Dream word – IMAGINE
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.’” NKJV
Making churches like Barbados
Water covers two thirds of our planet. God takes delight in water. However, God also takes delight in air, after all didn’t He breath it for 33 years? Yes, like us, Jesus had a first breath and a last breath and of course, like Him, we too shall breath again, even after death.
In this four dimensional world of ours, it is also evident that God takes delight in the placing of creatures in separate mediums. So we find creatures made for the water and creatures made for the atmosphere and the earth and indeed, in all these mediums we find the inhabitation of God’s creatures both under them and in them and between them. Yes, interestingly, God also makes creatures that can inhabit all these mediums at several depths. A sea bird for example may have its nest in the rocks, walk on the earth, fly in the sky and plunge beneath the depths to fish it’s food from the waters. So we then we have distinct God created mediums, with several different depths of overlapping occupancy.
In 2008, a video was released showing the current world record of “fish flight” being broken by an unnamed competitor, who glided for a full 45 seconds, “flying” at around 20mph and skimming the waves off the coast of the Japanese Island of Yakushima. Amazing! I’m talking about a fish of course and in particular about the Exocet of the sea, (Exocoetidae – flying fish) which consist of around 50 species and range throughout most of the world’s tropical and subtropical waters.
There are two main reasons given for the flight of these fish. First, that they are trying to escape predators, and what better way to do so than leave the medium in which the predators inhabit. Secondly, they fly very simply because they can! And who would blame them, for who among us, would dare to forbid a fish to fly? I mean come on now, it’s gotta be boring jus swimming all the time?
We Christians, have since our most early start classified and iconised ourselves among the fishies, which I suppose is especially seen with the widespread use of the icthus symbol. In a similar way to the flying fish, we have in Christ been enabled to inhabit both the mediums of the material and the spiritual world. Unlike the flying fish however, we can maintain a presence in both of these mediums at the same time. For sure, at some point we shall all completely slip our corporeal anchors and soar at last to worlds unknown, but even then, it shall only be until the adoption, even the resurrection of our bodies, when we shall fully inhabit the material world to breathe again once more and also be more enabled to better inhabit the spiritual one as well. You see, we are created to be occupiers of several mediums in at least two very different dimensions.
However, tonight I want to suggest to you that we are like the flying fish in the very same two distinct reasons for which they also fly. That is, first to escape our predators and secondly, because we can.
First, we fishes fly to escape our predators. I am talking spiritually here. For our predators mostly (though not completely) inhabit the spiritual realm. Just above the surface of the material world, the dark forces of the enemy manifest in madness, manifest in lies, in dark deceits, in depressions, in ailments, in weaknesses, in sicknesses of many kinds and bondages galore, wait with these same chains, draped over clawed demonic raptors, to bind us once again. Yes, with wide blood red and angry eyes, they shuffle expectantly, moving these maniacal manacles from claw to claw, waiting for an open door, to come in and chain the long freed children of God once more. There are times then, when we little fishies, encountering these red eyed hungry looks and hearing the clinking of these heavy iron hooked chains, need to speedily flap our tails and slip the surface of this material and spiritual interface, flying away from these mad and hungry avarice-crazed mermaids of madness, and glide to the safety of the right hand of God. For there and only there, above the blood drenched mercy seat, are the accusations, the impositions and all the cursing of the enemy, gavel’ed to the grave and pounded to the pit from whence they came. Christian, from the jaws of the enemy then, we must always fly to Jesus.
Secondly, we fish must fly because we can. There is a delight in being in the conscious presence of Jesus. For me, I must confess though, that I presently am not one of those fish of continual and conscious abiding but rather, I am one of the smaller fry, mostly flying through predatorial fear and who only sometimes through want, yes only sometimes through delight and through heartfelt desire, occasionally slip the interface of the material and the spiritual worlds to consciously be with my Jesus. I don’t do it enough. Do you?
Like most fish, I need to be in a school. I need to be with other fish who fly, so that in community, we can enjoy the feat together. Maybe after such public and communal flights, I would fly much more in private. Surely then, our times of gathered worship in the church of Jesus Christ, should be like the sunny shores of Barbados, the land of the flying fish, where the blue skies are full of silver glinting scales, all flashing in the light of the Son.
Tell me then will you, what’s your communal Lord’s Day adoration like? Are you taken to the shores of Barbados or left to eat waffles in Bridlington? (No offence) The question is this though, in our churches does our prayer and praise and preaching encourage us to slip this medium and fly away to Jesus? Yes, are our churches where the fish will fly or simply flap around inside the boat? It seems to me we need to have more churches like Barbados than we presently have like Bridlington. (No offence)
Listen: “So I said, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalms 55:6-8 NKJV)
Pray: And with my final heartbeat, I shall kiss the world goodbye, and go in peace and laugh on Glory’s side, and fly to Jesus, fly to Jesus, fly to Jesus and live! (From “Untitled Hymn” – Chris Rice)
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