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Abiding Presence

Andy Elmes

July 19, 2020 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy speaks about being a people of presence and harvest for The Lord. We are a community of people who love and honour and have regard for the presence of God. Exodus 33:7-11 looks at the relationship Moses had with God under the old covenant and describes the Tent of Meeting where Moses would meet with the Lord in an intimate way. Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshipped God. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterwards, Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent (he stayed to get the remnant of God’s presence). So Moses had a designated place of meeting with The Lord, away from others, however other people benefitted from his time with The Lord. Moses would receive all he needed and also all he needed to lead other people, it was a relational not religious place, much as in the gospels where Jesus went away to be in the presence of The Father and receive all He needed. Moses (and Joshua) loved the presence of God, experiencing life changing moments. What Moses wanted most was the presence of God. Exodus 33:14 tells us that true rest is found in the presence of God. Verse 16 (NIV) is challenging “How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” It is the presence of God that distinguishes us from others in the world, so if we do not walk in the presence of God we are no different to anyone else. Today we are in New Covenant times; we are able to know the presence of God in a greater way as God has achieved more for us through the blood of Jesus. The Old Covenant was about tents and temples made by man where the presence of God could be found momentarily. All these were just shadows of what we can now know. The New Testament does not say we meet Jesus in a temple or tent but that God is within us. Our lives have become temples and tents of meeting with God! Paul speaks to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV) “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Likewise for us, God is not waiting for us to meet with him in a temple or tent somewhere. God has now come to live in the presence of our lives. Also in 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV) Paul tells the church “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” This is as true for us now as it was for the early church then. However, we are not in the days of Moses; The God of outside of us also dwells inside us through the Holy Spirit. We need to realise this and glorify God in our bodies. This is the revelation within this week’s message from Pastor Andy - Moses experienced moments of presence but we are to know abiding presence. Each of us who have accepted Jesus has been made holy and righteous through God’s son-ship. We have been made so holy that the Holy Spirit would call us His Temple. Christ prepared our lives for the abiding presence of God in our lives just as the Tent had to be prepared for the presence of God in the Old Testament. We have abiding presence. He never leaves nor forsakes us. We cannot underestimate the value of this. The same presence of God that Moses experienced in the Tent is available to us every day. John 15:4-5 (NIV) tells us “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. So if we are abiding in Him we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us. Let us do three things:- • Realise His presence in a greater way, have the revelation He is with us changing our lives. In 1 Samuel 3, Samuel is lying down inside the temple near the Ark, God calls Samuel and he says ‘here I am’. But God didn’t call from anywhere; he was already in the building. God spoke from the presence that was already there. Likewise, for us now, we have God in the Holy Spirit temple of our lives and he can speak any time. • Take and make time for His presence. Wherever we go, He is with us, we have His abiding presence. Let us acknowledge this daily, enjoy the revelation that God is within us. • When we realise His presence we can practice living out His presence. His presence changes everything so all the things we struggle with will alter. Everything begins with a realisation we have been given the ability to have abiding presence with God.

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All In | Andy Elmes | 17th January 2021

Andy Elmes • January 17, 2021 • Andy Elmes

This week Pastor Andy speaks of being “All In” for God. The message begins by recapping on the last weeks of prayer and fasting bringing fresh presence of God to our lives. Scripture tells us if we draw closer to Him, he will draw closer to us. Recent messages have spoken of awakening to God from our slumbers, being consecrated for Him, being set apart and being part of His family. Last week referenced Romans 12 verses 1-2 (NIV) “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God”. The Lord made us holy so He could fill us with His righteousness and Spirit! It says to be transformed by the renewing of our minds allowing the Word to renew what we think not about some things but all things. So having been awoken and consecrated will we live in submission to God, to the leading of His Spirit in our lives? Daily, we must resubmit our lives. Submission is not popular in the world but scripture endorses this for the best experience with God. James 4 verse 7 (NIV) states “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. Scripture also instructs us to submit to the authority of government as well - Romans 13 verse 1 (NIV) “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”. God is a God of authority. Likewise we submit to our spiritual leaders – Hebrews 13 verse 7 (NIV) says “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith”. What causes us to walk in submission? Ephesians 5 verse 21 (NIV) states “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”. Our revelation of God will cause us to submit to Him but we submit to each other through respect for Christ. Submission is equivalent to saying “I am all in”. Jesus said to the Pharisee (Luke 10 verse 27, NIV) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself”. That’s pretty much “all in”! All the great things that happened in the book of Acts happened because people were “all in” for God. His plans for us will not be fully evident if we are not fully “all in” for Him.

Set Apart | Andy Elmes | 10th January 2021

Andy Elmes • January 10, 2021 • Andy Elmes

Pastor Andy again speaks of the breakthrough he believes will occur to us all in taking part in the twenty one days of fasting at the start of this New Year 2021. He speaks of the need for us to come before The Lord and rid ourselves of junk, pride and so forth, in bringing ourselves to God. Sometimes we need to rid ourselves of things first before we are able to come before The Lord. When we present ourselves to God, it is not the old but the new creation we present to Him. The blood of Jesus has washed away our past sins. Consecration is an interesting and important word if we live with Jesus. It means to be set apart. During Old Testament times it referred to material things being set aside, set apart for His use. Now it is relevant to us, God wants us he wants us to set our lives apart for His use. Consecration begins by us knowing we now belong to God; we have been set apart and bought at a price, by His own blood. Our lives are not our own. In 1 Corinthians 6 verse 15 (NKJV), scripture says “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” So we need to honour God with our bodies. Now we know and believe in the work of the cross, of salvation, we belong to the household of God. We need to understand this not through fear but from love. When we were our own we all messed up! Thankfully Jesus has saved us so this grace of God causes us to live a set apart life for The Lord.

Awaken the Sleeping | Andy Elmes | 3rd January 2021

Andy Elmes • January 3, 2021 • Andy Elmes

This week Pastor Andy speaks about “Awakening the Sleeping”. He began by restating the invitation to a time of prayer and fasting for the first twenty one days of 2021. Fasting is not just about giving up things but being able to hear God in our spirits. Take moments not to feed our soul but our Spirits. Pray for our nation, our church, our families and ourselves. Laying aside things that get in the way of our pursuit of God will allow God to speak into our lives much more. God is in control! We should not be casual – it is vital we hear Him and see Him in our lives. We need an awakening in ourselves, in our nation, in our churches, so the hearts of men and women are awakened to the reality of God and His love. Isaiah 60 speaks of days of great darkness but these announce days of great light…that break and penetrate darkness. Let us pray prayers of awakening, an awakening that comes from heaven. An awakening in the world must start from an awakening in the church. We long in this New Year 2021 to see moves of Gods Spirit that will draw the hearts of the lost back home. But we need this in our churches and ourselves first. We need to see a move of God and kingdom mindedness rising up in the courtyards of government and the nation. But first we need to shake off slumber and awaken to a new place of intimacy with God…..walking closely with God. Oh that the church would awaken to the purposes of God – the great commission. Our lives need to crave the intimacy of God and be busy with His purposes. Romans 13, verse 11 onwards speaks of the time we are in and waking from slumber…. (NIV) “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”. Ephesians 5, verse 8 onwards encourages us regarding who we were and who we now are (NIV) “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light”. This talks about our intimacy with God and then in verse 14..” This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil”. Only a person who is awake can awaken another, so we need to commit to being a people who are fully awake with Him. Only the prince of peace, the touch of the Holy Spirit will awaken us. Intimacy with God will awaken us for His purpose. We pray “Lord in these next twenty one days come and lean over your bride the church and awaken her from her slumbers, give her a fresh touch of your Holy Spirit to stir and shake hearts and let us all rise from any sleeping to seek your face in true devotion”.