Category Archives: Charismatic Christian

Where’s Waldo?

Remember Waldo?  When my children were small, they enjoyed finding him hidden in crowds of hundreds of people who were doing odd things.

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking that Jesus has a lot in common with Waldo: in the church crowd He is often very hidden and hard to find (not to mention God’s people sometimes doing odd things).  I sometimes wonder, “Where’s Jesus?”

You know, it’s easy to have the right intentions and to start out with noble motives.  We want to win the lost for Jesus.  (So far, so good.)  In some circles, we talk extensively about “building the Kingdom,” and we spend a lot of time and effort on teaching everyone how to do it — great, and I love it!  Church growth is a necessary component of Kingdom building, so we get focused on expanding our numbers.  We long to have meaningful purpose for our lives, so personal destiny becomes a huge deal.  We pursue signs and wonders, because nearly  everyone is tired of powerless Christianity — believers and nonbelievers alike.

But I have a question troubling me in the midst of it all: where’s Jesus?  While we’ve heard countless sermons on the Kingdom of God, fulfilling our destiny, and how to rule and reign as King’s kids, when was the last time we heard much about Jesus Himself?  Where’s Jesus?  And what good is the Kingdom if somewhere along the way we have forgotten the King?

We should be teaching on building the Kingdom, equipping the Church to fulfill its mission, bringing growth to the local church, winning the lost, and growing in the gifts of the Spirit.  It’s all pretty important, isn’t it.  But there is a danger to avoid.  After a while, without us even noticing what has happened, we become more excited about what we are doing for Jesus, or the authority we have in Him, than we are about Him.  Or we get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of what Jesus Himself asked us to accomplish and lose the big picture of Who it is all for to begin with.  A subtle shift in focus takes place, and before we realize it, we have veered off course.  Isn’t this exactly what happened to the Ephesian Church?  So much so that the Lord soundly rebuked them and warned them to repent (Revelation 2:1-7)?

I believe with all my heart that there is a Great Awakening coming, and perhaps it is already in its beginning stages.  Within that Awakening, we will see millions coming to the Lord, the miraculous unleashed, holy living revived, and the Church moving in a supernatural authority such as this world has never yet seen.   But I believe it must start with the restoration of Jesus to first place in the heart of His Church.   Whenever He is not the driving reason, the focal point, we end up with something off-kilter.  In whatever we promote, love, or focus upon, it’s either all about Jesus or it’s not genuinely about Jesus at all.

What can we do, besides cluck our tongues about the present state of things? How will the restoration of Jesus to His rightful place be accomplished?  By the sovereign move of the Holy Spirit.   But “sovereign” moves of God do not generally come by themselves.  God raises up a remnant who understand His desires — a remnant willing to  speak and pray into existence what their physical eyes are not currently seeing.

I determine to be one who speaks through the written and oral word what I understand to be spiritual truth — whether it’s the current consensus or not.  One of the most strategic ways of speaking those truths is in the place of intercession — speaking the heart of God back to Him in prayer, until Jesus is no longer a side issue, but the issue.

Lord Jesus, be all.  And may Holy Spirit breathe upon Your Bride until she awakes out of her coma.  Truly, may the Kingdom come and Father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Be exalted and honored to the utmost in it all, King Jesus.

How I “Do” Worship (Part 2)

When my worship leader friend asked how I did personal worship, I explained that it was something that just came about naturally as I prayed.  I don’t worship for X number of minutes and then proceed into intercession or spiritual warfare or any other kind of prayer.

Worship is a natural outflow of relationship with God.  For me, it happens quite unconsciously throughout the day, along with other types of prayer — thanking the Lord for little things that He does for me, telling Him how much I love Him, thanking Him for being so good, kind, faithful, and merciful.  When I am asking Him for something, I tell Him I know He will do it for me because of His goodness.  (Answers to prayer are more about His giving nature than they are about our strenuous praying or our persistence — although persistent prayer is encouraged in the Bible.)  When I am tempted to doubt, I tell the Lord that I know His character and that He will never fail me.  I mentally put my hand in His and cling to Him in trust.  Letting the Lord know we trust Him is a big part of worship.

I like to use His names to worship Him — He Who is able, He Who sees me, My hiding place, My exceeding joy, God of my praise, etc.  If you are interested in the names of God, I have prepared a list of them for you — over 600 names by which God reveals His good nature to us.

I said in Part 1 that we have God’s Presence already with us, if we believe on Jesus as our Savior, but that there are things we can do to increase our awareness of His Presence.  Continued worship and prayer throughout the day is the key to sensing Him with us.  James 4:8 assures us that if we will draw near to God, He will draw near to us.

We can cultivate the habit of worship through practicing what Ephesians 5:18-20 says: “…Be filled with the Spirit [by] speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We can train ourselves to look for things to be thankful for throughout the day.  After a while, thankfulness becomes second nature, but sometimes we have to actively practice it at first.  Reciting or reading aloud encouraging portions of the Bible, such as the Psalms, gets our thoughts on the Lord and creates worship for His goodness in our hearts.

Creating a worshipful atmosphere in our home or car through music that exalts the Lord cultivates a sense of His Presence in us. Modern technology devices such as the iPod make it possible for many of us to listen to whatever  we like all day long.  I listen to very little music that is not of a worshipful nature.  I find that whatever I listen to sticks in my head for days afterward, so if I keep to mostly worship music, I have that which exalts Jesus replaying in my mind.  I end up “singing and making melody in my heart to the Lord.”

John 15:7 promises, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”   “Abiding” is not the mystery we sometimes make of it.  It is simply staying in a continual attitude of worship and communion with the Lord.  Abiding (dwelling in a state of worship) brings about answered prayer.  It also causes peace and joy to rule in our hearts.  These are wonderful by-products of worship.  We grow in abiding by practice — but as we develop the habit, we don’t have to think about it as much.

When we focus our attention, adoration, and affection on the Lord, no matter how we do so, this is worship.  It flows from a continual attitude of thoughtfulness for His heart, His feelings, His desires, and a care for what makes Him happy.  It is not about “doing,” but about “being” — being in a perpetual awareness of our wonderful God Who loves us so dearly and responding to His love with our adoration.  Let your worship flow.

How I “Do” Worship (Part 1)

How I “Do” Worship (Part 1)

Many years ago, a worship leader asked me, “Lee Ann, being an intercessor, how do you do personal worship?  Do you worship and then do spiritual warfare and intercession, or what?”

I was a bit surprised by the question.  You see, I don’t “do” worship at all.  Worship is not a compartment of my prayer life that I load onto the front end of my time with the Lord, or that I sandwich between other compartments.  Worship is the dominant thread of my fabric.

I’ve heard many teachings on how to “do” worship — and, for that matter,  on how to “do” prayer.  You may have heard them, too.  I was taught that there was a protocol for approaching the Lord that had to be strictly adhered to, if we were to get our prayers heard.  First, we had to approach Him from afar through worship.  This was called “entering His courts” (as in, the outer court of the temple) and it “brought us into His Presence.”  After getting God to be pleased with us through our worship, we were to confess our sins (which equated to the altar for burnt offerings in the Old Testament temple).  Finally, if we had done these things adequately, we could move on to presenting our petitions to God, expecting to be heard because we had followed the correct protocol for approaching the King.

Frankly, all this bothered me from Day 1.  I used to wonder if those who taught this way had a very distant relationship with the Lord.  You see, it is all ritual, and in addition, it is Old Testament Law, not the New Covenant in Jesus that we are meant to enjoy today as believers.  How sad!  It need not be this way.  Understanding Old Testament symbolism is wisdom, but trying to live OT patterns in the New Testament life does not always equal biblical truth.

First of all, we do not have to take steps to come into God’s Presence.  We ARE in His Presence, continually, if we believe on Jesus as our Savior.  In fact, His Presence dwells in us, because we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Now, there are ways to increase our awareness of His Presence, but ritual will not bring you into it.  We will talk about the awareness factor later.

Secondly, the Old Testament ritualistic progression of coming into His Presence never, ever got the average person into God’s Presence.  He got as far as the altar to sacrifice for his sins, and that’s it.  From there on, only the priest could enter the Holy Place, and only the high priest EVER got into the Holy of Holies where the Presence of God tangibly manifested upon the Ark of the Covenant.  So, why are Christians using this model of approaching God in the first place?

Everything has changed since Jesus made the final, full atonement on the cross.  The temple curtain that separated the Holy of Holies (where the Presence of God rested) from view was ripped from the top to the bottom when Jesus cried, “It is finished!” and yielded up His life.  Jesus made for us a forever-way into continual dwelling in God’s Presence.

When we understand that we have perpetual access to God’s Presence, our worship radically changes.  We don’t have to “do” worship to get on God’s good side or butter Him up so that He will answer our prayers.  “Doing” worship for what we can get out of God really insults Him.  It brings Him down to a much baser level than most of us would operate at.

Worship is meant to be a natural outflow of our love relationship with Him, not a tool to accomplish something.  Yes, there are beneficial by-products of worship.  I discuss those at length in my series, Worship and the Intercessor.  But worship is not something that we should do for what we get out of it.  Our mindset needs to change.

Let’s take the legalism, the insincerity, and the self-serving out of worship.  When we get hold of what real worship is — the kind that is “in spirit and in truth,” our whole relationship with the Lord will be transformed.

We’ll get to the practicalities of how true worship works tomorrow. 

How I “Do” Worship (Part 2)

Dream Language (Book Review)

I recently finished reading James and Michal Ann Goll’s book, Dream Language.  This is another “keeper,” friends, and I’m definitely recommending it.

I think what I love about James Goll the most is his adherence to sound biblical principles, but second to that is his willingness to identify with us common folk.  I derive such encouragement from hearing that he, too, has struggled with insecurity over his prophetic gifts at earlier stages of his life.  This man is so real, practical, and down to earth.  And he exhorts all of us to pick ourselves up out of the dirt when we fall down, and keep going.  I always come away from his books thinking, “Here is someone who understands — someone who hasn’t always had it all together any more than I have, but he has come through shining.  Now I’ve got hope I can make it, too!”

Michal Ann’s simple, humble way of telling her experiences are a blessing as well.  She, like her husband, encourages the common man or woman that we can all come up into higher places of revelation.

I bought Dream Language because dreaming is one of my primary ways of hearing from the Lord, and I always want to learn more about it.  But the book isn’t only about dreams.  There is a lot of solid info for how to interpret and apply all revelation with wisdom.

There are practical tips for how to increase dream life, recall details, and interpret dreams correctly.

The “When God Seems Silent” chapter was particularly helpful to me.  The dry seasons are times for pressing in to the heart of God persistently.  They are the times which actually increase our intimate relationship with the Lord, as we persevere in worship and dependency on Him.  The silent times are times of growth in character, and are needed for healthy spirituality.

In a section near the end called “A Voice that Can Be Heard,” Mr. Goll talks about why sometimes we repeatedly have the same revelation as others do, yet we don’t seem to be appreciated, while others enjoy great favor.  It doesn’t seem fair to us, but there are several very good God-reasons, and when we get the perspective that it isn’t necessarily that we did poorly or were rejected, it makes it so much easier to rest in the Lord and not give up.

A brief dictionary of dream symbols  is included in the book, as well as a section discussing very common dream scenarios and what they mean.

Whether you are a dreamer, or whether other forms of revelation are your specialty, this book will help you with the “why” questions you may have, with understanding how to increase in revelation, and how to release your gifts with wisdom so that you can be a blessing.

Buy at Amazon:  Dream Language: The Prophetic Power of Dreams

Personal Prophecy and the “Little” Words 

I have just a couple of thoughts on prophecy today: 

Remember the story in Matthew 16:13-19 of Jesus asking His disciples who men were saying that He was, and then asking who they personally thought He was?  Peter, by revelation, declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Jesus responded by speaking a prophetic word over Peter: 

You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.  And whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven  (vs. 18, 19).

It is a thrill to receive a personal prophecy, but can you imagine having Jesus Himself prophesy over you?  How cool is that? 

But did you know that whenever God speaks to you personally about your future — whether through the inner voice, a vision, or a dream — that Jesus is personally prophesying over you?  How cool IS that? 

Next time you are tempted to feel bad because you get left out while other people get all the “words from the Lord” when a prophet shows up at your church or conference, just remember that.  🙂 

Sometimes we make the mistake of comparing ourselves to other people, and our prophetic abilities are no exception.  We get to feeling inferior because we don’t receive the “big” prophecies that Sister Susie gets — the ones that wow the socks off of everyone who hears them.  Yep, when Sister Susie speaks, the pastor listens!  The whole church forgets to breathe when she starts in with her “Thus saith the Lord.”  She gets caught up into the heavenlies and sees legions of angels, while some of us are only having visions of our laundry room back home, with legions of towels to be folded when we finally get time.  

I’m being funny, but if you’re honest, you know you’ve been there.  Insecurity about our spiritual gifts hits all of us occasionally, unless we’re totally dead to our flesh. 

There was a time when the Lord explained to me that if He speaks it, whether anyone else is impressed or not,  it is important to Him.  If it weren’t important, He wouldn’t speak it in the first place.   The “little” things we hear from God are precious and not to be despised.  In fact, some of the things we hear and never tell anyone else about are the most important of all to Him — because they are secrets, just between us and the Lord. 

There!  Are you feeling any better?  I am!

The Listening Place

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a conversation I had with God quite a few years ago.  He had been laying out for me the three main ways He wanted me to serve for the rest of my life — the first was about the intercession specialty He had given me, the second was about writing for Him, and the third thing He said was just, “Minister to Me.” 

I was not sure what He meant.  “Godhow could I possibly minister to You?”

And He responded with a longing in His tone I will never forget, “By listening to Me.” 

Listening to Him, hanging on His every word — not for any other reason than just because it is Him — He longs for us to do that.  It is the place of lovers.

It is easy, once we become a little bit accustomed to moving in the revelatory gifts, to think that our prophetic words need to “do” something.  We often want a word for the Church, whether the local body or beyond — maybe out of a pure desire to encourage or serve, maybe sometimes out of a human longing for recognition of our prophetic gifts.  But what we hear doesn’t have to have a tangible purpose all the time.  If it does, we’ve slipped into a performance mentality.

As I think this through, I’m coming to understand that listening to the Lord for His sake alone is a higher place of hearing and seeing.  And perhaps if we will come to that loftier plane and stay there for a time, when we do begin to give forth in prophecy to others again, what we say will be of a higher caliber as well.  Perhaps we will be less likely to speak the word of the Lord hastily, and what we share will carry a greater spiritual weight.

Think about it: we have the opportunity for a private audience of the most cordial, intimate nature with the One “who humbles himself to look upon the things that are in heaven and in the earth” (Psalm 113:6).  To listen to Him, purely for Him, and to know that I am ministering to Him by doing so — that’s a place of wonder.  And I want to be there — just because it makes Him happy. 

Prophetic Intercessor Class

If you live within driving distance of Appleton, Wisconsin, you are invited to a twice-monthly class I will be teaching this fall, The Prophetic Intercessor.

We’re going to talk about all sorts of fun things — why intercessors tick the way we do, hitting the prayer bullseye (getting answers), understanding and increasing in prophetic revelation (including dreams), how to keep out of hot water with your pastor, spiritual warfare — what’s cool and what’s not, and intimacy with God.

The fall semester (6 sessions) begins Tuesday, September 21, 2010 and ends December 7.    We meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $10.00.

Interested?  E-mail Lee Ann at