Into The Deep Christian Words to Inspire
...and it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy - Acts 2:17,18.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith - Romans 12:6.
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men - 1 Corinthians 14:1-3.
I'm presenting the following words from God (in the articles, below) because I believe they're meant for Christians in general to hear; at least as examples of how God speaks. Please ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom in applying these words to your personal life.
Simply stated, prophecy is hearing the voice of God, for yourself and for others.
With each message, I try to be clear about how God has spoken to me so you will understand the gift of prophecy and possibly recognize it in your own experience. Having the gift of prophecy doesn't necessarily mean someone is a mature prophet who walks in the "office of a prophet." But the gift does tend to develop and grow if it's used, so don't be surprised if changes come.
This gift of prophecy is not "one size fits all." There is much variation in prophetic reception and expression. But for everyone, the gift comes with the responsibility to use it when God arranges an opportunity. This responsibity has compelled me to minister prophetically on this page. You will also find prophetic threads woven throughout this website. In addition to the gift of prophecy, I also have the spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching. Because of this, I'm inclined to share what I hear.
Most of the articles below provide examples of how God has spoken to me about my own needs. The focus for my readers is on hearing the voice of God—one of my favorite subjects. You will find my teaching to be full of truth that will strengthen your prophetic foundation and your relationship with the Lord.
Please understand: If you can hear from God for your own needs, then you can certainly hear from Him regarding the needs of other people. It works exactly the same, and it's called "prophecy." God will wait 'til you're mature enough to have knowledge of other people. And He will never tell you everything about another person―only what you need to know at the time for ministry.
Whatever the occasion, hearing the voice of God will make your heart sing!
May you be richly blessed in all that God says and does—in everything that He is.
For more advanced teaching about Christian prophecy, please click here for a list of books that I've read and highly recommend.
Communication with God about our personal needs is vital. The Holy Spirit is the intermediary, giving us words that are straight from the Father's heart. The following article is an example of how helpful this can be.
Walking on Water . . . 4/15/15
Quite often, the Lord speaks to me early in the morning while I lay awake in bed, waiting for the alarm to sound. He gives me His wonderful, insightful thoughts on important matters at hand. Recently, He brought up the subject of walking on water. “That’s what I’m asking you to do,” He said. Then He turned my thoughts to Jesus’ disciple, Peter:
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come” – Matthew 14:28.
I thought of how this passionate man leapt from the boat to walk toward Jesus, but then he noticed the wind and the waves and began to sink (Matthew 14:25-33). While I was empathizing with Peter’s conflicting emotions, the Spirit reminded me of this well-known scripture:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go – Joshua 1:9.
Yes! This is the way to live. I will walk on water! I will not be afraid! God was certainly starting my day on a challenging and positive note. But He wasn't finished yet. He topped off His inspiring words by showing me the acronym for “walk on water.” It is W-O-W!
Throughout the day, I thought of my morning interaction with the Lord. Essentially, He had said to me, “Yes, Susan, you can trust that it’s My voice you’ve been hearing. I know that believing My promise has stretched your faith considerably, and it has put you out on a limb. But I don’t want you to be anxious. As you step out onto the water, just keep your eyes on Me.”
I can’t share the details of what I’m believing for, but I know my situation is common to man. Therefore, God’s message to me is also for you. “Walking on water” is something that sooner or later, we’re all asked to do. It will be a situation or a task that, apart from God, we cannot handle successfully. It may be a “perfect storm” of converging events. Or it may be a fairly minor situation that, to you, is simply intolerable.
It’s important to understand that walking on water and being courageous can never be done in human strength. God will let us try, if only to show us our inability. But ultimately, we must cry out to Him for an increase of faith and of courage:
. . . looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith . . . Hebrews 12:2.
So, what is God requiring of you? What body of water is He asking you to walk upon in faith? Are you still in the process of discovering your helplessness, or have you moved onward to a place of imploring God to help? Remember that when you’re called to step out of the boat, the outstretched arms of Jesus are always there to hold you up.
Christian growth can be frightening, Lord, but through the trials, we learn of Your strength and Your faithfulness. As we lean on You, we discover more depths of Your love. We learn of Your compassion for our frailty. Our hearts are touched that You actually save our tears in a bottle. With every passing day, You―our Beloved―become more precious to us.
The following article shows how God's revelation to us on a personal level can enhance and strengthen our prayer:
Painters of Destiny . . . 2/12/14
God keeps teaching me about prayer because He has blessings and changes ahead for my life that are not optional―neither in His estimation or in mine. These things simply have to be. Therefore, I’m learning to fight for what is mine, and I'm teaching others to do the same.
Spiritual warfare always revolves around God’s word, but how we view ourselves as warriors has many variables. During a recent time of prayer, the Lord showed me a picture of a steep mountain. On the tip of this rocky peak was a natural basin filled with water that was transparent but also dark. I was immediately reminded of the water that artists use to clean the paint from their brushes. If enough colors are used, this water becomes gray or brown. God’s message for me in this vision was that “He and I together are painters of destiny.” His Living Word combined with my handling of it in prayer will ensure some bright futures.
This message applies to anyone who has a need or sees a need. We can all use God’s word as a palette of life-giving color to paint His will into being. As you read the following familiar verse about God's plans, please hear the passion in His voice. He wants us to believe so we will pray.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope” – Jeremiah 29:11, NASB.
The word of God holds tremendous power, but it is only released when we pick up this “paint” and use it. The color is especially bright and beautiful when the Holy Spirit selects the perfect hue by reminding us of relevant scripture. Seriously. When God picks the color, we know it’s going to be right. A life is going to change.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you – John 15:7.
Storing up God’s word in our hearts is like stocking the shelves of an artist’s studio with the most expensive, highest quality paints in existence. Rare and surprising color can flow from tubes and jars, and then be applied to the canvas of someone’s destiny―if we embrace the assignment.
Dear Lord God, we thank You for Your beautiful word. We thank You for the loving plans You have for Your people. We are humble apprentices in Your studio of prayer. Please help us to clearly hear Your voice when You tell us which colors of paint are needed and which brushes we should use. We truly want to do our part in bringing Your will to Earth.
The voice of God calls us forward to our destiny. That place is always found in Him:
Destiny Has a Voice . . . 4/21/13
Destiny pulls on us from the future, pushes us from the past and hems us in on the left and the right. Destiny has a voice: “I am the will of God. I am found in the heart of God. Pursue Me every day."
. . . I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me – Philippians 3:12.
From the future, Destiny* beckons, “Come to Me. I have an excellent plan for your life. I have holy purpose that calls for your participation.”
From our past, Destiny urges, “You go on ahead. Don’t look back at your mistakes. Keep moving forward into the many good works that I've prepared for you.”
From the left, Destiny warns, “I know it looks like fun over here, but it’s only an illusion that leads to sorrow. Just keep moving forward on My straight and narrow path where peace, joy and all types of prosperity will surely be found."
From the right, Destiny cautions, “Yes, there is plenty to do over here, but it's "works of the flesh" and not what I have planned for you. Turning this way will waste your precious time.
Destiny calls to us loudly from the Word—inspiring, directing and transforming every Christian. Destiny woos us and captures us, while never violating our free will:
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent - Isaiah 55:10-11.
Destiny requires that we have confidence in God's Word—to use it as a mighty sword against every enemy we encounter, and to shape the future with bold decrees when the Spirit of God inspires us. Destiny is pleased when God's voice becomes our voice, showing that our hearts are in agreement:
And take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God - Ephesians 6:17.
Destiny appeals to our hearts and minds through vision. Nighttime dreams, waking visions, inspired ideas and other types of enlightenment come by the Spirit of God. This Godly vision gives us the focus we need while traveling rocky roads ahead:
For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay – Habakkuk 2:3 NASB.
Destiny insists that we're born again and abiding in Christ—the only way to achieve success:
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing - John 15:5.
Dear Lord God, Thank You for being our Destiny. No person, place or thing can measure up to the wonders of who You are. Nothing even comes close. Thank You for the purpose we find when abiding in You. Your voice imparts strategy, hope and power. You adorn us with relevance and significance. Our future is rich and bright because YOU are rich and bright.
* Our destiny is in God, so I take artistic license and use this word as a name.
God reveals, and we receive: This describes in simple terms both revelation and prophecy. The two are intertwined and cannot be separated. Our primary task is to listen. After that, we prophesy only when the Lord requires it.
Revelation . . . 10/28/12
Therefore I…do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him… - Ephesians 1:15-17.
Revelation from God comes to us in many forms: We are presented with vivid dreams and detailed visions. Words and ideas are spoken to us by the Spirit within. As we read the Bible, the Lord will sometimes quicken His Word so it speaks to us on a personal level.
We're given revelation for a number of reasons. It may come as a warning, or as edification, insight and encouragement. It goes without saying that when God speaks, we should listen carefully and respond properly. Anything less is arrogant and reckless.
In whatever form the revelations come and for whatever purpose they are sent, it's critical that we incorporate them in our prayer. Any impending danger disclosed by God should obviously be prayed against. Everything else is a reflection of His heart and mind—an unveiling of His will. Whenever we know God's will, we should pray confidently in agreement.
The Lord loves to tell us what we need to know.
During a recent one-week vacation, I saw seven rainbows. I thought this was unusual, and I felt that my seeing them was significant. Using an online concordance, I searched for scripture about rainbows. I expected to find the familiar verses about God's covenant with man. I was surprised by a wonderful verse that is new to me:
Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD - Ezekiel 1:28.
Through seven rainbows and a corresponding scripture, God revealed His glory to me. He showed me that I am covered and surrounded by it. Because of this new insight, I now pray for God's glory to enter situations or certain areas or even a person's heart.
On this same week of vacation, I met a Christian couple on the beach. We talked for awhile and ended up praying together. During our prayer, God gave the woman a vision about someone I love. She shared it with me, and now I use this new revelation in my prayers of intercession. This divine appointment supplied me with a sharp new weapon.
If you're not getting as much revelation from the Lord as you want, then please start praying that you will. Claiming the words of Ephesians 1:15-21 for yourself is an excellent place to begin. When your spiritual discernment starts to increase, be sure to follow through with obedience, praise and prayer.
Thank You, Lord, for Your Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Personal communication with You is powerful, and it's indispensable for victory in Your kingdom. Please pour Your grace upon us without measure so that we will always respond in action and in prayer according to Your will.
Until the Day Dawns . . . 6/25/12
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts . . . 2 Peter 1:19.
If you're walking with the Lord, then chances are He's taking you through some dark valleys and narrow passages, all for the purpose of strengthening your faith and conforming you to His image. This certainly has been true in my life. And during these times, if I hold tightly to God, I am uplifted by His voice. A few days ago, the Spirit spoke to me regarding the years ahead. He said, "Don't worry about the future. Jesus has already gone ahead and set it aright for you." This means that my future is good, and it's full of God's purpose for me! Answered prayer awaits me there! These words were a loving encouragement from the Lord.
Webster's Dictionary defines prophecy as "a declaration of something to come," so when God speaks to me about my future, I consider His words to be prophecy. Whether it's personal prophecy or a major prophecy from the Bible, we are told to heed the prophetic word as "a light that shines in a dark place..." The words in 2 Peter 1:19 are dear to us because the promises of God are what steer us safely through the darkest stormy nights. When all seems lost, these words from Him are a sure and steady guide, leading us always to the dawn.
With every dawn comes light, warmth and vision. But one aspect of dawn that is often overlooked is the "morning star." This star in the western sky is actually the planet, Venus. It's positioned perfectly to reflect the sun just before it rises in the east. The morning star of the Bible is a reference to Jesus. For people of faith, His presence during the night is assurance of good things to come—still unseen but certainly on the way, each blessing scheduled to appear at a predetermined dawn. Our Lord has been to the future and has already "set things aright" for each of us, according to our needs and our calling. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 21:6). Just as He has ordered the sun to rise for us each day, He has set into motion the answers to our prayers (John 4:13,14).
If we take heed to God's word in the dark of night, then the Morning Star will arise in our hearts. The embers of struggling faith will be stirred into a powerful, blazing fire. Revived and fully awake, we will work and pray and bring God's Kingdom from Heaven to Earth.
Thank You, Lord, for going ahead of us to fill our future with purpose. Thank You for paving our roads with goodness and mercy. Help us to heed Your word at all times, but especially in difficult times. Keep our eyes always fixed on You, the bright Morning Star, as You remind us of the glorious dawn that lies ahead. Let our prayers reflect this heightened expectation.
Prophetic Prayer . . . 4/15/12
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen - Ephesians 3:20,21.
Many of us get caught up in the words "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think"—and for good cause. In light of our needy condition, God's power and grace are exciting to think about. But with our focus squarely on God's greatness, we might not absorb the next string of words. Our Lord works "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in us..."
Did you catch that? According to the power that works in us! These words align perfectly with another well-known verse:
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory - Colossians 1:27.
The message of God's mighty power flowing through weak human vessels has always been close to my heart. I've not been allowed to forget this good news. The Lord reminds me of it quite often because it's essential to victorious Christian living and to His purpose for my life. His most recent reminder was just a few days ago when I first awoke in the morning. The Holy Spirit spoke clearly into my mind, but instead of distinct words, He gave me a distinct thought. (Sometimes, when God doesn't want to be limited by the English language, He just makes me "know" things.) Here is my paraphrase of the message:
Living within you is the Most High God, the Creator of all that exists. You are friends, united in purpose. He wants to proclaim (prophesy) His will through you so it will come to pass.
Though this message sounds rather general, the Spirit gave me understanding that I should apply this prophetic type of prayer to my two most pressing needs. (I should proclaim every relevant scripture and every personal word from God that comes to mind pertaining to these matters.) Wow! What a way to start my day. Two locked doors will soon swing open! God has given me the key.
Prophetic prayer may not be the key for bringing God's will to every circumstance, all the time, but according to Him, it will loose His power for two of my current needs. I love that the Lord is extremely practical! If another kind of prayer would be more fitting, I'm sure He would have directed me toward that. He doesn't want life in His kingdom to be a guessing game.
Praying prophetically does require a healthy level of faith in who God is and what is in His heart. Our faith unleashes the truth and power within His words. But don't let being a "babe in Christ" keep you from trying. One of the best ways to build up faith is watching God respond to prayer.
Thank You, Lord, for including us in Your wonderful work. Don't let us ever forget "the power that works in us," that brings You glory, through all generations. Thank You for building our faith so we can effectively use the sword of prophetic prayer.
The following experience is an example of God sending a message through nature. Being aware that God speaks this way will help you to be more receptive and not miss His message when it appears.
Great and Mighty Things . . . 9/18/11
My Florida vacation had finally begun. Waiting for check-in time at my island condominium, I was walking along a bayside beach, photographing beautiful birds. My lens was focused on an Egret when I was approached by a man who asked, ''Don't you want to photograph that rare horizontal rainbow?''
''Sure! Thanks a lot!'' I had never seen or heard of a horizontal rainbow, but now I was photographing one. Just as the name implies, the rainbow was straight and flat. It was also very bright. The following week, I learned that the scientific name for this visual phenomenon is "circumhorizontal arc." These rainbows only form when plate-shaped ice crystals are present in cirrus clouds, and when the sun is a certain distance from Earth. At some latitudes, these arcs can never be seen.
Because I'm accustomed to the Lord speaking to me through nature, I thought this event might hold a personal message. I would have missed it entirely had it not been pointed out to me, and that in itself seemed significant—as if the message was hand delivered. I prayed for revelation of the meaning for me, and the Spirit soon answered:
Scripture declares the rainbow to be a sign of covenant between God and the earth (Genesis 9:12, 13). In addition to God's original specific promise to never again cover the earth with a flood, I believe the rainbow symbolizes His intent to honor any covenant or promise He has made to His people, either corporately or individually. It's a visual reminder from God that He keeps His promises.
The Spirit revealed to me that the unusual "horizontal" aspect of the rainbow was an important part of the message. Strong's Concordance presents to us the Greek word, ''horizo" (3724): to mark out or bound ("horizon"), i.e. (fig.) to appoint, decree, specify:—declare, determine, limit, ordain.
God was clearly saying to me: "Susan, look up and see. My promise to you has been marked out. It has been specified, determined, ordained and decreed. My promise to you is specific, and it is limited (fitted) to my purpose for your life."
In other words, I should be encouraged. God's promise to me is surely coming to pass, according to His purpose and at the determined time. He has written this in the sky as a loving reminder.
I have shared this story with a goal in mind: I want you to want to hear God's voice. (If you don't care about hearing from the Lord, then you won't.) I want you to know that He has good news for you. I want you to believe that He has things to say about your future. If you're not hearing God's voice, then I want you to be jealous that He's speaking to me and not to you. I want you to chase after Him. (The truth is, if God will speak to me, then He will certainly speak to you.)
In my experience with the Lord, He is the ultimate cheerleader. When I ask Him for encouragement, He quickly responds. In the case of the horizontal rainbow, I don't remember asking for a word of support, so God's sign in the sky seems more like an anouncement. (Nowthat's exciting!)
No matter who you are or what you've done, the Lord will speak to you. Others' opinions of you don't matter at all to Him. He has purpose for you that is quite specific, and He's placed great potential within you. However, you must have faith. You must believe that God will talk to you on a personal level. The fact that you're living and breathing is proof that your business on Earth isn't finished. Beginning today, you can start listening for God's voice. You can start receiving His direction. Just don't be surprised when you find yourself encouraged.
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know - Jeremiah 33:3.
Dear Lord, thank You for including and using us in Your plans. Please open our ears so we can always hear Your direction. Clear our eyes and minds so we can receive every powerful word of encouragement. Lead us each day to relevant truth. Please prepare our hearts so You can show us "great and mighty things."
I received the following dream from the Lord (along with the interpretation) as encouragement and confirmation. Since the dream presents some basic Biblical principles, I hope you will pray for guidance regarding how they may apply to you personally.
If you're not hearing from the Lord through dreams (maybe you are and don't realize it), then please see this as an example of how God desires to communicate with ALL his children:
Incoming Waves . . . 8/20/11
I was at a southwest Florida beach, snorkeling in the calm Gulf water about fifteen feet from shore. When I stood up, I saw a series of large waves rolling in. These were beautiful waves, standing up high with sunlight shining through their aqua depths and with foaming tips beginning to break. The waves ranged in height from about 4 to 8 feet. They were big enough to knock me down if I didn't dive through them.
These waves were already very close. I didn't feel like diving through them, and of course I didn't want to be knocked down and rolled underwater on the hard, shell-covered bottom. I began scrambling to get to shore.
As I moved toward the shore, I noticed a white cabin cruiser that was anchored in the shallows. I watched as the waves rolled the boat onto its side, then onto its top. Then finally, miraculously, the boat rose up high on a wave and rolled completely over to be upright again. I was happy to see the boat spared from sinking and from being pummeled by surf onto the hard underwater floor.
I was very close to shore, but a towering wave seemed certain to overtake me. I braced myself for getting pounded when the wave crashed, but I was out of reach and only felt some falling mist.
I stepped onto dry land and surveyed the dramatic picture around me: The waves were still rising up powerfully and colorfully with curling white tips. Sunrays broke through beautiful cumulus clouds, and a flock of sea birds flew upward in a column. I stood watching, amazed by the glorious scene. END OF DREAM.
Snorkeling: Being face down, looking into the waters of God. This portrays drawing near to God through the Word, prayer and worship—however we can. This portrays "abiding in Christ" (John 15:4,5).
Series of waves: A barrage of attacks by the enemy, meant to repeatedly knock us down and eventually destroy us. But, if we abide in Christ—taking part in the kingdom of God through worship, prayer and spiritual warfare—then all things work together for our good and become a blessing to us and others (Genesis 50:20).
Scrambling to get to shore: Focusing intently on God's purpose and destiny for each of us.
White cabin cruiser: Vehicles represent ministry, and white represents purity. This is ministry prepared, ordained and led by the Lord. (If a ministry is of the flesh, then it isn't pure.)
Cabin cruiser rolling completely over: The powers of darkness attempt to sink our personal ministries, but God keeps us afloat when we abide in Him.
Towering wave: Enemy forces may be intimidating, but the protective hand of God is strong and sure.
Dry land: This is "the promised land" for each of us, representing those major promises from the Lord that we are waiting for. (This does not represent safety because we're safe among the waves when we abide in Christ.)
Glorious final scene: The kingdom of God in all its beauty.
Waves: Satan means this for evil, but God means it for good.
Sunrays: The light, truth and life of God.
Clouds: Vehicles of celestial spirits and angels.
Birds flying in an upward column: Worship, prayer and prophecy (declaration of the
Word) moving upward to connect with God.
Dry Land: God's personal promise to each of us—our "promised land."
The Spirit of Prophecy (The Lord, Jesus Christ) always bids us to look ahead to His promise:
Looking Ahead . . . 12/27/10
Our walk with the Lord may be close and sweet, but everywhere else we see life being touched by sin. Destructive words are spoken, and selfish behavior gives off a stench that is difficult to ignore. These things used to upset me and take control of my thoughts, but now I rarely fret about the actions of other people. The Lord has even set me free from too much concern about my own behavior.
Sin is something to pray about and then forget about. We must not keep looking back. By doing so we allow the negativity of the past to have power over our minds and emotions today, letting the sins of others wound us repeatedly and letting our own sin condemn us. Above all, we mustn't let our sinful past entice us to return. Looking back isn't the way of the Lord, so we must always resist this temptation. Remember what happened to Lot's wife when she looked behind her after being told by the angel to only look ahead? This event in Genesis is highly symbolic—a warning for us to heed.
But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt - Genesis 19:26 NLT.
Whether logos words from the Bible or rhema words directly from the Spirit, God's promises are most certainly ahead of us and not behind.
A short time ago I was resisting an attack of repeating negative thoughts that began the previous day when someone showed me disrespect. I had forgiven the person, but the thoughts kept coming. I obviously needed a refresher course on this subject, so the Lord stepped in to advise me. He reminded me that whether the offense occurred five minutes ago or ten years ago, I must leave it behind me where it belongs. He told me that if Satan can keep my thoughts focused on an upsetting event of the past, then he'll effectively have me "stuck" in that place and time. (Lot's wife was stopped in her tracks; unable to take another step.) If I choose to remember offences from the past, then I am re-living these occasions; allowing them continued influence on my emotions and my thoughts.
After reviewing the destructive effects of looking backward, the Lord enlightened me about the blessings of looking ahead to Him and His holy purpose: Prophetic power resides even in our thoughts, so the act of looking ahead to the Lord and His word will stir up our faith and thereby hasten the arrival of all that is good.
May the LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless you as He has promised you! - Deuteronomy 1:11.
We have a choice: We can follow Satan's lead and dwell in the past, or we can keep our eyes on the Lord, Jesus Christ, who is always calling us forward—"onward and upward" to the place in His plan where we belong.
The following article shines a light on Christians' responsibility to "prophesy the future" by speaking God's word over people and situations, especially as the Spirit leads. As we brandish the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God), we bring healing, renewal and life to this world (Ephesians 6:17,18):
Building the Future . . . 10/30/10
I feel a strong call to pray for my grandchildren. I'm always on the lookout for scripture to proclaim over them, to build their future according to God's word and His will. I also pray continuously for their parents; my daughter and her husband. These four people have an important place in the Kingdom of God, and I'm determined that they won't miss their destiny. Because I know the Lord agrees with me, I can pray for them with confidence.
One evening as I lay in bed, I asked God to give me a scripture to pray for my sweet little granddaughter. He told me to pray that she will begin to "walk in the good works that He has prepared for her" (Ephesians 2:10). Knowing that I can depend on the Spirit for guidance in prayer is a blessing that boosts my confidence. I am not alone in the task of paving the road ahead for these precious children.
Our families are in the domain for which God holds us responsible. We witness their needs and weaknesses, so we have the knowledge to pray specifically. And as we discover the longing of God for each one of them, we can boldly pray for their salvation, their sanctification and their life's work.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned - Song of Solomon 8:7 NIV.
Christians have the heart and mind of Christ. We are endowed with a supernatural love that is powerful and indestructible. This tough, tenacious love works miracles when it's activated by faith. Because the Lord sanctifies us, our prayers for family are heard. Because of His love, they are answered.
Dessert Wine . . . 5/15/10
I had a dream that I'm sure is from the Lord. It applies directly to me, but it's also a clear picture of what He has for each member of the body of Christ—if they will receive it. I didn't remember the dream when I woke, but later in the day, out of curiosity, I did an internet search regarding a type of scientific process. I read that this process is present in the production of dessert wine, and thus, the dream came back to mind. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for guiding my thoughts and my memory.
Dessert Wine: I was sitting at a table set with nice dishes and a white linen table cloth. The dinner was in progress. The food and the people were obscure, though I believe this was a gathering of my daughter's family and her inlaws. These people are Californians who often drink wine with meals, and the prominent matter was the wine on the table. I could see two bottles at my end of the table. They were identical brands with identical labels, but they were of different sizes. The large bottle was regular table wine, and the smaller bottle was a dessert wine. I was given the bottle of dessert wine. It was placed right in front of me as my appointed drink.
God is the sweetest, richest wine, and He is our appointed drink. The longer we know Him, the sweeter He becomes to us, eventually becoming our "Dessert Wine." The gifts from His hands are also extremely sweet because they come at the perfect time, with His blessing and for His purpose.
The following article demonstrates how the Lord uses our ability to hear Him and deliver His message in a very casual way. Prophecy doesn't have to occur in a structured, formal manner. Additionally, the precept presented near the end of this article will increase your level of spiritual vision and hearing:
His Eyes, His Ears, His Heart . . . 4/18/10
To be victorious in our testings and trials, we must stay focused on the Lord. The majority of battles take place in our minds, so the perfect defense is the perspective of God. What does He see in the situation? How does He feel about it? What does He want to do?
I was talking with a young Christian friend last week. Her job situation has become unstable because of funding problems. God has given her a good measure of peace, but as we talked, I realized she was too concerned about pleasing her professional peers. If she was laid off due to downsizing, she wanted to be seen as successful while she was there, even though she was just beginning in this career field. While my friend and I were talking, the Spirit gave me His perspective, so I passed it on: "Don't forget that God's measure of success is often entirely different than man's measure of success." This young woman responded immediately with excitement and joy. A reminder that God's opinion is the one that matters had quickly set her on higher, happier ground. Our conversation ended with my advice to stay focused on the Lord.
Within a few days, I was able to apply the wisdom of "staying focused on God" to my own life. I found myself having strong, negative emotions because of looking at a matter through my own understanding. I was seeing with my own eyes and feeling with my own heart. I think God was testing my willingness to set aside my own intense feelings. He wanted me to see and accept His view of the matter. I obeyed, and the Spirit is already acting powerfully to tear down an enemy stronghold.
Obedience is good, especially when followed by watching God in action. But let's not stop there. If we are willing, then our problems combined with His solutions can be doorways to a higher level of Christian life. We can move beyond merely "passing tests" and step farther into the beauty of God's presence.
It's true! When we consistently choose to see with God's eyes, hear with
God's ears and feel with God's heart, we are choosing to experience Him.
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel - Isaiah 29:18,19.
Dear Lord, we ask you today to open and enlarge our spiritual eyes, ears and hearts. Let us move through each day with Your vision, with Your hearing, with Your emotions, and with all we receive while abiding in You. Please give us grace to remain in this blessed condition and thereby walk with power to accomplish Your purpose in the end times of this world.
Grace . . . 1/12/09
What exactly is grace? The most meaningful and helpful definition of grace that I've read is written by Francis Frangipane:
"We've been taught that grace is God's unmerited favor, which of course, it is. Yet unmerited favor is only one aspect of grace. In reality, grace is God's promise to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves."
Oh, yes! I'll take a large serving of grace!
I'm convinced that God's desire to give us grace exceeds our need to have it. The Spirit has been speaking to me on this subject for years, but now His reminders of grace are coming more often. During the past month, I've seen the number 555 at least once or twice a week. (Five is the Biblical numeric symbol for grace.) In a short period of time, these "triple fives" have appeared repeatedly on my alarm clock (I'm prompted to look when the time is exactly 5:55), once on my daughter's car clock, as the exact price of a purchase of gourmet chocolate, as the price of a tank of gas ($50.55) and so on. While these numbers increase in their frequency of appearance, my need in many areas is also increasing. It seems the Lord wants me to trust Him for an expansion of grace in my life.
I've learned that oftentimes what the Lord is teaching me personally is what He also has to say to other Christians. I believe that now is one of those times, so I will say prophetically that we're moving into a period of increased and unprecedented grace. This grace is close at hand for all who will believe.
What do you need?
What has the Lord been whispering to your spirit?
What will you dare to believe for?
Look for scripture to back up your claims for specific grace. If God has promised it, then He wants to provide it. Listen for the voice of the Spirit. If He offers a personal gift, then He surely wants you to have it. Fill your mind with renewing truth. Sanctify your body, mind and spirit. Exercise your faith, and expect to receive those things from God that you can't get anywhere else.
Remember, we're God's representatives. He wants to show the world, through us, what He yearns to do for them. "Change" is certainly coming, but it won't be what is expected. The world is in for a big surprise and so are many Christians.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly - Psalm 84:11.
Two weeks after writing the article titled "Grace" (immediately above), I had an experience that prompted the following related journal entry:
January 24, 2009..... I had a pleasant conversation with a wise Christian friend this evening. We talked about the current issues in our lives and how we see the hand of the Lord moving in these areas As we were winding up our talk, I glanced at the clock by my bed where I'd been sitting. Now, can you guess what time it was? Yep! It was 5:55! I had talked for over 30 minutes, and the clock was on the nightstand right beside me—but I didn't turn to look at it until that appointed time.
Then about a half hour later, I noticed that I missed a cell phone call from my daughter. I returned her call, and she asked if she could call back from her land line. (She's concerned about cell-phone radiation.) I said "Yes," and I asked her to call me on my land line. I then walked to the kitchen to wait for the phone to ring. I glanced at the clock on my stove, and guess what time it displayed! You got it! Again I saw 5:55! This clock has never shown accurate time because I bought the stove second hand, and I can't figure out how to set it without an owners' manual. Because of this, I rarely look at this clock. But what's important is that twice within 30 minutes I just happened to glance at clocks that displayed 5:55.
God is speaking through these beautiful numbers of grace, over and over again. I feel that His giant wave of blessing is roaring ever closer!
I heard earlier today from an email acquaintance in Texas that God is displaying 555 to others beside myself. This Texas friend is seeing the triple fives, and her friend in Vermont is seeing them too. The friend in Vermont knows a fourth person who sees them. I believe this is an indication that GRACE is coming to the United States.
Disabling the Enemy . . . 8/5/08
For most Christians, every day includes some spiritual warfare. Because God intends for us to be victorious, He's given us powerful weapons to use against the demonic realm. Right now, I want to talk about the weapon of praise—a Christian's nuclear warhead.
Once again the Lord has spoken to me quite vividly on this subject (see "A Powerful Weapon - 8/23/06"). A few days ago, I was spending time alone with God. I began with individually praising the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit for about ten minutes. I sang praise to them for their attributes and for what they've done for me and others. Then I knelt down, closed my eyes and asked God if He had anything to tell me. Here is how He responded:
In my mind's eye, I began seeing the face of a wild brown rabbit. Its eyes were either closed or nonexistent. Then I noticed that the top of the rabbit's head was missing. Its skull was open. The rabbit's head contained dark brown, crumbly,
decaying material. This was an ugly picture. I didn't know what it meant, and I didn't want to look at it. I asked God to remove this if it wasn't from Him, but the picture remained.
I felt compelled to learn what the rabbit represented, so I went to my computer and to my books about dreams and visions. Two sources told me that a rabbit is an unclean animal, and it can represent satan and/or evil spirits. One source said it can mean "rapid multiplication," but I ruled that out in this context. After more prayer about this vision, God revealed its meaning: The vision was a picture of what happens to the enemy when God is praised. Whenever I praise God—as I had just finished doing before I received the vision—then demons are immobilized. The enemy's mind becomes rotting waste, and its eyes become blind.
How can evil prevail if it cannot see or think?
This message is for all of us. We're to move ahead in God's purpose, with praise on our lips, to completely disable the enemy. No matter how we feel—whether tired, afraid, discouraged or disgusted by this world—we must always praise the Lord. Don't forget that Jesus' blood was spilled to pay for each victory. The battles are already won. We're simply collecting the spoils!
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. "Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name -
1 Chronicles 29:11-13.
God Has a Plan . . . 6/15/08
Can you imagine how Jesus' disciples and followers felt when He was arrested, beaten and finally crucified? I'm sure they looked on with horror, fear and pain as they saw their Brightest Hope snuffed out before their eyes. Now, to a lesser degree, I think most Christians are feeling this same type of anxiety about what is happening to our beloved country. I am disgusted to see the most liberal of senators, a friend of militant radicals, being promoted as "the solution to our problems" in the United States. I am appalled at the number of professing Christians who are supporting this ungodly man.
I love this country! I don't want to see it dismantled from within and handed to the enemy on a platter, under the guise of "change." But in the midst of these disturbing events, I trust that God is sovereign. Just as our Father was in perfect control when Jesus hung on the cross, He is also reigning supreme today. Once again, He has an amazing plan that will benefit all who respond to His loving heart. God is still in the business of saving souls and blessing His people. I believe our country is being set as the stage for a truly amazing show. I don't know exactly what will happen, but I do know that it will be good.
God has been exposing the hearts of individuals and groups during this current political season so that Christians can pray specifically. (Whenever you see that something's wrong, you have the responsibility to pray that it becomes right.) The true church is drawing together, praying in unison for the restoration of this country. The Holy Spirit has orchestrated a powerful outcry that will be answered.
Last year (see 3/18/07, below), the Spirit moved me to prophesy this message: "Christians must pray for God to reveal Himself to such a degree that spiritually blind eyes will open wide. We must pray for a monumental display of God's truth and power that will expose every ounce of deception. This is God's will, and He wants us to usher it in with prayer." I believe the United States will play a major role in this unveiling of God's glory.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
These words from the Battle Hymn of the Republic are still relevant today. We are fighting wars, both physical and spiritual. Once again, we'll see "the glory of the coming of the Lord," if we humble ourselves and pray.
...if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land - 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Now is a time for every person to play a significant role. Before you go to sleep tonight, please get down on your knees before the Lord. Humbly confess your sins. Ask for a heart of repentance in the areas where you struggle. Then pray for the United States. Pray not only for her healing and restoration, but for God's glory to shine brighter than ever before.
Remember our slogan, "In God We Trust." The United States was built on the sure foundation of trust in our mighty Creator—not upon shifting sand. As we pray for help, we are standing on solid, righteous ground that is covered by Jesus' blood. We don't have to beg. We're standing on the "ground of trust"—ground that God dearly loves.
Pray for God to Reveal Himself . . . 3/18/07
I was thinking about hell a few days ago. I've read a detailed description of this horrible place, written by a man who claims to have been there for twenty-three minutes (23 Minutes in Hell, by Bill Wiese). Images of terror, torture and misery are now imprinted in my memory. While considering the torments of hell, I began thinking of all the people who don't know God. Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of the following verse from Romans that speaks of personal accountability:
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God - Romans 1:20 NLT.
I explained to God that I was mostly concerned for the people who are deceived—the ones who would respond to those "invisible qualities" presented by His creation... IF they weren't blinded and confused by the evil influences around them.
Then the revelation came! Christians must pray for God to reveal Himself to such a degree that spiritually blind eyes will open wide. We must pray for a monumental display of God’s truth and power that will expose every ounce of deception.
To save His people in the past, God has parted the sea, stopped a river and even made the sun stand still for twenty-four hours. I believe He is ready to reveal Himself again in supernatural ways, to a larger population. Let us pray that God will exhibit His power and love so vividly that all darkness and confusion will disappear. When this occurs, people will be more accountable than ever before. Their decision to embrace or reject our Lord will be made after knowing His truth.
Dear Lord, please continue to open our eyes so we can successfully pray for other eyes open. Your truth is a joy to embrace, and Your power is a joy to send forth. Thank You for teaching and transforming us so we can be effective in Your kingdom.
A Wave is Coming . . . 12/18/06
God often speaks to me in pictures—through visions (mental images just like those in daydreams), once through an "open vision" (something I actually saw with my eyes) and sometimes at night in my dreams. I've always accepted by faith that God will speak to me personally, and I've not been disappointed. But some of what He shows me is more than personal revelation. A true prophetic message is inspired by God and is meant to help the body of Christ, whether it be one person, a family or a larger group.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith - Romans 12:6.
I keep records of what God shows me, and because of this, I notice when something is being repeated. The repetition emphasizes the importance and the surety of the message. On three separate occasions I've seen a large wave coming toward me. Water represents the life that flows from God, and I believe a wave represents an overpowering dose of the same. Water also represents the Word and the Spirit, so the wave will bring increased wisdom and revelation.
In context, these three images of waves are full of personal meaning for me, but I believe the general meaning is important for others to hear and understand. I'll briefly describe each scene:
I saw the first wave a few years ago, right after asking God in prayer if He had anything He wanted to show me: Immediately, I saw a large wave coming toward me. Its translucent, purple water was diffused with glittery, golden specks. This wave of God is bringing treasure.
The second wave came in a dream on the night of October 11, 2006: I was in a car, entering Los Gatos, California, when a billboard appeared with a picture of a towering, blue wave that seemed ready to crash over me. This had great impact
because it was very near to the road and was only seen at the last minute when I was right beneath it. The billboard appeared three times in the dream. This wave of God is a picture of sudden, surprising power.
The third wave came in a dream on the night of October 30, 2006: While driving through residential areas with my daughter, the road we traveled became enclosed by very dense trees on both sides. But after driving awhile the trees gave way to a
coastal area. We found ourselves in a new housing development on the tip of a peninsula. The surrounding turquoise water was choppy, with storm clouds and a twirling waterspout in the sky. A large breaking wave was coming toward the
shore..... The storm ended quickly, the sun came out, and the wave had caused no damage. Everything was washed clean. This wave of God brings excitement, cleansing and change.
These waves represent a coming move of God and His presence among us. They bring much-wanted spiritual and natural change to those Christians who are prepared for it. Those who aren't prepared will not get anything new, and this may be traumatic or even disastrous for them.
Now is the time to search your heart and repent of any sin. Meditate on God's Word. Draw near to the Lord, and worship Him. "Pray without ceasing," and listen for any instruction. Be sure it's the voice of God you hear, then quickly obey. Get in position to receive everything He is bringing.
And Joshua said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you" - Joshua 3:5.
He Shall Direct Your Paths . . . 10/14/06
God spoke to me in a dream last week. He told me to stand on everything He has taught me so far. I know that sounds quite simple, and it's something we all should remember to do. But the enemy is skilled at distracting us from the basics of Christianity.
In my dream, I was fleeing from Nazis who planned to kill me. I was hiding out in a dark, dirty room. Near the top of one wall was a small window, and right beneath it was a very tall chest of drawers. By standing on top of this towering piece of furniture, I was able to escape through the window to freedom in the countryside.
While interpreting the dream, I realized that the chest of drawers represented a storage place for personal possessions. Then the Holy Spirit revealed that the contents of the drawers are spiritual treasures that I have gathered over the years. I must climb to the top and stand on them. I must "use" them to outwit the enemy. Through other elements of the dream, God showed me that I sometimes lapse into fighting battles in my own strength and reasoning. Instead, I must use the mighty spiritual weapons that belong to me. Nothing else will work.
The enemy always hopes we'll react with human effort. Please don't step into this trap of futility. It will drain your energy and slowly destroy your hope because of repeated failure. Stop to consider the spiritual weapons in your arsenal, then stand on these valuable truths. They will expose the enemy and give you victory in every battle. Don't listen to the frightful noise of this world, but turn your ear to the voice of God.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths - Proverbs 3:5,6.
Wake Up ! . . . 9/10/06
Every morning of my recent vacation I awoke to the bold, shrill call of an Osprey that perched in a towering palm tree across the road. The first time this happened I thought of how the bird was acting just like a rooster, announcing the start of a fresh new day. Then I began thinking of how the church needs to be more spiritually aware and that God is sending wake-up calls. I wrote this down so I wouldn't forget. This could be a good article.
A few days later I picked up my notes, but they didn't make much sense. I wondered why I'd thought an Osprey's loud morning voice could offer a lesson for the church. How did I come up with that? I must be careful with what I write. Then God spoke to me. He explained that my scribbled memo didn't come through human reasoning. "I'm the One who inspired those thoughts," He said. I was then reminded that I have the gift of prophecy, and now God had given me a simple prophetic message to deliver:
God says, "Wake up, church!"
There. I've delivered the message. Now, how will you respond? What is God asking of you personally that is sleepily pushed aside, day after day? The time has come to do it!
Is God calling you to spend more time in His presence? Do it now!
Should you be reading more of the Word? Do it now!
Has God told you to humble yourself in a situation? Do it now!
Has God convicted you of a sin? Then repent! Do it now!
Is God telling you to help someone? Do it now!
Lethargy is poisonous, so shake it off! Take that step of obedience. Then take another. Every time you obey the Lord, your spirit becomes more aligned with Him and increasingly more alert.
Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion - Isaiah 52:1,2 NIV.
A Powerful Weapon . . . 8/23/06
I came home one afternoon to find a black snake draped through the center of a large shrub near my front door. This snake is the only one I've seen during the five years I've lived here in the country. First I grabbed my camera and took several pictures. Then I used a broom to push at the intruder, hoping it would streak across the yard. Instead, it slid down out of site within the shadows of the leafy bush.
Using the internet I was able to identify the snake as a "black racer," and I learned that it wasn't venomous. This species eats plenty of mice, but also birds and their eggs. Now I was worried about the little Carolina Wrens that recently fledged from their nest in my garage. They were currently learning to catch the bugs that are drawn to this flowering shrub. And several hummingbirds visit this plant throughout the day!
I went to a hardware store to buy some snake repellant—a smelly combination of mothball ingredients and sulphur. I sprinkled this liberally into the bushes around my house, and I haven't seen the reptile again.
Later in the week I was sitting at my computer, looking at digital photos of the snake. I thought of the threat this ugly creature was to the birds, and I remembered how the mothballs and sulpher caused the snake to leave. At this point, my thoughts were interrupted by God. Speaking into my mind, He made a comparison between the snake in the bush and the spiritual enemies I've been fighting. Then He told me, "Just as the smell of mothballs and sulpher repelled the snake, the scent of praise will drive away your enemies."
Think about that! To our spiritual enemies, the "scent of praise" becomes a repulsive stench. It is strong enough to make them leave. Believe me, after receiving this personal direction, complete with a visual aid, I will be praising God throughout the day for the rest of my life. And I'm passing on this message to everyone who I think may listen.
Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated - 2 Chronicles 20:22.
Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry by Kris Vallotton: Don't let the term "basic training" deter you from buying this book. The author presents rich, empowering truths that will benefit even the mature Christian.
The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, and Open Heavens by James Goll:
The author provides insight into the various streams of prophecy. He carefully compares the seer, a prophet who "sees" messages from God, to the more familiar "hearing" prophet. The author also mentions "writing prophets" among several lesser-known prophetic entities.
Prophets and Personal Prophecy by Dr. Bill Hamon: Perhaps the most respected prophetic teacher in the United States, Dr. Hamon has written a book that addresses the basics of modern-day prophecy. This is the first in a series.
Elijah Among Us by John Loren Sandford: Easy to read, practical, and written by a proven expert in the field of Christian prophecy.