Thursday, 27 January 2011


I’ve just spent the weekend at Gloryfest with some of our truly fantastic friends. I had time to sit and listen to some of our favourite preachers and teachers; John Crowder, Ben Dunn, Kathy Garda, Karen Lowe and Jo Gravell. I danced at the party whilst Godfrey hammered out the Truth and I made silly noises along to Ben Dunn, such fun. I heard the sound of freedom. We spent time with good friends eating and drinking and sharing our stories. I made some new friends and saw some Big Brother 11 housemates turn up to support Dave.
We stayed with a family who had opened their house up to ten people and created an atmosphere where we all felt like we had come home. We didn’t feel like guests, we felt like a family. We shared meal times around a large table, with kids, dogs and nationalities blending together to make the sound of fellowship. We have found the hospitality and generosity of the Welsh humbling, abundant and overwhelming.
I thought I might share some of the gems I brought home from the weekend.
On arriving on Wednesday night I was chatting with my friend about health issues, particularly linked to digestion and we encouraged each other with the verse from 1 Timothy 5:23 ‘Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.’ So we headed for the bar where I had a lovely glass of Merlot. This glass of wine was my first in five years, an interesting number as it represents Grace and represented the end of my alcohol fast. Now with hindsight I think breaking that fast was the pre-cursor to the weekend, the end of law and embracing the fullness and complete work of Grace.
In the summer of 2005, having read a very good book called ‘Fear of the Lord’ by John Bevere, I asked God how I could move my relationship with Him into something more intense, more passionate, and more obsessive. I was prompted to fast alcohol from September until Christmas and following a rather lovely glass or two over Christmas, I decided to continue with the fast for however long it felt right. From that time I became more obsessive, more passionate and more frustrated. I did not want to waste time going through the motions, I couldn’t bear doing anything I perceived to be religious. I would try and express my desire for more - more worship, more passion, more focus, more holiness, more truth, more prayer, more experience, but I was not very successful as the frustration was heard more often than the desire. As the years have passed I have learned that frustration with myself, with others or with structures does not achieve anything and probably has a detrimental effect on relationships which can’t be a good thing. So I try to keep my focus where it belongs, on him.
The reasons for my decision to continue with the fast as they developed over the five years - to help me get closer to God, to help me to hear him clearer, to help break some ancestors alcoholism curse that has blighted my family,(not too sure of this one but it sounded good in the right circles), God helping me to avoid becoming an alcoholic because I have a weakness towards alcohol caused by my sinful nature,(a hidden fear), to help me focus, to set me apart like a Nazarite. So whilst last Wednesday night was no different to other nights it was the beginning of a weekend where those reasons were well and truly shattered through the teaching on the cross and what actually happened there. Teaching I had listened to before but perhaps like the seed sown in the field some had drifted away for different reasons. My friend told me once that a God anointed teacher does not teach you anything you don’t already know, they just remind you of the truth. I think that is something to note when the church is full of good communicators and in need of some anointed teachers.
The reasons for the fast were well reasoned, I do think a lot, I do ponder a lot, however I am moving away from fasting as a way to achieve any of the desired goals for the fast and in fact any action on my part to achieve them as I believe I already been given them, as a gift. I also need to remember that a good reason for doing something does not always mean it is a life bringer after all we were not meant to know the difference between good and bad we were to leave that distinction to God. So now I will try and decide whether something will bring life or death rather than whether it is a good or bad decision. Here’s what happened to my good reasons for fasting alcohol:-
To get closer to God - I can get no closer to God than I am today as according to the bible he has moved in – I am a temple of the Holy Spirit, part of his body, all the fullness of the deity living in bodily form in Jesus and I have been given fullness in Christ. So how can I get closer, there is no distance between us, I have been fully reconciled to God. My knowledge/revelation of God may increase as he reveals more of himself to me by his Spirit whilst I rest in his presence but we are not getting closer. My love for him may deepen over time which leads to feeling like I am closer to him than before but the reality is I am in Christ whether I feel like it or not and my actions certainly do not bring him or me closer together.
To hear him clearer - If I believe that Christ lives in me, that he is my head, (not to be confused with in my head), that we are close all the time and that he speaks into my spirit then fasting should make absolutely no difference whatsoever. If I believe that he is God of the Universe and he wants to be heard he will find a way, which may include donkeys and writing on the wall, flowers and sunsets.
Ancestors – What do they have to do with me? I am a new creation, I have been born from above, my Dad is God and my brother is Jesus.
Sinful nature – Mine has been crucified with Christ, no longer attached, no longer in control, it has been taken from me. I am a Romans 6 true believer. I have nothing to struggle with, nothing to drag me down, nothing to cause me to sin, and nothing to separate me from God. I can live a sin free life because he calls me perfect and holy. Whilst I have sinned and fallen short I have now been rescued and am free to live in the Spirit. Galatians 5:24 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires”. The cross effected a complete work, it did not do half a job, leaving me with a struggle on my hands, to be wrestling with myself every day, to have a split personality, an inward fight of good and bad. The cross totally crucified my sinful nature and if I believe that how can I live in its control any longer, it would be like dragging a skeleton around with me all day discussing my plans with it. I would rather believe the truth and carry the Holy Spirit around with me so he can tell me his plans.
To help me focus – My attention, my gaze, can be turned at any moment. It is my choice where to look.
To be set apart as a Nazarite for God – My belief in Jesus, who he was and is, what he did and accomplished on the cross sets me apart. I am fundamentally different from the world; I am a child of God, a citizen of heaven. I have been delivered and chosen, purchased at a price, ransom paid in full and therefore set apart. This has all been done for me, whilst I was still in my sin he died for me, I cannot assist in my salvation.
If it has all been done for me then why should I press in or pray more or with more intensity, more seeking, more chasing, pursuing, going deeper? I think once I believe the truth of the cross, the fullness of grace, the true Gospel of reconciliation and am fully satisfied with all that he has done for me, these words only now apply when talking about me and God in our unity. Wanting to sink deeper into the revelation of who he is, discover more secrets that he has hidden for me to find, to press in to be suffocated in his embrace, to pray more intensely as in to practise his presence continually. As for contending - only for the gospel not for myself I have been contended for.

So here’s to drinking the mixed wine as spoken of in Proverbs 9:1-6.


  1. Thats brilliant Mags...SPOT ON! Love it!

  2. Great Mags, I came away from glory fest feeling that we all need to start living out of our own revelation, so much pure gold within us we just need to tap in to it. Loved that blog Mags

  3. Just so True, Thank you Jesus.

  4. What a wonderful blog "Pressed". I just love the "Wine of the Spirit"!