In August 1988 I culminated 3 months in the Lake District preaching. We stayed in Churches and people’s houses. In Ambleside a vibrant Church became the centre of activity. It was my last day in the Lakes as I prepared a long message concerning revival.
I must say that at that time i was starting out. The conviction that God will use the Lakes is the fact that the landscape tends to rest and relaxation. And it’s today in my visit here I was not realising the significance at first.
It was exactly 30 years ago that I preached in this region for that final time. 2 August 1988 in fact.
Whilst then I saw revival in a different prism than I do now, I still see God’s desire to use the Lakes to inspire people to discover beyond the beauty of this area to discover also the inner beauty which comes from connecting with God in prayer and contemplation.
When I returned to the UK from Portugal I was given a vision of prayer houses all over the country teaching and living a life of devotion and contemplation. Tapping into the hidden depths of the Bible to see a distinction of the 7 colours that make up light. The rainbow is light disected. In the same way the spiritual light that shines in our heart is distinct in that 7 “spirits ” are in action bringing us the type of life which attract the elusive Holy Spirit into intense activity.
So whilst in 1988 I saw an overall “painting” of revival, I return in 2018 to see the strands of a tapestry to see that refreshing and reviving of faith comes from a lifestyle of stillness and peace in the consciousness that beyond our invisible soul, this peace demonstrated in Lakes and hills of Cumbria offer the perfect backdrop for rich centres of prayer.
Will a network of retreat centres substitute the Churches in the Lakes? No. These will pour in the water from the wells of salvation into them.
The key is to approach prayer as a silent walk in the paths of contemplation to see nature come out. Some animals only appear in the silence of nature.
Some spiritual insights only appear in the silence of contemplative prayer.
Time does not exist in that realm. And deadlines make no sense. We have studied greatly in our Revelation studies and “The Spirit and the Bride Say Come!” Series about the sense of heavenly activity. In the reality of contemplation we throw off time constraints and stresses to see a ornate tapestry of eternity woven into time. Then at sudden and definite impulses we fulfil earthly responsibilities in such a way that we are released into a place of harmony and comprehension at God’s programme.
Prayer goes from words to a state of being.
I have taken a while to understand if a new message would come out from the series but God has been silent.
What is apparent is sometimes deceptive and facts that could have been missed in the milieu of life have been assimilated as a shout in a quiet cavern.
From the point of view of the Lake District I have come back to see a mature vision tempered by a difficult and suffered walk to see the detail that other times and seasons have been missed.
Revival? Yes. In meetings? No. The meeting of God by the individual will be the starting point. It will be the “streams that make glad the City of God.” Psalm 46. The streams from our contemplation of His Being will bring us to the place where we pour out and collectively what we pour out will become a River. The River of God of Ezekiel 47 and Revelation 22 is there and I believe it is personalised in Hebrews 11 when Enoch walked with God because he had this testimony, that he pleased God. This pleasure gave him the conviction that this being enveloped in divine pleasure meant that death had no Destiny nor working in him.
It is this place that both believers and the Church will come into the state of being God had ordained of them.
Here we have the lights named the New Jerusalem that is present in one of UK’s Abbeys. Here we see that the light comes down.
We need to see our lives constantly ascending
The New Jerusalem is made up of the saints who come down from heaven. We need to see our lives constantly ascending in prayer and walking with God.
The Lakes whilst gives an ascending of our admiration can also touch our spiritual being.
30 years is a lifetime, but the lessons are so enriching…