How New Beginnings Discipleship came about
New Beginnings Discipleship did not suddenly spring up out of nowhere; it comes as the culmination of many years of being set apart as part of a team of people running a prayer house and healing ministry at the head of the Eden Valley in rural Cumbria. In September 2008 I (Sarah) was given two associated prophetic pictures: the first was of John Wesley on a white horse accompanied by the words ‘The Word must go out’. After years of being focused in the prayer house Father God used this picture to show us the season for us had changed. He also said ‘It’s time to build’. But what were we to build? The answer to that question is the same it has always been – the house of the Lord of course!
‘Then let them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.' Exodus 25:8-9 (NIV)
This sanctuary must first be built within each of us and then be released through us to influence and change God’s world especially our local community. It is a vehicle for Father God’s presence and Kingdom to be seen and experienced on the earth. Wherever there is the gathering together of two, three or more believers, the Kingdom of God is powerfully present and at work. In Jesus we have an example of someone who was a living breathing walking talking spiritual house full of God’s Holy Spirit presence.
Knowing how easy it is to assume we understand what God is saying without actually asking Him, my next question was ‘So what does your house look like for us today Lord?’ The answer was given in a second prophetic picture: first I saw the word H.O.U.S.E with the letter ‘U’ struck through; the letter ‘R’ was up above. As I watched it dropped down to take its place so that the new word read H.O.R.S.E! Over the next few weeks the Lord began to teach me a great deal about the horse’s characteristics especially that it is itinerant, powerful, strong, disciplined, directed, obedient, flexible, meek, reproducing and above all, faithful.
Combining the two pictures together the white horse is, in fact, a beautiful picture of the ultimate missionary-hearted servant in the Kingdom of God: someone emptied of self who is set apart for Father God’s purposes, consecrated, purified, made holy but consumed by the fire of God with a passion to make more disciples. The image I created in order to best explain to others what I saw is below. You will see that various parts of the horse’s body also represent various parts of the ministry of Messiah’s Body as follows:
The Ultimate Servant
Powerful, Disciplined, Itinerant, Directed, Strong, Meek, Flexible, Faithful, Reproducing and Obedient
Head: this represents the eyes, ears and mouth of the prophetic. The head goes in front of the rest of the body. God’s Word says that He does not do anything without first telling His prophets. (Amos 3:7)
Front legs: the first leg is worship; the second is prayer. Worship is the door through which we position ourselves before Father God’s throne in a place where our prayers are then heard and answered. The front legs dig up the ground and provide a spring-board for where the back legs can safely land. Everything we do in God’s Kingdom must be preceded by ground-breaking worship & prayer – personally and corporately.
Back legs: The proclamation of the message of Father’s love and the presence of the Kingdom of God. For the message to truly be authentic it must be followed by the tangible signs and wonders of Father God’s in-breaking reality to save, heal, release and restore. The horse’s back legs always land in the exact spot where the front legs have previously been which demonstrates the validity of my point about worship above.
Tail: Wherever God’s Kingdom is breaking out our enemy Satan will use his ‘flies’ (demonic forces) to try to bring infection or kill. The horse’s tail is there to swish the flies away. Spiritually this is done through the ministry of the intercessory ‘watchmen’. The tail is also there to protect the vulnerable parts of the body which again speaks of protective prayer for those who are weak, helpless, at risk or in danger.
Body: This ‘horse of the Lord’ cannot be built by the hand of man; it must be created by the Spirit of God because it is a living, breathing spiritual entity. Its total purpose, as it moves from place to place, is to carry the presence and glory of the King of kings accompanied by visible signs of the in-breaking reality of His Kingdom.
This horse is in the scriptures:
'I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.' Revelation 19:11-14
The Horse of the Lord represents a paradigm shift from the static structure & tradition-bound Temple model of believing community back to the itinerant model of the Tabernacle; a structure that is flexible enough to be able to follow God's leading when He moves. This is what Jesus modelled for us. God is looking for a people who will allow Him to be their King: those who are passionate obedient surrendered purified lovers of God who exist solely and seriously to glorify the name of Jesus and to raise up a plumb-line for His Kingdom in towns and villages across the earth today. The context of Revelation 19 reminds us that the way will be costly. True disciples are called by Jesus to deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow hard in the dust of His footsteps. Jesus’ obedience led Him to the Cross. New Beginnings Discipleship then is not an easy ride: it demands discipline and commitment of time; it will also be challenging in places because we are partakers in a monumental spiritual battle for personal freedom and to set other captives free.