Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

Becalmed? Be calm.

November 8, 2020

[Sailing. Unable to move through lack of wind]

Right now we are in a season which feels somewhat as if we are a boat with the sail up but there is no wind.

When there is no wind at all the people on a sailing boat might feel powerless and impatient, maybe even frustrated. Those who believe in God might think of the Bible account that refers to Jesus in the storm when he commanded the wind and the waves and afterward they exclaimed “even the wind and the waves obey him!” [Matthew chapter 8]

 In our situation we want Him to make the wind blow into our sail right now!

A few weeks ago, the leaders of a Christian community that I am part of, met to pray and listen to God. Over the past two years we have been challenged to ‘lay down’ all that the community had been doing, and to wait on God for a new thing to emerge. As we prayed I had a clear sense initially that God was simply saying, “You have been drifting.” I immediately felt some defensiveness within me, as my own instinct is to admire action and progress. To me, being described as ‘drifting’ is very negative. I immediately felt that God started to expand on this idea and I had the impression of being in a sailing boat when there is no wind at all – absolute calm.

If you have ever experienced being in a boat with the sail up and the air being still, you will know that powerlessness and lack of a sense of control. In fact, all you can do is paddle, or if you have one, start a motor!

I felt God started to speak to me with an encouragement: He has caused the wind to stop and He has caused us to “drift under the influence of the currents away from previous assumptions, commitments, and norms.” This has been His deliberate and gentle repositioning and realigning. We mayhave felt that we have been drifting, but actually the currents of the water represent His sovereign leading in our circumstances and events. God himself has been moving us away from what was ‘normal’ to a new outlook and new position.

At this moment, the temptation is to paddle or start a motor – this would be human effort: To do something! To get back in control, and be able to direct the boat. However, We need to trust Him.

I felt God quietly making me aware that as soon as He causes the wind to blow, the boat will immediately start to move, and we will be underway, able to steer and make progress. This will be His timing. Anyone who has been in a becalmed sailing boat will know that as soon as the slightest breeze begins, the boat can start to be directed and move forward. We need patience and trust. [Isaiah 30:15]

Right now, there is a sense of the wind having dropped and we feel powerless. Some examples of this: The Coronavirus and Covid has brought so many aspects of life to a halt; The stand off between China and the West seems to be stuck: The Brexit experience since the UK referendum four and a half years ago seems to have paralysed UK politics. There has been a lot of heated discussion on the boat, but very little progress for the nation! The USA elections are another example. Whatever anyone’s opinion on the result of the USA presidential vote, right now the process is somewhat becalmed – stuck – with many on both sides feeling like the wind has been taken out of their sails.

This is a time to acknowledge that God is Sovereign. This means that even when there is no wind in our sails, His currents which are deep and unseen, are moving us to a new position, a new outlook and new situation. God is far from inactive or passive in all this.

The great encouragement through all this is that we await just the slightest breeze…

I sense that the breeze is about to blow. [Habakkuk 1v5]

Feast of Trumpets and the Sound of the Trump!

September 18, 2020

Every current topic seems to be linked somehow to our opinions of the President of the United States. This seems to cloud the discussion on virtually anything – and yet these are significant times and amazing things are happening amongst us. Many might feel that there is so much to be alarmed and worried about, but I am seeing numerous reasons to be optimistic. You might not see it this way right now – but bear with me:

Reader warning: This article contains numerous uses of the word ‘trump’ in various meanings!

As we enter the Jewish Feast of Trumpets we really should think about the significance of the word ‘trump’! It happens that this particular Feast of Trumpets, also known as Rosh Hashanah, follows historic recognition of the nation state of Israel by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Several other Arab nations are indicating that they will follow. Whatever anyone thinks of the politics, this is momentous, and in itself is a trumpet sound to the world that things are changing. The implications of Arab nations recognising the State of Israel are enormous! On its own, this signals an important milestone in history.

I think the trumpets are sounding for much more than political movement in the Middle East….

We are at an astonishing moment in history in which so much is at stake, and at the same time the opportunities are huge. Some of the reasons that I feel encouraged:

I observe that secularism and atheism are tottering or maybe collapsing. Pewresearch.org projects that the percentage of people of faith perspective is increasing globally.  This is great for evangelism. The world is looking for authentic spiritual answers: Let our trumpet sound a clear signal!

Covid-19 is forcing us to rediscover the purpose of church; the whole Zoom season has challenged us. Not meeting in a building has not stopped us knowing God. The Coronavirus has sounded a trumpet calling for a Sabbath rest and a thorough review. The fear of Covid-19 has revived awareness of our mortality and caused people to ask, ‘where is God?’ –which is a great first question!

Consumerism is in danger as people, businesses, and communities rethink priorities. We see profound changes taking shape as investors start to influence the purpose of whole industries. There are abundant opportunities for Kingdom of God motivated people to start and lead businesses. This is worth trumpeting!

Those who preach prosperity solely in worldly terms are becoming exposed as financial systems crumble. God is shaking the economies of the world. I think a warning trumpet is sounding for greedy supply chains, currencies, and global debt. We are at a moment of huuuge change in the world! Sound the trumpet!

Everywhere there is crushing disappointment with political saviours; Long standing definitions of ‘left’ and ‘right’ politics have disintegrated. As someone who has run for Parliament, I have experienced unchristian attitudes when party politics trumps Christian love and understanding. People are starting to challenge the past norms, and the call for something better is rising.

We are in the post-Facebook era! I hear of young people holding online prayer events and shared times of ‘listening to God’. Increasingly, people young and old, are searching for real fellowship.

Everyone is revisiting the question of unity. All generations, all races, all denominations. The trumpet is sounding for us to come together!

Post-Brexit the trumpet calls us to be peacemakers : much division in the church was because many opinions about Leave or Remain seemed to be based on a spiritual ‘trump card’. We must see this as a failure and pray and work together as the people of God. The Bible says that we have ‘this ministry of reconciliation.’

So, what of Trump?

In 2016 I felt that Donald Trump even talking about joining the race for President of the USA was a sign for us: the sounding of a trumpet! A signal; An alarm; a notification from the spirit realm.

We are now truly watching the changing of an era. For me it is not so much about one controversial man – but that a seismic change is taking place in the whole world. This is our moment to step forward as we hear the trumpet. Be alert, attentive, open to the changes and expect very significant new dynamics in global politics and in our lives.

The trumpet sound – the ram’s horn or shofar – was sounded in Bible times for three reasons: To sound an alarm, to gather the people, to signal the advance. The season that is beginning now requires us to recognise the time we are in and to choose to rise to the occasion!