Category Archives: Prophetic movement

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)

King of the Kingdom

I love the church family I am a part of.  We are passionate about building the Kingdom of God with Jesus.  We love His prophetic revelation.  We diligently press in to see the miraculous – the healings and signs and wonders that Jesus promised His Church.  We have a great desire to see those who do not yet know Jesus come to Him.  We want to see our city, state, and nation transformed into the holy habitation of the Lord.

But more than loving the Kingdom, we love the King.  Jesus is first; in fact, He is all.  Without Him being all-in-all, there is no purpose in establishing the Kingdom.  The manifestations of God’s power and presence are wonderful, but they are just outward signs of what is most important – Jesus.  And if we focus on what God does more than Who He is, it is easy to get off in weird places.

Human beings are prone to getting caught up in side issues, and even God’s people fall into that trap.  We tend to focus on the how-to of where we are going and sometimes lose track of the destination.  The destination is Jesus.  The Ephesian Church in Revelation 2:2-4 were doing all the right things.  They were laboring for souls, living holy lives, advancing God’s Kingdom.  But somewhere along the line they got caught up in “doing the stuff” for Him and shifted their love from Jesus to the stuff they were doing.  The Lord had to tell them to repent; they had left their first love – Jesus.

The Lord has been speaking to me about His desire to bring His Church back into focusing on Himself.  One of the Scriptures that keeps running through my mind is 1 Corinthians 2:2: “For I determined not to know anything among you, except for Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”  It’s got to be all about Him and His complete triumph at the cross, or it isn’t worth a straw.

Wherever and whoever you are, put Jesus before everything else.  If you have inadvertently gotten your focus onto anything other than Him, come on back into having Him central.  “Your Kingdom come; Your will be done” – yes!  But remember that the King is the whole reason for the Kingdom.  Be consumed with Him above everything else.

2010: The Year of Measurement (Part 2)

Yesterday I talked about the season we have endured in 2010 — “The Year of Measurement.”  I sense that we may continue in this season for a while yet.  But God has some things to say about how to make it through successfully.

The temptation to run from our relational alignments, God-given assignments, and even geographical locations is common to many of us right now.  Sometimes knowing that others are going through the same thing — knowing that we are not alone — is all that we need to help us hold steady.

“Stand firm and hold fast” is what I feel God is saying in this hour.  How do we do that?  How do we come through into better times?

Strengthening our God-given relationships and committing to them — through thick or thin, no matter what — is a key strategy to get us through.  Those relationships are going to be important in the days ahead.  If God is the One Who connected us into these relationships in the first place, He has purpose in them.  The spiritual battle to retain them is very real; the enemy will provide all sorts of plausible reasons for why the bond is no longer valid.  Don’t listen to that stuff!

What kind of relationships am I talking about?  Family, friends, and even work associations, yes.  But one of the key relationships to protect is your alignment with your spiritual covering, whether this is an apostle, pastor, or other spiritual mentor.  Don’t let yourself become offended with him or her.  Dividing us from our spiritual leadership is one of Satan’s most effective tactics to render us ineffective.  In God’s order, anointings and authority flow downward through His designated leadership into the church body.  Without healthy connection to that leadership, we cut ourselves off from God’s flow.  Staying aligned with God is not possible for those who refuse to stay aligned with the leadership He has placed them under.

It is also important to keep our horizontal (peer-level) relationships in the Body of Christ in good working order.  There is no place for offense among us, if we are to be the Church of power and light that we are meant by God to be.

Above all, stay aligned with God by persevering in what He has already spoken to you, both in His Word and by personal revelation.  Here are five ways to hold yourself steady:

1.)  Wait and trust.  You’ve heard the expression, “The darkest hour is right before the dawn.”  It’s true!  Just about the time you decide to give up and do something that takes you in a direction away from what God has spoken to you, He’ll show up, just as He said.  King Saul found this out, much to his undoing (1 Samuel 13:5-15).

2.)  Stand firm in the original vision — what God has said from the beginning.  You may not have interpreted every detail right along the way, but if you look back over a period of time, usually you will find a theme or thread in what God has been speaking to you, and it has stayed the same over time.  God is not fickle in what He speaks.  Stick with what He has spoken.

3.)  Don’t second-guess what God has clearly said.  From the Garden of Eden to the present, Satan’s ploy to derail God’s plan for our lives has been to ask the question, “Did God really say … ?”  He does that primarily by throwing circumstances in the way that do not seem to line up with the promise God has given, and then injecting doubts into our mind that the circumstances seem to confirm.

4.)  Speak the same things God has spoken — in your thoughts and aloud.  Don’t align your mind and mouth with how the situation currently looks; align yourself with God’s word to you.  Speaking things that do not line up with what God has promised causes unnecessary fear, doubt, and discouragement for you and for those who hear you.   If you have already done this, it is not the end of the world, however.  Repent and realign yourself with the Lord’s word.  He can still bring you into all that He has said.

5.)  Believe in God’s suddenlies.  Many times we become discouraged because we can’t see a steady progression toward a promise’s fulfillment.  We may even feel, at times, that life is moving us away from where God has said we are supposed to be going.  We humans tend to think in terms of moving forward at a uniform rate of speed.  God doesn’t work that way.  He is the God of Suddenlies.  He is constantly working toward His goal for us, but most of the time it cannot be seen on the surface.  When the hour is darkest, know that God can, and most likely will, turn everything around suddenly and unexpectedly.

As we enter into this new year, let me encourage you to stand firm and hold fast.  The season of measurement will not last forever.  It is merely a time of preparation for the glorious future God has in store.  Ahead is an explosion of His miraculous goodness upon the earth, with an influx of millions of souls into His Kingdom.

May Jesus be honored and glorified in us, as we await the unfolding of His plan. 

Previous: (Part 1)

2010: The Year of Measurement (Part 1)

In recent weeks I have been reflecting on this past year, as many of you have been.  It’s been a hard year for me spiritually and emotionally.  Relationships, commitments, ability to communicate the word of the Lord clearly — all have been tested.  And I felt the Lord’s prodding to look up what 10 means in biblical symbolism.  It means measurementAnd the Lord  began to speak to me that 2010 is “The Year of Measurement.”

As I prayed and pondered this subject, I began to understand that the measurement God’s people are currently experiencing is coming from three sources — God, the enemy of our souls, and man.  The reason?  We are in a season of intense preparation for what is about to unfold in America, and perhaps across the world. 

God has been testing and measuring us to strengthen us, so that we might be well able to step into our future and carry out His plans successfully.  He wants to make sure we are made of the right stuff — and if we are not there yet, by the present trials He seeks to draw us near to Himself and to give us opportunity to make the necessary adjustments.  He will point out to us what those adjustments are, as we stay close to Him.

This is a season when He is calling us back into deeper prayer.  He is getting ready to appoint each of us to the position we are intended to hold in His plan — but we must have a pure heart and renewed sensitivity to His direction if we are to carry out our appointment victoriously.

The enemy also knows what is on the horizon, and he is measuring us for weaknesses — for chinks in our armor — to see if he can stop us from entering into what God has for us in the coming days.  He wants to push us to the edge, so that we throw in the towel and miss God’s best plan for us.  Discouragement, wounded relationships and resulting offense-holding,  weariness because our prophetic words and personal promises are taking so long to manifest in the natural — these are some of the tools Satan uses to poke and prod as he measures us.

Then there is the measurement of man.  Many of you have done your best, but the results have not lined up very well.   You have walked in integrity and faithfulness of heart, moving with Holy Spirit to the very best of your ability, yet ill motives have been ascribed to you by some, communication breakdowns have been frequent, and missteps have occurred in your relationships.  You may have said, as I have, “Lord, I know that all is well between You and me, but I feel that in the eyes of men I have been measured and found wanting.”  You know that you have God’s favor, but the favor of man seems to be a distant memory.

Part of what has been going on is that both we and the people we are connected with are being measured by the enemy.   It is almost as if there is a communication scrambler standing between us and some of those whom we relate to.  What we say is not what they hear, and vice versa.  They (or we) put hidden meanings on the words written or spoken — twisted meanings that were never intended.  It is a time to be extra cautious about assuming what the motives are behind others’ words, stay calm, and ask for clarification.   We must be patient with each other, and when frictions occur, tell ourselves, “This is nothing more than Satan trying to wreck a great relationship.”

Due to the intense measuring that has been going on, many of us have felt an inner disgust, even panic, that has tempted us  to run from our relationships and alignments, from our God-given assignments, and even to pull up stakes and move geographically for no other reason than to get a completely fresh start.  Be careful not to make such moves without God’s unmistakably clear voice in the matter. 

In Part 2, I will talk about what God would have us do in 2011 to come through this time of measurement successfully. 

Next: 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!