Hello Burn Family,

What a pleasure to share about January's Burn.  It was wonderful to see the faces of all who braved the winter deluge to worship and seek the face of God together! The Lord shares a new word each time we gather, and earlier that Friday I asked Him, "What is the word today, Lord?" In response, I heard Him say "breakout" in my Spirit.

Since the very first meeting of Burn New Bern, I have been a shift leader from 11pm to 3am. While we leaders were praying together in the middle of the night, God showed me a picture of what he had spoken to my spirit hours earlier: a seed, like a lima bean, and the head of the sprout had just broken through the shell. Breakout had occurred for the little seed! Even though the sprout was still under the soil and that release was not yet visible to the natural eye, it was visible to the Lord.

I went out where the rest of the Burn family was worshiping and sat down to press into what I had seen. The Lord reminded me of how productive we feel in a flurry of activity. Plowing brings exertion. Feeding the soil and planting the seed brings a sense of accomplishment. Then comes the season of waiting, remaining faithful, and watering what has been sown. This doesn't always feel productive to us as we wait, but there is unseen growth, unseen momentum under the soil that culminates in a breaking out. The breaking out of the seed is the first breakout of many in the life of the plant: it will push past the surface of the soil, extend branches, bud, flower, fruit and seed, reproducing after itself.

The dream of a harvest came long before; the planning, work and faithfulness were the beginning of the journey, and breakout is confirmation of very real, yet unseen, growth that the plant has been going through for some time within its shell. The Lord also reminded me that He allows a plant to finally break the ground in its proper season, so it can survive what is above the soil. Family, I feel this word of encouragement is for Burn New Bern specifically, but also applicable to other ministries and dreams into which you have sown and seen less activity in the natural than you dreamed, causing you to wonder whether to persist in the vision the Lord has given you. The initial breakthrough has occurred, despite our perception that nothing has happened or will happen. This is not the time to bow to discouragement, but to continue stewarding the vision as it grows up to break the ground. It is also a time to grow in trust; a seed won't take root and grow if we keep digging it up to examine it. We trust it is growing as we steward faithfully.

Three nights later, while in a class for ministry school, the guest teacher mentioned that he had a lesson prepared but felt the Lord wanted him to share something else. He then went on to teach from Numbers 17: the budding of Aaron's staff. God worked through sticky spots in Aaron's character and waited until almost the end of Aaron's life to supernaturally affirm him. Of the staffs of the twelve leaders of the tribes of Israel placed before the Ark of the Covenant, only Aaron's budded, bloomed and produced fruit, and once it had done all these things, it was placed back into the Holy of Holies, within the Ark. The teacher shared emphatically, "You couldn't see it, but there was something in that stick, unseen activity. The presence of the Lord quickened it!" Holy confirmation!

Your ministry, your life, is birthed out of the presence of God and should be hidden in the presence of God. This is the very heart of the Burn and Craven24Seven. Through pure worship and intercession, we delight in the presence of I AM as we minister to Him, and in doing so we simultaneously soak our city, our region and our nation in His presence - we bring them into the Holy of Holies, knowing that it is impossible for the presence of the Lord not to change what it touches. It quickens heavenly activity and is essential in manifesting the Kingdom of God on the earth. Burn family, I am so thankful for you. What a privilege to seek the face of God together in unity, what a joy to live and serve together with you as a kingdom of priests, all ministering with our whole hearts. This is what we live for.

Be encouraged and strengthened. This is the very best time in history to be alive and you have been hand-picked by God to be on the earth for such a time as this. Continue to steward the vision God has given you. Through Christ, we are the most powerful people on earth! Join with us in Craven24Seven as we intercede before God as priests on behalf of our communities. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16)!

If you are interested in serving at Burn New Bern as a worship leader, artist, shift leader, sound tech or intercessor, please contact thorsby@theburn247.com to be considered as part of our team. I encourage you to join our leaders and worshipers who press into the night watch. Truly, what you sacrifice in sleep is paltry in comparison to what you gain in His presence in those precious hours. "Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who minister by night in the house of the Lord. (Ps 134:1).

I feel the Lord wants to encourage you as we begin fresh this new year that harvest is coming from your seed faithfully sown into His Kingdom. I bless the fullness of your faith in the goodness of your Heavenly Father as you hide yourself in His presence.  I look forward to seeing you all at February's preBurn and Burn. You can check the current schedule and events at Burn New Bern and Facebook. Share them with your friends!

Blessings,

Rachel Girmus