I was getting tired last night, so I devoted more of my attention to being personally impacted by this message and less to typing. Thus, these notes will probably be shorter than some of the other sessions, which is probably just as well!
Last night’s main session was taken by David Devenish. Dave is based in Woodside Church, Bedford, UK. He is working with many churches in Russia and the Ukraine, and preparing churches and individuals for world mission. He has written the books, Setting People Free, Demolishing Strongholds, and What on Earth is the Church For? He has also developed various training courses. He is married to Scilla and they have four grown-up children.
Jeremiah was appointed as a prophet to the nations. “Go to everyone I send you to and say what I command you to.”
Will we stand out as those who understand what God is doing in the uncertainty of our times? God is looking for people who know what he is saying to our world today. Jeremiah is the longest book in the Bible, except for Psalms. Dave said this book had gripped him for the past few weeks, so much so, in fact, that his wife Scilla would ask, “Are you with us?” David gave us an introduction and overview to the historical background and story of the book of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah speaks of a new heart being needed, regeneration. Jeremiah’s story shows someone who was prepared to stand against prevailing opinion. Jeremiah, who was like Jesus in some ways (e.g. said not to rely on the temple) had a message for the oppressor and the oppressed.
Knowing you are called to what you are doing, and that it is not your own initiative, but God’s, is very liberating. God calls us for no reason in us. He cries out, “Who will go?” “Here am I, send me!” He calls the young and the old. He calls us to extend the kingdom in all kinds of settings. The word “appointed” to the nations can also be translated “a gift.”
Jeremiah speaks to the nation about how they are to be a blessing to the nation by whom they have been captured. They are to pray that the culture prospers, for if they prosper, the people of God will prosper. We are to be engaged in our culture, to bless our culture. Our base loyalty is to Christ, but we live on this earth in a nation. We have been scattered to bring the blessings of Abraham to the world.
God wants us to engage with the culture and yet maintain integrity, and therefore we must change from within. As a movement, and for many individuals, he wants to call us to be a “prophet to the nations.” God wants to underline that. You can be a prophet to the nations wherever you are.
Why does he believe God has called us to be a prophet to the nations?
- Theologically, we are convinced that the promises to Abraham were fulfilled in Jesus and are now to be fulfilled by those in Christ.
- We are already seeing God doing this.
- We have apostolic passion for this—that the ends of the earth may know.
- God has been prophetically leading us.
There is a need both to tear down AND to build and plant. We need to pull down non-biblical teaching and practice within the Church as it is destroying the Church. But we must also pull down a wrong world view in culture and replace it with a Christian world view. When we positively engage with the culture, but with a core value system that transforms that culture, that is the essence of being a prophet.