Tag Archives: hearing God

Challenges Prophetic People Face: The Future Factor (Part 3)

The Future Factor and Your Personal Destiny (cont.)

As I said in our last post, most of the time, God starts speaking to us about the personal destiny He has planned for us long before we are able to step into it in its entirety.  And this can cause problems for us, because those words often feel like “now” words when we first hear them.  But we are not usually ready to take on those destiny-callings immediately.  God takes His time in preparing us. He has to bring us to a place of greater maturity and humility so that we handle our callings well, and the bigger His purpose for us, the more refining of our character there will have to be.

Joseph and Moses both found out about the future factor the hard way.  Joseph told his brothers about his prophetic dreams of one day being a ruler over them, and they not only hated him for it, but they did their best to stop it from ever happening (Genesis 37).  Moses knew as a young prince in Egypt that he was to deliver Israel from bondage, but he was rejected by his own people when he mistakenly tried to step into that calling prematurely (Exodus 2:11-15).  Acts 7:25 tells us, “For He supposed his brethren would have understood how God by his hand would deliver them, but they did not understand.”  Both Joseph and Moses needed some maturing before they could fulfill their destinies in such a way as to bring the most glory to God and the most benefit to other people.

In summary of these last two posts, let’s briefly list what you can do while waiting for your personal destiny to unfold in your natural world:

  1. Draw ever closer in intimate relationship with the Lord.  (This really is of #1 importance.)
  2. Have faith for the things God has spoken to you.
  3. Don’t give in to being disheartened if the circumstances don’t immediately line up or if people give you flak.
  4. Do what you can to prepare.
  5. Serve to the best of your ability.
  6. Take the baby steps forward as opportunities open up before you.
  7. Don’t beat up on yourself when you make mistakes.
  8. Keep the prophetic vision God has given you before your eyes.

If He spoke it to you, He’s going to do it for you, as you trustingly hold His hand.

In our next post, we’ll look at how our future factor affects prophetic words we release to church leadership or the congregation.

Challenges Prophetic People Face:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 4  

Personal Prophecy

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy

Challenges Prophetic People Face: The Future Factor

One of the greatest challenges prophetic people face is our tendency to live in a different time zone than the rest of the world.  While our pastors and family members are often concerned with what is occurring in the present, those of us who are prophetically inclined are often miles down the road into what is coming next.  We have one foot in the here and now and one foot in the future, often with the majority of our weight resting on the future-foot.  The horizon looks different to us than it does to those around us, which can create confusion in our minds and tension between us and the rest of our world.

Understanding that we have a future factor at work within us which is not always shared by those around us can minimize our personal confusion, help us deal with the temporary disappointment of not seeing our prophecies immediately fulfilled, and overcome inner hurt that stems from being misunderstood.

We can learn to harness our futuristic tendencies, rather than letting them run wild, but we must also keep in mind that this will be a lifelong challenge.  Just understanding why you tick the way you do will go a long way toward helping you be secure in who you are.

A general principle in God’s Kingdom is that things become a reality in the spirit realm before they take concrete form in the natural realm.  When God speaks something into existence for our lives, it is immediately fact, as far as He is concerned.  But it usually takes time for it to develop here on earth.

As a result, if we hear or see an event in the spirit realm, but the circumstances we experience in the natural world appear to go against the revelation we have received, it can cause us to question our ability to hear God accurately.  We might even begin to question our mental or spiritual stability.

The truth is, the natural circumstances will almost always rise up in opposition to what we are hearing.  Part of why that happens is that the future realities which we are peering into, because they are realities, seem to be very much a “now” thing to us.

Another factor is that, while God desires for us to hold onto the words He speaks to us, incubating them in prayer and growing in our faith expectancy for them, the devil wishes to steal our words by getting us to fix our eyes on the contradicting events unfolding in the natural world.  He hopes to discourage us into giving up, into believing that we have misheard God, thereby deterring us from praying for the fulfillment of those words or otherwise preparing for them.

Waiting for the manifestation in our natural world of what is already reality in the spirit realm is a challenge that all Christians face to a degree.  Faith is not faith unless there is something not yet obtained to believe for (Hebrews 11:1), so all Christians experience the future factor challenge at some level.  But the more prophetically inclined you are, the more you will bump up against this challenge.

In our next post, we will talk about working with the future factor when it affects our personal destiny.

Challenges Prophetic People Face: The Future Factor (Part 2)

Personal Prophecy

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy

The Listening Place

LeeAnnRubsam.com

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. 

New Book: The Intercessor Manual

Full Gospel Family Publications

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann RubsamIt’s finally here!  My new book, The Intercessor Manual,  is hot off the press, and eager to answer all of your prayer questions — well, at least all of them that I ever had or could think of!

All the articles you’ve found here at Out of the Fire about intercession, prophecy, spiritual warfare, soaking, getting along with your pastor, and avoiding insanity on the way to your breakthrough are now available in one large book.

We’ve polished it all up a bit, expanded portions, vastly revised some material, and incorporated additional info not available at the blog.

I think you will like it!  🙂 Pastors, this is a great resource for you, too.  It will help you understand how prophetic people tick and how to help them work in harmony with you.  Use it to teach and bring into maturity the intercessors you have within your fellowship. Topics:

  • Your Call to Intercession
  • What Intercessors Do
  • The Bible Helps Our Intercession
  • The Power of Your Prayer Language
  • Prayer that Counts
  • Breakthrough Intercession: Receiving Our Answers
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • Our Spiritual Armor
  • Worship and the Intercessor
  • The Prophetic Connection
  • Maturing in Prophecy
  • Intimacy with God
  • Hearing God
  • Avoiding Deception
  • You Don’t Have to Be Weird
  • Pastors and Intercessors
  • The Pastor Specialty
  • What Can You Expect as an Intercessor?

Paperback, 194 pages

U.S. price: $16.00 (Price includes shipping.)

Order Now

Also available as an e-book and print edition at Amazon:  The Intercessor Manual at Amazon (affiliate link) and as an audio book (CD Set or mp3). E-book also available at  other e-book stores, including Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Scribd.

Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 3)

God doesn’t always give us an immediate interpretation of our dreams, and this is another reason it is good to keep a journal.  As we reread our dreams, sometimes He drops understanding into us months down the road from when we first had the dream.  Why?  Perhaps events had to unfold in our lives before the dream could become relevant to us.  It could be a matter of maturity in our understanding.

Early in my experience with this type of revelation, I had a dream that explained specifics of what my primary function in the Body of Christ was to be.  There were many details, and the Lord explained most of them to me immediately.  Some details seemed important, but were held from my understanding for another two years.  I read through that dream often, and continued to ask about the unexplained details, and eventually the interpretations were given.

Dreams with recurring themes are particularly important to pay attention to, even if they seem a little silly.  Over a two month period, I dreamed four times about turtles in various situations.  God did not tell me right away what the turtles symbolized, and dream books and people I knew who were familiar with dream interpretation were not able to help me with this one.  I like turtles, so for me, turtles are connected with happy things.  I pondered the turtle dreams before the Lord many times, asking into them, and eventually understood that they represented blessings and God-promises in my life.  The Lord then showed me what He had been speaking about my promises in each of those dreams.

Dreams can be either panoramic, full-blown stories or snapshot pictures of one simple scene.  I sometimes doze off while praying, and when I do, I’m likely to have snapshot dreams from the Lord.  Even the snapshots can be full of important details.  Here is an example:

I had been praying for favor for my husband and myself – God’s favor and also a particular person’s favor.  In a snapshot dream, I saw a man in brown uniform running up to our front porch.  I just saw him from the back as he got to the porch.  I immediately awoke, startled.  I understood from the brown uniform that he was a UPS driver, and then had this conversation with the Lord:

“Lord, what was that?”
“He’s bringing you a package.”
“What is it, Lord?”
“Favor.”
“Is it God’s favor or So-and-so’s favor?”
“It’s both.”
“God, You know that first and foremost I want Your favor!”
“I know that, and that’s why you can have the other one, too.”

Some of the details of this dream continued to nag at my mind over the next couple of days, so I asked more questions, and got more revelation:

The UPS man was running to show haste. God said we would get this favor quickly.  The package was left at our door – which meant I needed to actively receive it, to take it in.

I asked, “Lord, why was the package left at the front door?  They usually leave it at the back door.”
“It is front-door favor, not back-door favor.  It will not be done in secret.”

A week after the dream, we were given great favor by the person I had prayed about, and it definitely happened in a public manner.  It was also something we could have rejected, but chose to accept.

If you haven’t yet explored hearing from the Lord through dreams, I encourage you to get started now.  Ask Him to speak to you through this avenue, and be serious about recording your dreams and asking into their interpretations.  Those of you who have difficulty hearing from God in other ways may even find that dreams are the key that unlocks the door of revelation for you.  You will want to expand into other ways of hearing from Him, but dreams are a great place to start.

Previous: Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 2) 

New Dream Interpretation Series (2013)

Christian dream interpretation workshop

 

Hearing God Through Your Dreams (CD set or mp3). by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Yes, You CAN Be an Intercessor! (CD Set or mp3),
by Lee Ann Rubsam

Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 2)

To get the full benefit of hearing from the Lord through dreams, I find it helpful to keep a dream journal.  The longer we wait to write down our dreams, the more details we forget.  I keep separate journals for dreams and my other hearing from the Lord so that I can easily find a dream, if I want to refer back to it.  I write down the actual events and details of the dream first, and then note my interpretations separately.  If we jumble interpretations together with the actual dream data, and our interpretations are somewhat faulty, when we do receive better understanding at a later time it is hard to remember which was which.  By keeping a dream journal, we send a message to the Lord that we take what He says seriously, that it is important enough to us to take the time to write it down.

I actively ask God to speak to me through dreams.  I keep paper and pen next to my bed, and if I awake after a dream (which usually happens to me right after a God-dream), no matter how tired I may be, I make the effort to rouse myself to write down all the details immediately.  In the morning, as soon as possible, I sit down with the Lord and discuss the dream with Him.  I ask Him questions: “What did this mean?”  “Why was I doing this?”  “Why was the object this color?”  “What did that object represent?”  As I ask the questions, God supplies the interpretations.

I’ve generally found that God does not volunteer information unless I ask for it.  This goes for other ways of hearing from the Lord as well, but it is particularly true of dreams.  As I sit with the Lord over a dream, often He brings recall of other details I had already forgotten.

Details of a dream are important.  God does not put them in the dream if they are not significant, and if we don’t pay attention to those details, we miss valuable information.  Surroundings, how we felt emotionally during the dream, who else was there, and whether we saw ourselves in the dream or were onlookers at the scene should all be noted.  Putting together the full picture of what God has been speaking through a dream is a lot like solving a mystery: we need all the clues.

We should be careful not to assume that we know the interpretation of the dream through our own natural thinking.  I am amazed by the number of people I encounter who do not ask God to interpret their dreams, but instead try to figure them out for themselves.  When we do that, we run the risk of ending up with a marred version of what God wants to speak to us, especially if we take the details of our dreams literally, instead of understanding their symbolic nature.

Because dreams are usually symbolic, what they look like on the surface is often not really what they are about.  Even people we recognize in a dream may be a representation of something else, rather than the dream being about that person.  For instance, a man I knew, an elder of a fellowship other than my own, appeared in one of my dreams. The dream was about the condition of the Church (all the local bodies) in our city, and the man in the dream represented church leadership throughout the city.  It was not really about him personally, but if I had taken the dream literally, rather than allowing the Lord to give me understanding, I would have come up with a totally wrong interpretation of what God wanted to say through the dream.

Drawing the interpretation of our dreams solely from dream books is another mistake to be avoided.  Dream books can be useful tools if we are not receiving a full interpretation from the Lord.  But they should be a last resort, rather than the first source we turn to.  Dreams are highly personal, and meanings of details in them are often minutely tailored to us.  Dream books list what certain items have meant commonly to many people, but it does not necessarily follow that an object must mean what the dream book says.  If you choose to purchase a dream book, make sure it is one coming from a Christian perspective and that you do not give it infallible status in your mind.

More on maximizing our dream experience next time.

Previous: Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 1)
Next: Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 3)

Christian dream interpretation workshop

 

Hearing God Through Your Dreams (CD set or mp3). by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Yes, You CAN Be an Intercessor! (CD Set or mp3),
by Lee Ann Rubsam

Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 1)

Dreams.  We all have them, but most of us don’t pay too much attention, other than to tell the more bizarre ones to our friends.  Yet, dreams are an important vehicle which God uses to speak to us, and if we are not paying attention, we could be missing out on valuable revelation.

Not every dream is from God, and therefore not all of them need to be heeded.  Some dreams are merely out-workings of our emotions and imaginations and may be a way our minds process things we have gone through.  Some of them are actually demonic in nature.  We need to learn the difference.

It is possible to have demonic dreams (usually nightmares).  These tend to cause fear of supposed future traumatic events, fill us with horror, or portray a situation in an untrue light.  It is possible for any of us to be harassed by such dreams on rare occasions, but when our lives are in order with the Lord, demonic dreams should be very infrequent.  Christians who are tormented by them generally have some kind of open door in their lives that needs to be shut — through renouncing sin (even long-past sin), through cleansing the home of objects that could hold a demonic presence (such as idols or artwork from countries where witchcraft and pagan worship are a way of life), through applying the blood of Jesus to themselves and their homes, or even through deliverance ministry, if necessary.

There are dreams that just don’t mean anything —  the “too much pizza before bed” kind.  They are generally one confused scene merging into another.  Possibly, they are a way that our minds naturally clean house and relax.

Dreams from the Lord distinguish themselves by being purposeful and striking enough to stay with us.  They are not confused, although they may seem bizarre, and are often less complicated than dreams which are imagination-induced.  God-inspired dreams are usually very symbolic in nature.  What you see in them is not the whole story of what they mean.

Dreams are one of my favorite ways of hearing from the Lord.  The neat thing about this form of revelation is that we can’t help what we dream, so we don’t need to be concerned, “What if I’m just making this up because I want to?” as we could with a vision or word.  Since we don’t have control over what happens in them, there is no reason to feel guilty if negative elements appear.  Interpretation of a dream can be manipulated, but the dream itself cannot be.  We should keep in mind that although a dream cannot be controlled, it may not present absolute truth either, because some dreams are only the out-working of our emotions and internal issues.  That’s why it becomes important to discern whether the dream is from the Lord or not.

God often uses dreams to say things that He can’t get through to us in our conscious hours, perhaps because we get busy and don’t listen, or even because we don’t want to hear something He wishes to speak to us.

Even those of us who think we never dream can be hearing from the Lord during our sleeping hours.  Sleep labs have shown that everyone dreams, but sound sleepers often do not remember their dreams.  God does speak, even in the unremembered dreams.  This is why we sometimes experience going to bed with an unsolved problem on our mind, and when morning arrives, we know exactly what to do.  God has been giving understanding during the night hours.  It is probably why people with major decisions to make often choose to “sleep on it” before making a final move.  God in His great mercy helps even nonbelievers with their decisions in this way, because He is concerned about their destinies.

Next time, I’d like to talk about how to maximize hearing from the Lord through dreams.

Next: Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 2)

Christian dream interpretation workshop

 

Hearing God Through Your Dreams (CD set or mp3). by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Yes, You CAN Be an Intercessor! (CD Set or mp3),
by Lee Ann Rubsam