Category Archives: Prayer warriors

Prayer — Let’s Not Complicate It!

prayerIf you have been following Out of the Fire for a while, you know I like to provide practical steps to effective prayer, hearing God, and the gifts of the Spirit. That’s because it’s how I personally like to learn. “Show me how! Give me the down-to-earth scoop on this!” My goal is to share principles from the Bible which make whatever aspect of the Christian life we’re talking about as easy to grasp as possible.

However, I don’t want these how-to steps to become some kind of methodology. They are guidelines, not rules. God is not about formulas. He wants us to develop ever-deepening relationship with Him — a growing hunger for the “more” He invites us into and an increasing awe of His infinitely beautiful nature.

In my last post, I talked about the self-help mentality which has invaded the Church. Since the fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, we’ve had a tendency to insist on doing things for ourselves, rather than depending on the Lord. The realm of prayer is not exempt from this error. We want a method which will give us answered prayer every time, where, if we input the right stuff, God will automatically spit out the desired response. We like having everything neatly boxed and wrapped, don’t we?

As a result, teachings keep arising which promise us that magic prayer bullet. We saw it with the extremes some Word of Faith people got into: “Say it, and it’s yours.” “If you speak the right Bible verses over your situation enough times and with unwavering faith, you’ll have what you need.” Many people slipped from having faith in Christ and His Word into trying to have faith in their own faith. When things didn’t happen as they had hoped, they either condemned themselves, became disillusioned with God, or walked away from believing He does miracles today. (This does not mean everything brought by the Word of Faith movement should be rejected. I am only speaking of extremes that some got off into.)

A rapidly spreading fad in charismatic circles is the “courts of heaven” teaching. It depends on formula, personal experiences, and shaky application of Scripture coming from an Old Covenant law mindset. The basic premise is that you must know how to present your case in a heavenly court room. The reason you haven’t been getting answers to prayer is because you weren’t aware of the legal court system in heaven, so you didn’t present your case correctly there. Therefore, the devil has a “legal right” to hinder your petitions. Buy the books, attend the conferences, and you will learn how to “navigate the courts” to receive answers. Voila! You have your magic prayer bullet.

Various teachings on how to get breakthroughs are nothing new. Trying to find the cure to unanswered prayer has probably been a concern since the Church’s inception. Over the decades, I’ve heard lots of teaching involving lists of multiple conditions we must fulfill and step-by-step formulas for how to attract God’s favor. At its core, it’s really all about works, isn’t it? We hasten to say we are saved by grace, not by works, but then we attempt to live out the Christian life (including prayer) in a totally works-based fashion.

Here’s a simple hint: When your prayers become about you doing/saying everything exactly right, rather than about Jesus’ unlimited ability and eagerness to help, something is radically wrong. When you become fearful that you might not get your answer because you didn’t fulfill a list of qualifications, this is bondage.

So, how should we pray to get answers?

1. We listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading. That starts with a lifestyle of filling ourselves with His written Word. It is His primary way of speaking with us. Even when we listen for His voice in our hearts (the other thing we want to cultivate), much of what we hear will be drawn from the Bible. The Holy Spirit loves to bring Scripture and Scripture principles to our remembrance.

Maybe you’re thinking, “But I don’t know my Bible very well yet.” Just start reading it now. Trust the Lord to still help you, even if you are weak in this area. He will be your teacher, and He’ll make up for your inadequacies.

2. Lay aside your concerns that you might fail at praying rightly. You will make mistakes and have some false starts here and there. That’s just life on earth. Prayer is something we continually grow better at, especially as we come to know the Lord more intimately. But we will never do it all perfectly. We will always need to depend upon Him.

Your heavenly Father is compassionate toward your limited understanding, your emotions, and your fears about the outcome. Pour it out to Him. You might start out with prayers which are less than faith-filled, but as you continue to come to Him, He will get you there. Remember, this is not all about you. It’s about how big and completely able the Lord is.

3. Expect God’s course correction and move with Him. He will show you new angles on how to pray in any given situation as you persist in coming to Him. He will correct any wrong direction you start out in and get you headed on the right course, as long as you stay open to His leading and don’t stubbornly resist Him.

4. Ask Him for His input. “How do You see this? How should I pray? Please guide me.” What a wonderful opener! We don’t tell Him how it’s got to be; we ask Him how it’s supposed to be. This is part of staying yielded to Him.

5. Pray in your prayer language. The Holy Spirit knows exactly how to intercede according to the Father’s heart, so even if your inclination on how to pray isn’t exactly right-on, you will still end up praying correctly as you pray in tongues. It is direct communication between your spirit and the Holy Spirit, without the human mind getting in the way. It opens you to a greater understanding of the need and God’s desired conclusion to it, so that you become better equipped to pray correctly in your native language, too. Praying in tongues also builds faith, according to Jude 20: But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.”

While we tend to complicate prayer, God does not. It is simply coming to Him, in all our inability, and asking Him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We bring Him our lack, our hope, and our trust. And we keep doing it. Psalm 62: 5, 8 says it best: My soul, wait only upon God, for my expectation is from Him. … Trust in Him at all times, you people. Pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us.”

If you would like to learn more about how to pray effectively, please take a look at the Article Series tab at the top of this site. You will find a wealth of info there. You might also find my books for intercessors (listed below) helpful.

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intercessor handbook

 

 

The Intercessor Manual,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

intercessory prayer

 

 

The Intercessor’s Companion,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

intercession, prayer

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Your Most Important Accomplishment (and an Announcement)

finishing the raceWe will fight many battles in this life and, with God’s help, win many victories, both for ourselves and for others. But the most important victory we will ever achieve is to finish our race well. This is about our character and learning to depend upon Jesus.

There will be those who accomplish mighty feats — prophecies which accurately come to pass, healings, deliverances, and miracles. These are rightfully impressive, but we must never forget what Jesus said:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? And in Your name have cast out devils? And in Your name done many wonderful works?” And then will I profess to them, “I never knew you: depart from Me, You who work iniquity.” — Matthew 7:21-23

In Matthew 24:13, Jesus also said, “But he who endures to the end, the same shall be saved.” Not, “He who does the most miracles,” not, “He who prophesies the best,” and not even, “He who wins the most souls.” Just, he who endures: staying faithful to the Lord, obeying Him, acting like Jesus would, and not denying Him when things get tough. To Jesus, enduring while keeping His testimony is far more important than anything else we do.

As the days we live in continue to darken, it is excellent to press in for miracles, to heal the sick, to set the captive free, to participate with Jesus in destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). But to faithfully confess His name right up until the end, testifying well of Him through a life of pure, Christ-like behavior — that is priority.

Don’t stop. Don’t grow weary in well-doing, including the well-doing of prayer. Keep your eyes always on Jesus, Who waits for you at the finish line, cheering you on. Finish well, with Jesus’ character so much a part of your inner fabric that, as you run your race, you leave His distinct aroma in your wake.

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God's promises are yes and amenUPDATE: After a two-year break, I am working on two new books. One is a Bible promise book, with all the promises from Genesis through Revelation. (This is something I have wanted for myself for a long time, but couldn’t find one done the way I had in mind.)

The plan is to do it in both the KJV and a modernized KJV (the same text without the thees and thous, with modern spellings and punctuation, but still completely faithful to the KJV, my favorite translation). I’m currently in the Psalms, which will take a while, I think. Just working on this book has been drawing me into the Lord’s Presence, and I hope it will do that for you, too!

The second project is a Christian dream interpretation book. If you are a regular reader at Out of the Fire, you know I write a lot about dreams and how God speaks to us through them. In the past year, Paul and I have presented several extensive dream workshops.

This new book will be much more detailed than the article series and even than the workshop materials. It will include a dream dictionary, which particularly emphasizes symbolic imagery found in the Bible. The dictionary will no doubt be the hardest part of the book to accomplish.

With the Lord’s help, I hope to have both projects completed sometime in 2020 or early 2021.

dream interpretation

 

If you want to learn a lot more about understanding your dreams now, we still offer our audio dream workshop, Hearing God Through Your Dreams, in mp3 or CD form at our website. I think you will enjoy it!

 

 

 

What About Contemplative Prayer? (Part 3)

Thus far, we’ve talked about two components of contemplative prayer: biblical meditation and quieting ourselves so that God can speak. I also mentioned conversational prayer — asking God questions and waiting for Him to answer.

Journaling is another important facet of contemplative prayer. What is journaling? The term means different things to different people. Those who are highly critical of contemplative prayer usually have no problem with recording prayer requests, Bible verses, and what they talked to the Lord about during their prayer time. But they stumble at the idea that God would actually speak to His people through an inner voice or vision — because they think He only speaks through the Bible. This viewpoint usually goes along with cessationism — the belief that once the Bible was written, all supernatural gifts such as healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc. ceased.

For believers who have not bought into the idea that God no longer speaks to us personally, recording whatever He says or shows us is a normal, healthy part of journaling. We expect and look forward to hearing from Him, and we love what He says enough to write it down.

Journaling what we believe God is speaking is not putting pen to paper and mindlessly letting the pen wander and write whatever it will, as several critics of contemplative prayer assert. That would definitely be an occult practice, much like using a Ouija board. Honestly, I have never encountered Christians who do this. You will hear journaling advocates speak of “letting your writing flow” as the Spirit interacts with you. Some testify of moments when the Holy Spirit gave them revelation so rapidly via writing that their thoughts could not keep up. But our minds should not be blanked out while we journal. We are not in a trance-like state. It’s just that at times the interaction between our spirit and the Holy Spirit is so accelerated that the mind has not quite caught up yet.

Journaling what God speaks was practiced by both Old and New Testament believers.

In 1 Chronicles 28:11-19, we are told that God Himself gave David the blueprint for the temple Solomon would one day build. David received the plan by sitting with the Lord and recording what God showed him. Verse 12 explains that he got “the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit.” In verse 19, David remarks, “All this … the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.”

In Habakkuk 2:1-3, we see an interaction between the prophet and the Lord:

I will stand upon my watch, and set myself upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. (Ahem. Contemplative prayer in action!)

And the LORD answered me and said, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it may tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come: it will not tarry.”

The apostle John was instructed by the Lord, “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter” (Revelation 1:19).

Journaling, including what we hear God say, is a time-honored practice among multitudes of Christians. As we have just seen, it is backed up by Scripture. Furthermore, sitting with the Lord with pen and paper in hand tells Him, “I am serious about hearing from You, Lord, and I value what You say to me so much that I will write it down. I want to cherish Your words in days to come.” When we demonstrate that attitude, He often responds by speaking.

In our final post, we will recap what is acceptable contemplative prayer procedure and what is not. I will also mention a couple more practices which I believe we should not indulge in.

Contemplative Prayer (Part 1) — Meditation
Contemplative Prayer (Part 2) — Listening to God
Next — Part 4, Conclusion

inner peace

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

names of God, KJV

 

The Names of God,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

What About Contemplative Prayer? (Part 2)

In our last post, we saw that contemplative prayer incorporates meditation — on the Lord Himself, on His Word, and on the things He does. We discovered that meditation involves not only pondering these things, but also dialoguing with the Lord about any questions we have.

Another aspect of contemplative prayer is quieting our lips and minds so that God can speak to us. In Psalm 46:10, the Lord instructs us, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We need to calm down in our thoughts, so that the Holy Spirit can speak to our spirit. He may do that through words or visions (pictures He impresses upon our spirit).

Because a few Christians have gotten off into doing unbiblical stuff, the part of contemplative prayer which involves being quiet before the Lord has caused fear, and therefore criticism, among some believers. This is really a case of “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

Eastern religious practices involve using breathing and relaxation techniques to bring the mind into emptiness or an altered state, so that one can receive “revelation.” That’s exactly what we don’t want to do. God did not create our minds to be left empty and open to whatever.

The only altered state of mind we should actively seek is mentioned in these two verses:

Romans 12:2“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.”  (“Stayed on You” means to be focused, or fastened, on the Lord.)

We don’t need special relaxation exercises in order to become calm enough to hear God. Getting quiet before the Lord is a bit of a discipline, but only in the sense that if our minds are distracted or wandering, we keep “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Here are some biblical ways to quiet yourself so God can speak:

  1. Meditate on one of those three things we already mentionedthe Lord, His Word, or His mighty acts.
  2. Read a passage in the Bible. Then wait for Him to talk to you about it. This is God’s “breathing technique.” 2 Timothy 3:16 literally says, “All Scripture is God-breathed….” Let Him do the breathing, not you!
  3. Worship — actively. You can also play worship music in the background to help sense His presence with you, but keep it soft enough so that it won’t distract you.
  4. Invite Him to speak. “What’s on Your heart today, Lord?”
  5. Ask the Lord a question; give Him time to answer. “How do You see this?” “What do You want me to do?”
  6. Pray softly in tongues. Keep your spiritual ears tuned to hear Him while you pray.

When we quiet ourselves before the Lord, although we should want to hear Him speak, there will be times when He does not say or reveal anything. We can still enjoy just being with Him. His Presence is enough. Indeed, lovers often spend time together without needing to say anything. It is the same between us and the Lord. Our primary goal should not be to receive revelation from Him, but simply to be near Him.

Next time we will talk about journaling as a part of contemplative prayer.

Contemplative Prayer (Part 1, Biblical Meditation)

Next: Part 3, Journaling 

intercessor handbook, prophetic intercession

 

 

The Intercessor Manual,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

prophetic intercession

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

What About Contemplative Prayer? (Part 1)

contemplative prayerI’ve sometimes been asked whether contemplative prayer is OK to practice. A few Christian teachers have condemned it as occult, with strange claims of what they think is going on. In this series, we’ll examine what contemplative prayer is, whether it is biblical, and what isn’t all right to do.

You may be asking, “What in the world is contemplative prayer? I’ve never even heard of it!” In a nutshell, it is getting quiet before the Lord, giving Him time to speak, rather than doing all the talking about whatever is on your heart or mind. “Soaking prayer, “meditative prayer,” “practicing the presence of God,” and “basking in the Lord’s presence” are alternative terms meaning basically the same thing.

People who fear contemplative prayer usually are convinced that Eastern religious practices are being implemented. Some of their concern stems from hearing of extremes. You will always have some folks who mix what is biblical with strange, out-of-bounds practices. While we can’t prevent others from going off in weird places, neither should we let their behavior deprive us of a truly viable form of prayer.

Let’s start by talking about a buzz word for those who fear contemplative prayer: meditation. Meditation is part of both Christian and pagan practices. Whether it is legitimate depends on what you are doing.

The Bible talks about meditation. When Isaac first met Rebekah, he was spending the evening hour in a field meditating (Genesis 24:63). The Hebrew word translated “meditate” there means to muse or be thoughtful. Some translations say Isaac was thinking; some say he was praying. It was probably a mixture of the two. He was waiting expectantly for the household steward to return home from a far country with a bride for him, but there was a possibility that he would show up empty-handed! No doubt Isaac had many hopes and concerns, which he was bringing before the Lord.

I spend a lot of prayer time “thinking before the Lord.” I also ask Him questions about things I wonder about. I invite Him to give me inspiration or understanding. Conversation with the Lord is a part of contemplative, or meditative, prayer.

The Bible speaks of three things we are supposed to meditate upon:

  • The Lord Himself
  • The Word of God
  • The Lord’s mighty works.

Meditating on the Lord:

… My mouth shall praise You with joyful lips when I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches. — Psalm 63:5, 6

My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD. — Psalm 104:34

The word for meditation in Psalm 63:6 means to murmur, ponder, mutter, study, and utter, while the word used in Psalm 104:34 means contemplation (hence, “contemplative” prayer).

Meditating on the Lord means to think about His nature — His character attributes, His majesty, His goodness, His beauty. A great way to do this is by finding His names in the Bible, because He uses these to reveal Himself to us. Pick a name of God and think on it. Ask God to remind you of stories in the Bible which illustrate that particular character quality — His mercy, truthfulness, or faithfulness, for example.

See my webpage, The Names of God, for a free alphabetical listing of more than six hundred names of God as found in the KJV Bible. If you would like the list with their Bible references, I have that as an inexpensive book for you as well.

Meditating on His Word:

This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. You shall meditate in it day and night, so that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.Joshua 1:8

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2

My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I might meditate in Your word.Psalm 119:148

In Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:2, the word for meditate is the same one used in Psalm 63:6, meaning to murmur, ponder, mutter, study, and utter. So, this includes not only thinking on the Scriptures, but speaking them.

In Psalm 119:148, “meditate” means to ponder, converse, commune, utter, pray, and muse. Here, we are taught not only to speak and think about a verse or passage of Scripture, but to pray it, dialoguing with the Lord about it.

Meditating on God’s Word is an important part of contemplative prayer. If you’ve never practiced it, my article, How to Meditate on God’s Word will help you. I have been so blessed in doing this. It is a guaranteed way of hearing from the Lord and increasing your spiritual understanding.

Meditating on the Lord’s works:

I will meditate also of all Your work, and talk of Your doings.Psalm 77:12

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.Psalm 119:99

I remember the days of old: I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.Psalm 143:5

Again, in Psalm 77:12 and 143:5, the Hebrew word for meditation means to murmur, ponder, mutter, study, and utter. In Psalm 119:99, it means devoted reflection, meditation, and prayer.

Thus far, we see that meditation is a God-pleasing part of contemplative prayer. Next time, we’ll look at another biblical component — quietly waiting in God’s Presence.

Contemplative Prayer (Part 2, Listening to God)

interecessor training

 

 

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

intercessor training

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

God’s Wisdom and You (Part 2)

spiritual wisdomDaniel answered and said, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His. He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings, and sets up kings.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding; He reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.

I thank You, and praise You, O God of my fathers, Who has given me wisdom and might, and has made known to me now what we desired of You….”
— Daniel 2:20-23

In our last post, we began looking at what this passage teaches us about living prophetically. We talked about God’s desire to transfer to us the wisdom and might He possesses. We also saw that God is the changer of times and seasons in our lives and how being aware of that helps us to flourish. Let’s continue.

He gives wisdom and understanding to those who already have it.

Remember the parable Jesus told of the ten pounds, in Luke 19:11-26? A rich man entrusted equal amounts of money to each of ten servants, intending that they would gain more through investing. They accomplished varying levels of increase, but one man did nothing with the money he had been given. He just hid it. His master was angry, and gave a surprising directive:

He said to those who stood by, “Take from him the pound, and give it to him who has ten pounds.”

The other servants objected, “Lord, he already has ten pounds!”  

The master answered, “I say to you, that to everyone who has shall be given; and he who has not, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (verses 24-26).

Things work a lot differently in God’s kingdom than we might expect. The Lord wants to give more to those who appreciate what He has already given them. If you are a child of God, you have an open offer of wisdom from Him. He promises it to us in many places in the Bible. If you value wisdom, you will seek Him for more — because we never have all we could have. He will gladly give it, for “… He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

If you don’t value wisdom, you’ll be lackadaisical about seeking it — and your contentment to stay at your present level will hinder you from receiving all the wisdom and understanding God really desired for you to have (which is much more than you currently possess). We can never have too much wisdom, so go after the Lord for more. He’ll be happy to give it to you.

He reveals the deep and secret things to those who want to know.

This goes along with our previous point. God’s secrets aren’t reserved for a few hotshot prophets. He will share them with anyone who is serious about being His friend — whoever takes time to read His Word and ask Him about it; whoever inquires, “”What’s on Your heart, Lord? I want to know Your concerns. What do You want to talk about?” (and then listens for His response).

“… His secret is with the righteous.”Proverbs 3:32

“The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him…”Psalm 25:14

You are righteous in Christ. You qualify to hear His secrets. He loves sharing them with you.

He knows what’s going on in darkness, and light dwells with Him.

In context, “He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him” is continuing to speak of God drawing out the deep and secret things and revealing them to us. However, I see an additional application we can make.

Recently, I was upset about a wacky teaching an influential prophet was disseminating. (Praying for the American Church is a major focus of mine, so when I see error going on, it really bothers me.) But the Lord reminded me from Daniel 2:22 that He is very aware of what is going on, and I can leave it to Him. I don’t have to get worked up about the dark things. Instead, He wants me to fasten my attention on Him, to lift my eyes to where He is, in the light. In due time, He will take care of it, just as He says about the tares and wheat in Matthew 13:24-30. I can pray for the Church to be delivered from deception, but I should do it from the place of gazing on the Lord of light, not fuming about the stuff of darkness. It changed my perspective, for sure!

If we’re going to be overcomers in our tumultuous times, we must refuse to focus on the darkness around us, get our eyes on the Lord, and have confidence that He is on top of things.

Let’s sum up the lessons we can learn from Daniel 2:20-23:

1. Believe that the Lord delights to impart His wisdom and understanding to you. Seek Him for more of it.

2. Ask Him to share His deep secrets with you, because He wants to.

3. Don’t focus on the darkness. Instead, keep your eyes on Jesus, in the light.

4. When life seems to be shifting uncomfortably, remember that He is the One Who changes times and seasons. Stay close to Him, and move with Him.

By doing these things, we stay safe in His care while growing in His wisdom and knowledge.

prophetic teaching

 

Growing in the Prophetic,
Audio Teaching by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

prophetic gift

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

God’s Wisdom and You (Part 1)

spiritual wisdom Daniel answered and said, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His. He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings, and sets up kings.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding; He reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.

I thank You, and praise You, O God of my fathers, Who has given me wisdom and might, and has made known to me now what we desired of You….”

— Daniel 2:20-23

Daniel was giving thanks to the Lord for revealing to him Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation. Less familiar portions of the Bible can have gold nuggets hidden in them, and so it is here. There’s a lot of treasure for prophetic people in this short passage, so let’s take a look at what God has for us.

God desires to share His wisdom with us.

Daniel starts out by extolling God for His wisdom and might. He mentions that these two qualities belong to the Lord: they are His. He ends with thanking and praising the Lord, “Who has given me wisdom and might.”

Isn’t it amazing that the Lord of the whole universe delights to bestow on us what He possesses? Paul says in Romans 8:32, “He Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” He also stated, in 1 Corinthians 3:21, 22, “…All things are yours, whether … the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours.” We so easily take the gifts of God for granted, but if we would think about them more deeply, our hearts would be inspired to overwhelming awe.

All true wisdom originates with the Lord. We cannot get it anywhere else. We should not even attempt to glean wisdom from so-called wise men who do not worship the true God, nor should we attempt to use their techniques for achieving peace or revelation. In Christ alone “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Furthermore, “Beware, so that no one spoils you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:8, 9).

Now, the Holy Spirit might enlighten us to a portion of His wisdom through another person. He does that through sermons, godly counsel, and the word gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. We should also expect to receive wisdom directly from the Lord. But there is no other source of wisdom besides Him, and we get ourselves into a mess of deception if we go looking for it outside of Him. We can have confidence that, if we ask Him, He will be eager to give it, because He has already promised, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all men liberally and does not upbraid [reproach], and it shall be given to him” (James 1:5).

God changes the times and seasons.

Whether it is what is going on in our personal lives, or in our nation and the world, we need to stay keenly aware that God has specific times and seasons for things. When His season is up, He moves on. We must stay attuned to Him, so that we don’t miss His shifts from one thing into another. When He is breathing life into something, it continues, increases, and thrives. But when He is done with it, it’s dead. You can enthusiastically kick that horse all you want, but without the Lord’s life in it, it’s not going anywhere.

Most of us like staying put in what is familiar. Change is disconcerting. Jesus commented on this tendency, when He likened the old and new covenants to wineskins. He said, “No man also having drunk old wine immediately desires new: for he says, ‘The old is better’” (Luke 5:39).

When upheaval is happening in our personal lives or in the nation or world, it is often because God is preparing a new thing. If we understand this, we will not let what we observe in the natural make us afraid. Keep your eyes on Jesus, Who does all things well (Mark 7:37), and be ready to move with Him — even quickly. There is blessing for the person who is open to the new works of God.

Lately I have been praying, “Lord, help me to recognize when You are shifting the seasons, give me Your understanding of how to respond, and help me to keep up with You!”

There are a few more lessons we can learn from Daniel 2:20-23. We’ll continue with them next time.

God’s Wisdom and You (Part 2) 

intercessor manual, intercessor handbook

 

 

The Intercessor Manual,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

prophetic teaching

 

 

Growing in the Prophetic,
audio set by Lee Ann Rubsam