When God makes promises, he keeps them!
We hear those promises most clearly through the Scriptures, and God then also speaks today through that gift of the Holy Spirit called prophecy.
About six weeks ago, at our last Church Family Meeting, Stu Larkin encouraged us not to lose hope regarding what God has promised us, but to continue praying until we see those things happen.
Now, whilst everyone in OCC can read the biblical promises for themselves, its been pointed out to me that the prophetic messages spoken to the church are much less accessible! So, Ive decided to take a few blog posts to walk through three kinds of prophetic promises that OCC has received over the years:
- Promises already fulfilled
- Promises partly fulfilled
- Promises not yet fulfilled
Ill start with those that we have already seen happen. I have a list of 9 big ones and its very encouraging stuff.
When you read them and read what has happened, you will see that some relate to things we now take for granted. I hope to convey how different it felt when they were first spoken. Then, they felt audacious, like far-away dreams.
The first of these promises, from 1981, was about the very existence of a new church in Oxford.
Out of a Village
1980 saw the painful demise of a group in Kidlington called the Georgian House Fellowship. In the months that followed, against all the odds, a new, strong and close-knit fellowship gathered around Geoff and Mary Norridge, calling themselves Kidlington Covenant Community. They began to flourish together, but still numbered only about 20 people in February 1981.
On Wednesday 11th of that month, they met at Benmead Road School and were stunned by the following prophetic words:
- Barney Coombs: This is my Bethlehem; this is a place of birth; this is a place where a child will be born.
- Bryn Franklin: For out of a village I will bring forth a city. Isnt that amazing? It is within your grasp to go to the city that lies ahead of you there will come a day when you will go to the city gates.
To those gathered, it seemed impossible to imagine that within five years would come forth Oxford Community Church. Bear in mind that, in 1980, no one in our circles had even heard the phrase church planting, let alone done it. So, they could not imagine how it would happen, but they received the prophetic promise with joy and faith, and they began to pray.
And, they discovered for themselves that, when God makes promises, he keeps them!
(Next: Town and Gown, an Antioch church, dollops of rice pudding and a site by the river.)