Category Archives: Spirit-filled

Prophesy in Sync with God’s Heart (Part 2)

In our last post, we talked about applying the love test to our prophetic words. God’s nature is love, so if our prophetic words fit the love criterion, we are doing well. Love by itself is not the whole picture, however.

Hearing God’s voice correctly also depends on becoming intimately acquainted with His nature in all its aspects — His holiness, justice, truth, mercy, faithfulness, and goodness, to name a few. He is our Redeemer, Healer, Restorer, Comforter, Deliverer, and Hope-Giver. While God is love, He is  also our Judge and Purifier.

How do we come to the place of understanding God’s nature so that it will influence our hearing and releasing of prophetic words?

We familiarize ourselves with God’s names in the Bible.

He deliberately reveals His nature through His names. Why? Because they help us to know Him. Here are just a few:

  • Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11)
  • Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23)
  • Refuge from the storm (Isaiah 25:4)
  • He Who is able to keep you from falling (Jude 24)
  • A high priest of good things to come (Hebrews 9:11)
  • God of hope (Romans 15:13)
  • My goodness (Psalm 144:2)
  • God of patience and consolation (Romans 15:5)

Study and meditate on His names to become better acquainted with His nature. I have a free list to help you get started and a book with even more names (and their Bible references) at my website.

We learn about His nature through His actions in the Bible.

His names often show up in the context of what was going on when He mentioned them. We see how He related to people back then, and it gives us confidence for what He will do in our day, too.

Absorb as much of the Bible as you possibly can. As you do, you will become more familiar with Who God is — how He thinks, acts, and speaks. I sometimes pray before reading my Bible, “Lord, put this living Word deep down inside of me, and let it birth Your life in me.”

Isaiah 55:8, 9 tells us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” I’ve often heard this Scripture misused to say we cannot possibly understand or think the thoughts of God, so we might as well forget even trying.

But the truth is, although God’s thinking is indeed higher than our natural reasoning, we can tap into His thoughts, conform to them, and begin to increasingly think like He does! If it were not so, why did the apostle Paul say, “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16), and“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5)? Accurate prophecy requires that  our thinking be pulled up higher, to come in line with His thinking.

We learn about His nature through His personal dealings with us.

As we gain experience of His faithfulness, we gain confidence that He can be trusted. I used to have a fear that God would tell me something good and then yank that promise away — sort of a bait and switch tactic. Looking back on it now, I see how foolish my mindset was. I have learned that the promises in His Word are true. I have seen Him bring me through dark times, when it looked like His promises had failed, into their fulfillment. The “failed” promises hadn’t failed at all. They were only delayed to a later date than my expectation dictated.

In our last post, I gave you four questions, revolving around our love motivation, for assessing whether a prophetic word is ready and appropriate to release to others.

Let’s add another question to the list: Is my prophetic word in harmony with God’s nature? If it can’t pass this test, something is off. It’s time to go back to the Lord for clarification.

Pursue understanding the Lord’s nature. As you grasp more fully Who He is and how He acts, what you hear (and how you release that word) will become a greater blessing to His people than ever before.

Part 1

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The Dream Book: A Practical Guide to Christian Dream Interpretation, by Lee Ann Rubsam

Rated 5-Stars at Readers’ Favorite! — See Review

 

nature of God

 

 

Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

names of God

 

 

The Names of God, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Prophesy in Sync with God’s Heart (Part 1)

We all want to prophesy accurately — to deliver the true word of the Lord. Yet, sometimes we don’t carry it off as we ought to. Why is that? 

1 Corinthians 13:1, 2 clues us in to one of the major reasons prophecy can go awry:  

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and do not have love, I am like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and do not have love, I am nothing.

It’s a relatively simple self-check: Is what I am giving forth exhibiting God’s love? If not, the word doesn’t produce the fruit it should. Notice that these two verses are not speaking of counterfeit prophetic gifts. They are written to those who really do have something from the Lord to share.

Many people are releasing prophetic revelation these days. And that’s as it should be, for on the Day of Pentecost, Peter said, 

But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”Acts 2:16-18

We are deeper into the last days than the Church was at the time of that first outpouring. We should expect many people to receive revelation. It has been promised.

Yet, some of the words currently being shared cause fear or confusion in the Body of Christ. It is hard to sift through it all and know who or how much to believe! Part of the problem is that prophets are not always applying the love filter. There are other issues to consider as well, but measuring prophecy with the litmus test of love is a good place to start.

Here’s a checklist to help you discern whether your prophetic revelation is ready to release to others:

Will my word create fear or a godly response?

Sometimes the revelation itself is accurate, but how we project it produces a negative result in people. In the Bible, even when the prophets spoke of dire things coming upon the people of God, there was a redemptive message attached: “Repent and you won’t have to go through this,” or, “I will be with you during it all, and I will bring you out into a better place,” or, “I will keep you safe through the calamity.” God does not give a prophetic word which creates hopelessness in His people.

Is my prophetic word colored by a personal ax I have to grind?

If I am upset or bitter in my heart toward the person, church, leaders, or group I am addressing, the prophetic words I give to them are going to be tainted. It’s hard to pass the love test when we’re judgy or angry toward the people we are prophesying to. That attitude will leak out and either wound or infect our listeners.

Is my prophetic word mixed with my opinion?

Political leanings, doctrinal persuasions, and personal desires can really mess with us. It’s amazing what we can come up with as “God said,” based on opinions or how we hope something will turn out. Furthermore, our opinions sometimes end up squashing fellow believers. 

Am I putting the best interests of others ahead of myself when I prophesy?

This covers a lot of territory. Romans 12:10 tells us, Be kindly affectionate toward each other with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another.” Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through strife [some translations say ‘selfish ambition’] or vanity, but in lowliness of mind, let each of you esteem others better than yourself.”

 Is it all about me having the most sensational word out there? Getting the “likes” or followers? Being able to say, “I had that word first?” Do I get pushy about giving a word? Do I interrupt the flow of my local church service to share my revelation? None of these behaviors pass the love test.

Looking at how our prophetic words measure on the love meter is a good place to begin growing in greater accuracy and effectiveness. We will look at some other factors in coming posts.

Part 2

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dream interpretation

 

The Dream Book: A Practical Guide to Christian Dream Interpretation

Amazon    Apple Books    Barnes & Noble    Kobo    Smashwords

 

 

personal prophecy

 

 

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

 

 

To Hope, or Not to Hope ….

It’s easy to lose our grasp on hope with all the turmoil going on these days. To make it even worse, prophets of doom are currently showing up in hordes, saying, “I dreamed,” or, “I saw,” — “and it is going to be really BAD.”  Each new revelation seems to be more sensationally awful than the last! Between what we can all see with our own eyes and what these prophets — accurate or not — are saying, many of the saints are becoming increasingly fearful and despairing. Some intercede from a place of panic; some run to stockpile food, guns, and ammo; some have just given up entirely. None of these responses are what God intends for His Church.

No matter whether fearful things are ahead or not (and yes, we most likely will go through more difficult days for a while), the Lord wants to fill His people with hope. Did you know that one of the names God gives Himself in the Bible is “The God of Hope”?

Take a look at Romans 15:13: “Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Because hope is part of God’s nature, He wants to impart it to us. The Holy Spirit dwells inside of us, so as we look to Him, we can be filled to overflowing with His hope-nature, which also leads to inner joy and peace.

But, what can we be hopeful about? Both our short- and long-term future. Our greatest hope lies in our eternal destiny to be with Jesus always. He wants us to take comfort in His promise that He will return for us. Savor His promises once again. We must not forget, minimize, or let go of them:

In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.John 14:2, 3

For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17

“That where I am, you may be also.” “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” These are some of my favorite words. They are our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). 1 Thessalonians 4:18 concludes, “So comfort one another with these words.”

The Rapture — Jesus’ return to catch us away, so that we can be always by His side — has come under great attack, even from within the Church. Don’t let scoffers steal your hope through their ignorance and unbelief. Your destiny is not bound to this earth alone, so don’t let them anchor  your attention too firmly on this world. Our greatest hope still lies in our eternal future.

Now, that said, God also wants us to have hope for our remaining time here on earth. We shouldn’t give up and think nothing good can happen until we are lifted out of here. Psalm 27: 13, 14 says, “I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart….”

God knows that we need to see His goodness poured out upon us in this life. Do you need healing? Deliverance from some difficulty? Restoration of a relationship? Are you praying for loved ones to be saved? Do you desire to see your entire nation brought to God? Pray confidently for the answers you long for. “Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).

This is not the time to give up on earth and do nothing while we wait for the Lord. Did He not say, “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13)? While we are here, the Lord asks that we pray, speak, and act as His ambassadors, expecting to make a difference for the better.

Let’s end with one more word on hope, from Psalm 42:5: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help [in Hebrew, Yeshuah] of His countenance.”

Keep secure hold of your hope. The all-powerful God is the source of it, and He will not disappoint you.

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names of God

 

The Names of God,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

KJV Bible encouragement

 

 

Encouragement from God’s Word,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

inner peace

 

 

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

 

 

Are You Influenced by the Political Spirit?

I’ve been concerned for quite some time about the influence of the political spirit upon Christians. While it is most easily seen during election years, it rears its ugly head at various other times as well. It’s currently surfacing a lot in opinions about the Covid-19 crisis, but it shows up in other discussions too, such as immigration or social justice.

This post is sort of a “Part Two.” Discerning the Political Spirit, written a couple of years ago, acts as my “Part One.” That post explains a lot about the political spirit. Today’s post goes on from there.

Here are some ways the political spirit affects people, including believers:

It causes us to be hardhearted.

Ephesians 4:32 tells us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted….” The political spirit causes us to put our “convictions” ahead of kindness and tenderness. Mercy and compassion take a lesser place, because being right becomes paramount. Often those convictions are not biblical principles at all, but opinions we have absorbed from various secular sources with a political agenda behind them. When we take in enough of them, they become part of our worldview. We might think that worldview is unquestionably biblical, because we’ve heard influential Christian leaders speak the same things — but that could be because those leaders have unwittingly become influenced by the political spirit as well.

An example of how this plays out can be seen with the current controversy over how the Covid-19 crisis should be addressed. We hear a great deal of talk about constitutional rights. Preserving constitutional rights is important. However, if we forget that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are for everyone, not just self, it could be a sign that we’re influenced by not only selfishness, but the political spirit. When one’s own rights and wants become more important than caring for the welfare of others, we’re missing the second great commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

It polarizes people.

We should never get sucked into a false unity. Light and darkness cannot mix. However, the political spirit will cause unrighteous (and unnecessary!) division between believers. Factions form. Paul attempted to correct this attitude in the Corinthian Church:

Now I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you…. For it has been declared to me … that there are contentions among you. …You say, “I am of Paul,” and “I am of Apollos,” and “I am of Cephas,” and “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? …. (1 Corinthians 1:10-13).

We see this every day, from arguments about governmental policies to theological disputes on matters which aren’t about foundations of the faith.

It promotes finger-pointing.

The devil is “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10). Unfortunately, too often we cooperate with him! Mudslinging is part of political campaigns, and the political spirit will lead you into that behavior in other arenas too. It has a lot to do with those convictions I mentioned earlier, which are really only opinions.

It fosters pride.

This goes along quite nicely with finger-pointing. We feel so strongly about our position that we assume everyone who doesn’t see it the way we do is less spiritual, asleep at their post, or just plain stupid.

Could it be that those of a different opinion are seeing from an angle we have not yet considered? Can their perspective and mine dovetail together for a more complete picture of the truth? The political spirit attempts to blind us to such possibilities.

It diverts us from Christ and the Gospel.

The political spirit sidetracks us onto temporary tangents, consuming our thoughts with current events which have little to no bearing on eternal matters. We become earth-bound, consumed with anxieties over what will happen if “our side” does not carry the day. Jesus is not mentioned very much anymore. Sharing the “good news” of our viewpoint takes the place of sharing the good news of the cross.

In his book, The Discerner, James Goll comments,

Particularly in these days of instant social messaging, we need to be alert to the influence of the political spirit around us. We have to work hard to keep our focus on God and not on the troubling and divisive contemporary issues unfolding around us, lest we react to them by joining the toxic fray, rather than being part of the solution. While we should fulfill our civic responsibilities and keep a level head while participating in our representative government, the best thing we can do is to pray and intercede in order to break the power of the demonic political spirit that causes divisions, animosity, and strife.(1)

How do we break the power of the political spirit off of our minds?

1. The first step is recognizing its influence over us.

2. We repent and renounce it, asking the Lord to deliver us from it.

3. We determine to, once again, “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1, 2). That might require more time reading the Bible and less time reading or listening to the ideas of men.

The Lord will free us, if we ask. He will also help us know where to put our energies in the future. He will give us the wisdom we need to escape the deceptions of the political spirit.

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(1)  James W. Goll, The Discerner (New Kengsington, PA: Whitaker House, 2017), p. 148.

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inner peace

 

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

 

 

 

character education, Bible study

 

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus,
by Lee Ann Rubsam
(Bible character education study for adults and teens)

 

Knowing God’s Heart in Troubling Times

Annie OakleyIn recent weeks, I have been seeking the Lord for greater sensitivity to Him. I’ve been asking for an opening up of my spiritual senses (especially my seeing capacity), so that I can understand His heavenly perspective and be able to better discern what is of the Lord and what is not. I’d like to share with you what He has been speaking to me as an outflow of that prayer.

“The seers will see and know how to pray.” It’s interesting to me that the Lord singled out the seers, since the hearing gift is more dominant  in my life. Those of us who are primarily hearers or feelers (those who perceive God’s direction more by a deep knowing inside than by either hearing or seeing) can also draw on the Spirit’s promptings for prayer direction. But I also know that when I see something, it nails it more concisely for me. I am more sure of what I am receiving. Seeing is not superior to the other spiritual senses, but I believe God does want all of us to see more than we do. We should not be content with only using some of our spiritual senses. Therefore, I will be pursuing Him for more seeing.

intercessor handbookThe Lord mentioned that we would know how to pray by what we see. Seeing, hearing, and other forms of receiving are not just so we can have something spectacular to talk about. They are given for specific purposes, and a big one is so that we can pray accurately and receive answers. This is why I used Annie Oakley’s picture on the front of my book, The Intercessor Manual. Annie was a sharpshooter, and that should be our goal in prayer as well — to hit our targets as quickly and cleanly as possible.

Probably all of us still have moments when we aren’t sure how to pray, when we take some stabs in the dark. Because He knows our frailties and our limited understanding, God still answers many of those petitions, but the more we gain sharpshooter intercession skills, the less time we spend needlessly wearing ourselves out as we try to find our way in prayer. Honing our skills comes through listening to the Lord, which brings me to the next point.

God wants us to watch His body language carefully and respond to His slightest gesture. By that I mean being acutely aware of His smallest whispers, nudgings, and promptings. Psalm 123:2 illustrates this for us: “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until He has mercy upon us.”

It takes a lot of practice for a servant to know his or her master’s body language well. He learns by watching, by studying, until he can almost get inside his master’s head, so to speak. He knows what that twitch of the eyebrow, a certain glance of the eye, or an ever-so-slight sigh means. With the Lord, we can only accomplish this intimate knowledge by investing time in being with Him — by carefully reading and meditating upon His Word, and by waiting quietly in prayer. There are no shortcuts, special techniques, or three-point methods to speed up the process. This is about  “dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). It is costly to our flesh!

At this time, the Lord is looking to see who will be faithful. For many of us, our faithfulness will be measured by how we use our time — especially during this coronavirus lock-down season. If we’re forced to be at home more, will we use our extra hours indulging in recreational pursuits to relieve boredom, or will we heed His wooing to come away into the secret place of quietly waiting on Him? Will we pursue knowing His heart?

Extra time on our hands is not everyone’s story. Perhaps you have family at home who are not usually there all day with you. For you, faithfulness to the Lord might be measured in your patient and loving service to your children or spouse. If that is where you are at, be wholeheartedly faithful in caring for them. This is priceless in the Lord’s eyes too!

Each of us has specific opportunities to either ignore or follow the Lord’s promptings moment by moment. May we make the right choices, thereby pleasing and honoring our Father.

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