7th February 2018
This testimony starts back in February 2017, when I had some prophetic pictures drawn for me by three School of Ministry students at Bethel.
One picture was of me having a cloak of many colours like Joseph and the artist saw me as a noble knight of integrity. I had been going through a period of self doubt, unsure of my future and had lost my compassionate heart. All the pictures spoke to me and over the next few days many people prophesied over me. These impacted me and combined with the teaching at Bethel and a Sozo (I had been sceptical of having one but would thoroughly recommend it), I experienced a new level/relationship with Jesus and it is awesome.
Posted by Maureen Hopkins
5th June 2016
This is the fourth of a mini series of blogs we've produced on 'worship.' You can read the other three here as we explored Who we worship, Why we worship and last time, How we worship.
Today, we want to ask the quesiton 'How do we worship God (part II)?'
Posted by Ewan Kannegieter
7th April 2016
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song (Psalm 95:2)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4)
I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the LORD (Psalm 116:17)
Worshipping God should always start with thankgiving. If God is who He says He is, then He is altogether higher, greater and stronger than anything in this world and altogether our Saviour and provider. Thanksgiving allows our immediate focus to be on Him, even when we are anxious and concerned about life's circumstances.The Bible asks us in everything start our prayers to God with thanksgiving (phillippians 4:6). Thanksgiving reminds our very soul of all that God is, and all that He has done.
What a great place to start your day? What a great way to face any situation - 'God you have done so much and I will remind myself of these things!' This is fundamentally right and appropriate but as ever, we also benefit from this as faith rises within us as we utter the words of 'thank you God!' By comaprison many social commentators bemoan how rude people can be in modern life. In particular they despair about how people neglect to be grateful – specifically that they fail to say thank you. Author Lynn Truss says that ‘saying thank you is way of positionng ourselves in humility. It brings with it recognition that we need help, that we can’t do life on our own, and it demonstrates a grateful heart.'
So what does thanksgiving look like? It could be keeping a ‘thankful list’ of things large and small, so you armed and ready with your thanks. It could be seeking out testimonies and stories of what God is doing, and indeed sharing you’re own journey of who you see God to be, an how he has provided for you and those around you. Maybe bring thankfulness into all aspects of life - the office, the car, the dinner table, your worship. Paul Manwaring one of the leaders at Bethel Church, California often says that starting meetings with good news and with thanks is culture shaping. He did this here in the UK as a prison Govener before moving to the USA, and the shift in perspective of the whole team was significant.
Wouldnt it be great if we were known as people who oozed with gratitiude and thankfullness?
Reflecting also on Psalm 100:4, which says that thanksgiving leads us into His presence, I am reminded that if we want to draw closer to God, we need to start with thanksgiving. Let's be ready with our lips and hearts to express thankfullness straight away when we come before God!
If our worship is strongly flavoured with thanksgiving and honour of His name, we will have a very healthy worship diet! There are of course many other aspects of sung worship, ways, means, and how we can worship but in this next season can I challenge you to be ready to give thanks, and to praise His name? Come ready on Sunday mornings to thank Him and start everyday by coming into His presence with thanks.
In our modern day culture of convenince, express service, and a ‘me’ focus, let us take the time to worship with thankfulness and a renewed focus on the Name that is above all others. Let’s not allow the ‘great I’ to take precedent over the ‘great I AM’
Posted by Ewan Kannegieter
13th March 2016
Why do we worship God?
In the last blog (blog part one) we looked at the fact that God is greatly to be praised. In part two I want to ask the question 'why do we worship God?' Why does an all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present God, need created beings to worship Him? Is He an attention seeker? Is He egotistical?
Now, I don’t know about you, but I am easily distracted...(ooooh look, a bird)...I can easily be overwhelmed and let the busyness of life overtake me and then let other things, people or situations take the priority.
Is this just me? Or are you the same? Do you start the day wanting to focus on Jesus and pray as you work, only to stumble across 5pm and realise that you've not had any time to even think about God?
Let me tell you straight - it is absolutely worth your while to let Jesus be the priority of your life! Psalm 63:3-5 says:
"Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live,cand in Your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You."
There is a need, a craving if you like, for our lives to be satisfied. I want to tell you that satisfaction in all of life can be found. Read that last sentence again - satisfaction in all of life can be found! In praise, in worship, in the best meal, in the richest of foods, you can be fully satisfied!
It’s no secret that I love both preparing and eating food...lots of food...and I've learned that finding satisfaction when eating is an active process! We have to engage our hands in order to use our cutlery, we have to feed our mouth, smell the food, mentally we must like the look of what we see and we have to enjoy the taste and the warm glow of culinary satisfaction.
The same is true with God - to find satisfaction you need to actively engage your body, lift your hands, feed your mouth with worship and truth, allow your senses to become enlightened, be amazed at the picture you see of God, and know the after effects of worship are for your good, and that you will be sustained. It requires engagement and my first encouragement is to approach times of corporate and individual worship fully engaged!
Setting our attention and focus on Him, allowing our lives to be built on His greatness, His character is good for us. Jesus modelled this for us by spending much time alone with the Father as an anchor for his life, but yet found refreshing, satisfaction, and strength for his own life. If Jesus found it necessary to rely on the Father, the same is true for me, you and every other Christian in the world today.
Where else is there to turn to? What else in life offers the kind of satisfation that worship to our God does?
Three years ago my wife Katherine carried our first son, Finley James, to full term. Finley was born stillborn. In the midst of what must be one of lifes most devastating moments, the only place that Katherine and I could go to for solace, for peace, for any satisfaction in life was in worship. For many months the only way we could sleep was to have worship music filling our house, our mouths and our ears.
In the midst of confusion and pain, we need to worship. And the same is true when we're in the midst of joy and excitement. Its good for us. Its sets our hearts right. It brings satisfaction to our souls.
When time is spent in the presence of God, who is the better for it? Is it for my benefit or for God's benefit? Every-time I have sung, worshipped, praised, served, prayed and sought after God throughout my entire life, I am the one who leaves feeling more loved, honnoured and supported. Even though I am the one giving of myself to and for Him, by the great grace and kindness of God I am the one who is blessed.
So why do we worship? Firstly, because He is greatly to be praised, but secondly because it is the only way we can taste true satisfaction.
Hillsong wrote the song ‘Christ is enough for me, Christ is enough for me, Everything I need is in You, Everything I need.
Let this be the call of our mouths, our hearts and very lives; You, Jesus are enough!
Posted by Ewan Kannegieter