The prophetic is a constant reminder of the transforming power of the living word of the Lord. It is similar to but not the same as learned behavior based on the written word. The written word is indispensable and we must consume it. But, the transforming power is in what God is saying. Asking for his living word and positioning ourselves to receive it is wise.
The Lord is calling us to adjust our expectations as it relates to receiving his word. His word will challenge you to adjust your behaviors and lifestyle. But, those adjustments are mostly about preparing the way for the Lord to increase the flow of his living word in you and empower you to declare it into all of your earthly situations and relationships.
You are a blessing!
Samuel was a prophet to Israel in the Old Testament. He had an amazing track record with the people of God. It was written of him, “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.” (1 Samuel 3:19-20)
I love the story of how Samuel was introduced to the prophetic while he was a boy. You can read it in 1 Samuel 3. There is so much to learn from the interaction between Eli, Samuel, and the Lord. It speaks loudly to us about the need for spiritual mothers and fathers to step up and own what has been entrusted to us.
However, I want to focus on the first verse in the chapter. “In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” (1 Samuel 3:1) Take a moment and think about that. What would it be like to live in a time when you almost never perceived the word of the Lord and almost no one saw visions? Maybe we know about that far too well.
I don’t believe that the living word of the Lord was scarce or unavailable. It is usually the case that engaging with it is rare and unusual. God is not honored or pleased to make his amazing Presence known anywhere his living word is not welcomed and embraced. Oh, He is there, but the manifestation of the Holy Spirit won’t be experienced.
The voice of the Lord is speaking today. We will hear it if we long for it. If the church will set our hearts on being with him by faith in King Jesus, and surrender to whatever he needs to do in us, we will hear his voice. (see Isaiah 6:1-8)
There is an unprecedented move of God rising up in the world. It is marked by a hunger and thirst for the living words of the Lord. Will we be a generation who won’t stop until it is said, “the word of the Lord was overflowing and the signs of heaven were everywhere”? THAT would be amazing. By the grace of God, that is what we are going after.
You are a blessing!
Good morning from Saint John, NB, Canada. Last night, as I was worshipping with a room full of brothers and sisters in Jesus, I became aware of the presence of God. As we were singing with passion, there was another force coming upon us. I began to see, in the spirit, that the Lord was not waiting for us to pursue Him. He was actually coming toward us in waves. His love and glory, which were coming to us, were overwhelming our love and desire for him.
I began to understand that IT IS TIME to lay down any confidence we have placed in our ability to journey or climb up to God. Any awakening of HIS glory in the nations is happening because of his amazing grace and initiative. We have the honour and privilege in Christ of responding in extravagant worship.
Once again, I was so blessed and encouraged as I sensed the overwhelming intensity of His love for all of creation. I submit to you that
The fruit of Jesus’s prayer in John 17:20-26 will be seen and experienced around the world! How amazing is it to be alive at this time on the earth?!?
When it comes to being a solid, life-giving Christian or Jesus Follower, we are really talking about being a faithful son or daughter. One of my favourite Father/Child stories in the Bible is the one found in Matthew 21:28-31. Jesus posed this question to some religious experts; “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted? ‘The first,’ they answered.”
For Jesus, the faithful son was the one who understood the importance of getting his father’s work done.
I see myself in this story. I have prayed hundreds of times that our Father in heaven would keep me awake to the “vineyard” he sends me to every day. I have learned to perceive my ordinary life and responsibilities as His vineyard for me to work.
God did not create you to simply behave yourself and measure up to a moral code. He designed you to work in His vineyard. The place where you live and the circumstances you are in stand ready for you to be a creative force for the kingdom of God, on earth as in heaven.
Will you say yes to your father’s call to go and work in His vineyard? It is what you were created for. Your vineyard will look different than mine. But, you are designed perfectly for it.
So, don’t lose heart! Every new sunrise brings a new call from the Father. He’s not listening for the right answer. He’s looking for you and me to step into the mundane and/or daunting day that lies before us and look for Him there.
One of Jesus’s best stories is a story about two sons. But, I bet it’s not the story you are thinking about. It’s the other one. Not the story about the “prodigal” but the one about a vineyard and a Dad and work he assigned to his sons. You can read the story for yourself in Matthew 21:28-32
The son who eventually does what his father wants is the “first son”. Even though he actually flat out disobeyed in the beginning, as the story goes, he changed his mind and went to do the work. Jesus explains that a life that taps into heaven looks a lot like that. The second son DID NOT do what his father wanted even though he gave the right reply in the beginning. He lost connection with his father’s agenda when he never went to the vineyard.
HUGE picture of life!!
THE VINEYARD = engaging in the life you have been given here through faith in Jesus.
ENTERING GOD”S KINGDOM = looking for the culture of heaven in the life you have been given
here and now. Eternal life isn’t just about what happens after you die.
It is available in this moment we are in right now.
I have been drawn into this story many times as a way to remind me that being truly ALIVE is about letting wishful daydreams blow away in the reality of the life right in front of me. This life regularly requires me to “change my mind” and to actually roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty in the work of “the vineyard” my Father in heaven has given me to do here in this day. I have learned that is where the Holy Spirit meets me… in the vineyard of my ordinary stuff!
There is a powerful fresh “Aliveness” in living like the “first son”. How would things look and feel different in our lives, friendships, families & communities if we followed Jesus like “first sons”?
Many of us have memories of praying “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Our Father” in our childhood years. It may or may not have meant very much to you. Often it is used to make an emotional/sentimental journey of comfort for people at a time of great need in their lives. I get that! But, we all know even at an intuitive level that there is much more to what Jesus had in mind as He taught his followers how to pray! The prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13 is designed as a resource to help us commune with our Father in heaven who is within us and all around us by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus.
The phrase that echoes in our minds… “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as in heaven” is a treasure of wisdom and empowerment.
Try praying it this way:
“Father, Let the culture of heaven invade & surround my life today.”
In this prayer I am inviting you to substitute the phrase “culture of heaven” for the word “kingdom” and the phrase “my life today” for “on earth”.
In order to engage with the LIFE God has blessed us with as part of His family we need to desire to experience life according to His house rules! What’s it like in The Father’s house? That’s the way it should be in and around our relationships with friends & enemies here and now in THIS day.
So breathe some fresh fire into your praying and invite the culture of heaven to invade you and this moment right here and right now!
As I sat and listened to the sermon in our worship gathering yesterday, a light really came on for me on the inside. This was the latest message in the sermon series called “Hidden Treasure”. The focus of the truth being delivered was that we all have walls of limitation that we run into when it comes to fulfilling life goals and/or running after the dreams we believe in for ourselves. Our pastor was challenging the powerful mantra of our culture which says; “If you can dream it then you can do it!”. He was provoking us to face reality. It’s just not true… we can’t accomplish everything we set our mind to and our dreams don’t all come true. We run into walls of limitation.
Somewhere in the middle of his talk a bolt of spiritual wisdom from the Lord nailed me. He was talking about our need not only to believe in Jesus and be baptized with water but to also to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and power. My heart was already stirred up when he got me right in his sites and said: “You need a breakthrough in your mind to change your life”!
That was a good 24 hours ago and yet the Holy Spirit is continuing to work away on me. It dawned on me that many years ago I came to the end of myself in what I was able to conceive of and piece together philosophically about my beliefs, my life, my worldview. I am so grateful for that season in my life when I surrendered (even daily for a few years) to the Lord in prayer turning away from my self sufficiency and asking the Holy Spirit to come fill me with His love, power and gifts so that I could flow with what He is doing in the world. I can testify that over the years He has empowered me over and over again to break through and tear down stubborn walls of limitation in my mind based on human thinking that is completely preoccupied with the earthly realm. He has changed my life by renewing my mind with the realm of his kingdom which by the way has come and is all around us. I am convinced that His will for your life and mine is to be a place where the realm of heaven and earth meet and He is allowed to shine freely through our ordinary lives that Jesus truly is Lord. He wants His kingdom to come and His will to be done in and around us in our sometimes nasty earthly challenges as it is in heaven.
In one of Paul’s letters to his friends who were learning to follow Jesus in their very earthly lives, he coached them this way: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2
It matters that you ask the Holy Spirit to bring a breakthrough in your mind so that the walls of limitation that keep you imprisoned can be demolished! He is faithful and if we will surrender our mind to him, meditate on His word as greater than our thoughts and emotions, He will set us free and we will experience His glory in increasingly practical and tangible ways. Baptize us Lord!!