Seeing the Pattern of Heaven within Creation
I love the Celtic Christians. They didn’t have the view that ‘the spiritual world is good and the natural world is bad’. This view is Gnosticism and can creep into prophetic circles so easily. Even in terms of people’s priorities – valuing weird prophetic experiences above normal relationships. It can produce a disdain towards normal life! Urrr! Can’t believe I have to drop my kids off at school when I should be engaging with Heaven… It’s actually quite weird when you think about it but yet there are lots of prophetic people out there modelling something, possibly not quite as bad as that, but similar. The early Celtic Christians valued the natural as much as the spiritual. They discovered the mystical in the mundane.
The Kingdom of God is not some airy fairy Never Never Land, which takes us away from a life we don’t like, but is Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the midst of our everyday life. (Romans 14.17) Paul had encounters with the Third Heaven and yet realised that the Kingdom of God was entirely relevant to his normal life.
The Kingdom of God is the True Pattern of Creation
St. Augustine is an early church Father and is regarded as influencing much of western Christianity. Some of his teaching I don’t particularly like and would side with other Fathers of the Faith instead, with guys like Athanasius who have influenced the Eastern Church. But I do like Augustine’s view of evil- he believed that it is the ‘privation’ of good – the lack or absence of Good.
The Celtic Christians saw the Image of God embedded within the whole of creation; that the Kingdom and Glory of God is threaded through it. But there are situations in the world right now where although the Glory and Kingdom of God covers the whole earth, like in Samuel’s day, there is no widespread revelation of the Kingdom, or of the Glory. There is a lack of revelation of the Gospel, and in that lack or privation, there is darkness- war, sickness, poverty, isolation etc. The world needs the reality of the Kingdom of God, the illumination of the true pattern to life. This will uncover Peace in situations of war and hatred.
The earth is waiting in eager anticipation, in groans like labour for it to come about. The world actually wants it (Romans 8). And there are no excuses. The Christ has already come bringing with Him the pattern of the Kingdom of Heaven, this pattern is the true make up of creation. Creation has the imprint of Glory in it, the fingerprint of God carrying the pattern of His original design. This pattern is His image.
Why does Creation long for the Sons of God?
Jesus said in Matt 5 that ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called Sons of God’. The Sons of God will be peacemakers on the earth. They will have authority to reveal the things hidden within the universe’s true design – things like this Peace. Jesus understood this (it was the Word of God, that formed creation into this pattern in the first place) and so He operated in it.
Isaiah 9 prophesies about the Son of God and says that –
…He will be called… Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His Government and of PEACE there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom…
The Celtic Saints believed that this image- the image of the Prince of Peace, is threaded through the whole cosmos.
The Sons of God are of the same pattern as the Son of God
Jesus moved in Peace while walking around 1st C. Judea. In Matt 8 the Son of God stands in the middle of a storm, surrounded by chaos, waves crashing in, the boat about to break in two, ship wreck staring them in the face. He says “Peace! Be still!” His voice releases the pattern of the Kingdom of God and brings creation into peace and stillness.
Having authority over creation is a real area for the Sons of God to tap into and I like many others have been fascinated by this and have seen creation respond in different ways – stopping rain, causing rainbows in the sky, snow to fall or whipping up the wind. (It is fun and has genuinely happened in real life…)
Jesus walked according to the dimension of the Kingdom of Heaven, to the pattern and revelation of Glory. Within creation was the memory of Eden, and as Jesus walked around, creation could tangibly feel the resonance of that Kingdom. Through the life and death of Jesus a new chapter was opened for creation – to be set free from the bondage of decay into a new pattern of liberty and fruit. Creation was being reconfigured from Adam’s corruption to Christ’s perfection. Creation responded to Christ and where it didn’t there was trouble! When Jesus met a fig tree, it seemed to refuse His pattern and refused to produce fruit. So Jesus cursed it! Crazy!
Peace in conflict
There is another element to this pattern of Peace, it’s not just about playing with the weather but in stopping conflict in the world. There is Peace available from the Kingdom of God right now for situations within humanity – conflicts, wars, violent situations. Situations where the pattern of the Kingdom of Heaven needs to be revealed. Creation is waiting for people with an understanding of the Supernatural power of Peace to impact regions that are ravaged by war. People with this authority can stop terrorism and civil wars.
No nation on earth has fully discovered peace. In the West we place so much emphasis on learning and education, teaching and understanding and yet there is violence, chaos, murder, etc etc going on. No country is free from it. This is true in the church too – there is the lack or privation of peace. So many teachers, so many sermons and yet churches riddled with conflict, gossip, marriages on the verge of break up, fall outs etc etc. You would think that if knowledge was the answer then we would have cracked it? Or is there something else?
Peace is better than knowledge
In Philippians 4 it talks about a peace which goes beyond, is greater than, exceeds, or transcends understanding. In the past we have seen this as ‘there is peace in the middle of chaos’ and yes that is true but at the same time it is telling us that peace has more value than understanding.
Where there is war, we don’t need more teaching and understanding, we need Peacemakers. We need those who have a revelation of their identity, that they are made in the image and pattern of the Prince of Peace, who know the authority in them, who can speak words that carry the resonance of Heaven and bring the reality of peace into situations. They will see it bubble up before them.
We don’t need more Prophets of Judgement pronouncing that in 2015 there will be doom and gloom but the Sons of God who can decree Peace and see it established in the middle of war zones; Prophets who can reveal the pattern of Heaven within creation.
We had an amazing time at Northern Glory in Sheffield last Friday. The Presence of God was really strong with more physical healings happening. We ended with a fire tunnel, renamed ‘rapture tunnel’ and holy chaos ensued. The Glory was strong!
The next Northern Glory will be on the 27th Feb, in Leeds, venue tbc, with Godfrey Birtill.