Buried deep…

I never could have predicted how The Gardener would plant me after I gave him my “yes” many decades ago. I never would have sent my roots deeper when the troubles came if he wasn’t so trustworthy. I never would have known that the glory of heaven was buried deep in the soil if it wasn’t for his living word. (see Jeremiah 17:7-8)

You are a planting of the Lord destined to be an oak of righteousness. This moment matters. (Isaiah 60:21, 61:3)

You are a blessing!

Weakness… Portal to God’s Power

Thank you so much for asking the Lord for words to prophesy over me on my birthday (Nov 13). I have captured and saved the messages you sent. Our Father poured out the generosity of his household to me through your prophetic words. The family of King Jesus is glorious and has the power and authority to bless like no other network anywhere in the world.

What an incredible honor it is for me to craft words into works that you would read and be affected by eternal things from God! There are unlimited provisions available to us because of Jesus. You are designed to live, move, and exist by receiving and sharing those provisions. God blesses me by allowing me to write out of what he has poured into me.

I was reading 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 in “The Passion Translation” this morning. In his letter, the Apostle Paul wrote about his weaknesses and especially how he chose to handle them. In Brian Simmons’ paraphrase it reads, “…my weakness is a portal to God’s power.”

Being able to perceive yourself with both God-given strengths AND weaknesses is crucial to prophesying. Every one of us fights a personal battle with insecurity over our weaknesses being exposed. You are not alone and we all get that it’s hard for you to be vulnerable. We have that in common.

The church is designed to be prophetic… along with apostolic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching. (Ephesians 4) Those of us who have heard God’s call to help others grow in the prophetic must properly steward our weaknesses.

Here is the scripture from 2 Corinthians I was reading today, “But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

The word of the Lord to us today is actually an invitation to trust him with our weaknesses. How powerful would it be if people could see the glory of God on us because we are not defeated but actually delighted by the ways we are weak? This will take courage and faith. But, he provides the unlimited grace that is needed. I pray that there will be a resurgence of the glory of God’s household in the generations beginning with us.

You are a blessing!

Hungry for the word of the Lord and the signs of heaven?

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!

God’s relentless display of beauty… You (part two)

The word of the Lord is alive and active. (Hebrews 4:12)  God intentionally brought us into being. We are designed for life-union with Jesus and his word is designed to change us into who God says we are. The prophetic will always be about Jesus. He is the Living Word of God. 

Receiving the living word of the Lord is where the prophetic always starts. David saw himself as something God had already written before he was born. (Psalm 139) The prophet Jeremiah also was told that he was set apart to be a prophet to the nations before birth. (Jeremiah 1) God’s word is full of life and it is designed to keep on filling us so that it flows out of us in everything we do. 

The Lord has taught me to trust what he says more than any other word regardless of how powerful it may seem to be. Sometimes I have even had to disagree with my own opinions and mindset because of God’s living word. What God says and reveals about my life is more powerful than even my own opinions. 

In order to grow in the prophetic, that’s where you begin. When you surrender yourself to Jesus, you become a child of God. The Holy Spirit wakes you up to the fact that you are a growing tree that he has planted. (Isaiah 60:21)  But, he didn’t just plant you and leave you to grow on your own. 

We are his sons and daughters. We have been appointed as prophets to the nations. The word we have been given radically changes things. Because we bear the name of Jesus, we possess the power and authority to “…uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”  (Jer 1:10) Jesus promised that the church he is building will unlock and open the way for heaven to be known in all the earth. 

Today you can say to the Lord, “I believe that your word is alive and active in me because I am your child. I exist because of your word. I surrender my heart, mind and body to you. Jesus, drive my roots deep into what you say so that it spills out of me everywhere I go today.” Amen

You are a blessing! 

If you listen for the knock you’ll hear his voice

To be prophetic is to synchronize through surrender. It is recognizing that Jesus is knocking at your door in everything. By faith, his knocking is transformed into his voice. You hear it because you are listening for… Him. Just open the door.

“Behold, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come in to you and feast with you, and you will feast with me. And to the one who conquers I will give the privilege of sitting with me on my throne, just as I conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. The one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is saying now to the churches.” Rev 3 – The Passion Translation

Grow by prophesying in prayer

Prophesying or “the prophetic” is receiving the living word of God and sharing it in the power and authority of Jesus’ Name. I remind myself often that my identity is in Christ. As a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, I have authority to pray that God’s kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven and to fully expect to see it happen increasingly.

Lately, I have found that prophesying in prayer is a powerful way to grow the gift of prophecy in my life. A few months ago, the Lord challenged me about praying prophetically through Jeremiah 1:7-10, “But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.'”

I am learning to go (in the Spirit) to everyone he sends me to and prophesy (in my prayers for them) whatever He commands me with faith and boldness in the Name of the Lord Jesus. I feel like I am only beginning to scratch the surface on being sent in the Spirit to prophesy in prayer over people and places.

I have begun to have more faith when I pray, that he is putting his words in my mouth. He does that primarily while I am reading, recalling, or meditating on scripture. The Holy Spirit can use what I have read in the Bible to impress the living word on my mind. I then intentionally prophesy His word in prayer and try not to mix in too much of my own words or agenda. I don’t expect perfection out of myself, just growth in grace. I also remind myself by faith in His word that I am appointed in Christ to prophesy over nations and kingdoms in order to see a transformation occur in those nations and kingdoms for the glory of God.

If you begin to prophesy in prayer, declaring alignment with the living word of God in the unseen realm, you likely will find that your awareness of God’s presence will increase. You may also have more vivid and detailed dreams, impressions, and visions.

So, enjoy the fact that you have been designed by God to receive the living word of God and share it in the power and authority of Jesus’ Name. Have fun!

You are a blessing!

My Top “5Q” Takeaways (review of Alan Hirsch’s book)

Incredibly empowering book! Thanks, Alan Hirsch for another well-written, deeply engaging read. “5Q: Reactivating the Original Intelligence and Capacity of the Body of Christ” comes alongside the Body of Christ and engages us in a conversation in which we at first think we are fluent. Then, as Hirsch provokes and invites us to learn the ways of APEST in light of J-APEST(the unique way that Jesus relates to all of creation), we either jump off the submarine or strap ourselves in for a deep plunge into what is according to Hirsch, “coded into the whole Body of Christ, and we are but the living expressions of that Body in our given time and place.”

“5Q” is his term for hearing, appreciating, perceiving and engaging the gift of APEST (APOSTLE/PROPHET/EVANGELIST/SHEPHERD/TEACHER) as the way God relates to all things, is revealed in Christ, is expressed in the Body of Christ (BOX) resulting in the Fullness of Christ (FOX) spoken of in Ephesians 4.

 

My Top 5Q Takeaways are:

  1.  I experienced a powerful refocusing of Eph 4:1-15 and the APEST gifts on the Fullness of Christ being expressed through the Body of Christ. “We are to treasure the fivefold precisely because we treasure Jesus and what he is doing through us.” It was very refreshing to take a deep dive into a study on APEST without being distracted from the reason I was drawn to following Jesus in the first place… to be more like Him.

  2. J-APEST “I will sometimes refer to the distinctly Jesus-shaped version of APEST as J-APEST to distinguish it from the creational and ecclesial expressions” I loved Hirsch’s focus on the presence of the five-fold in Jesus’ DNA. Because it was there in Jesus, it is present in us because we are in Christ.

  3. Scenius: (borrowed from Brian Eno) “So I thought that originally those few individuals who’d survived in history-in the sort of ‘Great Man’ theory of history-were called ‘geniuses’. But what I thought was interesting was the fact that they all came out of a scene that was very fertile and very intelligent. So I came up with this word ‘scenius’-and scenius is the intelligence of a whole… operation or group of people. And I think that’s actually a more useful way to think about culture… Let’s forget the idea of ‘genius’ for a little while; let’s (rather) think about the whole ecology of ideas that give rise to good new thoughts and good new work.” This was a brand new term for me. It holds a lot of power and hope to fuel my dreams for revival and the Body of Christ working the Harvest.

  4. The Gift of APEST is in our DNA: “The good news is that APEST has been given at the very constitution of the church in Jesus’ resurrection and ascension and it cannot be removed, although it can be suppressed. It is there… latent in the Body of Christ waiting to be activated.”

  5. Bases and Phases: “We all have a base ministry in which we feel most comfortable. This base ministry flows out of our primary gifting. In order to mature, we have to enter a phase where we receive training and experience in one of the other four ministries.” Empowering, wise insight. Though my APEST tends to be expressed as Apostle/Shepherd/Prophet/Teacher/Evangelist, it is not bad for me to go through seasons of learning when I might behave more like an Evangelist, Teacher, or Prophet if you were to interact with me. I can assume that I will return eventually to my base ministry.

    Early on in “5Q…”Hirsch challenges the reader with the following comment… “If you are able to sense something of God’s beautiful design along the way, will you have the courage to change? Will you pay the price to learn again?”

 

God’s voice… through His Bride

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?!?

What about your vineyard?

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. 

Like the burning bush

There is nothing quite like fire. It comforts, warms, empowers, and sustains us. While at the same time, it consumes, terrifies, and destroys. Fire is an amazing force. Throughout the Bible and in history, God has been referenced as fire. Hebrews 12:29 declares; “… our God is a consuming fire.

All over the world, prayer warriors are rising up, networking and declaring in the Name of Jesus, that a powerful move of God is beginning which will result in a new level of honouring God in every nation and result in a huge harvest for the kingdom of God. Near the end of 2016, the Lord began to show me that around the world, we would see a living “Amen” to the prayer of Jesus found in John 17:20-26.

It is time to agree together in prayer for revival with a new passion and urgency. There are a few scriptures that have inspired my daily prayers lately. Take a minute and read them. Then I want to tell you about my daily revival prayer.

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” (Genesis 3:1-3) 

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!’ So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.”(Daniel 3:26-27)

Inspired by these two scriptures, I began to pray the following, several months ago: “Lord, refine me to the place that like the burning bush, I can be ablaze with fire, yet not be consumed”.

We are going to see amazing things happen on the earth in the Name of Jesus in the next several years. Begin to ask for the fire of God in and upon your life and the place where you live!