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.

The Coming Great Divide

Plumbline Flckr Dayna BatemanFor many months, I have been hearing strongly about a coming division in the American Church. It is the division between the true Church, and a false one. By a false church, I do not mean those who openly deny the deity of Christ and subscribe to grossly unorthodox beliefs. Those have been with us for a long time already and are fairly recognizable for what they are. No, the false church I am referring to is more subtle. And it is fast gaining influence even within evangelical and Spirit-filled congregations.

Many in the false church were at one time aligned with the true, but have veered off course. For those who are pastors/leaders in this false church move, their deviation from the true may have started with a desire for more church growth, popularity with society as a whole, a fear of being persecuted, or the drive to gain more wealth for themselves and their churches.

Because many started out all right, the lines between the true and false have been blurred, and there has been much confusion about which is which. Some of the leaders of this false church continue to convincingly talk the right talk in some ways, while having shifted into compromise and deception in others. They say a lot of wonderful, highly quotable things, which encourage us all that we are loved by God, that God wants to bless us, and that He intends for us to be successful at impacting our world. Those messages are not bad in themselves. We need to be encouraged. The problem is that these good words are mixed with a lot of humanism — worship of ourselves. The gospel message, with Jesus being central, is distorted or nonexistent, and instead there is a constant barrage of “If you just think and speak positively, there are no limits to how successful you can be!”

plumblineIn the midst of the fog of who is who and which is which, God is dropping a plumb line into the Church, which will clearly divide the straight and true from the crooked and false. As time goes on, the distinctions between the two will grow more apparent. Believers will have to make a clear choice to come out from fellowshipping within the false and make a conscious step over into the true, if they are going to continue on with the Lord.

Jesus’ parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30) is another illustration of what is currently happening. At first the tares look very much like the wheat. It is hard to discern between them. But as the plants mature, the differences become more noticeable. Likewise, we are approaching the point where the distinctions between the false and the true Church will become more marked. And when we notice the differences, each of us will have to determine whether we’re going to malnourish our spiritual stomachs with “tares” teaching or whether we will only ingest the wheat.

What are some telltale signs of a false message?

1.)  Universalism — The belief that all will be saved, that no one will go to hell, because God is love, is a heresy which has been around in one form or another for a long time. But in recent years it has made large inroads into many evangelical churches. Jesus is presented as the best way to the Father, but not the only way. The end of what Jesus said in John 14:6, “NO man comes to the Father except through Me” is conveniently not quoted.

2.)  A message which is primarily motivational in nature — There is minimal talk about Jesus, the cross, living a sacrificial lifestyle of obedience to Him, or Jesus’ soon return. The focus is on having a satisfying life now, with little emphasis on eternity. YOUR destiny purpose now, YOUR success now, YOUR happiness now is the all-in-all, rather than the Lord’s desires being fulfilled at any cost.

3.)  Anything goes — The message implies or openly states that God understands we all sin and therefore does not mind if we indulge in whatever sin we would like to keep indulging in.

4.)  Acceptance of homosexuality — This is snowballing on us at an alarming rate, and I personally think it is going to be the clearest dividing line between the true Church and the false in the next couple of years. Several prominent ministries have already fallen off the cliff on this issue, and I think that within a year or two we will see some internationally known pastors openly embracing homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle within their churches. They are already on the brink and teetering.

Watch out for any teaching which says people can be practicing homosexuals and still be Christians at the same time. No matter how much some may want to explain it away, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 still says what it says: “Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators [sexually impure], nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind [homosexuals], nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

When God drops a plumb line, it is important not to stay on the wrong side of it.  We will have to decide whom we want to please and whom we are willing to offend. We will have to choose whether we are going to compromise in order to stay comfortable (and popular), or whether we will abide by what God says, no matter how much ridicule, and even persecution, we endure.

James 4:4 states the choice clearly: “… Do you not know that the friendship of the world [system]  is at enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” We can’t have it both ways.

The apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthian believers, “What fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness? And what communion does light have with darkness? … ‘Wherefore, come out from among them, and be separate, … and I will receive you and will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Moses asked, in a time of crisis within the Israelite camp, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come to me” (Exodus 32:26). God is asking that same question of us today. Let us get up and step across to Him. His plumb line is the dividing point between spiritual life and death.

Misplaced Adoration

There’s a common trap which we can easily fall into — giving the adoration which should belong solely to the Lord to a Christian leader. It is an idolatry which has repeatedly afflicted God’s people.

Paul warned the Corinthian believers about it:

… One says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos” …. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered — but God gave the increase. So then, neither is he who plants anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. … For we are laborers together with God. You are God’s field; you are God’s building — 1 Corinthians 3:4-7, 9.

People who carry a weighty anointing quite naturally attract us. We sense the presence of the Lord upon them, and it makes us want to be near them, to receive from them, to bask in what they have, to be in their inner circle. But no matter how bright their light, we dare not let ourselves forget that it is only a secondary, reflected light, while Jesus is the Source. Go directly for the Source.

We’ve all heard the excessive attraction of one person to another likened to a moth’s attraction to a flame. It’s a good comparison. Fluttering too close to the flame of a fellow, flawed human being will scorch you. It will eventually bring you pain, disillusionment, disappointment. By contrast, flying close to the Lord’s flame will destroy your soulish attitudes and desires, but you will be strengthened, healed, and made clean by His fire. He consumes the impurities, while in exchange giving greater life. No man or woman can do that for you. The best of them will fail you.

So, learn what you can from men and women of God. Let them impart what they are able to give  to you. But don’t slip into worshiping them. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2) is a wise word to live by. If you have already fallen into the trap, ask the Lord to forgive you, and then guard yourself in the future. Refocus your attention on Jesus. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s aid in reordering your affections and thoughts. He will help you.

Leaders, if you don’t mind me saying it, often the problem of misplaced adoration rests at your doorstep. Don’t allow yourself to indulge in the heady flattery of being the center of someone’s world. It’s a snare to you and them. Refuse to be worshiped. Be like John the Baptist, who remained ever conscious that “he was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light” (John 1:8). He pointed his young disciples to Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:29, 30, 35).

Currently, there is a God-breathed emphasis on older saints becoming “fathers and mothers” to spiritual sons and daughters, with the purpose of raising up a triumphant Church army which moves in the miraculous, just as Jesus said we should do — the “greater works” of John 14:12. In the process, be watchful that they do not misplace on you the awe which rightfully belongs to the Lord. When the sons and daughters come to you with stars in their eyes, point them upward to Jesus, the bright and morning star (Revelation 22:16).

Not one of us is awesome. Only Jesus is awesome. He alone deserves worship.

Miscellaneous and Catching-Up Things

paper stackThis post is a bit of a hodgepodge:

My book-in-progress: There is always at least one (at present I’ve got four started, plus notes for more). The one most likely to be completed first is called Your Intercession Questions Answered. In it, I define prayer warrior terminology and explain experiences common to intercessors (perhaps some not-so-common, but still quite real). I want to make sure I don’t miss anything major. If you have a question which you think should be added, would you be so kind as to give me your feedback?  The best way to do that is to comment on our ongoing Intercession/Prophecy Questions and Answers post here at my blog. I will try to answer your question there, whether it gets used in the book or not. Thanks for your help!

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What I’m hearing for 2015: Thus far, I don’t have anything extremely specific or guaranteed to give you goose bumps (sorry). But here’s what I have for the Church at large:

“It’s not going to be an easy year. It will be a time of great fearfulness. But My children will be taken care of. There is no reason to be afraid, for I am with you. My right hand will sustain you.

“Don’t be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flies by day, nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.”  (I heard this in the inner voice, but yes, it is quoting Psalm 91:5. 6.)

My commentary: The focus is on trusting the Lord — not on bad things coming. Those of us who stay close to the Lord’s heart don’t need to indulge in the “great fearfulness.” Many prophetic people are hearing that it is going to be a great year for the Church, where we come into spiritual inheritances and divine suddenlies. Charles Dickens started his book,  A Tale of Two Cities, with the words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and that is how it works with the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdoms of this world as well. We are meant to be overcomers, not fearful people. Fear is for those who have no hope in Christ.

The Lord impressed upon me to read and meditate on Psalm 34, so I’ve been doing that nearly daily and will very likely continue to do so for weeks to come. It is a wonderful way to build confidence in God’s care for us.

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Ebola update: Last fall, I wrote about a dream I had about Ebola coming to the U. S. I also did a follow-up post immediately after the man with Ebola came to Dallas. I am so delighted with the answers that we have seen since then.

Some may say that Ebola was a false alarm for most of the world. Well, no, intercession is meant to stem the tide of trouble behind the scenes before things become dramatic issues. (Perhaps the enormous loss of life in West Africa could have been stopped sooner if more of us had been praying into it sooner.)

In our local prayer gathering, we prayed that Ebola would not spread here in the U. S. (and other parts of the world). Hardly any of those who came in very close contact with people infected with the disease got sick. We prayed for the Dallas nurses to recover, and they did. We prayed for vaccines and serums to be developed to stem the tide of Ebola. Those are coming into being. We prayed for the Church in the affected countries in West Africa to rise up and use their prayer authority to shut down Ebola in their homelands, and they did just that, with nation-wide prayer and fasting.

A friend of ours is currently working on the medical front lines in the fight against Ebola in Liberia. His report is that there are not many cases coming in anymore. It is definitely on the wane.

I know there were many intercessors around the world who prayed much into this terrible disease. Our collective prayers are being answered. We have much to thank the Lord for!

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Lastly, I was very inspired by the following message on prayer, given recently by Wes Hall, from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP-KC). I hope you can take the time to listen to it.

Wes Hall — OneThing 2014

(Give it a few seconds, if it comes up as “no results” at first. It will open up.)

Free Book — 2 Days Only!

HSPrayerKids400

I am pleased to announce that I have written a new book — The Homeschool Guide to Raising Prayer-Filled Kids. It lays out a fun and easy step-by-step plan for forming consistent prayer and Bible reading habits in children, all in the home school setting.

Right now, it is only available as an e-book at Amazon, but we’ll expand its distribution in months to come. Regular price is only $1.49, but for two days only,

Monday, 11-17 and Tuesday, 11-18 (PST),

I am offering it as a gift to you. Simply follow this link to pick it up.

If you like the book, would you be so kind as to give it a short review and/or star rating at Amazon? And would you recommend it to a friend? Thank you!

~ Lee Ann