His Name to our utterances. Those who do that even if they are believers, will not be held guiltless without repentance. This is the dangerous side of the more extreme versions of Charismatic Christianity which is flourishing in these days. It claims to save and heal. It is actually spreading destruction and death.
Please if you are Charismatic, test everything. There are open doors for this type of thing to come increasingly into the UK. It is backed by huge wealth and can make itself beguilingly attractive in the offer of wealth and opportunity. Don’t get mesmerised by the glories it seems to offer to you in this world. It will destroy your integrity and your soul in exchange for what it promises. Let’s care about the integrity of prophecy in this land.
GK. Chesterton said that madness is like a circle. When you are inside the circle of that madness you can interpret everything inside it according to its closed system of belief. They reinterpret all facts within their own interpretive system of beliefs ( they are far from being the only stable of Christian who do this). It is a closed circle. No fact is allowed to enter it to ask questions. Inconvenient fact with the power to create a chink of light in the closed circle, is neutralised at the border. At some point, conscience is seared and surrendered. Unease is ignored.
If you are in the process of ignoring conscience, I am praying for you that you do not put your integrity on the altar for anything that is being dangled before you. Get out now. If you don’t, the time will come when you are so deeply in the circle of madness you will not know it … and if you are interested, I believe that is a prophetic word for prophets in Scotland and beyond … but …those who need to hear it most already have hardened hearts and seared consciences. Watch out for doors of welcome being opened to this form of closed circle insanity: the more extreme and extra biblical the more it must be God, but only some are privy to seeing it. It is old fachioned Gnosticism revived: secret knowledge for the initiated gained through mystical experience, not open to those of us who simply embrace the gospel as given in Christ through his Apostles. Incidentally, Paul did not add to the gospel through his own private mystical experiences, even though they really happened. Don’t receive teaching based only on someone’s private mystical experience, but only that which is there in the Word of God. Paul would counsel the same, I believe.
Such people in the US. have the ear of the President, with whom they are delighted: in one way, in an infantile way of thinking, I get that. He will probably try to lift restrictions at a date significant in the Jewish Calendar. That is not a prophecy but a fear of mine which I hope will not come to be.
Written in the fear of the Lord and in the fear Charismatics may kill the Charismatic Movement: perhaps s a Movement it has already died and lost any meaningful Kingdom of God influence in the land beyond its own convinced and enthusiastic fringe people? May God have mercy and send forth His Spirit in power once more.
There is something I have observed about God’s ways. He often speaks to us in advance of something that is coming to prepare us for its arrival.
This often happened to me pastorally, especially in the earlier years of ministry when I was in my 20’s. I would find myself thinking of a pastoral situation and then it would arise. The hypothetical became real but because I had thought it through in my “imagination” just before it actually happened, there was at least a beginning of consideration about how to pastor that situation already established within me. I could give you a whole list of situations that I found myself wondering about in the immediate days before they presented themselves to me. How would I cope with helping someone who had experienced a murder in their family? What would I say to someone who asked me if they could be a homosexual and a Christian? How would I pastor in the event of the death of a baby, or the murder of a child etc.? What about a suicide? A drowning?Sometimes they were very specific warnings indeed fulfilled to the letter. How would I pastor a situation where a Father had murdered his children? What about a toddler dying in a fire, and their sibling being left scarred? These, and countless other scenarios are the sorts of situations that many pastors come across. Remember this list, by the way, when you maybe don’t get all the attention you want to for something that in comparison is pretty petty. I began to get afraid if the thought, “I wonder what I would do if…” came to mind. However, I eventually had the faith to look on it as the kindness of God that He often was minded to give me a couple of days warning, without me always perceiving it is as an obvious preparation at the time. By the way, not every wondering fell into that category, I am glad to say!
There is another observation of the same type but different. Sometimes before God moves in a particular way, in a notable way, either in mercy or judgement, there can be prior events that show where we stand in relation to what is coming. Let me give you an example from the past 50 years (almost) of my own spiritual walk. Right now, I am believing for Revival, a sovereign move of the Spirit of God that will affect the lives of untold thousands of people in the UK and in other nations. I have believed for that for decades now. At times over those same years I have seen God send seasons of Renewal, that never became Revival, but they were blessed times. At the same time such seasons often bring to light what is in the hearts of God’s people, to show what He knows about us already. Times of Renewal show perhaps why all that we can be trusted in is the glory of His presence that comes in such moves of the Spirit, compared with the glory that comes in Revival.
Times of Renewal in my lifetime have revealed where God’s people still need to be made more new still, to be entrusted with more. They have revealed where I need to be made more new still. At times of enormous blessing, disunity, pride, competitiveness have often come to light in the most crass terms. I think of one meeting where God moved in incredible power. After it, there was a terrible display of disunity and criticism. At other times, as soon as God moves in a sovereign way ,I have seen the desire to control matters rising up, an attempt to harness God to our own particular spiritual movement, theology, church, location or name. Please hear me. I am not leaving myself out of this. At a time of Renewal, when God was moving in our midst in Thurso, in the late 90’s, I had an experience in my half asleep moment early one morning, where God’s Spirit came rushing towards me with the sound of a hurricane and the speed of an express train. I had to say, “No, Lord. I am not ready for this.” I wasn’t. Have any of us the slightest clue of the terrible and awful side of Revival? Am I ready yet? God alone knows. Are we ready to be blown to bits and reconstructed, never to be the same again, in a more profound way than we have ever experienced?
I am wondering the same at this moment in the midst of the coronavirus. What does it show of the human heart, what does it show in terms of the hearts of believers? What does it show of where I am with God and how much I understand of his ways of righteousness, truth, mercy and judgement, and of how the God of the Bible acts in the affairs of this world? What further events still to come upon the earth may this present moment be a sign of? Are we prepared for that, of which this may only be a herald song and trumpet blast?