Going Deeper: From Vulnerability To Breakthrough
Mike brings us the second part of his Going Deeper experience. Find Part 1 here.
How could I try and make it to the deep end of Tudor Grange Pool? 15 metres achieved. 10 still to go.
God spoke to me about challenging my fears. I had to prophesy to myself. He seemed to be saying ‘how can you learn to prophesy to others if you can’t start with yourself?’ So, I started telling anyone who would listen that I’d be down the deep end before long, even though that thought daunted me. ‘I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Philippians 4 v 13).
I had to learn to be vulnerable, which would leave me feeling distinctly uncomfortable. I believe that Ezekiel was also uncomfortable in chapter 47. He was led into ‘a river that I could not cross’(v5). But he still followed and trusted the angel of God.
And I remembered other times in my life when God had challenged me about sins, wounds or bondages that needed removing. As a male, I used to be poor in owning my emotions, and coming from a rather emotionally frozen family, the need to allow God into those places was not at all easy to accept. It left me uncomfortable and vulnerable. But Father God gently kept on highlighting things that needed sorting. He seemed to be saying I couldn’t go deeper in Holy Spirit unless He went deeper in me first.
But every time I did make myself vulnerable and said “yes” to God resulted in increased freedom and joy!
Then there was a discovery at Tudor Grange. There were gutters in the floor tiling that ran along each side of the pool, ideal for novice swimmers to hold onto, if necessary, while they ventured into the deep.
Further than before
In November last year I swam further than ever before, and, if fearful, simply held onto the gutter. In mid-November, I swam 20 metres, nearly to the end of the pool, looked back at the shallow end and the thought ‘ I don’t belong here’ popped into my mind. Instantly, I confessed that negativity and said aloud, “I do belong here in Jesus’ name!”
And on 20th November, through facing my fears, prophesying about myself, and being vulnerable (and not a little prayer) I swam all 25 metres from the shallow to the deep end for the very first time! What a breakthrough!
What a strange, strange sensation to look back down to the shallow end from that end for the first time in my life. Aloud, I said very deliberately, “THIS is where I belong.”
And the place God wanted Ezekiel to belong is in His deep river of life at the end of chapter 47. A place of abundant fruit, of healing for the nations, and even environmental restoration! That’s where we all belong as believers, as well.
‘Where the river flows, EVERYTHING will live.’ (v.9)
Father give us all a hungry and obedient heart, to let You lead us deeper in Your river, we pray!
Thank you Mike for telling us your story.