REFIT, RESTORATION, REFORMATION AND GLORY
Refit: To prepare or equip again; to renew supplies or equipment.
Restoration: The act of restoring, renewal, revival or re-establishment; The return of something to its former, original, normal or unimpaired condition; Restitution of something taken away or lost; Putting back to a former position, dignity etc.
Reformation: The improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory etc; To change to a better state or form etc, to improve by alteration, substitution abolition etc; To cause a person to abandon wrong or evil ways of life or conduct; To put an end to abuses, disorders etc.
I saw a sailing ship, a big old schooner, beautiful in design but tatty from years of faithful service delivering people and goods, through rough seas and fair, in season and out. It was blown into harbour by the Spirit's winds of change and hauled up into dry dock.
Then I saw a man board her, open every hatch and egress, and get to work with unhurried rhythmic pace, clearing and restoring the decks, replacing ropes, pulleys and sails, scrubbing, painting and varnishing, while all the time singing the melodious songs of the sea.
Down into her depths he dove, completely gutting her, then scrubbing, cleaning, sanding and airing, stripping back the boards inside, exposing beautiful native timbers carefully selected long ago to form the shapely hull. Gradually, as the work went on and the breeze blew through, the stale smell of bilge and cargoes-past was replaced by the fragrance of freshly exposed natural wood.
Next, the man began preparing the timber for seaworthiness again, restoring and resurfacing the empty hull. At first I imagined he would be applying tar (a memory of how things used to be done?) but then I realised it wasn't tar at all. I was surprised when I saw that the craftsman was carefully covering every square inch, little by little, with precious sheets of gold leaf. Wow, what a huge investment for the inside, hidden parts of the vessel, I thought. Such expense for something that very few would ever see. To me he seemed the quintessential craftsman, working away in unhurried but deliberate fashion, with obvious enjoyment and skill.
Ahhhh the Ark of the Covenant, I suddenly thought... a skilfully crafted container, God's glory and powerful presence, made with wood and overlaid with gold.
Tumbling thoughts... craftsmanship, anointed artisans, beauty, value, expense, God's design, worth doing well, beauty, excellence, for generations... restoration and reformation... new thinking, new technology, all new. Being equipped again.
Then Noah came lurching into view, a man who built a boat, an ark. A family endeavour against the odds. More tumbling thoughts... a generation in darkness, a man called unsuspecting into God's big story, faith, invisible realities, obedience, price paid, pioneer, prophet, misunderstood, blueprints, something brand new, a big project, worth doing well, salvation and deliverance - eternal things.
A new time and our turn to be like Noah, see God's design, imagine something totally new, then build it. The need to craft an ark, but also the call to BE an ark, lined with the gold of God's glory. God with us, His presence, His vessel to bring hope for the hopeless, new possibilities, light in the darkness in coming days.
The call to work like artisans and craftsmen on the blueprints that God is releasing from heaven right now... with the same skill and loving care He uses in working with us... we are the ark and we build the ark in this particular time and generation. Time for new worshipful work by restorers who've been restored, reformers who've been reformed, revivalists who've been revived.
We are the boat in dry dock being refitted for the new era, lined with the gold that speaks of refinement, purity and glory. Each of us individually and all of us together, the church, have been prepared for the new era. We are soon to be relaunched. There are new charts, new destinations, up to the minute heavenly technology and uncharted seas to explore. God Himself at the helm of our vessel and the Spirit is the wind in our sails. We will launch from dry dock carrying a greater revelation of the glory of God in His sons and daughters - our true dignity and position restored.
The glory of the Lord WILL cover the whole earth as the waters cover the sea, and His salvation WILL be revealed on a scale that we can't imagine, and in ways that we can't yet comprehend.
This really is the era of end times revival outpourings, reformation, and a culminating of divine purposes. We the church are to build the ARK of the Kingdom because the rain of revival is beginning to fall. Darkness is manifesting throughout the earth and nations are in turbulent flux, but the glory of the Lord arises upon us, and we are the light of the world.
by Jill Smith
Jill Smith was born in Whangarei, Northland, raised in Auckland, Geelong (Australia), and Palmerston North. Through her father she has iwi connections to Tainui and identifies strongly with New Zealand’s bi-cultural and partnership vision.
She has been married to Don for over 40 years and together they have a lively family who they enjoy heaps - four children, their husbands and wives, and ten brilliant grandchildren.
Jill’s prophetic ministry flows through teaching, preaching, prayer, writing, coaching, counseling, art and church leadership. Currently Don and Jill lead Pukekohe Community Church on the southern border of Auckland, and Jill travels regularly to minister further afield.
Jill is ordained with ACTS Churches New Zealand, connects with prophetic networks within in New Zealand, and relates to other Christian leaders for friendship and support. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org