The Gift of Prophecy: 17

God can speak to us through variety of ways. Here are a few ways He might be speaking to you:

Meditation
As you read the Bible and as the Psalms say, Selah, or take the time to think about what you’ve read, it opens you up to hear from God. Meditating on one verse for an entire week can open your mind to so many meanings and ways to apply it to your life. The Bible says meditation is the filling of the mind with God’s word.

Visions
The Lord call Jeremiah to be a prophet, and he responded, ‘I don’t how to.’ The same day God called Jeremiah, he taught him how to see visions and hear his voice (Jer.1:11-12). We can see a vision with our eyes closed, or with them open. We can see moving pictures, words, or whatever God shows us. In the case of Jeremiah it’s unclear which was happening, or if God was even drawing his attention to the very real and natural items in front of him. God asked Jeremiah what he saw and Jeremiah responded by saying, ‘I see an olive branch’ and, ‘I see a boiling pot.’ God then enlightened him to the meaning of what he saw. We should be in constant dialogue with God about what it is he showing us, asking him questions to cut to the quick of His message.

Dreams
People in the Bible based life decisions on dreams. They understood that dreams came from God and could only be interpreted by God. Somewhere along the line we lost this understanding about dreams. The Bible is full of scriptures that show us that God speaks to us through dreams, but have we started listening to God yet? Joseph, unsure if he should marry Mary, had a dream that he should, and so he did. Joseph also had dreams that told him he should go to Egypt to escape Herod, and another which told him when Herod had passed away and it was safe to come back to Israel. The salvation of baby Jesus rested on one persons understanding and obedience to dreams. Both Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that would affect nations, but they needed a person who could hear from God to interpret it for them. If you dream, you should write it down, meditate on it, ask God about it, and share it with responsible people who can comment on and pray over it with you. We should treat dreams as we would a prophecy from God.

Impressions
We can hear God through faint or strong impressions. People often do this through prayer without realizing it. Unsure about a person or a situation you can say a prayer, allowing God to lead you. Often doing this can become a prophecy, especially as we ask questions about what he’s leading us to pray for, then speaking to the person about those things. 

Hey. 4:15 – For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses

Word of Knowledge
Often God dropped knowledge into Jesus that was outside of his natural ability to know. The new age movement has perverted this gift into what they call mind-reading. However, God gave us the gift and still operates in words of knowledge today (1Cor.12:8). When God gives us a word of knowledge it might be that he wants us to say the exact thing, and sometimes it may be that he wants us to address it without saying the exact thing. You’ll have to ask Him what He wants you to do with what He shows you. Some instances in the Bible are: Luke 9:47, Luke 6:8, Matthew 12:25. I had a word of knowledge that a girl burned a lot of incense and was to discouraged to pray anymore, so I said just that. This showed her that God knew her intimately and cared about her. However in this instance Jesus did not come straight out and say what God showed him. Jesus wanted to address the issue gently without condemnation:

Luke 7:39-47 – When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,c and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

Word of Wisdom
Wisdom that is past our own understanding and come out of our mouths from the mind of God (1Cor.12:8).

Ex. 18:17-19 – Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.

Discernment
God will show us what is from Him and what is from a different spirit (1Cor.12:10).

Hebrews 5:14 – But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Mark 5:8 – For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Quietness
The voice of the Lord is like a whisper at times (1 Kings 19). Sometimes we just need to be quiet and listen to hear God’s voice. Being still doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get in a quiet place somewhere. It means you’ve got to still the clamoring within, to bring everything to a point of quietness in your heart, mind and spirit, to be still within.

Scripture
While Jesus read a scripture out loud, God began to speak to him about the fulfillment or modern day implications of it and what would come next (Luke 4:17). God still speaks to us through scriptures, and good pastors and teachers may be operating in this realm of the prophetic without even realizing it.

Luke 4:16-23 – He (Jesus) stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place whereit is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ ”

Mark 15:29-31 – Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!…”

Speaking in Tongues
The Old Testament foretold us that God planned on giving us this gift, and from the first instance where God used it in the Bible, it helped us share truth with people from different nationalities. Those who operate in this gift today understand and this is still how God uses the gift. Speaking in tongues, plus an ability to interpret tongues, will encourage people the same way that prophecy will  (1Cor.14:5). Therefore, many people who prophesy will ramp up their spirit by speaking in tongues first.

Miracles & Healing
Jesus often performed miracles and healed people. This opened the doors of their hearts to receive His message. God still does this today.

Creation
God often spoke to people through creation in the Bible. Revelations is full of signs of the end times, many of which deal with creation, so it’s safe to say that God still speaks this way.

Ex. 3:2-5 – 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.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

John 1:32-34 – Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

Prophetic Acts
Sometimes God asked people to do something in faith to see a certain result. Joshua marched around Jericho, Naaman washed himself in the Jordan, Ezekiel bore the sin of Israel, the new testament references some too. Revelations in particular references some prophetic acts that will take place in the last days, so again, it is safe to say God still speaks this way.

Ex.17:10-13 – So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Signs & Wonders
We need not ask for a sign, but the Lord still speaks through signs. Plagues of Egypt, signs of the Messiah’s birth, signs of the end times, etc.

Luke 2:12 – This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger

Answered Prayer & Confirmation
The Lord will often speak to you by answering your prayers, or confirming something to you through multiple sources.

Jud. 6:37 – I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.

Gen. 24:14 – May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’–let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Angels
God will often send a message to us through an angel. Most Christians believe in angels, so why do we think that their purpose has changed?

Acts 10:3-4 – He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God…”


Study these ways God speaks to people and ask Him to start speaking to you! If you just found out that He is already speaking to you, then start listening and asking Him questions about what He’s saying. These are just a few ways that He speaks.

This blog includes personal research and excerpts from Developing Your Prophetic Gifting by Graham Cooke & Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry by Kris Valloton

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The Gift of Prophecy: 13

2 Chron. 20:14-25 – the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel… This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army (word of knowledge about the armies heart condition). For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them (word of wisdom). They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel (word of knowledge). 17 You will not have to fight this battle (prophecy)

The gifts work together. Prophecy, Word of Wisdom, and Word of Knowledge often tie in together. We need these gifts to work together so that we know what our part is and what part is God’s. Through this prophecy God addressed the condition of the heart of the soldiers, encouraged them, gave them directions in what to do, God told them where they would find their enemies, what the battle would look like, and what the final outcome would be. The gift of Wisdom and Knowledge gives us wisdom and knowledge past our own understanding, and insight into the things that only God could know. It is not speaking out of the wisdom you’ve gained in your own lifetime.

God has asked us to help bring forth the Kingdom of God into all the earth. As soldiers, in a time of intense spiritual warfare, we need prophecy, wisdom, and knowledge more than ever. God did not leave us without these key tools we needed.

Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

Joshua 6:1-5 – Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days (Word of Wisdom). Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

God loves to give us strategy for our lives. God never changes. We still need His strategies on how to take down the sinful mindsets/cultures of our cities.

The Gift of Prophecy: 8

Acts 2:38-39 – receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

The Holy Spirit is for every generation and EVERY person the Lord calls.

I believe in prophetic evangelism, words of knowledge for the unsaved, gifts of healing across the whole community, expressing God’s heart prophetically in the earth to all peoples. I have been privileged to see non-Christians respond to a prophetic word and beginning their journey into the Kingdom.

Paul said that his preaching was not by word only, but by demonstration of the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor. 2:4 – My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith would not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Cor. 4:20 – For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

Not many churches these days couple their message and their preaching with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, but this is the Biblical example laid out for us!

God wants us to work in the gifts of the Spirit because He wants our faith to rest in His power. We are ambassadors for His Kingdom and He has given us His power to carry out His will in the Earth. He gives us this power through the Holy Spirit:

Acts 1:8 – but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth

We can’t be a witness to the earth without the power of the Holy Spirit. Operating in the gifts of the Spirit is essential.

Ps. 139:17-18 – How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand

God is constantly thinking about us, and the Holy Spirit was given to us so that we can hear His thoughts about us anytime we want to:

1 Cor. 2:10-13 – The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

~Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

I’m really excited that this section of the book falls on this day! God is moving during this 21 days of posting about the prophetic. Earlier this week an opportunity came up, and today I’m doing prophetic evangelism at a public, not christian, event. I can’t wait to share God’s thoughts with people who may have never heard His voice or known His love for them! This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed about, and just so happened to find at the last minute. God pulled together all the people and supplies I needed to be able to accept this offer and the coordinator had even been praying to find someone to fill this position. I can’t wait to share today’s responses with you!

Spiritual gifts get people’s attention, thus making an entrance of the Word more vibrant and irresistible. As soon as a person realizes that God knows them intimately and cares about them, it drives them to want to know Him for themselves.

One time someone prophesied over me that God was going to heal my ear pain, and give me new friends. The person prophesying over me didn’t know I had left my normal friends, and they didn’t know that I had ear pains. In fact, no one knew that I had ear pains, because I had never bothered to tell anyone. God knew. God knew and was concerned enough to talk to me about it. Time and time again I find out how much God knows about me, and people who I’ve never met before prophecy/speak to me about very detailed and unspoken things in my life. God knows every detail of your life. Man doesn’t and can’t, unless they are listening to God’s Holy Spirit.

His Voice

Knowing God’s Voice:

We know we are following the Spirit of God when we are led by the fruits of the Spirit instead of the acts of the flesh (v19)

Gal. 5:16,22-25 – walk by the Spirit… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Is. 55:12 – You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace

Rom. 8:14 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

God is always talking: 

Ps. 139:17-18 – How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.

Ps. 40:5 – Many, O Lord my God, are… Your thoughts toward us… If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

Matt. 4:4 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Comes not came! The command to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 thess.5:17) is a call to dialogue not monologue. Prayer is listening to God just as much as it is talking to Him.

God lets us hear what He has to say:

 

1 Cor. 2:10-16 – The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God

 

1 Cor. 12:7-11 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Ways God may be speaking to you:

  1. Dreams. Write down your dreams and ask God what they mean. 

    Job 33:14-17 – Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it. In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, While they slumber in their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction, That He may turn man aside from his conduct.

    Pharaoh had two dreams. God spoke in 2 ways, but God was saying the same thing (Gen. 41:25)

     

  2. Visions. Ask God to open your eyes. You may see visions while your eyes are open or closed.

    2 Kings 6:16-17 – “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

    Vision was allowed in order to encourage and comfort this person.

     

  3. Scripture. God revealed Himself through His Word to Jesus, as He will to anyone who seeks Him out through the Word:

    Luke 4:18-20 – Unrolling it, he (Jesus) found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to… Then He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

     

  4. Discernment. When we know the Word and understand who God is, we gain discernment about what is and is not God’s voice.

    1 John 4:1 – Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God.

     

  5. Small Voice.

    1 Kings 19:11-13 – Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

     

  6. Audible Voice. Pray for Him to open your ears to His voice. He is a kind and polite God, if you do not want to hear, He will not force the matter. Jesus spoke and Father God responded for all, who were willing, to hear

    John 12:28-30 – “Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.

  7. Creation. God spoke to Moses and others through the world around them. Dead sticks grew flowers, seas parted, parables of farming were used, etc:

    Ex. 3:2 – 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.

 

Ways God wants to speak through you:

 

  • Word of Knowledge. We can’t ‘read minds’ but God knows everything and He allows us to hear what is on His mind through His Spirit living in us. Sometimes He wants to speak to us about situations around us and give us an opportunity to lovingly teach others. This knowledge is something we can’t know, but that God can reveal to us

    Luke 7:39-40 – When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

  • Word of Wisdom. God speaks through people too. Moses was stressed, but Jethro had a word of wisdom from God to share:

    Ex. 18:17-19 – Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.

  • Tongues. God knows all languages and His Spirit may allow us to speak a language we don’t know on our own, in order to bring Him glory:

    Acts 2:7-8,11 – Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?… we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!

  • Interpretation of Tongues. He spoke through human language in the verse above, but not all languages are languages. Dance and music are languages we often practice interpreting, but are we practicing hearing God’s voice or our own? Start asking God about His thoughts.

 

The Fruits of the Spirit. When we exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, etc… people receive the Truth of God, are healed from past wounds. God speaks through His Spirit whether it be through the Gifts of the Spirit or the Fruits of the Spirit! Gifts are given. Fruit is cultivated. How you react under pressure is how the real you reacts.

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Prophecy: Forgery or Fulfillment?

God made a promise (prophesy), and you better believe that Satan was going to take advantage of it. Long before Jesus was born of a virgin, God told us that Jesus would inherit the nations of the earth.

Satan can quote scripture too you know? He spent a lot of time at God’s right hand before the fall. His whole outfit is based on taking the Word of God and twisting it into something different. He creates a cheap, deadly counterfeit for every rich and life giving original from God.


 

Jesus was getting baptized, and the second Satan heard the words ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’, it struck a cord. He remembered David writing something about that. He remembered what came next. Oh, this is when God promises to give the earth as an inheritance to His son… so he snuck on ahead. Since he knew what God had to offer, and what Jesus desired, why not try to beat them to the punch? ‘Surely, if I offer Jesus the gift first, He will take it from me?’, Satan snared.

Ps. 2:7-8 –  I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

Matt. 3:16-17; 4:1,8-10 – When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil….  Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

The enemy will try to create confusion about your future. If you’ve received a prophecy and ever wondered what to do with it, then know that it can find it’s fulfillment through two outlets: 1) Gods way or 2) the enemies way.

A lot of times when we receive a prophecy, Satan himself will show up and say ‘All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.’ It just won’t be as blunt as that. It’ll come by tempting you to do even the tiniest thing that you know is wrong. He’ll cause you to question some scripture, and coax you away from God. It’ll be so deceptive that you might even think that it is God leading you into the promise.

When God is pleased with us, He likes to give us gifts. He is pleased with you! We don’t have to earn His love; it is freely given too! But what better tactic could the enemy have, but to eavesdrop into a conversation between us and God? ‘What if I can glean what it is they truly desire from Him?’, he plots.

God is a good Father and knows our desires inside out; anything He desires to give us will be freely given. Satan, on the other hand, will use what you desire most as a temptation and a trap for you; it’ll always come with a price: your relationship to the Father. Satan will offer you anything to keep you from the Father; he’ll even give you the desires of your heart, but at a moment and a way that it will cause the most destruction.

Jesus knew what was prophesied over Him; He knew that it was God’s will to have him inherit the world. However, when His Father’s promise seemed to be finding it’s fulfillment through Satan instead of through God, Jesus wasn’t deceived.

Unfortunately, we aren’t going to see the image of the devil, a snake crawling on the ground, or a voice saying ‘worship me and I’ll give you’,  when we come to this place of temptation in our lives. We aren’t going to know for sure whether it is Satan or God, because satan can come as an angel of light, and God’s route could take us through a desert. How then can we know which is God’s way? How can we look at the prophecies that we’ve received and know the right path? After all, Jesus would’ve been set over the world if he had followed Satan too. Satan’s route didn’t require death on the cross. It was easier, but it came with strings attached: ‘Let me fulfill your desire,’ Satan tempted him.

Prov. 16:25 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death

More so than the fulfillment of any desire, we want you God.

Maybe it always looks like a desert route?  We have to desert every counterfeit fulfillment of the desire, then wait for God to give the real mccoy.

We need to make sure that we are always receiving our gifts through a relationship with God. Outside of a relationship with God, there is no good gift or good desire. God repeatedly tells us to ask Him for what we desire:

Ps. 2:7-8 – He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will

Matt. 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.


 

There are 2 ways to skin a cat, 2 ways to go at the fork in the road, and 2 ways to fulfill a promise. The first story of the Bible is there to remind us, we are all faced with a choice. Will we honor God’s ways? God isn’t keeping anything from us, He simply wants us to ask Him for the things we desire instead of going to a tree, a snake, an idol, a person, or alternate route that would lead us away from Him:

Gen. 3:1-6 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Stay in God’s will and His ways, always looking to Him and asking Him to fill your desires and bring about the prophecies:

Ps. 138:8 – The Lord will fulfill his purpose for you

Healing the Orphan Spirit – Part 1

Book Review:
Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland – Part 1


 

Here are some take away quotes, ideas, and statistics from the book–and some personal notes:

A true orphan knows what it means to live life without the security, stability, and warmth of a physical home. A spiritual orphan is not any different. He is also well acquainted with the feelings of fear, anxiety, rejection, and homelessness even if he has a place to go home to at night.

Children from fatherless homes are more likely to be:

  • Poor
  • Become involved in drug and alcohol abuse
  • Drop out of school
  • Suffer from health and emotional problems
  • Boys are more likely to become involved in crime
  • Girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens

Adam & Eve were not born orphans, but they acquainted the orphan spirit the moment they left the Presence of God.

Genesis 3:8-10 – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Man deals with fear by pushing it deep down in his spirit. Since he does not allow the Father to remove that fear, he begins to struggle and tries to handle it on his own. Instead of acknowledging fear within the inner-core, we learn how to be self-reliant, thinking we can fight off the rising dread within our spirit.

We cope with fear through the outbursts of anger, or we do the opposite and turn the emotion inward and retreat within ourselves. We are constantly pressured to fix everything on our own. We retreat because we are afraid to deal with the real situation at hand for it might hurt too much. We think if we ignore the problem or dilemma, it will just go away.

We turn our hearts to steel, thinking that, if we make our inner being as tough as a rock, we might become impervious to the string of failure and rejection. In order to sustain that tough exterior, we learn how to reject the love, comfort, and admonition we receive from other people. We live life without a home while we try to create the self into an island fortress, striving to be self-sufficient and having the ability to go through life without experiencing the rewards of fellowship and true friendship.

A deep-seeded fear drives us to succeed at all costs.

Overwhelmed, we begin to indulge in escapism. Alcohol, drugs, porn, or more socially acceptable mechanisms like losing oneself in relationships, drowning oneself in books, tv, video games, etc. In these instances we can sometimes justify our escape patterns, because the things we are escaping to are not sins. Nonetheless, addiction sets in, and before we know it, we are already neck-deep in the deal’s quicksand.

Prov. 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

We are commanded to be in awe of His ways and obey Him. However, we were never told to fear the presence of God.

Ephesians 3:12 – In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

If we do not understand the ways of the father, then it is perfectly understandable why we are afraid when He is near.

Instead of seeing God’s commandments as coming from the heart of a loving God, we see them as restrictions. The laws of God are seen by many as a test instead of as signposts, which would lead to a blessed life. Thus, there are 2 ways the orphan spirit will cope with this fear of Father: 1) rebellion 2) religion.

Religion assumes that formalities and adherence to a man-made code of beliefs will justify his lack of true contact with Father.

The result of sin is shame. Many choose to rebel instead of putting up with shame. They flaunt their sinfulness for the whole world to see. The religious person, on the other hand, tries to deal with shame by attempting to appease God with good deeds.

The newly freed Hebrew slaves were more than willing to go back into bondage simply because they could not believe the Lord would fulfill His promise to bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. One glance at their immediate circumstances forced them to conclude that God had brought them into the desert to die.

Rom. 8:14-17 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

John 15:4 – Abide in Me, and I in you.

Jesus uses the illustration of the grape vine to make clear to His disciples what He means, and in this illustration the word abide is used eleven times. The word abide means to continue on in a permanent state.

Walk through a vineyard and you will see fruit but no tension. You will never walk up to a branch and hear it complaining or struggling to bear fruit. It knows that the fruit it bears comes from inside the life of the tree and not from ‘working it up’ on the outside of the branch.

Works are a product of the arm of the flesh, while fruit is a product of abiding in Christ. Fruit is a natural outgrowth of our union with Him.

We must abide in the vine of where Christ has placed us if we are going to produce fruit. If we don’t, we will end up like the Hebrews, ‘making bricks without straw.’ Lots of busy activity with nothing to show for it! Fruit is the result of life, not hard work.

Most of us understand the principle of tithing, or giving the first fruits of what God gives us. The word ‘fruit’ is used throughout scripture with more than just money however. It is used with soul winning, holy living, character, and praise:

Heb. 13:15 – Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of our lips that openly profess his name.

In tithing we give back to God the first 10% of what we receive from Him. In praise, why can’t we give back the first fruits as well? Give God praise with the first 10 minutes of your day. It’s a sacrifice, not always something we want to do or feel like doing. Science has proven that uplifting words can put you in a better mood. Fake it till you make it actually works after all!

If we talk about vineyards, then we also need to talk about pruning.

  • What does He prune? Whatever hinders my growth!
  • When will He prune? At the right season to produce the greatest amount of fruit.

Pruning is necessary for maximum productivity. If there is no pruning, there will be no increase in fruit.

Abraham tried to figure out a way to make God’s word work. Every time we try to help God out, we are in danger of producing our own Ishmael. It wasn’t what God had in mind! Abraham was deceived.

Abraham believed God’s promise. The prophecy was taking a long time. Abraham wondered if there was something he was doing wrong. Is there something that I need to do to make the prophecy come to pass? Is God waiting on me? Shouldn’t I be co-laboring with God? What am I missing?

Deception means: to look for something where it’s not. Webster says it is: fraud, double dealing, or trickery.

This could be the lost entry to my diary: Turning Point 13 – I took the prophecies I received, and did what I thought I needed to do to co-labor with God and see them come to pass. I put 30k toward a business I knew nothing about. I later figured out it wasn’t God. I called the company, called it fraud and got a full refund (thank God). Plus, they let keep the books, so I have learning material to grow into. I now have money to live on, buy a new car, or whatever. And my anxiety is a little less, seeing that the money isn’t sitting in mutual funds wasting away with the declining economy and I have 4 jobs biting this week. Guy Harvey at the beach, 50k without moving, slow & easy life + a free house, or meet a doctor? Hmm… ? All great things and hard choices!

God was still gracious to Abraham’s confused efforts, by blessing Ishmael. However, God didn’t allow Ishmael or Abraham’s efforts to replace His original purpose.

Rom. 11:29 – for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable

When God decides to give us something, He doesn’t change His mind, no matter what we do.

2 Cor. 3:6 – the written text brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Religion lives for rules. Rules are how we control people, especially in the church.

The Pharisees:

  • Loved prominence
  • Endangered the souls of men
  • Majored on the mechanics of religion
  • Lived a double standard
  • Talk didn’t match their walk

Rom. 7:24 – Who will rescue me from this body of death?

The term to which Paul alludes to is descriptive of a shocking execution that was employed by the Romans. A cadaver would be fastened to the condemned person so that he could not be released from the corpse. The deceased, decaying flesh of the cadaver accompanied every move he made. Eventually he would die a slow, painful, and emotionally horrifying death. It’s ghastly to think about, but that’s what it looks like for a person living without Christ. Their sin follows them wherever they go and produces death.

Facts of Fatherlessness:

  • The percentage of kids born out-of-wedlock has grown 223% since 1970.
  • 7 of of 10 African-American kids are born out-of-wedlock.
  • 3 out of 10 Caucasian kids are born out-of-wedlock, an increase of 440% since 1970.
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
  • 60% of repeat rapists grew up without father.
  • 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from a fatherless home.
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
  • 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother.
  • 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
  • 70% of juveniles in state prison have no father.
  • 85% of youth in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
  • 75% of prisoners grew up without a father.
  • Fatherless boys are 2x’s as likely to drop out of high school, 2x’s as likely to end up in jail, 4x’s more likely to need help with emotional or behavioral problems.
  • 43% of US children live without their father.
  • Each year America spends $48 billion on incarceration, $5 billion on parole and probation, and $6.5 billion on juvenile detention due to fatherlessness.
  • Over 6 billion people are in the correctional system due to fatherlessness. That is almost the same as the population of Hong Kong, China, or 3 times the population of Houston, Texas.

John 14:16-18 – And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

In the parable of the prodigal son we see two sons without a father. The rebellious son and the religious son. Both lived outside their father’s love.

Rebellious: The son has to wait, in most cases, for the last will and testament of the father, but this son asked for and received his inheritance early. He wanted his inheritance early so he could live outside of the fathers will. He took it and left for another country, creating as much distance as possible between him and the father. He wanted total control over his own life and did not want the guidance or approval of his father.

The son wasted his money on wild living, and when he had nothing left to give, his friends left him. Severe famine hit the land and he was forced to hire himself out as a pig farmer. He wasn’t treated like a human being. In fact, he was treated lower than slaves, as even the pigs were considered more important than him! He begged his master to give him a portion of the pig feed and they refused.

Then he remembered his father and that even his servants had food to spare. He came to his senses. Only one thing held him back: his belief that no one could accept a rebel such as himself.


As Jesus taught this parable, Pharisees and teachers of the law were listening. They probably wondered why Jesus was wasting his time talking about a sinner who deserved to be punished. They were confident they knew the Law and the moral of the lesson. The Law called for death:

Deut. 21:18-21 – If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.

To the Pharisees, it would have been better for the prodigal to stay away because his father had the legal right to stone him for his rebellious attitude.

God welcomes back his lost son with open arms, giving him the best of all he has, and restoring him to sonship. God doesn’t want us to hide from Him like Adam & Eve did. He wants us to be restored to Him.


Religious: The elder brother from the parable of the prodigal son was noted to be working the fields with the servants. His rightful place was in the presence of the father, but he seemed oblivious to the fact that he was a son. He manifested the orphan spirit in a different way by acting as if he did not have a home, when, in fact, he had legal rights as an heir. The Pharisees, like the elder son, knew the father, yet did not seek intimacy. Instead they built a religion, or a to do list of works, around Him. Most modern churches still exhibit this model: Israel wanted God’s blessings and what He could do for them, but they did not want anything to do with seeking their Father’s face. They encouraged Moses to enter into the tent of meeting to commune with the Lord, while the rest of the nation of Israel were content to stay in their tents far away from the Presence of God.

God reminds the elder son that he is an heir, and has continual access to all the father has. Remember that you are a son and not a slave. Don’t let your work separate you from God, or think that your work is the only way to God, or think that God will only love you if you do His work. You are more important to Him than something you can do for Him. He has enough servants; He wants a son.

The father tried to change his mindset to think like an heir. ‘Everything I have is yours’ – Luke 15:31

Don’t continue to look with envy at the resources within your grasp while feeling unable to even glean from the ripened harvest.

We can’t earn His love. He freely bestows His love on us all, so stop working like a slave for it.

Our fathers nitpicked, condemned, and cut us down. They pointed out every flaw. They belittled us, made us feel unloved, made us feel like we had to earn their love by changing ourselves to get to their standard. We had to climb, work, and change to become something that they could approve. Sometimes it might have worked, but most of the time it didn’t. Who wants to change to live up to that evil standard anyway? Our heavenly Father wants us to know that we don’t have to do anything to earn His love.

Rom. 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God loves us while we are still sinners. He wants us just the way we are. We don’t have to strive, or constantly work to change ourself to His standard. We can rest in His love now, where we are, whether that be in a state of sin or righteousness. He will never stop loving us, so stop trying to earn it; He’s not going anywhere.

There is nothing I can do that can take Your love from me; and there is nothing I can do to make You love me because it is not about the doing. You just love me because I am Yours

Job is an illustration of what the orphan spirit looks like. In his case it took the pressure of difficulty to bring it out, but it is obvious it was there all along.

The Black Hole
The orphan spirit will:

  • Seek to drive a wedge between our heart and our Father’s love
  • Try to convince us that God is to blame for all our troubles
  • Cause us to look for answers from any other source but our Father
  • Create confusion and distance between us, and those closest to us
  • Cause us to live in despair when not healed by the power of Christ
  • Job saw himself as an animal trapped by circumstances. Job 19:6 – ‘it is God who has wronged me, capturing me in his net.’
  • Job felt like an innocent man being condemned as a criminal in court. He felt like God was treating him unfairly. Job 19:7 – ‘Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered; I call for help, but there is no justice.’
  • Job felt like he was making progress, enjoying life, and doing all the right things before God put a roadblock in front of him.Job 19:8 – ‘He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, And He has put darkness on my paths.’
  • Job blamed God for taking away every good thing he had. Job 19:9 – ‘He has stripped from me my glory and taken the crown from my head.’
  • It’s hard to be normal and function the way we want to when everything is out of sorts. Job felt like a building that had been completely destroyed. Job 19:9 – ‘He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone’
  • An uprooted tree will die. Without its root system it will not produce fruit or survive. Job 19:9 – ‘my hope has he pulled up like a tree.’

Heaviness takes the color out of life, and makes it difficult to see the truth clearly. Heaviness makes it hard to find purpose and direction in life. Heaviness can come from a variety of reasons:

Constant Criticism:
Ps. 69:20 – Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one.

Spiritual Failure:
Ps. 119:25-28 – My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works. My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.

Family Difficulties:
Prov. 10:1 – A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.

Worry:
Prov. 12:25 – Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.

Trials & Pressures:
1 Peter 1:6 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials

to be continued

Lack of Communication

Lack of communication is a killer

In Daniel chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar made a decision to kill all the wise men under his authority. Giving into the fear of communication at that point, would have been a silent agreement to go to the slaughter. Daniel instead of fearing, asked the timeless question: why? Our ‘why’ can save lives, but it needs to be from a place of wanting to understand the persons heart, not from a place of challenging.

There will be a point when your child disagrees with you, and you may want to scratch it off as rebellion. However, a parent that is willing to ask ‘why’ and listen to their childs heart, can save their life. A parent willing to navigate the hurt in their child’s heart instead of calling a disagreement rebellion, can save their lives. I’ve watched many friends make the decision that they did not want to go to college; most of them later regretted it. I’m sure they thought, ‘I’m tired of school’ among a plethora of other reasons. Instead of their parents letting that be the end of the subject, they could have said, ‘Do you plan on having a job? Would you rather make $10/hr or $30/hr in exchange for the same amount of your time?’ Honestly, any amount of wisdom/healthy communication we can give our children will help save their lives. 

Next time remember: It’s not rebellion, it’s an opportunity to strengthen your connect and impart wisdom