Peter Horrobin

International Director of Ellel Ministries

June 30, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Living Through Loss

Living Through Loss

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me . . . to comfort all who mourn.”

From Isaiah 61:1-2, NIV

In Isaiah 61 the prophet is describing the work that the Messiah, Jesus, would do, including comforting those who mourn. When Jesus began His ministry, He confirmed that Isaiah had been writing about Himself by saying, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).

There are many different forms of loss which can cause us grief, but the one that brings the greatest heartache is the loss of a mother or father, husband or wife, brother or sister or, most painfully, a precious child. Losing a much-loved close family relative is the greatest pain of all, even more so if the loss is sudden or tragic, leaving no space or time to grow accustomed to the fact that someone we love is dying.

Life does not stop for those who are left behind, but how do we handle the grief of knowing that the person we loved so much is no longer with us, as we begin the process of adjusting to life without the one who mattered so much to us. It can seem as though we are facing an impossible journey, but a journey that, however hard it seems, we know we have to take.

We know that life will never be the same again, but the pain of facing this reality can seem like a mountain we have no ability or desire to climb. Like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car, we are immobilised by grief, grief that no-one else can fully understand and no-one else can live for you.

It was into just such a situation that Jesus walked when He came to the home of Mary and Martha, whose beloved brother Lazarus had died. These were all people whom Jesus loved and the sisters were not only in grief about his death, but because Jesus, who they knew had the power to heal, had not been there to heal him before he died. John records that when Jesus saw them weeping he was deeply moved. And then that Jesus wept. Jesus was full of compassion and expressing His own grief that Mary and Martha were feeling their pain so deeply.

Jesus had already told them (John 11:25), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives, and believes in me, will never die.” The sisters understood this spiritually, but how would everyone else know and understand this amazing truth?

When Jesus raised Lazarus physically from the dead, however, after he had been four days in the tomb, there would be no doubting in anyone’s mind that what Jesus had said about resurrection life for all who believed was true. The evidence of Lazarus walking out of the tomb meant far more than physical life for Lazarus, for it confirmed to all believers, for the whole of time that in Jesus is eternal life, his promises of resurrection life are real and that we will see again all those who die in Him. This is the greatest of all comforts.

Be assured that whatever the personal loss is you have experienced, the Lord is weeping with you. His promise to comfort all who mourn is still current and it includes you. Be assured that, in Christ, is resurrection life and that He is still comforting those who mourn and weeping with those who have suffered loss.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You demonstrated Your comfort to Mary and Martha and showed that You have the power of resurrection life by raising Lazarus from the dead. I open my arms afresh to You today and ask that You will wrap your arms of comforting love around me and touch my heart with Your healing, even in the deepest areas of my pain. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

June 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on God’s Comforting Instruction!

God’s Comforting Instruction!

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for.”

Isaiah 40:1-2, NIV

God’s people had been in rebellion. As a result they lost their spiritual protection and this led to their being exiled out of Jerusalem. They suffered the consequences of their own sin. But the time came when the Lord had mercy on them and said they had suffered enough. In repentance they returned home to Jerusalem. And it was then that God gave this instruction, to comfort His people.

For, it is a fact that often, when people have had to face reality about themselves and everything that was hidden is brought out into the open, one of the primary emotions that people experience is shame. We talk about people hanging their heads in shame – they don’t want to look at anyone. Shame becomes a controlling factor in their lives. But it’s not one that God wants us to remain controlled by.

When the people returned from Jerusalem, God wanted them to know that their sin was paid for and forgiven, and that He wanted them to know His comfort. For, without experiencing God’s comfort, ongoing shame would dominate their future behaviour and their lives. Shame acts like a cloud on your future destiny and a break on everything that you might want to do for the Lord.

Many times on retreats and courses the Holy Spirit has touched people’s lives. On occasion, I’ve then been in the position of hearing someone pour out all the ungodly things that have contributed to their present situation. For some this can be a very shame-filled moment. But Jesus died that we can be forgiven. The enemy would want us to wallow in the shame, but God wants people to know the comfort that follows forgiveness, as we realise that God has not rejected us because of what we have done. He tells us that the price for our sin has been paid and the last thing God would want us to do is wallow indefinitely in a pit of shame.

So God’s instruction is to bring His comfort to bear in the lives of His people, so that they can not only be forgiven for whatever is in their past, but healed as well. Satan could want to use our past to condemn our future. But the cross stands between us and our sin and God’s comfort flows from there into broken hearts, heals them and equips them as they set out on life once again, comforted, healed and restored into the Lord’ service.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your comfort is always available for those who have faced reality about themselves and come back to you Thank You that Your forgiveness is complete. Help me Lord to receive the comfort of Your love and not to allow shame to limit my future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

May 31, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on The Comfort of God’s Word

The Comfort of God’s Word

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:11, NIV

The inner workings of our heart are very personal. The heart of man is a very private place. It’s the place where we hide intimate and personal thoughts that really matter to us. It’s also the place where we can bury things and hide them away like precious treasure.

But it can also be the place where we bury things, not because they are precious or valuable, but because we don’t want anyone else to know that they’re there! Especially things that we might be ashamed of, such as memories of sinful experiences which may still hold an attraction for us; things that we like to go back to from time to time, when tempted to indulge ourselves in the false comfort of sinful thinking, as opposed to dwelling on those things that would bless the heart of God and enrich our lives.

The writer of the Hebrews knew the reality of this when he wrote, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13).

The thoughts and attitudes of the heart, or intentions of the heart in some translations, clearly matter to God. They are the things that motivate our actions – they are the source of both good things and bad things. No wonder Jeremiah warned us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

When man chose to obey and follow Satan, we acquired a new and rebellious character in our inner being – the carnal nature, out of which flows the original sin with which the whole of mankind is tainted. And ever since, the battle for the destiny of our lives has been fought out in these inner reaches of our being. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

So, with so much stacked against us from within, how can we ever guard our heart and survive the onslaughts of the enemy which strike at the very core of who we are? How can we ever fulfil the rightful destiny that God has prepared in advance for each one of us (Ephesians 2:10). In our Scripture for today we discover the secret remedy that the psalmist had learned through long experience. He had hidden God’s Word, like buried treasure in his heart, where it could act as a plumb-line ranged against every deceptive intention that the enemy may want us to follow.

I am so thankful to the Lord that I was encouraged as a child to read and learn Scriptures and to remember them. When hidden in my heart, they became bastions of truth against which the temptations of the enemy had to be measured. I’m not saying I always made the right choices as a result, for the will can be very strong. But I can say, without question, that without the comfort of knowing that the Word of God is truth, and that God has promised His blessings to those who follow Him, I would have fallen into Satan’s traps on many occasions and missed out on so much of what God had in store for me.

What a comfort it is to know that if we get the Word of God into our hearts, then the Holy Spirit will get it out, to help us in time of need, especially when facing temptation.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your Word is truth. Help me to diligently read Your Word so that, hidden in my heart, it will help me to resist temptation and make godly choices throughout my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

May 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on How Long is Forever?

How Long is Forever?

“Whom have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire, besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.”

Psalm 73:25-26, NIV

We all entered this world as a baby, after nine months of protected care in a very sheltered environment. We were then released into the world for a period of time that man measures in years. Three score years and ten is the traditional length of a life, but by God’s grace most people have a few more than seventy, and then life comes to an end. Or does it? Not if you believe what the Bible says!

The message of God’s Word, throughout the Scriptures, is that the end of our life on earth is not the end of life. For, after death we all have to stand before the Lord our Maker. Jesus made it very clear that, for those who choose to follow Him, there is a place in Heaven being prepared. This is the ultimate comfort for the believer. And, as the psalmist says in today’s Scripture, “my heart and my flesh may fail – but God is my strength and my portion” – how long for? “Forever.”

The word ‘forever’ has no limitations. It is in the timelessness of eternity that we will enjoy the Lord’s presence. But what if we choose not to follow Jesus? What if we reject the One who paid the price for sin? The writer of the Hebrews (2:3) poses just that question when he says “how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?”

For, the reality is that the whole of mankind chose to follow Satan, the god of this world. And Jesus said (Matthew 25:41) that hell was ”prepared for the devil and all his angels.” So, if we die still following Satan, that’s where we will inevitably choose to spend the timelessness of eternity – or ‘forever’ – with the one we have followed. And is that what you really want to do?

As I get older, my heart longs more than ever that people will desire the Lord while they are still in the realms of time – for when God satisfies that desire with His presence, when we are alive in time, we can be assured that when we leave this time-dependent world, we will be secure in our Saviour – forever. And that means without limit. But God won’t invade our lives against our will – he needs an invitation!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that when we invite You into our lives we are secure in You not just for our years of time, but for the timelessness of eternity as well. Give me a heart, Lord, for those who do not yet know You, that my life and my words may be a living witness to the truth of Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

April 30, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on God’s Treasure Chest

God’s Treasure Chest

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Proverbs 14:30, NIV

The book of Proverbs is like a treasure chest of amazing truths. It’s as if God gathered together hundreds of precious messages, threw them into a big box and gave it to His people to pick out treasure after treasure for the enjoyment, instruction and blessing of His children. And sometimes one of these proverbs jumps out of the page of the Bible with extraordinary timeliness and relevance. Such is the Scripture I have chosen for today.

In his letter to the Philippians (4:7), Paul talks about the peace which God brings to the human heart as being something that is beyond human understanding – and he is absolutely right. It is totally beyond human understanding that God would send His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sin on the cross , so that we may be at peace with God (Romans 5:1) – in time and, more importantly, beyond time and into eternity. Knowing that our sin is forgiven and that God’s judgement for our sins will no longer fall upon us, is totally life-giving.

But there is another peace that is also vital for our human well-being – it is to be at peace with ourselves. In his letter to Timothy (6:6), Paul said that “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” I have seen down the years how inner peace impacts every area of our being – even our physical bodies. It is healing, it is life-giving. And where there s no inner peace that it can have a devastating influence on our health and well-being, as today’s Scripture implies.

Many of the people who have had wonderful healing on our Healing Retreats have come for healing of their symptoms, but have discovered that their most important need was for healing of the broken or distressed or angry or jealous or unforgiving heart. They were not at peace with themselves. There may have been sin that needed to be brought to the Lord, other people who needed to be forgiven, relationships that caused them distress and many, many other things. And then, when all these things had been dealt with and the heart was brought to peace, the Lord was able to move upon them in power bringing the deepest healing possible to every area of their lives.

So, today, when so much of the world is not at peace, and is struggling with the anxieties and distresses of the situation, may I encourage you to bring all the things that disturb your peace to the Lord, one by one, and then invite him to not only bring His peace into the situation but to bring His healing to every area of your being.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for making it possible for me to be at peace God. And thank You that Your salvation also means healing. Show me those areas of my life where I am not at peace so that I can face the issues honestly and then bring each one to You for Your healing. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

April 15, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Walking With Jesus!

Walking With Jesus!

“Jesus himself came up and walked along with them.”

Luke 24:15, NIV

This Scripture is from one of my favourite stories in the Bible. It tells of when the risen Lord Jesus Christ joined two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were talking about everything that had happened in Jerusalem over the Passover. All that had taken place on Good Friday and resurrection morning – going over and over and over all the details of what they had experienced, just as any of us would have done.

And as they were walking, a third person joined them along the way. Their eyes of understanding were hidden as to who this mystery person was. And suddenly they were is the middle of the most extraordinary Bible Study of all time, as the Messiah himself, opened up all the prophetic Scriptures to them about the “Christ who would have to suffer these things and then enter glory” (v.25). How I would love to have been on that 7 mile walk to Emmaus with them!

As they neared their destination they invited the stranger to join with them for the night, and it was as Jesus broke the bread at table that their eyes were opened and they recognised Him – and suddenly He was gone. They got up and immediately ran back to Jerusalem and told the disciples how their hearts had burned within them as Jesus had talked with them on the road. I can imagine them shouting out to the eleven, “It’s true! The Lord has risen” (v.34). Jesus had talked with them along the road – they knew He was alive.

Today, we are living in a very confused world, where thousands of people are asking questions about what and why everything is happening. But we need not be afraid, for the same Lord Jesus who walked with those disciples from Jerusalem to Emmaus, will walk with each and everyone of His followers, along whatever road of life we are having to travel. I find this story so encouraging – it’s the reality of what it means to have Jesus with you all day and every day. I pray that the Lord will open your eyes to ‘see’ with the understanding of the Spirit, to listen out for His voice, to feel His comforting presence and to trust Him afresh, now and every day.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You revealed yourself to Your disciples before You returned to Heaven. And thank You, Lord, that today you walk with all believers who know You. Help us to trust You every step of the way, knowing that You are with us to guide, encourage and comfort us day by day. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

April 11, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on One Thing I Know

One Thing I Know

“I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand on the earth, And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.”

Job 19:25, NIV

There are many people today across the world who are going through the toughest time of their lives, as Covid-19 wreaks havoc across the nations. Job was going through the toughest time of his life when he spoke the words of our Scripture for today. He had suffered family bereavement, loss of property and tormenting personal disease. He had every reason to look at all his circumstances and think it would be OK to blame God and even, as his wife suggested, “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Yet, throughout his suffering, he remained “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 2:3).

It was out of the depths of his pain that Job spoke out these totally extraordinary words of faith and prophecy “I know that my redeemer lives.” He was talking about an event that would take place hundreds of years later, at a place called Calvary and which, today, we celebrate on Easter Sunday. It was the day when Jesus, the Son of God would rise from the dead and become our Redeemer. He died for our sins on Good Friday, but it was when He was raised from the dead on Easter Sunday morning that He became our Redeemer – He was then not only the one who had taken our place on the cross, but the one who was now triumphant over death and hell.

It is the One who has overcome death that invites us to receive Him as our Saviour and make Him Lord of our lives. So, in the midst of personal, national and, even, international trauma and crisis, as believers we have an amazing message to declare to a very hurting world this Easter-time – Jesus Lives. He has conquered death and that whatever difficulties we are having to walk through, Job’s declaration holds good for each of us who know the Lord – for the whole of time and eternity. Our security is in Him – now and for evermore. Hallelujah!

I have always loved the words of Gloria Gaither’s song, but this year they seem especially relevant – they are a message of hope – a message which brings healing to our spirit and takes our eyes off our circumstances to focus on the One whose life we celebrate today with great thanksgiving:

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus

He came to love, heal and forgive

He lived and died to buy my pardon

An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

Because He lives, all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You, our wonderful Redeemer, conquered death and are alive for evermore. Help me today, Lord, whatever the circumstances of my life, to never forget Job’s amazing declaration that You, are my Redeemer and that as Job prophesied, one day we will see You face to face. In Your wonderful Name I pray, Amen.

March 31, 2020
by Seeds of the Kingdom
Comments Off on Returning Home

Returning Home

“Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”

Daniel 9:18, NIV

The whole of Daniel’s extraordinary prayer, recorded in Daniel Chapter 9, is a model of how to pray when returning to God in repentance. Daniel was praying on behalf of his people who had been exiled from Jerusalem for seventy years. It’s a pattern for praying that flows through confession of sin, repentance, and asking God for forgiveness and restoration. It can be used in a very personal way when an individual who has been away from the Lord returns to Him or in a corporate way on behalf of a nation. Or, perhaps, in an international way when we look at what is happening across the whole world at this time.

The desolation and devastation being caused by the impact of coronavirus has not only brought the world to its knees medically and economically. But there are many who are being driven to their knees spiritually as they cry out to God for mercy, just as Daniel did all those years ago. He knew that God had promised “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). As I write these words the governments and nations of the world are in lock-down as they wait for the worst that they say is yet to come, but I believe there are many of God’s people across the nations who are now praying, as Daniel did for mercy, for a world that has turned away from its Creator.

This virus has taught the world just how powerless we are in the face of an unseen enemy. I watched on TV as a very sick man tried to explain how the virus had made him look at his life and wonder if he had been good enough. I read of how some formerly atheistic doctors in Lombardy, Italy, had come to faith through the witness of a dying Pastor. Even through the crisis God is speaking to his people and using the devastation to get people’s attention.

For each and everyone of us this is a wake up call to the reality of life’s brevity. May I encourage everyone reading Seeds of the Kingdom to use this season wisely and to spend time with the Lord preparing your heart for that day which, one day, will come for us all. In Jesus’s parable it was the wise virgins who were ready and waiting for Him. To spend such time now is an investment in eternity!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that even in the difficulties that the world is now facing, people are seeking for and finding You. Help me, Lord, to be ready at all times for the day when either You come or You call me home. I want to be ready and waiting, loving and serving You with every breath I take.. In Jesus’s Name, Amen

March 31, 2020
by Blog Moderator
Comments Off on A Season of Opportunity

A Season of Opportunity

To All our Friends and Supporters

I want to write and encourage you in the midst of this unprecedented season of world history. For these truly are extraordinary days. As I said in my last blog, we have never walked this way before. But nothing of what we are experiencing through the impact of the Coronavirus is a surprise to God. So, it is to Him we must look for help and understanding. David went through some very tough times in his life, and often expressed sentiments such as, “I call on the Lord in my distress and he answers me” (Psalm 120:1) and in the very next Psalm he tells us where his help really comes from, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). And we need His help now.

For, never before in history, have all the nations of the world been simultaneously brought to a stand-still by the same common enemy – a previously unknown virus, so small that no-one can see it, and from which no-one has any protection and for which there is not, as yet, any known cure. As a result, most of the nations are in lock-down, meaning that normal life has been suspended and people are confined to their homes.

The airports of the world have become parking lots for redundant aircraft. The economies of the great nations are being stretched to unimaginable limits in their attempts to control the spread of the disease and treat those who have caught it. Every day, the terrible statistics of disease and death are the substance of our news programmes. And no-one knows how long it’s going to last.

The Maker of Heaven and Earth

If we didn’t know where our help comes from, it would be easy to allow fear and panic to become the controlling forces of our lives. For our help doesn’t just come from some unknown spiritual being – it comes, as David reminds us, from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. And therein lies a problem for the nations, because the governments of the world have not only written God out of the script in terms of the laws of their lands, but they have bowed the knee to the godlessness of atheistic science, which teaches that the universe has no such thing as a Creator!

But, whether or not someone acknowledges the fact, all of us are made in the image and likeness of God our Maker; the creativity in every single one of us is simply a reflection of the creative power of Almighty God. And in every human being there is a God-shaped hole that desperately needs to be filled. I watched an interview on TV with a man who was seriously ill with the virus in hospital. As he lay there, not knowing whether he was going to live or die, he was saying “I wonder if I’ve been good enough?” He was asking the question because the virus was causing him to search for answers about life and death, to questions he hadn’t been asking before. The TV controllers must have allowed it to be screened, because he was representative of millions watching who would be asking the same question in similar circumstances.

Looking for Answers

Right now, there are hundreds of millions of people across the world who are locked away behind closed doors, many in fear of what might happen to them, but also looking for answers. And they are not just looking for an answer from the medics, who they hope will solve the virus problem, but for answers to much bigger questions about life, the meaning of life, death, the hereafter and why all this is happening. I have been surprised at the open-ness of people we have talked to. One said to me, “Is it because we have forgotten God and He is trying to get our attention?” and then added, “Do the nations need to repent?”

A simple answer to both these questions is, Yes. The nations do need to repent – in scripture repentance was always the first step towards the land being healed (2 Chronicles 7:14) and the people being restored. And yes, God will use whatever comes upon us as a means of getting our attention – as happened on numerous occasions in Scripture.

You cannot believe in Jesus, without also believing that God created everything. John’s Gospel begins by stating unequivocally that “without Him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:2). In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus talks about Father God’s provision for His creation (Matthew 6:25-34) and then urges people who are faced with the worries and concerns of this life, however small or great they may be, to “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” And I believe that one of the most important messages that Jesus would speak to the world in the face of today’s anxieties and fears is just that – seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.

Essential Repentance

Because man has rejected Creator God, he has also rejected the God who saves and the God who heals. We learnt how important it is to begin all our training schools and conferences on healing, by laying out the foundations of faith, which begin with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” For our Healer is, indeed, our Maker. He holds the blue-print and master plan for our lives and is the only one who can restore our inner being as the maker intended.

The world does, indeed, need to repent over this – and many other things. This is a day for salvation! For, one day soon, Jesus is coming again, at a time that no man knows. But Scripture warns, in many places, about events that will shake the world in the times before He returns in glory. Jesus told many parables to warn people to be ready and of the consequences of not being ready when He comes again.

When the world is being shaken, as at the present time, people begin to seek God again and God, in His mercy, uses times like this to cause many to repent, come to Him and find Him. Those who have ears to hear will, indeed, be listening. There is a message they need to hear. Many will turn to the Lord, and there will be a harvest for the Kingdom of God.

Salvation and Healing

In this season of desperation, our prayers must be unceasing for all caught up in the crisis, either as victims of the disease or as part of the medical teams who are striving to help the sufferers. And we need to be crying out to Him for His protection and provision. For, this is also a season of harvest and, as always, the Lord of the harvest is calling for workers to go out into his harvest field (Matthew 9:37)to bring the harvest in. That is why Ellel Ministries is about to launch a series of on-line programmes, so that we can use this season of lock-down to share the heart of God to save and heal.

I came into the work of Ellel Ministries on the back of a life-long commitment to evangelism and sharing the good news. It was part of my parental upbringing. And when we began healing retreats at Ellel Grange, thirty-three years ago, the Lord showed us that the most important healing anyone can ever receive is to be born again of the Spirit of God. It’s resurrection from the dead! It’s the beginning of an incredible journey with God our Maker. For many who were born again in this way, it was their need of healing that brought them to the Saviour – and then they discovered that their Saviour was also their healer, their deliverer and their restorer!

Countless testimonies from people who have attended Healing Retreats all over the world testify to the power of God to save, heal and restore. Their need of healing made them cry out to God for an answer. And we saw, like David describes in the Psalms, how God heard and answered their cries for help and healing. Many such stories are featured in the latest edition of our Newsletter.

It sometimes takes a crisis such as we are now going through, to make people ask the right questions. So often they can want God to heal them, for example, but they don’t want to live their lives in harmony with their Maker! Psalm 66:18 reminds us that there are times when cherishing sin in our hearts means that God isn’t able to hear our prayers. And that doesn’t always mean current sin, but often includes things from our past that have never been brought into the light. No wonder James highlighted this issue (James 5:16), when he recommended those who are sick to confess their sins as a vital part of their healing journey with God.

Prayer in the Current Crisis

Returning now to our needs in the current crisis, the opening verses of Psalm 91 remind us that to know the protection and covering of God, we need to dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in His shadow. This is the place of security and safety. When we are in tune with Him we are under His covering and there is no reason to fear. Whatever may befall us, we are in Him – both for time and for eternity, even in the face of a deadly pestilence (v3).

And as we all look to God for His answers in the face of this world crisis, it must surely be a time of preparation. A season when, in the midst of lock-down, we have an unprecedented amount of time to watch, pray and look to Him. A time to look again at our lives, face any issues that could be an obstacle to either healing or the experience of His presence with us; and a time to come back to Him, our Maker, and be under His covering. A time to seek His face.

Two ministry friends who are both now with the Lord, described their ministry as ‘evangelising the heart of the believer’. This is a season when, I believe, God not only wants to seek and to save the lost, but also wants His people to examine their hearts (1 Corinthians 11:27-30) in preparation for both receiving His healing and for a time when God’s Spirit will move in reviving power through His church and into the world. It’s vital that we are ready for when His Spirit moves and begins to draw men to Him.

May I urge you also, to spend time in prayer for the nations and the peoples of the world, that there will be many who will seek for and find the Lord, and that the church will be renewed as believers use this season to focus once again on the essential realities of their faith and prepare themselves to be workers in God’s harvest field.

And watch out for details of Ellel programmes that will soon be available free of charge on-line.

March 18, 2020
by Blog Moderator
Comments Off on “You Have Never Been This Way Before”

“You Have Never Been This Way Before”

When Joshua was preparing God’s people to cross the River
Jordan and enter the promised land, he told the people to keep their eyes on
the ark of the covenant of the Lord, being carried  by the Levites, and when they move, to
follow! Then, they were told, “you will know which way to go, because you
have never been this way before.”

As I write this blog, the nations of the world are struggling to overcome a virus so small that no-one can see it. Fear has become society’s controlling force and severe governmental advice, new laws and economic remedies have swiftly followed. The simple fact is the world has never walked this way before and the leaders of the nations are making up the script as they go. Only President Trump of the world’s leaders has taken the spiritual initiative and called their nation to a day of prayer.

All of us in the Body of Christ need to be on our
knees before the Lord, crying out to Him for our leaders, the medics and
everyone who is fighting this virus and its effects, for this is a world
crisis. We must all play our part.

Yesterday, in response to Government information and advice,
the Executive Leadership of Ellel Ministries had to make the unprecedented
decision to pause all operations at our centres in the UK for four months. It
was a huge decision for us to close our doors to those who need the help, the
training and the ministry which has become the core activity and spiritual DNA of
our work.

But, just as the Israelites were told to go where the presence of the Lord was and to follow the ark of the covenant, we were also looking to follow where the Lord was leading. But what was He saying? How could pausing all our operations for four months help the people that God had called us to serve?

Even as we were wrestling with this decision to close our
doors for four months, we were also becoming aware that this devastating crisis
could become a God-given opportunity to support and encourage the wider Ellel
family and beyond, by using the internet to provide Ellel Online. We were
realising that by changing our strategy, in this unique season, we would be
able reach many more people across the world, than could ever come through our
doors! But we needed the Lord’s clear confirmation that this was where He was
leading.

Then, right into our meeting came a texted word from an
intercessor to one of our Exec members. They knew absolutely nothing about the
decision we were wrestling with when they quoted to us John 4:35. “Do you
not say, Four months more and then the harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and
look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”

Immediately, we knew it was right to pause our centre
activities for four months, but God was telling us not to wait four months
before continuing operations to bring in His Kingdom harvest – for the time is
NOW. This is a time of reaping, even as fear and panic is spreading across the
world. For, in the middle of the crisis, there will be those who are turning to
the Lord and crying out to Him. It is now that the harvest must be reaped!

We had been asking God to show us His way forward for the ministry, because we had never walked this way before. It was an awesome moment when we realised that God had spoken right into our situation.

Yes, there will be consequences of closing our doors for
four months, especially in respect of our finances. For, without anyone coming
on our courses, there will be no income from this source. And what about all
our teams – and many other issues we will have to wrestle with? The potential
problems are huge – but God has spoken, therefore, we need not fear.

We may not have gone this way before, but the coronavirus
pandemic was not a surprise to God, even though it’s a season in history unlike
any other that there has ever been. It is a spiritual war with an invisible
enemy. There may be a physical virus to which mankind has no immunity, but as
Paul so rightly said in Ephesians 6:12, “Our struggle is not against flesh
and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers
of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of darkness in the heavenly
realms.”

So, as well as doing everything necessary to protect
ourselves from the virus, we need also to heed Paul’s advice and put on the full
armour of God – the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield
of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word
of God, and have feet that are ready to take the Gospel to wherever there is
one who is crying out to God for answers. We live in a world which has largely
turned its back on God our Maker and His Son, our Saviour, but that doesn’t
mean there aren’t millions of people who are still looking to God for an answer
to the fear in their hearts and the issues in their lives.

These may be testing and challenging days – but they are
also days of great opportunity for the Kingdom of God. We need to take every
wise precaution physically to protect ourselves from the physical virus, but we
need to be diligent also in using the armour of God to provide us with
spiritual protection from everything that the enemy of souls wants to throw at
mankind – and especially at God’s people.

Right now, our leaders at Ellel Grange are working on the
details of an on-line programme of encouragement and teaching for the times in
which we are now living. So, watch out for an email telling you how to link in
with this new Ellel service. It’s coming very soon!

And may I ask you to pray for the ministry and our works
across thirty-six different nations as they seek to minister faith and hope
into the lives of people who are coming under the threat of a global wave of
fear and panic.

We may not have walked this way before, but, as
children of God, we are stretching out our hands to the One who knows the way
to go. May the Lord’s hand of protection and blessing be upon you and all the
nations to which we belong.