Tag Archive | Prophecy

The Waters Cover the Sea

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If you’re like me and you grew up in the charismatic movement, you heard prophecies all the time about revival. It wasn’t unusual for a traveling evangelist, prophetic voice, or a writer or teacher to talk about revival, prophesy great revival for America, or encourage the church that they were speaking at to prepare for revival because “it is coming.”

I came to Christ in the midst of this revival fervor, so I’m certainly no stranger to it. I’ve made significant life decisions believing that the revivals that people were predicting were going to happen. While I don’t regret a single of the decisions I’ve made, the lack of revival can be discouraging. I know friends who have been deeply wounded or at least left wondering where the revivals that were promised are.

Some of these promises made weren’t inspired by the Spirit. Some of them came and we didn’t recognize them because they came in a form we weren’t expecting. Some of the promises of revival were true and we are still waiting for them to happen because their time hasn’t come yet. Regardless, all of these things can discourage a person.

I’ve said it before: I still believe in the movement of the Spirit.  I believe we need to keep praying for revival. But I also know there is a certain amount of revival fatigue that has hit the body of Christ. It can be the promise that is kept dangling in front of us and that can make us heartsick.

So, this morning, as I was praying and journaling, the Lord brought this verse to my mind:

For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.

-Habakkuk 2:14

So in a way that only the Holy Spirit can do, He took the words of the Bible and made them alive in my spirit.  It was as if in reading the words of Scripture, He was saying “I know you hunger for people to turn to Jesus and live holy lives. I know there have been promises of revival. Some of those prophecies have come and gone just like the prophets who gave them. But my word doesn’t come and go. I promised that the Earth would be filled with the knowledge of my glory like the waters cover the sea. There is no way that this cannot happen.”

Think about it. Where do you see the water not covering the sea? Nowhere. Everywhere there is sea, there is water covering it. According to the Bible there is a day coming where the knowledge of the Lord’s glory will cover the Earth in that way. While the prophecies of your favorite speaker may or may not come true, the Bible has proven true over and over again and you can trust in its promises.

So friends, you who have believed in the promise of revival, the prophecies of revival may have failed you, but you can trust the Lord. He will fill the Earth with the knowledge of His glory. Don’t let your heart grow weary. You can give your life for this reality and even if you don’t see it in your day, you can trust knowing that God will cause it to come to pass.  It will happen.

You can count on it.

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Listening To Ourselves

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Recently David Fitch wrote a post called “Self Talk: How to Not Pray to Yourself” and it struck a chord with me because I’ve contemplated the state of the prophetic as of late and peoples’ tendencies to prophesy out of their own soul, not out of God’s Spirit.  In the article, Fitch talks about discerning the voice of the Lord and how we get off track when we begin praying only for the things we want without regard for what Jesus wants. This article was helpful, but I still found myself lamenting the lack of an article about prophesy and listening to ourselves instead of the Lord.

The problem, as I see it, is that charismatic prophecy used to be a kind of holy man’s gifting, where the gift was reserved for the truly spiritual and people were only released to prophesy after gaining a significant track record in both their character and their gifting. As the years went on, more and more were ushered into the prophetic and, while we want as many participating in the gifting as we can get, the preparation and forming of prophetic individuals has taken a back seat.

Now, because we want everyone to prophesy, so much of the “track record” that was necessary before is seen as hindering. Many times I see those who are young in the prophetic sharing things they’ve seen in their imaginations, mistaking those things as visions from Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about people stepping out and attempting to hear from the Lord, but I know the danger of people building on what they see in their imaginations, thinking these ‘visions’ are truly from the Lord.

Elementary training in the prophetic teaches that we “hear” from three sources: God, Satan, and ourselves. The trick to dealing with prophecy is knowing where a message comes from. God’s words bring peace, clarity, and freedom to our hearts. They are often accompanied by true confirmation from others who hear from the Lord. Satan speaking to us can be difficult to discern, especially when we’re new. However, usually the voice of the enemy comes with condemnation, shame, and draws our attention away from Jesus and the Bible.

It’s much harder to discern whether what we hear is from ourselves. Many times the things we hear touch areas that are so near and dear to our heart that it’s had to remain objective. I find that the church has a difficult time prophesying politically, for example, because often people are very biased about the topics they are praying and speaking into. Christians know the right answer, the answer that is ultimately right, and I’ve watched as they have prophesied out of “the right answer” instead of what God is truly doing.

The danger in all of this is that we become trumpets for our own hearts and desires and not a vessel for the Lord to speak through.  Instead of hearing and declaring what the Lord is saying, regardless of how much it challenges conventional wisdom, we become mouthpieces for what our minds can dream up. God over and over again in Jeremiah and Ezekiel challenged the prophets who prophesied good out of their made up prophecies. This kind of prophecy doesn’t require any obedience. It promises us what we want without submission to the Lord or His process. Like Peter, we end up telling Jesus He’ll never have to suffer and find out later it was the Father’s will for that to happen.

The fix for this is to learn true listening and obedience to what we hear. We have to begin to spend time in prayer listening first and leaving our agendas either till the very end or out entirely. Periods of time spent in silence or asking God questions instead of intercession and request are the beginnings of relationship with God outside of what we want. When we learn to wait on God, to dialogue with Him rather than supply our own answers, quickly we will learn there is a God who answers that is beyond our definition of right and wrong. He is real and wants to interact with us.  He will speak, we don’t need to supply the right answers.

In order to grow out of listening to our own soul and truly hear God, we also need to learn how to deny ourselves. Most inaccurate prophetic activity I see both in the New Testament and in the current day stems from a failure to see God’s activity through the lens of the cross. Anyone trying to regularly practice hearing the Lord’s voice ought to focus a specific part of their prayer life asking the Lord to help them lay down their agendas. So much of imaginations that get passed on as prophecy stem from the fact that people are emotionally tied to what they want to see happen. Learning to separate ourselves from what we want and submit to what God wants helps us to see beyond our own personal desires.

Lastly community is key to this process. When I share what I believe I’m hearing with other believers, it gives my community the chance to reflect what they see back to me. Remember, even the most prophetic among us only see in part. When I trust my brothers and sisters with what I’m hearing and allow them to help me discern what is from God, I’m actually getting help seeing beyond myself, which is so hard for all of us, not just those of us with prophetic gifts.  Jeremiah was told by God that a key part of his prophetic ministry was to separate the precious from the vile (Jeremiah 15:19) and sharing what we hear with others and letting them weigh our words is a critical part of this process (1 Corinthians 14:29). I don’t know a mature prophetic individual that hasn’t learned this process.

God has an incredible journey ahead for us in hearing His voice. He is not silent and wants you to go on a journey of hearing Him and believing what He is speaking. Critical to that is us learning to separate our own internal voice from the voice of the Spirit that comes and speaks to our hearts.  When we separate the precious (God’s voice) from the worthless (our wants and desires) in what we’re hearing, that’s when we become God’s spokesman.

And isn’t that what all of our hearts are truly hungering for?

I Believe In Dreams

I believe in dreams.

Not just the kind of dreams that are a vision for your future that you want to achieve.  I actually believe the dreams you dream at night are sometimes the communication of Heaven to your life.

That means the dreams you dream are sometimes God talking to you.

Why do I believe that? Well, the book of Job (33:14-18) says this:

For God speaks in one way,

and in two, though man does not perceive it.

In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
while they slumber on their beds,
then he opens the ears of men
and terrifies them with warnings,

that he may turn man aside from his deed
and conceal pride from a man;
he keeps back his soul from the pit,
his life from perishing by the sword.

So God uses dreams to get our attention.  He uses them to connect to us when we’ve been so busy we haven’t been attending to His voice.  He uses our sleep to speak to us about our lives, if we’d only hear it.

I also believe in dreams because God has used them so consistently in the past.  He’s used them with Joseph in Egypt, Daniel and the pagan Kings of Babylon, Joseph (Jesus’ father),and others in the Bible.  It’s also a way He promised to speak to us after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Wolfgang Simson says that the bed may be the most prophetic place on the planet for human beings.  Most of the time, however, we ignore what we see in dreams because we don’t believe they carry messages from Heaven.  They do, if we are willing to seek God out for what those messages are.

In my own life, there have been numerous times Jesus has shifted the direction of my life or spoken into a situation through a dream He’s given to me or a dream He’s given to a friend of mine about me.  Many dreams have cleared up confusion about a situation I’ve found myself in. Some have foretold things to come.  Some have just drawn me closer to Jesus.  The fruit has been healthy and well worth the journey.

I also believe dreams are a reality we’re all called to experience.  I believe you can go to bed tonight and God can begin speaking to you in away you’ve never imagined.  If you’re still reading this, I pray tonight God begins to speak in your dreams and that tomorrow morning you wake up with direction you could have never imagined. Take a notebook with you and write like mad anything you dream about. Then when you wake up, pray about what you remember.

The tricky part comes when we believe in dreams.  Because once we believe that God is communicating to us, we become accountable for the messages God is hand delivering to our nocturnal in-box. We get to live the dream.

If you’ve had a dream that God spoke to you clearly in, leave a message in the comment section below.

Photo Credit: Dreams and Thoughts by Paul-simson.org

Food For Thought: New Blogger Edition

Every week here at Pursuing Glory I try to bring together the best posts I’ve found that will equip the end-times church to operate in her God-ordained destiny.  These are the best blogs, articles, books and other resources related to our purpose here at this site.  Feel free to visit, comment, and make use of the resources found at each site.

This week I’m super excited about being able to feature several new bloggers who I know personally.  You might notice that I personally know a few people who blog.  What’s exciting about this edition is I think a few of the posts some of these new bloggers posted this week were edifying at a level to be included here on the Food for Thought post.  Let me know what you think.

Jehova-Jireh

Wrestling with finances is never easy.  Dave, one of our new featured bloggers, tells a story about God’s knowledge of our situation and his ability to provide for us in our lack.  This will be a needed message in the days ahead.

A Letter to Us Who Think We Know the Lord

Because I’ve known Josh, I’ve gotten a chance to see the kind of humility that is birthed from the insight he describes in this post.  I think this is a powerful post to read, particularly if you’ve walked with the Lord for a long time.  Humility is the key to continuing to grow.

A Cholera Epidemic Averted!

Felicity is in the middle of blogging about the reality of the spiritual realm and how it impacts our lives.  This story is a dramatic testimony of that fact.  Experiences like this cause impact not only our view of God and His involvement in our lives but they also impact unbelievers.

There’s Not Enough Money in the World to Keep Doing Church the Way We’ve Been Doing It

Here’s a simple blog post with an idea that people need to think long and hard about.  If it’s premise true, then we need to adjust the way we “do church” in a significant way.

Photo Credit: Design Probes – Food for Thought by centralasian.

My Take on our African Over Night Prayer Meeting

If you hadn’t caught my twitter feed you probably didn’t know that I spent Friday night (New Year’s Eve) and Saturday Morning with my friends from Full Grace Ministries as they held their over night prayer meeting.

If you’ve never been to Africa, let me explain the idea of an “over night prayer meeting.” First of all, while there is prayer that goes on, it is not just a prayer meeting.  When I’ve  been in Africa in the past, a common question they ask is “Where do you pray from?” What they mean is, “Where does your church gather and have their meetings at?” So an African over night prayer meeting is more like an extended church meeting that goes through the night.  My first over night was in Uganda.  The rest I’ve participated in here in America with Full Grace Ministries.

My job, as I understand it from the Lord, is to continue to encourage my African friends who gather that they have something to offer us in America.  They carry a deposit of Jesus that we cannot understand as Western Americans apart from their help.  So, I join them as often as I can and when the Lord allows, I encourage them to become everything Jesus designed them to be.

That said, here is my take on what happened on Friday night:

What I Learned

This particular night I was able to hear a number of speakers who where truly African in their message and their mindset.  One of the things that I noticed about these speakers was that their version of Christianity is a very “now-centered” Christianity.  They do not wait for God to move some time in the future.  They believe God is a God who acts now.

How God Met Me

I knew that there was the potential for me to end up addressing the gathering.  I was also somewhat nervous after hearing the first two speakers.  They were definitely fiery and it was obvious that their style of preaching was more what the folks gathered there were used to.  I even leaned over to my buddy Sean (who has joined me for previous over night prayer meetings) and said “Now I understand why everyone is so quiet whenever I talk.”

But God met me, ironically, during the intermission.  John, a new friend of mine, came up to me and introduced himself.  He went on to tell me how last year when I spoke, he said to himself, “This man is quiet but the Lord is with him,” and how excited he was that I was back.  It was encouraging to hear that my friend could hear the Lord even without me changing my speaking style.  It definitely gave me courage when it was my turn  to speak.

What God is Doing

One of the things I was privileged to share with Full Grace Ministries was that God has placed them very strategically where they are.  They carry a genuine prophetic African anointing that we Americans know very little about.  I believe the Lord desires to use them as messengers and missionaries to a declining American church and an increasingly secular culture.  We need the spiritual DNA that they carry and I strongly sensed the Holy Spirit empowering them to be a voice to us that night.

Summary

I’m thankful for everything the Lord did.  I believe that what happened will be a picture of what you can expect to see increasingly in the years ahead: Americans receiving from the Lord things our African brothers walk in, while we get to come alongside and encourage them as well.  The result will be a stronger church in America, empowered by the Spirit to be a voice and to walk in the supernatural power of Jesus.

Photo Credit: Africa in Hearts by futureatlas.com

Food For Thought: A New Move of the Spirit Edition

Every week here at Pursuing Glory I try to bring together the best posts I’ve found that will equip the end-times church to operate in her God-ordained destiny.  These are the best blogs, articles, books and other resources related to our purpose here at this site.  Feel free to visit, comment, and make use of the resources found at each site.

I’m super excited for this week’s Food For Thought.  I found a blog by Kevin Matthews who we’ve featured here before that I feel captures the essence of what we’re working towards here at Pursuing Glory.  I don’t know that I’ve seen a prophecy like this anywhere before and its accuracy is amazing.  You can read more about the man gave the prophecy here.  The spirit of the prophecy, I believe, is the aim of all the posts featured here and what we contend for here at Pursuing Glory.

A New Move of the Spirit Kevin and Lorna’s Daily Devotional features a prophecy by Smith Wigglesworth about a move of the Spirit after the charismatic movement and the church planting movements. It describes exactly what we’re believing for.

Tim Keller on Movements Steve Addison @ Movements That Change The World does a nice job of condensing a post by Tim Keller on the nature of movements. Any serious movement should wrestle with his thoughts.

Thursday is for Thinkers: Rice Brooks on the Evangelist and the Missional Church Missional guy and evangelism guru Ed Stetzer hosts a guest post on his blog by Rice Brooks about the necessity of evangelists to the missional church.  Much needed wisdom at Ed Stetzer’s blog.

Why Simple Churches Don’t Work #7 Ross spends a post looking at how lack of apostolic ministry hinders house churches.  This issue needs addressing.  You can see this and other hindrances at thejesusvirus.

Why compliments help in planting a simple/organic/house church Felicity Dale looks at the Luke 10 principle of pronouncing peace on houses you enter.  This is an often missed part evangelism in the West. More at SimplyChurch.

It’s Not Rocket Science Katie @ Backseat Driver looks at the centrality of family to our definition of church and explores how it can transform our congregational life.

Photo Credit: Design Probes – Food for Thought by centralasian.

Wolves in the House: A Prophetic Dream

[Editor’s Note: From time to time I hope to publish dreams that are relevant not only to our house church but to the larger body of Christ.  This dream which was shared in the meeting mentioned in my last post, was shared by Aroea, a member of our house church. You can check out my thoughts below.]

[My husband and I] were living in a nice house in a small town. A large car dealership had bought out a small business much to the town’s protest. The dealership assured the town that it would be fine and said they would keep the manager of the local business on as an act of good will. The towns people gave in but the dealership didn’t keep their word with the manager. In addition they were keeping a large pen of wolves in the town next to the fancy dealership. The people began to protest again. It was as if this had
happened before.
The slick talking agent from the dealership once again assured the people that everything would be fine and that the wolves were harmless. I knew differently. I also knew that the cattle in the fields were protected and so the wolves would be rummaging through our garbage cans and trying to get into our homes. I began to go around my house locking the doors. There were three doors upstairs and one downstairs. As I went around locking the doors I saw a black wolf cub in the backyard. He was beautiful against the snowy backdrop. I hurried downstairs to lock the last door and then started cleaning. Upon entering the storage room though I found the little wolf cub had made it into my house through the vents and was rummaging through my Christmas gifts. He’d also torn open a package of animal crackers. I quickly alpha-rolled the cub and made it lay in my arms, on it’s back like a baby.
Soon a couple people from town showed up and wanted to put me on the news. They were hoping to rally people against the dealership by showing how the wolf had made it’s way into my house. However I warned them we couldn’t. I knew that putting the cub on TV would actually work against us because it was so cute. The dealership would be able to argue that it had done no real damage and show how easily I had handled the cub. It would actually invoke sympathy for their cause. I was adamant that we could not fight them that way or it would backfire. I also knew that no matter how cute the cub looked (even to me) it was going to grow large and fierce.

Editor’s Thoughts: One of the things that struck me about this dream was the danger that false teachers and prophets will pose to the whole body of Christ at the end of the age.  Obviously the wolf is a symbol of heresy that starts out small and “cute” but can grow into something much more dangerous. These wolves could get in through the smallest openings in a house (spiritual family) and prove deadly.  The obvious argument (especially in early stages) is that these wolves are cute and harmless, but this lulls the people into a false sense of security.

How should we prepare to deal with false prophets, false teachers, and heresy? What does this mean for you and the church you are a part of? Is the Lord speaking to you about anything in this dream? The answers to any of these questions can be left by clicking “Leave A Comment” below this article.