I spent a pleasant hour or so in Starbucks after work transcribing notes from Rob Rufus's latest sermon in the series on the Holy Spirit. I must admit I was quite gripped to hear him in a manner that I haven't been used to before. While he is always an extremely powerful preacher, he always seems to come across as amusing, gentle and loving. His opening comments in this sermon reminded me of the over-used quote from the Chronicles of Narnia about Aslan the lion; "He's not a tame lion you know". It made me respect and appreciate Rob even more to know that he is able and willing to follow His Lord and become war-like if the situation so demands it!
You may ask what situation was that? It appears from his comments that this week has been a particular time of testing for City Church International. It reminded me that we cannot forget Rob and the church in prayer as they host the "Grace and Glory Conference". Let's not go passively but remember them in prayer and intercede before God that He bless those who are serving at the conference!
But then Rob went on to say a bit about the forth-coming conference which did nothing to calm down my excitement and anticipation of this event! He said this;
"Sometimes in a war, the call comes out - all leave is cancelled! Sometimes you will hear; "All hands on deck - we're on full alert - suicide bombers are coming!". I promise you as a prophet of God that in the last few weeks the enemy did not just try and take out 1 or 2 of you out. He tried to absolutely destroy the existance of this church. It took 30 years of experience in prayer and fasting to make him keep his hands off ...
Life is not always like this - we have seasons but we are hosting a conference and must be alert and take this in our hour of opportunity. While something so key is happening - we cannot rest! ... This conference time is not just a teaching time of sitting in rows. It is going to be a conference where angels turn up, God's glory is coming. We've got people from the Middle East, America, Europe, South Africa, China and Taiwan coming to our little church!
The nations are coming for a divine impartation to take revival back!".
These words may offend some - but for those who know Rob Rufus well will know that these are words of faith. He goes on in the sermon (to come shortly) to unpack from the Bible how it is faith that brings the blessing and anointing and glory of God - not works! Hearing this sermon made me realise that this life isn't Utopia. We aren't to be devil-focussed as Rob's said before but we still do face an enemy who's extremely committed to seeing the work of God taken out - and something as key as this conference will be sure to worry and concern him.