Tag Archives: prophetic revelation

Shadows and Light (Part 3)

Recently, I was struck by Psalm 104:2, which speaks of the Lord in His majesty: “You cover Yourself with light, as with a garment….” As I meditated on that phrase, the Lord reminded me of other verses which say we, too, are to be clothed with light.

Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), but He also said, You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). 1 John 4:17 says, “… As He is, so are we in this world.” Truly, His plan is that we be like Him in this world in every way, including being clothed with light. There are no shadows attached to Him, and we should not have any attached to us, either.

Does being clothed with light happen all by itself? Yes and no. It is partly the work of the Holy Spirit and partly something we consciously participate in. Once we have become Christians, the Spirit dwells within us. He begins to fill us with God’s own nature, even though we are not constantly aware that He is doing so. The more we yield to Him and fellowship with Him, the more we take on His attributes, and those attributes begin to ooze outward from us, so that we shine with His glory. In our last post, I mentioned some steps we can take to open ourselves up to the Spirit, so that He can work these transformations inside of us.

However, we are also exhorted in the Word to take an active role in clothing ourselves with light: “… Let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). Putting on the armor of light is not at all passive. Romans 13:14 gives us additional information about what this “armor of light” is — “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ….” It continues, “and do not make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” The light we are clothed in is Jesus Himself. Always, always, it is about Him. He is our righteousness, our light, and every good thing which we manifest. But we are still responsible for starving our fleshly nature and its lusts by making choices which are in keeping with what Jesus would do.

We learn even more about the armor of light which we are to put on in Ephesians 6:11-18. Again, verse 11 tells us to put on the armor.” You are probably already familiar with the rest of that passage, so I won’t talk about it here. (But if you want a detailed explanation of the armor, go here.)

Many years ago, I received a vision of the condition of the Church. In it, many people were camped alongside a river. They were handling suits of armor and weaponry, exclaiming over the beauty and power of what they held. They were so happy to have the equipment they needed. But no one was putting the armor on. They were content to just look at it and talk about it. They were totally unprepared for the looming battle. Many in the Church are like that today. We’ve absorbed oodles of teaching about the armor of God, and we can recite the armor’s parts, but few are actually putting it to effective use.

It is time to suit up in that armor of light and take our battle stance. We cannot hope to win if we aren’t clothed in Jesus, the Light. And we certainly must quit making the mistake of trying to fight our battles using the enemy’s tactics of darkness and shadows.

If you are a prophet or a prophetic intercessor, I encourage you to take the needed steps to come out of shadowed thinking and speaking. Take a look once again at the suggestions I have given in the previous post for how to do that. Spend lots of time in the Presence of Jesus so that you will reflect His glorious light. You will have a much better idea of what the Lord is saying and how to convey that to others, as well as how to pray, having God’s heart.

Let’s mirror the Lord, Who does not cast shadows with His words, but instead, dispels darkness. This is our calling as prophetic people — to exude His light, so that others will be drawn to Him.

Previous: Part 2

The Intercessor Manual

 

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered, by Lee Ann Rubsam

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Shadows and Light (Part 2)

Light Dispels DarknessIn our last post, I commented that it is very easy for prophetic intercessors and prophets to become darkened in our revelation. How can we keep that from happening? And, if we’ve already stepped into the shadows, how can we shift back into being messengers of light?

1.) Use the Bible prophets as your pattern. When we look at the Old Testament prophets, their messages were often dire. But what we usually see along with prophecies warning of judgment is a message of redemption and hope:

  • “If you repent, I, your God, will spare you.”
  • “When you have turned from your evil ways, I will restore you.”
  • “Though terrible times are ahead, I will protect My remnant who stay faithful to Me.”
  • “Even in the coming distress, I will be a tower of safety to you.”

Even Jeremiah, often called the weeping prophet, delivered messages of hope to Israel. Yes, he told them of awful things to come, but he also spoke of how the Lord would take care of them in it, and he gave them a glimpse of better times on the other side of the calamity. This is God’s nature, to give hope to the hopeless, comfort to the sorrowful, mercy to those who seek Him, deliverance to the helpless.

Study both the Old and New Testament prophecies. Make particular note of the messages of hope given in them, usually at the end of whatever judgment warning had been pronounced.

2.) Feed on the whole counsel of God’s Word, not only the prophecies. We need all of Scripture, not just portions. I recommend feeding daily in the Psalms. They are filled with revelation of God’s nature and comfort for the downcast.

3.) Pray for healing restoration from hurts you have endured. All of us have experienced rejection. Prophetic people tend to have received even more rejection than average. This is because the enemy wants to silence, or at the very least warp, the word of the Lord on our lips.

The good news is, what the enemy means for harm, God is determined to use for our good. He can use the wounds of rejection to refine us into better, more humble people, as we give them to Him.

Receiving inner healing starts with forgiving those who have hurt us. We make a deliberate choice to let go of the offenses inside, and then we ask God to take the pain away. Restoration can only happen if we are willing to let go of resentment, no matter how justified it might be.

4.) Feed on Jesus, the Lamb. Again, we do this primarily through reading His Word. Focus on the gospels in particular. Spend time thinking about Jesus — how kind He is, how self-sacrificing, how tender, what He says about the Father, His call to love one another as He has loved us, etc. Think about that moment when you will see Him face to face.

5.) Sit at Jesus’ feet, as Mary, Martha’s sister, did. This goes along with feeding on Jesus. In Luke 10:38-42, Mary refused to let the seemingly urgent steal her time away from her Savior.

Isaiah 40:31 reminds us, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” 

When we invest time in quietly waiting before the Lord, sharing conversation with Him, asking Him what is on His mind, we come away refreshed. What is weary in us takes on new strength. When we’re worn out, we are susceptible to becoming darkened, but when we rest in the Lord’s Presence, we absorb His light, much like Moses did in His times with the Lord, so that his face actually shone with God’s reflected glory (Exodus 34:29-35).

Psalm 34:5 says of those who seek Him, “They looked to Him and were filled with light; and their faces were not ashamed” (LITV).

Spiritual reconnaissance warriors have to frequently come in from the field and spend time at their Commander-in-Chief’s banqueting table. He is not only our Commander, but also our Beloved. This is not the way it is in earthly, human warfare, but it is the way in spiritual warfare. God’s kingdom ways are often different from how things are in our fallen natural world.

In our next post, we will look at a few more ideas from the Bible about how to come out of the shadows and into a light-filled life.

Previous — Shadows and Light (Part 1)
Next — Shadows and Light (Part 3)

The Intercessor Manual

 

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered, by Lee Ann Rubsam

Shadows and Light (Part 1)

Prophetic shadowsThose of us who are prophetic often perceive beyond the surface appearance of our natural surroundings. We are sensitive to what is taking place in the spirit world as well — both in God’s kingdom and the kingdom of darkness.

Because we are sometimes able to see and hear what is happening in both of these invisible realms, we can develop a tendency to “see” what is wrong more than what is right. It is easy to get into a rut of speaking forth the negative things we become aware of. If we focus more on what the devil is doing than on what the Lord is up to, our prophetic utterances can become tainted with darkness.

There is a definite place for prophesying warnings to the Body of Christ. I am not advocating only speaking “positive” prophetic words. Limiting ourselves to the positive can end up producing false prophecy which panders to people’s feel-good desires, but never calls them upward into closer fellowship with the Lord. God does use prophetic revelation to warn and correct His people, to lead us to repentance, and to reveal difficulties in the path ahead of us. But there must be a balance.

Correction and warning prophecy which is genuinely from the Lord has a different feel to it than prophecy which only talks about how bad things (or people) are. It will have Christ’s light shining around and through it — showing the way out of darkness, promising restoration and hope for those who will turn to the Lord and put their trust in Him.

There was a time in my early prophetic life when I was hearing mostly negative revelation and then reporting on it. I thought this was just the particular prophetic gift God had given me. What I did not then realize was, while I was probably hearing and seeing some real things going on in the spirit realm — things which needed to be prayed into — I was looking into the enemy’s plots way more than I was gazing upon Jesus and what He was planning to do.

I wanted to see the enemy’s strategies so that I could thwart them in prayer, but, partly due to hurts and fear I held inside, I spent little time viewing the Lord’s beauty and mightiness. As a result, I became unhappy and heavy-laden in my intercession. This is a common scenario for prophetic intercessors.

I have seen the same thing happen with some very gifted young prophets. They see the problems, they hear the warnings, and they begin to focus on all that. They get emotionally beat up by people who scoff at their prophetic revelation, their hearts get wounded, and before we know it, everything they say is critical. Their messages now accuse and browbeat, instead of uplifting the Body of Christ. Grace, mercy, hope, and encouragement are lacking in their messages. They now report the problems, but rarely the answers God wants to unfold. Their frequent words of doom leave their hearers feeling darkened and chilled, as though the sun had suddenly disappeared behind the clouds.

If we desire to accurately represent the Lord Who has sent us to speak for Him, we need to be balanced. We must deliberately see the light of God as larger than the shadows surrounding us, for James 1:17 tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  God is light. He does not cast shadows. Instead, He dispels them.

In our next post, we will take a look at how we can maintain balance in our prophetic revelation — or restore our balance if we have already tilted.

Next: Shadows and Light (Part 2)

The Intercessor Manual

 

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered, by Lee Ann Rubsam

Going Low

One of my favorite quotes by famous people is from John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). I think on it often.

Our natural human tendency is to grab as much recognition for ourselves as possible. Those of us who have a business or ministry are constantly being told how important it is to “brand” ourselves, so that everyone knows who we are and desires our services or products. While some of that may be necessary in a practical, functional sense, the whole “Look at me! See how special I am!” egotism that often goes with it is something that we who are believers must continually resist. Our focus should always be to point people to Jesus, rather than ourselves. John the Baptist understood this, and I am so glad that his response to the temptation to strive for personal honor is recorded for us in the Bible.

There is a special place in our relationship with Jesus, where we develop such an adoration for Him that we actually desire to “go low” — where we want to empty ourselves of the desire for personal recognition, to become nothing, so that He might be everything. To make Jesus famous in all the earth becomes our passion, our obsession, where He alone matters.

Surely this must be what is going on in Revelation 4:10, 11, where the twenty-four elders “fall down before Him Who sat on the throne, and worship Him Who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.'” They are totally fixated on the Lord.

I began to think a lot about “going low” a few years ago, inspired by a dream which Julie Meyer shared of seeing God’s throne room. I hope you will listen to her description and that it will stir your heart, as it did mine:

While we are yet in our mortal existence, I am not sure if we can continually stay in that place of going low, of being emptied of self in adoration of the Lord. I would like to stay there, but at present, it seems as though I can only visit for a time. The fallen nature includes a tendency to drift back into pride and self-exaltation, and I find that I must personally battle against that frequently. The apostle Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31), and we must learn to die daily to the old nature’s demands as well.

But my goal is to rest in that “going low” place increasingly, until it becomes more my dwelling place than a visiting place.

If you find yourself falling into the trap of looking for recognition, titles, and honor from people, how about meditating on what John the Baptist said? “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John found peace and rest there. I think we can, too.

Dream Interpretation: Part 10 — Dream Q & A

By this point in the series, I hope I have already answered many of your dream questions. But here are a few more you might have. Do you have additional questions? Please post them as a comment, and I will do my best to answer them for you. (Questions only, please. I will not have time to try to interpret specific dreams for you.)

1.  Can a dream have multiple applications or meanings? Yes.  Sometimes a dream seems to apply to an immediate situation to a degree, but it also has the feel of being part of a larger picture. Record in your dream journal how it fits what you are currently dealing with, but be open to a bigger picture interpretation coming somewhere down the road.

In the Bible, some of the Old Testament prophecies were partially fulfilled on a small level, but they also had more progressive fulfillments on a larger scale. For instance, prophecies were given to David that were partially meant for, and fulfilled in, his son Solomon, but their completed fulfillment was to be found later in Jesus, the Son of David.

2.  Can there be more than one message showing up in the same dream? The norm is to have a dream centralize on one theme. But I occasionally experience a dream that addresses more than one topic. This kind of dream is harder to understand, because the symbols are more disconnected from each other, and the dream therefore seems to be quite fragmented. I would liken it to having two or three jigsaw puzzles jumbled together in one box. Constructing the puzzles all at the same time and figuring out how to divide them up correctly is challenging, but not impossible — especially as we depend upon the Lord to help us with the interpretation. 

3.   Do symbols always mean the same thing, or can the meanings change? The more universal, common-to-man symbols found in dream books can and do have varying meanings, depending on the context of the dream, and whether the current dream is of a positive or negative nature.  You could have an owl showing up as a symbol of wisdom in one dream, and in another showing up as a predator, depending on what is happening in the dream.

However, when God clues me in to a personal, unique dream symbol, it tends to stay consistent in meaning across my dream life. That is a rule of thumb, not a law set in concrete.  And again, it would depend on the context and tone of the dream.

4.  Are the scenes in a dream always chronological? They often are, but they don’t have to be. Some dreams (and visions as well) are like a collage. They depict more than one thing at a time about your life, not necessarily in timeline order.

For instance, in a dream about what callings you are meant to fulfill, God may show you several phases of what He will have you doing, but they may look like they are happening all at the same time, or as if they will follow a pattern of first, second, then third.  In reality, they may not happen all at the same time, even though it looks that way in the dream. And what appears to come first in the dream could actually happen in real life as the second or third phase.

Or, you may have an “inset” dream or vision — a story within the main story. One of the reasons that the Book of Revelation is hard to correctly interpret is because it flows along chronologically most of the time, but then there are moments when we are taken aside into an inset story within the timeline of events. An inset within a dream may also be a “zoom-in” on one particular detail of the big-picture story.

5.  Are dreams always 100% accurate? Sometimes they will be, and sometimes not. Some dreams are straight-up from God, and therefore completely accurate. Some are a mixture of what is going on in our own thoughts and desires, and God interjecting His revelation into those thoughts.  It is not always easy to sort the two out. Add into that equation that we do not always fully interpret the symbols correctly, and we’ve got room for error. Listening for God to speak to you through avenues besides dreams will help ensure accurate hearing over time. The Lord is faithful to get His message through to us, if we wait upon Him.

Next time, we will conclude this series with some links to helpful dream resource materials.

Hearing from God through Dreams (2009)      
Dream Interpretation: Part 1 — Intro   
Previous: Part 9 – Tips for Better Interpretation 
Next: Part 11 — Additional Resources

 

 

Growing in the Prophetic (CD set or mp3),
by Lee Ann Rubsam

Dream Interpretation: Part 9 — Tips for Better Interpretation

I already gave some tips for dream interpretation in my previous series, Hearing from God through Dreams, Part 2  and Part 3, so to get the full picture, it would be a good idea to start reading there. 

Here are some additional thoughts to help you: 

1.  Create your own personal dream dictionary. God communes with each of us differently, both in our waking hours and while we sleep. Although many symbols seen in dreams will be common to all of us, you will find over time that there are many symbols showing up in your dreams which are God’s personal way of speaking just to you. Events that have happened in your life and how you view certain objects because of those events are partially responsible for shaping what your dream symbols mean.

Get yourself a simple notebook, and assign a couple of pages in it to each letter of the alphabet. Then, when unique symbols show up in your dreams, and you unlock what they mean, write them in your dream dictionary. You will notice God using those symbols consistently in future dreams, once He sees that you understand their meaning. 

Keeping a personal dream dictionary has vastly expanded my ability to interpret my dreams with greater ease. 

2. Keep your dream journal as a file on your computer, rather than in written form. This will enable you to adjust your interpretations or add to them as your understanding about your dreams unfolds over time. Writing in a paper notebook could mean heavy use of  Liquid Paper and finding that you have not left enough space for future notes on your dreams.

3.  Don’t get so focused on details that you neglect to discover the main point of the dream. If you had to give your dream a chapter title, what would it be? That’s what the dream is about, and the overall main idea will help you decipher the symbolic details. 

Getting bogged down in details and missing the big picture tends to be one of my weaknesses, and the next point explains one way I cope with it.

4.  Talk out your dreams with someone. This works best if  the person knows you well, understands how you tick, and is aware of your ongoing circumstances. It is best if he or she is also sensitive to hearing from the Lord through dreams. 

As we talk out our dreams, and the listener asks for details (“What kind of a bird was it?” “What type of coat was he wearing?”), many times God will drop understanding into us just through that talking-out process. One small suggestion from a listener will sometimes trigger understanding of the entire dream. 

My daughters are both excellent helpers to me in understanding my dreams. One is good at drawing out important nuances from the details, while the other is good at cutting right to the main point. I sometimes get so focused on the details that it is hard for me to see the overall picture, and her no-nonsense, “Mom, it’s another dream about _________” helps me get going in the right direction when I am stumped. 

5.  Although receiving input from others is helpful, keep in mind that since you had the dream, you are the best one to interpret it. What they say may get the wheels of your understanding moving, but their interpretation usually won’t trump yours. You may find that someone else’s take on your dream deeply witnesses to your heart, which indicates that God is speaking to you through that person. But if it doesn’t, then just let it fall away. You were the one who actually saw the dream, and you are the one with the life experiences which play into it. Other people’s understanding will be filtered through how they imagine your dream from your description, and the picture they form in their minds will not be completely accurate.

6.  Positioning yourself to hear from the Lord through dreams:

Reading the Bible right before going to bed will prepare your spirit-man to be more receptive to hearing God through dreams. Playing worship music shortly before bedtime is another good way to prepare.

Think about the Lord, talk with Him, and/or pray in tongues while waiting to fall asleep. Prayer is our communication link with the Lord, and we know that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Dreams are one way He responds to prayer.

If you can awaken naturally, without an alarm clock, your dreams are less likely to be interrupted. (This is not possible for many of us, I know, but do it if you can.) 

7.  Watch for revelation to unfold over several dreams. Our dreams are often components of a continuous thread of information on a particular theme. Rather than looking at each dream as a complete story in itself, look for the big picture of what God is speaking over a period of weeks or even months. 

8.  Use the Internet to research what you do not understand. You may see things or hear words in your dreams that you do not understand or only vaguely understand.  This happens to me both in inner voice hearing during my waking hours and in my dreams.  I have learned to use Google to search out unfamiliar vocabulary which God uses in speaking to me.  It is a way that He lets me know the dream or prophetic revelation is really from Him, and the full picture of what God wants to say becomes clearer as I do my homework on the Internet. 

Do you have additional tips for hearing from God through dreams?  Please do comment!  You might be the one who provides that important key to help someone unlock their dream revelation.

Hearing from God through Dreams (2009)      
Dream Interpretation: Part 1 — Intro   
Previous: Part 8 — Spiritual Warfare Dreams  
Next: Part 10 — Dream Q & A 

 

Growing in the Prophetic (CD set or mp3),
by Lee Ann Rubsam

Dream Interpretation: Part 8 — Spiritual Warfare Dreams

You may experience dreams where you are in conflict or battle, and you see yourself subduing those who are fighting against you. These are spiritual warfare dreams. They may be unpleasant or scary at the time, but God is showing you that you are meant to overcome.

2 Corinthians 2:14 says, “Now thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ ….” 1 John 4:4 reminds us, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world,” and Revelation 12:11 assures us, “They overcame [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony ….” There are many such verses. We must find them, believe them, and learn to war with them.

So, battle dreams can actually originate with God. Dreams of cops and robbers, Western shootouts, or snipers trying to get you can indicate stress you are currently experiencing or spiritual warfare that you are engaged in during your waking hours. Our dreams often express current events in our lives in picturesque ways.

But if you are experiencing dreams of being terrified as you are being chased, or being beaten, murdered, or otherwise seriously harmed, those are demonic dreams. Dreams of being choked, being engulfed in a fearful, thick darkness, or having a suffocating cloak thrown over you are demonic. These types of dreams are usually due to some kind of an open door in your life.

The open door could be stuff you have in your house, such as pagan artwork — Buddha statues, for instance. Souvenirs from foreign nations where witchcraft is prevalent could have curses attached. Movies, games, and books dealing with the occult, such as Harry Potter and Twilight, could provide an open door into your life. Willful sin compromise leaves us vulnerable to attack as well. Yoga is an open door to the demonic realm — whether you practice the meditation activities that go with it or not. If you have ever dabbled in the occult, even if you stopped long ago, and have never renounced that occult activity, you will need to do so. For more information on how, please see my article, What Well Are You Dipping From?

Next time, I will give you a few tips for better dream interpretation.

Hearing from God through Dreams (2009)
Dream Interpretation: Part 1 — Intro
Previous: Part 7 — When Bad Dreams Happen
Next: Part 9 — Tips for Better Interpretation 

 

Growing in the Prophetic (CD set or mp3),
by Lee Ann Rubsam