Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More on the Gateway

Have already blogged on the start of the walk around Havering but here is more on how we walked…

In 2 Kings 3.27 the Israelites try to take a gateway. They fail. Why? Because the eldest son of the king they’re besieging is sacrificed by his father over the gateway. What a price for a father to pay to keep the city and what a demonstration of the power involved in blood sacrifice.

The gateway to the city controls entry and departure, allows trade and is a place of authority (legality). Our gateway, the London Borough Havering, sits in the east gate of London and the west gate of one of the eastern-most counties of England. While walking Essex we knew we had to walk the gateway eventually. Havering isn’t the only gateway of course but it's the one we live in. Linda had seen a vision of Essex on fire with the backdraft blowing into London through our gateway. She painted it for us.

We asked God to show us what he saw over Havering - we wanted to see as Ezekiel ‘saw’ when he was lifted up over Israel. Our Father showed us some of his strategy and took us on a whistle-stop tour through Ezekiel’s book, highlighting verses as we went. It’s too much to write here in full but as walkers, we carried this strategy with us.

The walkers are to be a sign of a people on pilgrimage (Ezek 11.16-18). If we are a sign, some of us may have to live this out in our own lives.
The days have gone by and some visions have come to nothing but the promise of God still stands (Ezek 12.21 & vs 27 & 28).
Have we been up to the ‘breaks in the walls’ to repair them for the sake of the house? (Ez 13.5) Or have we participated in the breaks?
The ‘elders’ came and sat down in front of Ezekiel (the people of God) to enquire of the Lord. How do we handle this? (Ez 14.3)
Ezekiel’s wife dies as a sign (Ezek 24). If we carry the grief of the death of a bride, how much more we’ll understand God’s heart for his people’s idolatry.
The King of Tyre set himself up as a god (vs2), being compared in likeness to Lucifer (vs14-17). Who or what does this represent in our borough? (Ez 28.1-2)
Will the walking watchmen be listened to? (Ez 33)
We need to contend for the release of the true shepherd, Jesus, to rescue, pasture and tend his sheep himself. (Ez 34) So, is this a question about how to ‘do church’?
Will the ‘dry bones’ live again in the breath of the Spirit? (Ez 37) Can we believe they will? Where is the Spirit moving and where is he not? We carry the Spirit of God within us – on what should we be breathing life?
We identify the bodies, bury the dead and set up markers by walking the borders 3 times and then the land will be cleansed – firstly, under the radar, identifying and mapping the land; secondly, for repentance and cleansing; thirdly, to worship and praise as a people. (Ez 39.12, 14 & 16)
Ezekiel was taken to a city on a high mountain where he saw a being measuring the dimensions of some buildings (40.2) which turned out to be the rebuilt Jerusalem and the Temple – and the glory returned through the East Gate and filled the temple (43.1-5).
After the glory of God entered the east gate it was shut, because the Lord God came through it and only the prince could sit there (44.3). We want the prince to sit and inhabit this east gate. (Ezek 44.15).
A river will flow from heaven and come through the spiritual portal if the gate is opened in praise and worship. We can choose whether to be in this river or not – it will become deep enough to swim in and there will be fruitfulness on its banks (Ez 47)
The boundaries will be set by the Lord for the people groups of the Kingdom and we can allot it as our inheritance. (Ez 47.15-23)
The people of God will guard and hold the gates (Ez 48.30-35) and the name of the city will be ‘The Lord is There’.

We were overwhelmed.

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