As a church, we have set aside this first month of 2013 to pray and fast. We want to hear what God has to say to us and we want to know His direction and guidance. We want to rise up and do His will.

On Sunday, we sang a song that was very popular in the 1980s: ‘Rejoice, rejoice, Christ is in You’ by Graham Kendrick. That song urges us to recognise who we are in Christ and to ‘arise, a mighty army, we arise‘. The first verse says:

“Now is the time for us to march upon the land
Into our hands, He will give the ground we claim
He rides in majesty to lead us into victory
The world shall see that Christ is Lord.” (‘Rejoice, rejoice’, Graham Kendrick)

‘Rejoice, rejoice’, Graham Kendrick

As we have been walking the streets of Goldthorpe and praying, there is a longing in our hearts for us to see people coming to know Christ as Lord. We are engaged in a spiritual battle, for two kingdoms compete for our allegiance (see Eph 2:1-10). Psalm 68 starts with the prayer ‘May God arise and may his enemies be scattered’, but there are also many exhortations in the Bible for us to arise and wake up (eg Rom 13:11, Eph 5:14, Rev 3:2). We can be confident and have hope as we engage in this spiritual battle, for we know the One who goes before us, who stands behind us, who is at our side (Ps 139:7-12). We are not alone!

“I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind.
The God of angel armies
Is always on my side.
The One who reigns forever,
He is a Friend of mine.
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.” (‘Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)’, Chris Tomlin)

‘Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)’, Chris Tomlin