Updated: Sep 1
THE KING TIDE
If you have been a visitor to our website previously you will perhaps notice a change of style, even a change of name recently. There have been many changes happening in Dunvegan Christian Fellowship over the past year. (Sorry, change of name, dcf.community church!)
Some are now becoming pretty evident, some not so much, yet.
Have you ever thought about the process of change?
People can approach change very differently. Some embrace change, some view change very negatively, others fear change. But change is a natural process of life.
Think about the slow ebb and flow of the ocean. The backwards and forwards of each wave.
The way the tide rises and falls each day, as it rises it brings life and refreshment to the tidal beach.
Rock pools that have been exposed to the hot sun all day, or diluted by rainwater, they so desperately need the change and refreshment of a rising tide.
Beaches and estuaries all need the fresh life and energy brought on by the daily changing tides. Tides bring change, and change is something that occurs on a daily basis within all of our lives.
We all face change, all the time. Just like the ebb and flow of the daily tides. There is a natural rhythm to life, and it involves change.
Life brings change, and change brings life.
Think of the cycle of life, something is born, it thrives, it has its moment, it runs its course, it comes to an end,...and something new begins.
Without change, stagnation creeps in, and things choke and die. We all need change, as individuals, and as a church.
Change is a natural process, its a part of life’s cycle, but its also a very important ministry of the Holy Spirit
God recognised the need for change in a stagnating world, so He sent Jesus.
The Jewish nation at the time were crying out for change, they wanted freedom from the Roman oppression. They wanted life to change, they wanted external change, they didn’t want the internal change that Jesus brought.
We can be like that. We can have in our heads, if only.
If only God did this, or gave me that, if only this would change, or that would change. But its not the external, that brings about true change. Its through internal change. Its through new life in Jesus.
We all face change, we all need change. Some seasons bring greater change.
Each month there are two very high tides that reach much further up the beach than usual, these are called Spring tides. Named not after the season of Spring, but in the way in which they seem to spring so high up the beach each month.
We have seen the ebb and flow over the years of the work of the Holy Spirit in Dunvegan, and every now and then we have seen a springing forth of quite radical extensive changes.
I wonder, would I perhaps class this season of change we are in, as a Spring tide? There is certainly more changes taking place at the moment than the usual ebb and flow?
Im guessing some pastors and church leaders may be feeling a little uncomfortable by now as they read, and may be wondering, where is the vision for the church, where is the strategy for the future direction and growth?
The ebb and flow of tides?
Tides of change? Where is the strategy in this?
I was asked similar questions recently by a pastor in relation to church planting “How do I develop my strategy for growth and expansion”?
I know he expected a clever technical answer, which proves he didn’t know me very well. My answer was, I follow the strategy suggested by Jesus in John 5 v19.
I watch what the Father is doing, .... and I follow Him in doing that.
John 5v19. “Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing: for what ever the Father does, these things the Son also does in the same way. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all the things that He Himself is doing...”
Jesus also said “I do nothing of my own initiative”, and He said ”follow Me”. So the way I feel He leads us forward has the basis in John 5.
Be mindful of what the Father and the Holy Spirit are doing, and follow their leading. Not attempting to lead them, but allowing them to lead us, one step at a time.
Or as we prefer to describe, one dot at a time.
.... But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own: but whatever He hears, He will speak:, and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take from Mine, and He will disclose it to you. John 16v 14-15
Over the years we have planted out DCF, and are now in the process of planting out again. But this was never based on a strategy, it was, and is, founded on a principle of listening to His voice, watching for the signs of Him moving, and seeking to be directed by Him in the ways He initiates.
Our desire is to walk and work with Him. In His timing, and in His ways.
So this strategy of watching for the signs, and listening to His voice for direction, have brought us to where we are today.
But the changes we are now experiencing are still only a small part of the picture.
There is even more to this tide analogy than meets the eye.
Have you heard the term King Tide?
A King tide is a huge tide that occurs only once, or sometimes twice a year.
They are exceptional tides that cause a massive surge of water, often breaking down sea defences, flooding low lying areas and causing huge changes to communities and to landscapes.
King tides not only bring great, and far reaching change, but they also issue in, a wave of substantial new life. Things change after a King tide.
Apply this analogy of the King Tide in relation to Pentecost.
Think of the disciples just after Jesus had ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit came. That was some major change! One minute afraid and hiding away, next minute preaching to thousands.
When the apostle Peter stood before the crowds at Pentecost he said .. ‘this Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, and has now poured out what you see and hear.”Acts2,33 my version says poured out, I wonder what yours says.
The verb to pour out is the same used in Acts 2.17 where it cites Joel 2 “I will pour out my Spirit ”. The essence of the Greek word here for pour out, is to gush forth, or to shed forth. In some translations it actually says ‘shed forth.’
So its not pouring out as in a dribble, but in a gushing forth, like a rising, rushing tide of water.
This gushing forth isn't something that can be controlled, its too powerful, instead its something that is submitted to.
Imagine the gushing forth of the Holy Spirit and the massive wave of Spiritual change that occurs when we walk with the Spirit. When hearts align with His purposes. Imagine that rising tide breaking down the flood defences, bringing change and new life into surrounding communities.
Strategy for Dunvegan
Everything we are about to do, whether it be church, cafe, or whatever, they aren’t changes for the sake of change, they aren’t a part of some man made strategy. They are not an effort to put bums on seats, or to create a pretty cafe, or to be nice to people.
What we are doing is setting our hearts, minds and lives to work with the Holy Spirit in whatever He is doing.
We believe He is preparing for a rising King tide, a pouring out of His presence, a breaking down of defences, and a surge of new life.
How the world needs a wave of His presence to wash over it at the moment.
How we all need to experience a fresh movement of spiritual revival.
Individuals, families and communities are being barraged with one thing after another. Loneliness and emptiness. Over whelming mental health problems, epidemic depression, self harm and suicide. Rising costs. Health problems. Relationships breaking down under the pressures of life. Life can be very difficult at the moment.
And we can easily get caught in an ’if only’ mentality. If only this changed, or that changed, everything would be OK. But what we really need aren’t external ‘what if’ changes, but an internal change.
It's not external 'what if' changes we need, but an internal change.
We need an internal spiritual change. We need to experience a wave of the Spirit washing through us. Washing us clean, refreshing our stagnant lives, and filling us with the experience of peace and joy, found through new life in Jesus.
This doesn’t remove the external circumstances or negate their influence, but it gives us the power and perspective to face them down each day.
New life in Jesus opens the door for the Holy Spirit to journey with us, to lead us and guide us through all of our challenges.
Lets be real about this, we all need change. We all need to be refreshed.
We believe the Holy Spirit is preparing to burst forth into our community.
The tide is rising, the King is coming, and His words over two thousand years ago still ring true today.
Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold I say to you, raise your eyes, .. observe the fields, .... they are white for harvest. John 4v 35
Life brings change, and change brings life.
Its time to embrace the rising tide of change.
(On Sept 11th 2022 Dunvegan will experience its annual King tide. The tidal range will be well over 5m this year)