Anticipating Resurrection

Knight Kneeling

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3)

I lived the first 32 years of my life with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression. In 2007, Father miraculously set me free.

As I have helped people deal with long-term spiritual oppression in their lives, I have seen the truth of John 9:3 play out — the work of God is displayed in their lives.

Again and again, I have seen Father miraculously transform the deadened spaces of their hearts and lives — that used to be thwarted and emasculated (to deprive of strength or vigor, weaken) into bridges of freedom and healing that in turn open up a new and greater capacity to minister to others in ways that they weren’t capable of as long as the enemy was exerting the weight and pressure of spiritual oppression on their lives.

As they are freed, a sort of resurrection of the deadened parts of their spirit and heart takes place. During the 40 day journey of prayer I go through with couples in ministry, my favorite excerpt from the daily guide we use is below:

Anticipating Resurrection

How do you anticipate well?

Unlike Lazarus, you are not physically dead
Unlike the paralyzed man on his mat who didn’t know of his resurrection until the moment Jesus told him to get up, pick up his mat, and walk (John 5:8-9)
Unlike Daniel, you know beforehand that the “lions” will be definitively slayed and sent forever away
Unlike Saul/Paul, you see the more your heart has always known there was and your spirit’s eyes will see your Father as He truly is . . . up until now your ears have only heard about (Job 42:5)

So how will you prepare?
Jesus knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He would be resurrected
What kind of faith and what kind of perspective will honor and worship your Father and King as you prepare for Him to resurrect the deadened parts of your spirit and heart?
It will be a holy moment between you and Him.

No one will see grave wrappings falling off
No visible mat will be tossed aside
No one will pull you out of the lions’ den
Ananias won’t come and lay his hands on your eyes . . . Father will.

He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. Psalm 55:18

Excerpt taken from 40 Day Prayer Focus Guide, originally written in April 2010

For More:

40 Day Prayer Focuses for Churches and Ministries: Targeting Spiritual Warfare

He Overcomes! . . . The Promise of Luke 10:19

Does Your Calling Compel You to Live with Urgency

Pastors, Has the Enemy Come in Like a Flood?

10 Ways to Keep Going When You’re Taking Spiritual Ground

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Do You Long to Experience More of Jesus? [Called Series]

abounding explorationMore of Jesus . . . we long to experience more of Him as we grow closer to Him. Jesus longs for you to experience more of Himself too.

Yet often when Jesus leads us into an experience of more of Himself we hold back.

If more of Jesus is truly what we are longing for it will involve the:

  • Stretching of our faith
  • Deepening of our prayer life
  • Strengthening of our willingness to obey His voice at a moment’s notice
  • Developing a daily practice of going to places and into situations that He is inviting us to join Him in

In our longing, Jesus’ offer to us is often that of Jeremiah 33:3

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Also see Colossians 2:1-3)

In answer to our longing, Jesus invitation to our hearts is often that of Isaiah 50:4-5 (ESV)

The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. 

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.

And yet in both Jesus’ offer and invitation to our longing, sadly we do turn backward and go no further.

In my work as a prophetic intercessor, partnering and interacting with ministry leaders, I have the privilege of interacting with many mature believers who have long ago committed their lives to serving and following Jesus wholeheartedly and unwaveringly.

Again and again through conversation, I have heard their heart cry of longing to experience Jesus in a deeper way.

In talking with one of my mentors and friends, a pastor of 30+ years, he described this tug-of-war of the heart as:

All I know Angela is that if you’re crazy, then I must be just as crazy as you. We all long for more of God and biblical Christianity, and then when Father reveals Himself and speaks, we question and doubt.

It is in our questions and doubts that we have the opportunity to go forward in faith or backward into our comfort zone.

Jesus always has and always will challenged His dearly Beloved children’s comfort zones.

What comfort zone is Jesus confronting in your life?

What comfortable beliefs is Jesus challenging in your heart?

Like the father of the son with a demonic spirit, do you need to cry:

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Is Jesus reassuring your heart as He did with Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue whose daughter was dying:

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Jesus longs for you to experience more of Himself and His hand is reaching out for you to take hold and join Him in an adventure that will transform your heart and life to the point that you will never be the same.

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When Father Waits

waitingWe often talk about how we’re waiting on God, but how often do you think about God waiting for you?

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. – Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)

As a prophetic intercessor, I have many opportunities to witness firsthand Father waiting for His children to:

  • Receive His healing in their lives
  • Be freed from the spiritual oppression that has a stranglehold on their life
  • Accept His plan, obey His leading and follow His calling upon their life
  • Walk in the newness of life as they walk away from patterns of dysfunction, death, and decay in how they once lived (Romans 6:16-18)

 Is God waiting for you?

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When the Opposition Is Stacked Against You

on the ground of conflictOpposition is:

  • emotionally wearing
  • disheartening
  • strength taking
  • courage attacking
  • progress slowing

Jesus knew our lives would be filled with both opposition and trouble and He told us “take heart” in the midst of it.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (NIV)

When the opposition is stacked against you how should you respond?

According to how Father leads you . . .

  • To go through as He told the Israelites to go through the Red Sea
  • To turn around and go in the other direction
  • To wait for another time to continue on in this way
  • To stop, be done, and move on

How will you know?

. . . by listening to His voice. (Isaiah 48:17, Isaiah 30:21)

Knowing all the while that no opposition is greater than His mighty outstretched hand. Any opposition allowed into your life is allowed through His nail pierced hand.

So as you stand in the midst of the opposition that is stacked against you, take heart.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;

say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. – Isaiah 35:3-7

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Do You Believe God Long Enough to Receive His Promises?

waitingNo unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. – Romans 4:20-21

Abraham waited 25 years for God to carry out His promise to give Abraham and Sarah a son. Yet, Abraham didn’t waver in unbelief during those long years of waiting.

How about you?

Are you wavering in unbelief concerning the promises God has spoken over your life?

As a prophetic intercessor, Father has me spend hundreds of hours praying His promises over the lives of His people. Sadly, I am astonished and amazed again and again by how quickly Father’s children let go of promises He has spoken over their lives because it’s taking too long, in their mind, for Him to fulfill the promise He spoke over their lives.

How does Father speak promises over our lives?

Through . . .

  • Bible verses — He highlights in our reading of the Word and speaks specifically to our hearts as a promise He has for our lives
  • Other believers — promises they sense Father is speaking over our lives and then Father confirms it to our spirit and mind as we pray about it (For more: When Father Speaks – see Receiving and Testing a Word of Prophecy section and Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge by Adrian Warnock)
  • Prayer — a verse of Scripture He brings to mind that He wants us to pray and believe over a situation or circumstance we are praying about

In His hometown, Jesus did very few miracles.

Why?

And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. – Matthew 13:58

May that not be the truth concerning our walk of faith . . . that Jesus did not do many mighty works in our lives . . . He didn’t carry out His promises spoken over our lives because we didn’t believe Him long enough to receive them.

The question is not whether God can carry through on His promises (Isaiah 46:9-11, Job 42:1-3).

The question is are we willing like Abraham to not waver through unbelief while we wait for God to carry out the promises He has spoken over our lives.

For More:

5 Pitfalls While Waiting on His Promises Series

Prophecy Isn’t a Formula

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Does Your Calling Consume You? [Called Series]

flight

And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ . . . – Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)

Does your calling consume you?

In your every waking moment, do you know what He has created you for?

Are you daily and hourly walking in your calling?

The weight of your calling can be likened to an airplane — it is indeed weighty in regard to its responsibility.

Luke 12:48 speaks to this tension:

Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Yet the enabling power Father has so richly bestowed on you is much like how an aircraft is able to take off and fly tens of thousands of feet in the sky.

2 Corinthians 9:8 describes this promise:

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (NIV)

The prophet Jeremiah’s calling consumed him:

“If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.'” – Jeremiah 20:9

The combination of the pressures of our lives, the demands of ministry, and the inevitable discouragement from those who don’t understand, believe in or appreciate our calling, at times can feel like an unbearable weight.

As a prophetic intercessor, the weight of my calling often weighs heavy on my heart and mind. During a particular heavy season of spiritual and personal attack, the weight of my calling seemed unbearable.

I was sitting on the stairs in my deserted place of work. I held out my hands and prayed, “Father this calling is too heavy, please take it back.”

As I prayed, I sensed a weight was lifted from out of my outstretched hands and yet in its place a feeling of a vacuum. After a half hour passed Father spoke, “You have no idea what stood in the balance of eternity with your request.”

And as the weight returned to the palms of my hands Father continued, “Never give your gift back to Me again.”

In the here and now, it often seems easier to lay our calling aside than to continue on in it.

And yet only by daily embracing our calling, only moment by moment letting Father’s calling on our lives consume our waking moments will we be able to say with confidence and passion along with the apostle Paul:

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7

Standing in the balance of eternity – does your calling consume you?

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Embrace Your Calling, Resist Mediocrity [Called Series]

Running UnhinderedAnd He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ . . . Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)

Has God given you a calling to equip the saints for the work of the ministry?

Are you embracing your calling?

Or can the living out of your calling be likened to the definition of mediocre?

mediocre: of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate

In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul exhorts Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands . . .”

Are you fanning into flame the gift God has given you in your calling?

I vividly remember a conversation I had with a ministry leader in which he shared, “I just want to live a normal Christian life.”

The statement in itself was completely understandable when you took into account the weight of ministry, the day-to-day pressures and responsibilities, and the energy invested in shepherding, counseling, exhorting, and teaching.

Yet if God has given you an equipping calling; it will be weighty in responsibility and challenging to carry out . . . a “normal Christian life” isn’t an option.

You have the high privilege of equipping believers for the work of the ministry.

Along with that high privilege comes the truth of Lk. 12:48:

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. (NLT)

Seeking to live a “normal Christian life” with less responsibility and challenge will only lead you to a life of mediocrity.

Has God given you much? Has He entrusted you with much?

Then embrace your calling with passion and equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. – 1 Cor 9:24

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For more on Ephesians 4:11-12: What Is Your Gift? by Ray Stedman

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