A Spacious Place, a change in season?

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A Spacious Place, a change in season? – thoughts from Leader David Gilbey
Child holding father's hand signAbout a month ago, I felt strongly that I should go for an early morning prayer walk in the field near where I live, a place that I have frequented many times over the last few years. It is a rough place of, long grass and vegetation, paths trodden by dog walkers, surrounded by trees and containing a large pond. It has been accessible for public use as long as I can remember, although the land is privately owned.

It is a place where God has clearly and definitely spoken to me many times, where I have sometimes literally cried out to him for guidance, sometimes for personal issues and not least for the formation and progress of Chelmsford 24-7. It has been a very special place for me.

That morning, as I entered the lane leading to the field entrance, not for the first time I observed the road sign there which has told me to hold onto God’s hand and simply walk with Him. But, when I got to the gate, I was surprised to see that it was en-twined in barbed wire. There was a notice, ‘Permissive Access Withdrawn – Animals Present!’

I had no choice but to take a long walk around the estate to the public recreation grounds and football pitches which back onto my field. I saw that the whole of it was now fenced and that horses grazed there. I walked on and eventually sat on a bench overlooking a large expanse of well tended grass that forms a football pitch. But it was a beautiful warm sunny morning. It was easy to see Creation and the hand of God all around.

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The view from the bench

.As I sat there wondering why my previous place of sanctuary had been rendered inaccessible, I felt the words, ‘I’ve brought you to a Spacious Place’ come to mind. The Bible contains several references to spacious places, and later I found one of them in Psalm 18:19:

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

A Change in season

Apart from the personal significance of this verse, further reflection has led me to believe that God has also indicated that a ‘shift’, or ‘change in season’ has or is about to take place over the spiritual and as a result the physical life of our City, and indeed our Nation.

There is no need to go back to the ‘old place’. (Forget the former things… behold I am doing a new thing! came to mind from Isaiah 43:18-20). God has heard (my cries and) the cries of His people of our City who have been praying faithfully over Chelmsford, both over the decades and in particular in the last year, and it is time for us to walk onwards with Him into a ‘new place’ that He has prepared.

This doesn’t mean we should no longer pray, indeed I believe we should pray even more fervently, but maybe that we should be praying with greater assurance and authority that what we have asked is coming to pass?

What does this mean for the future of Chelmsford and for Chelmsford 24-7? I think we will shortly be finding out, but meanwhile let’s continue to pray without ceasing, with excitement and anticipation.

Bless you all