Living from a Prophetic Perspective (Part 3)

propheticperspectiveIf we’re going to see the things which go on around us from God’s higher viewpoint, we will need to slow down and pay attention to Him. Last time we talked about slowing down in how we pray. Today we are continuing that theme by talking about how to connect with the Lord’s heart through slowing down in our Bible reading.

Reading the Bible in large chunks at one sitting is great, but meditating on small portions of what we read is also essential. Personally, I think quantity reading, with some in-depth study thrown in at times, should never be neglected. But absorbing Scripture in bite-size doses, where we take extended time to think on what we are reading, adds another dimension to interacting with the Lord through His Word. It is not a matter of choosing one or the other: we need both types of reading.

Some believers are afraid of that word “meditate” because of what New Age and Eastern religion advocates do, where they try to empty their minds to self-project themselves into other-worldly experiences. We are not in any way going there! Meditation, in the biblical sense, simply means to thoughtfully consider, chew on, or take time to digest. It’s time the Church stopped being afraid of this!

The Bible talks about meditating on the Lord Himself (this is part of waiting on Him in prayer, which we talked about in the last post), and also meditating on His Word. Psalm 63:6 says, “I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the night watches,” and Psalm 104:34 comments, “My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.”

Concerning meditating on Scripture, Psalm 119:97 says, “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all day long.” Psalm 119:148 comments, “My eyes look forward to the night watches, that I might meditate in Your Word.”

Psalm 49:3 tells us that meditating on the Lord, His ways, and/or His Word brings wisdom and understanding: “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.” I encourage you to look up “meditate,” “meditating,” and “meditation” in a Bible concordance. You will be surprised how much the Bible has to say on this subject.

I like to do my quantity reading in the evening, but I often meditate on a phrase of Scripture when I first start praying in the morning. If I start out early in the day by mulling over a small piece of the Word, I’m likely to return to thinking about it at other moments all through the day.

How do you pick a verse to meditate on? I often simply ask the Lord to put one on my heart. Sometimes He immediately surprises me with one I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. At other times, a verse catches my attention during my regular course of reading.

I read the verse or phrase through several times, praying it back to the Lord for myself, thanking Him for it, or simply talking to Him about it. I may look it up in several translations or use Strong’s Concordance to check out the meanings of the original Hebrew or Greek words.

I write the verse or phrase down in a notebook, along with any insights or related verses which come to mind. I may move on to a new verse in a few days, but if it keeps sticking with me, I will continue to chew on it for a week or two. The time frame isn’t important. You don’t have to do a new one each day. Just don’t be in a hurry.

If you are still not sure how to get started, John Paul Jackson wrote a book on the subject which may help to clarify things for you. It’s called The Art of Praying the Scriptures (Amazon affiliate link).

Besides slowing down in prayer and Bible reading, we also have to learn to slow down in our responses to problematic circumstances which arise, and that’s what we will talk about next time.

Previous: Part 2 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy Sale

Personal Prophecy Cover 400We’re having a sale on our newest book, The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy, at Amazon. The e-book edition regularly retails for $2.99.

Today, May 18, through Thursday, May 21, until 2:00 p.m. PDT, it  will be on sale for only $.99.

The sale continues from  Thursday, May 21 (starting at 2:00 p.m PDT) through  midnight (PDT) of Sunday, May 24, for $1.99.

If you are an Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited member you can read it for free.

Also, the print edition of The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy is now available at Amazon for $7.99. If you buy the  print edition, you have the option of downloading the e-book version for free.

Thank you for taking a look!
Lee Ann

Living from a Prophetic Perspective (Part 2)

propheticperspectiveI said in our last post that we can learn to recognize what the Lord is thinking through time spent with Him in prayer and through practicing keeping our spiritual senses tuned in to Him. To a certain degree, we should also keep those senses attuned to the people we encounter, our surroundings, and our circumstances — but attention to the Lord must be primary, or our perspective will become skewed. Let’s talk about some practical steps we can take to get there.

The first step is to slow down. We can teach ourselves not to be in a big hurry — in prayer and in reading the Bible, for a start. However, this idea of not being in a hurry goes beyond our prayer and Bible time. It is going to be the thread throughout this series, because hastiness is the biggest way we fail to sync with God’s viewpoint. Our natural-minded soul is always desirous to furnish ideas which may sound right, but if we are going to have our spirits hear what the Holy Spirit has to say, we’re going to have to hush the soul, with all its insistent urges.

Let’s start with slowing down in prayer. When you come to prayer, before diving into intercession, spend time in worship, praying in tongues without a particular focus and simply staying quiet before the Lord.

If you feel the Lord is putting someone on your heart to intercede for right away, go ahead and move with Him in that, and then return to worship and listening mode. I am not trying to establish a rule that you have to worship and be still for a specified amount of time before you can bring petitions before the throne. Sometimes the Spirit leads us into intercession quickly, and we should obey His promptings. But it is also true that our minds like to distract us from worship and quietness by suddenly flooding us with the remembrance of umpteen needs to pray into. Have some paper handy, and write those needs down to pray into later.

I often prefer to wait upon the Lord in complete silence, but sometimes I like to have peaceful worship music playing in the background. If you don’t own a lot of music, YouTube is a great place to find what you need. You might even want to subscribe to my channel there. I’ve created a lot of playlists of my favorite music, most of which is worship-oriented, and I’m adding new things all the time, in a variety of styles.

It is OK if you never do get to intercession some days, especially if you have a limited amount of time to pray. The Lord can still bring needs to mind throughout the day for which you can lift a quick prayer. You can pray in tongues here and there, and accomplish intercession that way, too, while you are doing other things. We don’t always have to pray for hours into everything. Short, to-the-point prayers can be very effective in receiving answers, and the more time you spend simply waiting on God, enjoying His Presence, the more you are going to be able to accomplish a lot via short intercession — because you won’t have to dance all around the issue before receiving God’s counsel on how to pray. And if He does want you to be involved in focused, lengthy intercession, He’ll give you the time and the way to do it. So, don’t feel guilty about taking more time just to be with the Lord than you spend in intercession. It’s OK — really!

When we do intercede, the temptation is to look at the problem, have a desired solution in mind, and then immediately begin attacking in prayer. Take your spiritual sword in hand and start slashing, right? Not usually right – but this is what our natural man wants to do.

It’s far better to ask the Lord how to address the issue, and give Him time to reveal His angle on it. If you’re anything like me, this is not going to be easy for you. It takes discipline. But it is worth the wait, as you will end up praying with more effective results.

Some things we pray into are not urgent. We have the luxury of waiting for a few hours or days to hear the Lord’s counsel before we begin interceding. However, that is not always the case. And when the need is urgent, that’s when we are tempted the most to move into slash-attack panic prayer, which can be pretty earthly-minded.

When we need answers quickly, we can still ask the Lord to help us get His perspective, and then briefly listen for His cues before beginning, even if only a few seconds are available to do that. Even if you have to launch out in prayer without much (or any!) revelation of how to proceed, He will be faithful to adjust your prayers, as long as you have a heart of wanting to hear Him and follow His leading.

So, living from a prophetic perspective starts with slowing down so that we can pay attention to the Spirit. It starts with prayer. Next time, we’ll talk about slowing down in our Bible reading.

Previous — Part 1
Next — Part 3

Living from a Prophetic Perspective (Part 1)

propheticperspectiveOne of my frequent prayers is that I might live from a prophetic perspective at all times. In fact, I believe living this way is what God desires for every believer.

Some of you may be thinking, “What is she talking about? Is she advocating that we live in other-worldly vision experiences 24/7 and walk around spouting ‘Thus saith the Lord’ with our index fingers pointed heavenward all the time?” Not at all. Living from a prophetic perspective is simply viewing our world and the circumstances unfolding in it from God’s vantage point and then praying, speaking, and acting accordingly.

Romans 8 refers to those who are “in Christ Jesus” (verse 1) as people “who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (verses 4, 5, NIV).

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 says, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things …. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

We are meant to have the mind of Christ, have our minds set on what the Spirit desires, and live according to the Spirit. That is living from a prophetic perspective, where our spirit-man walks in communion with the Holy Spirit. It is something which we can pursue through prayer and practice. If we do nothing to cultivate it, our soul will lead us along in the paths of natural thinking, praying, speaking, and acting.

Unfortunately, a vast number of those who identify themselves as Christians are living more in the soul realm than the spirit realm. Social media evidences this with all the anger, disrespect, name-calling, and fear which people express whenever they don’t agree with someone else. This needs to change.

An opinion is often no more than a reaction to circumstances or people which comes from our own natural thinking. Prophetic release, on the other hand, is a response to the stirring of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts as He shows us how to view events and, therefore, how to speak into them. As the people of God, we must learn the difference, and stick with responding to and in the Spirit.

How do we cultivate a prophetic perspective as a lifestyle? We start by listening — first to God, and then to people. In fact, most of what I will be sharing in coming posts involves listening, in one way or another.

It can’t be said enough that the first step to obtaining the Lord’s perspective is developing a consistent, daily communion with Him through reading His Word and setting aside a time of prayer devoted completely to Him. We cannot skip these basics and expect to go any further. They are beginning points, springboards to deeper understanding of the Lord’s ways.

Isaiah 55: 8, 9 tells us, “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” After reading those verses, we could throw up our hands and say, “Well, there is no way to understand the thoughts and plans of God anyway! That’s what the passage is trying to say!”

However, 1 Corinthians 2:16 declares, “We have the mind of Christ.” This is our heritage as believers. The Holy Spirit Who now lives inside of us imparts to us the mind of God — but we must become sensitive to Him so that we can recognize what He is thinking. We will never completely understand the thoughts of God, because He is infinitely profound, but we can come very much closer to thinking as He does if we will “Seek the LORD while He may be found,” and “Call upon Him while He is near,” as Isaiah 55:6 says. If we actively seek Him for His mind on both the small and large things of life, He will respond. He is closer to us than we sometimes realize — because He dwells within us.

Next — Part 2

Personal Prophecy Continued

 A few months ago, you may have seen my article series, Discerning Personal Prophecy. That series became a springboard for my newest book, The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy, which is now available as an e-book at Amazon. (The print edition is coming in a few weeks.)

The original blog series comprises about 35% of the book, with the balance being all new material. (Unfortunately, due to contract terms, the blog series is not available while the book is exclusively at Amazon.)

Here’s the book description:

Personal prophecy can and should be a great blessing from the Lord to His Church. It can also be an effective evangelism tool, when used rightly. But, as with any of the gifts of the Spirit, it must be cherished and guarded carefully. Those of us who are releasing prophecy to others must watch over the attitudes of our own hearts, so that our words are genuine and pure. And those of us who are on the receiving end of a prophetic word must use wisdom in discerning whether it is truly from the Lord or not, as well as maturity in how we respond to it.

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy explains how to discern personal prophetic words which you receive from others and what to do with those words once you’ve got them. It also gives practical guidelines for how to keep out of trouble when you are prophesying personal words to others.

Table of Contents:
Introduction
Receiving a Prophetic Word:

~  Discerning Personal Prophecy
~  Criteria for Discerning a Word
~  Why Hasn’t My Prophetic Word Happened?
Delivering Personal Prophetic Words:
~  Getting Started in Personal Prophecy
~  Guidelines for Moving in Personal Prophecy
~  Beyond Church Walls
Summing It Up

I hope you will take a peek at The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy  (and our other books too!) at Amazon.

Make Your Home a House of Prayer

It is written, “My house is the house of prayer.” — Luke 19:46

225 NASA rocketThrough the years, we have often hosted small group prayer gatherings in our home. I love doing that! It is part of an ongoing vision God is giving us for reaching our city and region, which I talk about in my book, House of Power ~ House of Prayer. I encourage everyone to be part of a prayer group, and even to start one, if possible. It is not all that hard, but it does take consistency and perseverance. The impact for the Kingdom of God is great!

However, whether you ever host a prayer gathering or not, your home can be a house of prayer — even if you are the only one there who prays. The concept of our individual homes each being a house of prayer has been building in my spirit for over a year now, and it started as revelation while I was engaged in worship in my living room.

I saw our house, as it was filled with worship, as a “temple mount.” The Lord revealed to me that the worship going up from our home was damaging satanic strongholds over our city and local region. I didn’t even necessarily need to identify what those strongholds were, in order for them to be weakened and pulled down. The worship going up from our house acted like missiles to break up the strongholds in the heavenlies above us. In that moment of revelation, I prayed, “Lord, let the strongholds over this valley be removed in the atmosphere of worship being released here.”

Why worship, rather than focused intercession? The Lord specifically spoke to me about worship, and I am faithfully reporting what I received, as it was given to me. Intercession for our local regions and beyond is very important. I am not minimizing that in any way. But pure worship — the adoration of the Lord simply for Who He is — has been biblically shown to be a catalyst for God to intervene. We see this most clearly in the story of Jehoshaphat’s victory over Moab and Ammon (1 Chronicles 20). Please see my series, Worship and the Intercessor, for how worship and intercession go hand in hand.

Since receiving that revelation about the spiritual impact of worship going up from our home, the Lord has helped me understand that this is not a message exclusive to our family. It is what He desires for every prayer warrior who will receive it. God is already using the worship and prayer going on in  individual believers’ homes to transform neighborhoods, cities, and regions, but when we have the knowledge that our homes are actually meant to be houses of prayer, we become more intentional in consecrating them for that purpose. We expect to make an impact in our city/region. We see with new eyes of faith that we are accomplishing Kingdom things.

Here are some steps you can take to make the concept of your home being a house of prayer a reality:

  1. Ask the Lord to give you personal revelation of your home as a house of prayer. Ask Him to help you know or “see” it deep in your spirit.
  2. Dedicate your home to Him for that purpose. Tell Him you are yielding your home to Him, and that you want it to be a holy place set apart to Him for His purposes. Even if you live with nonbelievers who are bringing unholy things into the home, you can begin to change the atmosphere of  your home through your dedication. Perhaps you have a special spot — a favorite chair, for instance, which you can make the seat of your house of prayer. Give to the Lord whatever you have, and He will use it.
  3. Begin to consciously release prayer and worship into your neighborhood/city/region. Meditate on the idea that you are impacting your locale through your house of prayer being established there.
  4. Make a concentrated effort to establish worship in your home. My husband and I do this by playing a lot of intimate worship music during our hours of prayer, but also while we are at work around our home. If you don’t own that kind of music, I am in the process of compiling a lot of my favorite worship music at my YouTube channel. Please feel free to avail yourself of it.
  5. Share the idea of a house of prayer with other members of your family, and do this together. Pray and worship together as much as possible. (If you are the only believer in your household, that’s OK. The Holy Spirit will join with you in this. He honors your presence as His vessel in your home. He takes your dedication seriously!)

As you deliberately dedicate your home to be a house of prayer, you will develop a new mindset, which will make your prayer and worship more effective in bringing about change in the world around you. When we grasp the truth that we carry “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), it suddenly becomes much easier to lay hands on people for healing and see it happen for them. When we get hold of the reality that God has already “made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), we start praying from a position of expecting to receive answers. It is the same with understanding that your home is a house of prayer: new levels of prayer authority begin to emerge — not because God is giving any more than He always wanted to, but because you are now making yourself open to receive from Him in a greater way.

I hope you will catch the vision to make your home a house of prayer. May God make it a living reality inside of you, and as a result, may you impact your city in ways you never dreamed possible.

Prepare for War

… A time of war, and a time of peace. — Ecclesiastes 3:8

Jousting_Knights_by_DegasBelievers, in case you have not noticed, a war looms on the horizon. Indeed, we are already in it. The conflict might seem complicated with side issues and questions, but really it boils down to being about truth and the gospel of Jesus.

Up until now, many of us have felt we had the option of spectating, rather than engaging in battle. “Let Dr. Dobson do it. … Let Franklin Graham do it. … Let my pastor do it.” Like it or not, sideline-sitting isn’t going to be available much longer.

Years ago, the Lord showed me a vision, illustrating the condition of His Church in America. I saw people in a medieval army camp, leisurely handling their armor, casually looking it over, and admiring it. They did not seem to sense the urgency of putting it on and getting into the battle.  They were merely playing at being soldiers.

 Because the Church did not go to the front lines back in the day, the front lines have now come to our own doorstep. But too many of us are still merely gawking at the armor and talking about it. It’s time to suit up and start swinging the weapons.

We need to listen to the spiritual perceptions Holy Spirit is giving to us, and take action as He reveals it to us. But what kind of action am I speaking of? Much of our warfare takes place in the arena of prayer. We contend for the souls of men through mighty intercession, coupled with fasting and devoted worship.

But we have come to the place where we must also contend for truth publicly. It is time to speak. We can no longer be silent while those around us march over the cliff to their destruction. Even in the Church, many are so concerned about showing a humanistic compassion which makes people feel good about themselves no matter what they are doing, that we have forgotten to care for their eternal well-being. Genuine love does not pat people on the back and tell them they are A-OK, when the Bible clearly says the road they are on leads to a horrible eternity in hell.

Part of the battle is to know how to speak like Jesus would. Colossians 4:5, 6 tells us, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside [the family of God], redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every man.” We must be able to listen carefully and calmly before engaging, and not angrily tear people to pieces in the name of truth.  We are not effective when we lose track of who the enemy (Satan) is,  and start attacking people. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). We tend to forget this far too often.

We must also prepare our hearts by understanding the cost of war. Concern for preserving our popularity, our comfort, and even our possessions will no longer be possible.

The war we engage in is not only external. As we approach the end of the age, Satan is raging against the Church with an intensity most of us have never experienced before. A lot of that war is against our mind and emotions, our health, and our spiritual integrity.

Each of us should ask the Lord to give us clarity about what our particular position on the front line is supposed to be, and then stand fast there. We each have a specific role to play. While there are many good causes to champion, none of us is called to fight them all. Choosing our battles wisely is key to successful warfare.

The Lion of the tribe of Judah is not a toothless lion. He has not left us toothless, either. We need to perceive this. He has given us all that we need to come through victoriously — His Word, His blood, His name, His authority, revelation from the Holy Spirit, and even angelic assistance.

In ancient times, spring was the season when kings went forth to war. This is our time to do likewise, for the Lord “has made us kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). We cannot passively watch from the sidelines anymore.