Prophecy Isn’t a Formula

a sure pathThis day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. – Dt 30:19-20

Many of us would like to think that prophetic words (1 Cor 14:3) — spoken to us by God through listening prayer or through other believers and then confirmed to our spirits by the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 5:19-21) — are like this sure path.

In the hundreds of prophetic words and messages Father has had me deliver to His children over the course of my ministry, I have seen this principle play out again and again.

God is always looking for someone to satisfy His desires. God does not give prophecies to people just so they will feel good. He wants something to happen. He has a specific purpose that He wants to have fulfilled.

But His purposes can be thwarted. Prophecy is conditional. People can mess it up. They can drop the ball. They can delay or derail an important part of God’s plan for their lives and for others. – Mickey Robinson, Adventures in the Prophetic

God is sovereign and He has given us free will. As Job affirms, ultimately no plan or purpose of His can be thwarted.

Then Job replied to the Lord:
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked,‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. – Job 42:1-3

Throughout the Old Testament, you read God giving His children If/Then outcomes based on their obedience or disobedience to the prophetic promises He sets forth for their lives.

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. – Dt 11:26-28

The same is true today, we will receive blessing if we obey and are receptive to Father’s directives and prophetic promises over our lives. If we disobey and reject Father’s directives and prophetic promises over our lives, we will miss out in some life-impacting way.

Notice the phrase “miss out” instead of “curse.”

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” – Galatians 3:13

Missed opportunities, forfeiting gifts God has set forth for us, squandering callings He has equipped us to boldly live out, and not experiencing the full measure of His blessing over our lives are all realities of our disobedience and unbelief on this side of heaven.

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. – Revelation 22:3

Until heaven, we need to be very careful to live not as unwise but as wise (Eph 5:15).

daily choiceProphetic words (1 Cor 14:3) — spoken to us by God through listening prayer or through other believers and then confirmed to our spirits by the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 5:19-21) — are much like this picture depicting two paths or outcomes.

Our response to prophetic words are a part of our dynamic, living relationship with Jesus regardless of our spiritual background or church denomination.

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. – Revelation 19:10

What are you doing with the prophetic words that have spoken over your life and confirmed by the Holy Spirit?

For more:

photo credit: VinothChandar via photo pin cc

Obeying and Precious Stones

Precious Stones of Intercession

Coming this Summer. . .

It was September of 2008 when Father impressed on me that He wanted me to write Precious Stones of Intercession: Specific and Persistent Prayer on Behalf of Others.

I reacted much like Gideon, “Who am I?”

I made excuses much like Moses, “But I’ve never written a book.”

I had thoughts much like Jonah, “I don’t want to.”

I had misgivings much like Jeremiah, “There’s already a lot of great books on prayer. Why would the world need another one?”

I felt like David, standing with fives stones, amongst the well-armored, well-known, well-respected, & widely read soldiers of faith of our day.

In the end, I knelt and surrendered my insecurities and fears and prayed like Mary,
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” – Luke 1:38

The last four years have been ones of seeing Father carrying out His promise in Isaiah 46:11:

What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do.

In that time, Father has connected me with the people, resources, strength and inspiration to carry out a task that was difficult, hard, and not really something I wanted to do.

What about you?

It may not be writing a book, but what is it that God has been laying on your heart and calling you to obey Him in?

  • Speaking to someone about your faith
  • Seeking to build a bridge with someone at work who you really don’t get along with
  • Taking a step of faith that will affect your time, resources, and even your future
  • Trusting God for the impossible, the improbable, the difficult and hard-to-reach challenges He loves to ask us to trust Him with and walk by faith in
  • Stepping outside of your comfort zone in a way that will impact the eternity of others

In speaking with a book marketing consultant, she pointed out the fact that, “thousands of books get published every year.”

It is tempting with almost any step of obedience to lean on our own understanding and fix our eyes on what we see and understand, instead of submitting our insecurities, fears, and unknowns to the One who rules all eternity:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9

The success of Precious Stones does not lie in how many copies are sold, its success lies in the fact that God called me to do something and I obeyed.

And that’s what matters with the choices of obedience we are faced with every day.

Father isn’t looking for perfection, He is looking for our availability, willingness, and humble faith that submits to His plan whether or not we understand it or feel qualified to carry it out.

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. – 2 Corinthians 8:12

What gift of obedience is Father asking you to give the world around you today?

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Increase (When Father Speaks series)

As a prophetic intercessor, I often get a front row seat to Father’s work His kids lives.  My role is to come alongside to intercede (Job 16:20-21, Heb 7:25) and speak Father’s words of strengthening, encouragement, and comfort (1 Cor 14:3) to them during the:

  • faith process He is bringing them through
  • faith adventure He is walking them through
  • faith endeavor He is inviting them to embark on with Him on

All of the above can be scary endeavors; known by many of our biblical forefathers.  Father’s recurring phrase through each one is:

“I love to increase My kids’ faith!” — Father

It’s much like a free fall . . . with Father.  He never asks us to venture out alone.  His constant reminder to us is, “We’re in this together.  We always do everything together.” — Father

Father loves to increase our faith, and yet we often resist with our:

  • Questions of “why?”
  • Fears of “what if?”
  • Uncertainties of “how?”
  • Desire to stay standing on the ground of our comfort zone instead of free-falling in obedience and faith with Father

And so we stay grounded; we miss out; we “play it safe.”

Vivid and heartwrenching are the memories I have of Father’s children I’ve interceded for who’ve never chosen to jump out of the plane of obedience and faith:

  • Father’s hand is outstretched to join them in the free fall
  • Their parachute of prayerful preparation is strapped to their backs
  • They’re suited up in His promises and reassurance that He will not let them be disgraced or put to shame (Is 50:7)

And yet they stay in the plane, all suited up.  The plane lands and Father takes their hand and compassionately says, “Next time, My child, next time.”

Sadly, that next time of a second chance to obey often comes and goes. For it’s always easier to not jump the second time with the remembrances of all the logical calculation that went into not jumping the first time.

How many of us are safely staying grounded, plodding around in our own “safe” deserts of timidity and unbelief . . . while Father is suited up, eagerly waiting, beckoning and calling for us to take a free fall of faith with Him into the faith endeavor He has for us?

For more, read Pastor Steven Furtick’s articles: Specific Instruction, Immediate Obedience, Remember Egypt

Photo on Flickr by USAJFKSWCS

When Father Speaks Series

At the Crossroads of Decision

The crossroads of decision . . .

We’ve all been there countless times.

How many times are we at the crossroads of decision when Father has clearly spoken to our heart and confirmed it over time and through various means

. . . and still we waver and puzzle over which way “we think” we should go.

We lean on our own understanding (Prov 3:5-6) and set the counsel of others side-by-side with Father’s prompting on our heart.

. . .and over time, our crossroads became many, varied and of the same weight . . . in a sense, like the pictured cross wires.

In the face of an attack, God sends the prophet Isaiah to speak to Ahaz.  God’s message to Ahaz ends with these words,

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” (Is 7:9)

Rest assured:  what Father leads your heart to do will most often stand in opposition to your own understanding and will require standing firm in your faith to follow through in obedience.

When our ears are listening, our heart is seeking, and our spirit is in step with Father, the crossroads of decision become a picture of Is 30:21:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

In reading this, if your mind is twinging and your spirit is stinging from the remembrance of that time when you made clear crossroads into similar sets of cross wires and then proceeded to go the way your own understanding thought was best . . .

Repent, confess, and embrace Father’s compassion and grace and choose the next “obey.”

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him! – Is 30:18

photo on flickr by eskimo_jo

Obey or Disobey

When is the last time, you vividly chose between obeying or disobeying?

In choosing, what were the blessings or the consequences of your choice?

Pastor Steven Furtick, author of Sun Stand Still, does an excellent job detailing the consequences of our disobedience in his post, “A 13:13 Moment.”

“You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if only you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.”
1 Samuel 13:13

It’s a moment you never want to have.
A 13:13 moment.
The moment you realize just what you could have had, if only you had…

In the ministry of prophetic intercession Father has given me (Heb 7:25, Job 16:20-21, Ro 8:34), I am amazed again and again at the attitude that 13:13 moments are things of biblical past or only applicable to the commands of Scripture.

Father still speaks prophetic words over His Beloved children’s lives; the Holy Spirit still confirms those words to our spirits and hearts (1 Thess 5:19-21, Is 50:4-5, Is 30:21); and Jesus still requires obedience to what He has clearly confirmed as being of Him (Num 23:19, Is 48:17).

I once wrote this response to a pastor, also a dear friend, who was grappling with this aspect of my prophetic intercession:

Why does Father show me, have me intercede over, and sometimes involve me in the possible outcomes of people’s life choices when He sovereignly knows that they’re not going to choose that  step of obedience and thus that outcome.

In pondering this question, Father brought to mind the examples of Esau, Jonah, King Saul, the Israelites, Judas Iscariot, Ananias & Sapphira.  Each one experienced Father laying before them an outcome they sadly didn’t choose . . . and so they missed out on Father’s best.

Each disciple of Christ has the same choice . . . and for some reason Father sometimes uses His prophetic intercessors to lay out the choice at hand and intercede over the choice of obedience for long durations of time .  . . when He knows, in the end, they won’t choose it.

Obey or Disobey?

Blessings or Consequences?

 

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