Personal Devotions: Prophetic Encouragement for the New Year!


Just wanted to wish all of my blog family a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

If anyone had a New Year’s resolution to read through the Bible in this year – here’s a resource that can help:  the Daily Audio Bible.  Brian (the leader of this community) reads through a different version of the Bible each week starting at Genesis and goes straight to Revelation.  It is a community with forums, chat rooms, a Facebook page; you can read along with a link to the equivalent Scripture on the Net… check it out!  It has really helped me, even although I haven’t been consistent last year.  I want to change that this year!

Like I said,  Happy NEW YEAR –  I speak resurrection and advancement for all of us this year!  Last year (ok, last night) as I was thinking of the struggles of the past year,  a prophetic word that was given to me a couple weeks ago came back strongly to me. One of my friends, Mary, one of the leaders of one of the house churches I link with, gave me this prophetic picture:  she saw a foot, shaking off sand.  She said that God was shaking what can be shaken, so that what is unshakable will remain.  This was taken straight from Scripture – Hebrews 12:26-27

26At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[a]27The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

So my prayer for this year is that what God has been shaking in our lives will shake off the things that can be shaken – sin, everything evil, the flesh – so that the unshakable – the KINGDOM OF GOD – will remain!  Check out the Daily Audio Bible, and be impacted with the Scripture in a whole new way: go here and click on the Listen Now link.

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Personal Devotions – Acts, Call to Repentance and Prophetic Words


Today I spent about an hour reading a couple chapters in the Acts of the Apostles – just being swamped with how Paul and the others were directed by the Holy Spirit, protected and sustained by Him and were able to proclaim the Message of the Way to the Gentiles.   I thought of my own ministry, and realized that – in my current state – I couldn’t even raise my head far less be bold about God’s message!

I had shut the Bible and suddenly opened it up again on a whim – and my eyes fell on this:

2 Corinthians 12:19-21

19Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. 20For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. 21I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.

The last two verses hit me between the eyes – I thought of all those who would be ‘grieved’ over my recent actions …. and I repented right there before God.  I can’t let them, myself, or God down any more.  I want to live right.  I want to pursue righeousness…. no – as an act of my will … I AM pursuing righteousness as of right now, God helping me!

A friend of mine sent me this – she is the recipient of prophetic words through this sister Marsha Burns, and this quote was really applicable to my situation:

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by Marsha Burns — Dec. 22, 2009:

Beloved, I have already brought warnings to you to guard your heart with all diligence. Be aware that the enemy is roaring around, looking for those who will get in his most dangerous territory through allowing their emotions to run wildGuard your thoughts and emotions, and refuse to allow the devil to bring discouragement, disappointment and depression. Rise up and embrace My joy, says the Lord, and be strengthened in your inner man. Draw near to me, and place your hope in My love for you. Resist the devil, for there is no temptation too great for you to overcome.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
NEW RELEASES!

The part that is  underlined really struck out to my friend – and stuck out to me as well.  We both know of situations in our lives where we have let our emotions run wild and that Satan is roaring around in our lives. The Scripture in 1 Cor 10:13 also spoke to both of us – no temptation has befallen us beyond our capacity to handle it! God has always provided a way of escape!

We were discussing that as it relates to our own situations and encouraging ourselves to take Christ at his word and not continue in a life of sin and compromise.

And then – another prophetic word – this time from MY email.  Kim Clement – one of the prophetic voices that I follow by reading their newsletters – said in his last publication:  “Betrayal has been the order of the day and yet I see a noose with betrayal hanging on it. What am I sensing? RESURRECTION!”

He continues to say, in part –

A few weeks ago, while under one of the most unusual anointings I’ve ever experienced, I was “taken” for a few moments to the tomb of Christ. I literally saw His resurrection through the eyes of Mary. It was one of the most impacting moments of my ministry life, but it was far more than just an experience, it was a message. I have no doubt that Jesus rose from the dead; it’s a historical fact, but that night, I believed it from the perspective of someone who was physically there in the moment and who saw it with their own eyes. It’s difficult to explain, but everything changed for me after that. For days and even weeks now, I would suddenly find myself deeply moved to tears and saying, “He has risen.” I went to prayer this morning and spoke to God about this. Why am I so emotional about this all of a sudden? What is the message? I heard Him so simply say, “Resurrection.” Then it dawned on me; Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything and a season for every purpose under Heaven; A time to be born and a time to die…a time to PLANT and a time to reap…”

He senses a season of resurrection!  (That’s great – I felt like I was in the valley of the shadow of death just recently….)  He continues –

I was reminded of the prophet Elisha who had died and was buried in a tomb. During that time, Israel was constantly being raided by Moabites and while the Israelites were busy burying a man, they suddenly saw a band of raiders, so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. Can you imagine that? God spoke to me about the season we are entering and simply said, “Resurrection.”

So … I’m holding on to THOSE WORDS WITH BOTH HANDS.  I crave for the season of not just restoration but of resurrection! I am calling for it now, with the faith of the desperate, the cry of one at the point of death…. JESUS…. RESURRECT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE: I am posting the link of one of my friends’ websites to a very appropriate poem – may we call call on God’s Mercy! (Thanks, Jonie!)

Calling for a Counter Culture


I’ve had a message the Lord gave me about 3 weeks ago that has shaken me up – again.  God has been speaking to me about the fact that he wants to create what he called a ‘counter culture’ of Christianity – which is not the same thing as the religious culture of having Christian music, Christian apparel and stuff… but really, really impacting society by bringing in Kingdom thinking and Kingdom principles.  I emailed it out to a couple friends (okay, about 20) asking for input, and Archie put it straight on his blog – go to it here –  http://wp.me/pwYvw-w.   I am also attempting to attach the document itself here – until I do get it done sucessfully, you can get it from the above link.  (Update: Here is the link to the Counter Culture document itself. Finally figured out how to get it done!)

Disclaimer – For those who read the text of the email on Archie’s website I wasn’t thinking at the time I sent my original email that it would go beyond the Caribbean – at least not yet …. so the original wording is specific to that region.  (“Yeah, right,” I can hear some of you saying. “You didn’t think it would get out?”)  The other thing is that the wording seems to single out my Christian experience at my tertiary institutions, but underneath God is really speaking to the fact that he wants to interact with society in a real way, in a new way.

The other thing I want to say about this you will not get from either the email or the article.  The words God actually told me were, “Counter culture is dangerous!”  Then he showed me that Jesus was into counter culture – he interacted with society where it was at – without the religious body of his day – and the religious people killed him. As the article shows, Jesus’ followers continued to radicalize the faith and were killed as well!
What God was telling me – and what I’m passing on to you – is that this direction is where his heart is, but that whoever decides to seek the new thing God is doing will be at least questioned by the more traditionalistic thinkers … and, in the worst case scenario, you will be persecuted for it.
However, this is what God is saying in this time.  It’s not like God is saying, “This is too dangerous for you.”  He is saying, “This is dangerous – but this is where I am.  Follow me in spite of the danger.
Please comment.  This is not about stats for me. This is about getting God’s word into as much hearts as possible – and finding out what God is doing to extend his Kingdom.

Testimony of FIRE!


I’m about to share another AWESOME testimony of God’s power, but for once – it isn’t mine! haha!  (This post may get long, so bear with me, ok?)

One of my closest friends (actually, my Spiritual sister Jen, who lives in South Africa) was telling me about a meeting that she was going to lead in her home.  She was meeting with about 20 women, and she and I were having a discussion about it beforehand.  It started with a conversation about the manifestation of gold dust.  We’re jumping into the middle of our conversation:

Rob: well God has just given u the strategy and told u how he wants the meeting started 🙂 Leave the rest up to him 😀
For them to have the fire, u will have to carry it … it wasn’t for nothing that I said it should come to u early… God can and will move, but with u in the fire early he can move through u to release on the others much easier.

Jennifer: AMEN…thats been my prayer…in fact a few days ago…i felt the Lord tell me that the power is in my hands……just to release it….and at that time the meeting wasn’t scheduled as yet
so yes…i feel i need to release the FIRE onto the ladies and for them to take back to their homes, families, churches (different churches they all are from) and their situations….
cos i can sit and counsel with them…but if i give them the FIRE of God…then they can make the necessary moves and changes on their own by the power of God!

So after that Friday’s meeting I asked her what happened… this is what she said:

Jennifer: there were abt 20 women there……and the Glory just fell…..literally….with the manifestation of Gold Dust…..women were set free….broken ones were healed and the ones who were desirest and yearning for more….received the gift of prophecy…..we truly had the dancing hand of the Lord there……by 8a.m. the next morning….no one wanted to leave…..the Spirit of the Lord just filled us up….What amazed me was the obedience of the people so much older than me ….that just became submissive to the Spirit of the Lord and cos of that they received a greater breakthrough…..i am gettting calls left right and centre of breakthroughs in peoples lives and in their spiritual walks

PRAISE GOD….It was awesome stuff!!! And over me I just felt the demonic hold over our lives just break….a women there that never spoke a word in the prophetic….broke into this new level of the anointing and the Lord gave her words for my life…..

Rob: WOW : COOL STUFF 😀

Jennifer: oh i have so much to say…..the Lord allowed me the night before to bless three cloths…more like shawls.. red, gold and purple..

well [one of her best friends] and i prayed over them the night before and i said that i would keep them away until the Lord shows me how he was going to use them in the meeting

and lo and behold he did……

She interrupted herself to tell me about a dream she had that was relevant to her meeting:

well before i go on….let me tell u about a dream…i had few days before the meeting…l it was about a murder and the cops were raiding my home and i was feeling guilty…..

And then she continued:

Jennifer: well i forgot about that dream until the Lord pressed in my spirit to read ps 51 before the meeting

and when i read it aloud…especially the part about have blood on our hands…and being guilty…i nearly fell to the floor when i remembered the dream

and yes…thats what the Lord wanted us to do…get on our knees and truly repent….we spent like an hour doing this….it was phenomenal

Rob: my word ….

And here’s the awesome part – God sovereignly moving to direct the meeting with the cloths that were blessed the night before:

Jennifer: just as we were on our knees the Lord told me to get up and get the red cloth….of course….THE BLOOD OF JESUS….washes away our sins
and so it went on….after cleansing….the Lord made me take them through the tabernacle…and then bring out the gold cloth…THE GLORY! that went on for a while….
and then eventually…..ABUNDANCE, BREAKTHROUGH, PROSPERITY, ROYALTY……the purple cloth….

Rob: wowwww

Jennifer: and that was basically the night…interwined with loads of prophetic words, words of wisdom, knowledge etc…but different women in the group…all guided by the Holy Spirit

And as an epilogue … she told me about what happenend when God told her get the cloths:

Jennifer: …well this part about the cloths….i know it was from God….well as we were on our knees….remember i got up first and ran for the red cloth….and just dropped in one of the ladies on her knees…she had no idea what i was doing….she just nearly collapsed under that strong anointing…and at that time…[my best friend] gets up from being flat out and was just abt to run for the cloths…and she saw me already started…..she barely could get the words out! She was saying,”Jen, the Lord just told me as well about the red cloth…..”  i just stood back and marvelled at the Lord.

***********

So that’s it.  What an awesome testimony – of hearing the Lord, obedience – and the Glory!  I loved the progression: from the Blood of Jesus to the Glory to the Abundance, referenced by the Red, Gold and Purple cloths.  She was worried that she was rambling, but I think she hit the nail on the head, don’t you????

Has anyone else seen Gold dust? Any other manifestations of the Spirit?

MSN Testimony!


I’ve again had an awesome time praying for someone over an MSN chat. I hope these testimonies bless those who read as much as they bless me for the telling!  Here’s another way God is shown POWERFUL!

I have been home on sick leave from work, and I’ve just started a conversation with one of my friends.  Just after the small talk, “Hi, how are you!” kind of opening I said to her:

I was gonna ask you how your relationship with God was going [but] God interrupted me and gave me the word, “Fire-carrier”….  with the sense that you should ask him for ways to extend the reach of his Spirit beyond the church building and carry it to those around you, as it is inside you already!    Your passion for him is radiating off of u… I can see it from here!

That doesn’t mean u don’t have bad days   Just that God sees the direction of your heart and it is still towards him, no matter what’s going on right now.

She replied:

wowww   as usual God is always on time and i really thank God for you and even more for your openess to allow God to use you as a voice piece…i have something on my mind (cant share it as yet) but that is just some confirmation.

I told her:

don’t have to share it with me ….  His presence is around you like sparks …. you need to stop doubting who HE is in YOU and ACT

To this she replied:

uhhhumm i keep getting that … i need to get up and do something i am a bit too relaxed.

So I gave her encouragement about time management (yeah right, ME??? Ha!) only by telling her to let God tell her what to do, when, and for how long.  She told me she set her timetable deliberately so that if she got a job she could go to class in the evenings.  No job has come yet, so she wonders what else God has in store – she told me that she felt God had given her something in her heart that she should do – so I said, “God says GO FOR IT”

So near the end of the conversation I gave her my cell number and said to her:

I know that there’s a reason I connect with your spirit every time we talk – so I want to keep u close lolol

whenever we talk the prophetic flows freely. That shows me that there’s a like spirit there, shows me that u’re open to it; shows me that God has plans for u

She replied:

uhhum – you’re telling me and it always leaves me in awe because it encourages or re-affims and it is just when i need it.

uhhumm – now this is profound! wowwww …. but Lord i thank you

(Isn’t that the goal of prophetic ministry?  God is awesome!)

I have sensed that she herself has prophetic giftings, so I said:

I want to see you step out coz I am sure that you have a prophetic streak in you that you’re afraid to use …. or don’t know it’s there.  I feel like you get thoughts about others but never say it coz you’re afraid you might be wrong … you know what? I started out like that too! Just have to jump for it and take the risk… and realize that you don’t miss it as much as you think you would!

To wish she exclaimed:

OOMMGG (g=goodness) ROBERT u need to stop it!!!!! no i am jus kiddin

(Sounds like I hit a nerve, eh?) 😆

While she continued to exclaim I told her

You have gifts that Father wants to nurture and release – not only back into your Wesleyan context – but outside into the world!  There are people who are not going to grace the inside of a church but will meet God as u speak into their souls, revealing what God has shown you.

What is happening with you is that you are seeing – for yourself – that God is real, his VOICE is real and HE KNOWS YOU; so that you can use that as testimony to others when u tell them what God is showing u for THEM.  When others challenge u, u can say, I know it’s real – it HAPPENED TO ME!

She confessed that I was right and that she never went ahead because of fear, so I started to pray over her right there, praying against fear and releasing the BOLDNESS OF THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH. I said in part:

ROAR with GOD’S VOICE

lay hands on the sick and they shall recover

prophesy to the breath and let the Spirit revive those slain (Ez 37)

God has a mighty work for her to do

Do not fear the uninformed… God breaks you from your tradition NOW

in the name of JESUS CHRIST

He wants to be able to move you wherever, whenever

give him ur allegiance!

When I asked her what happened she said:

well i even as you prayed i prayed and believed God with you and yes i yawned and i felt a release and i started shaking and said something i did not understand and i kept saying Jesus is Lord

She told me later she’d heard the tongues in her head, but this was the first time she’d spoken them out loud.

All I have to say is: WOW. GOD IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does anyone have anything else they’d like to share?

Transition!


The Princeton web definition of transition is as follows:

  • passage: the act of passing from one state or place to the next
  • conversion: an event that results in a transformation
  • a change from one place or state or subject or stage to another
  • cause to convert or undergo a transition; “the company had to transition the old practices to modern technology”
  • a musical passage moving from one key to another
  • make or undergo a transition (from one state or system to another); “The airline transitioned to more fuel-efficient jets”; “The adagio transitioned into an allegro”
  • a passage that connects a topic to one that follows 
    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

For a while now, the word ‘transition’ has been sitting in my spirit, and I’ve been asking the Lord to elaborate.  A lot of noise has been made over 2008 being the year of new beginnings.  As I have let this word marinade in my heart, I have constantly been brought back to the Scripture verse 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

 I declare that the New Year is a year of transition, from the old to the new!  Whatever new beginnings have been spoken over our lives, we will not walk into the fullness of it right away.  Thus, we are being called into transition.  The transition period is being spoken of by prophetic voices across the internet – I have deliberately not read them yet, preferring to listen to the Lord myself first. 

 I believe that the Lord had us in transition mode from the beginning of the year of 2008 – the change of government in Barbados early in 2008  might not rub some of the political pundits well, but it can be seen in the light of change.  In one sense, transition was prophesied by the entire country as they rallied behind the now ruling government’s constant call for change.  The ‘wind of change’ blew through several Caribbean countries, with several changing governments during the different election seasons within the region.

 Transition is the process of going from one place or state to another, as above. It is a process, not an event; it takes time and effort.  The New Year speaks to the process of walking out prophetic destiny on every level – individual and corporate.

 Be warned that this season is not going to be an easy one – almost all change is difficult.  For some the pressure started in 2008, for others it has delayed, but will come in 2009.  Take heart that God knows exactly where you are, and what you are going through. It is a time of pruning, of refocusing. As my wife said during our prayer time this morning, it is a time where old things have to be stripped away to make way for the new.

 In the Fellowship of the Rings (the first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy), the wise wizard Gandalf had to face his fear of the “deep dark of Moria” and the evil that was there.  He was forced to confront the demon Balrog to protect the others, and seemed to fall to his death while protecting them.  It was painful for the others – especially the hobbits – to lose such a great friend.  The loss of Gandalf also forced the others to grow as well. They had to mature quickly when their leader fell.

However, it was revealed in the beginning of the second installment (The Two Towers) that, having faced and defeated his enemy, Gandalf went through a transformation and came back stronger, and with more power.

 The same transformation is available to all of us.  I implore us all to take what the Lord is saying to heart: allow this painful process to shape us and allow the transition to have its full work in us, so that, like Gandalf, we will come out with greater power and walking in the destiny that we have embedded within us.  We all have our particular ‘enemy’ to overcome, and ultimately have to defeat the Enemy himself – Satan – with God’s help.

 “This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”- Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

Divine Connections!


Below is a slightly edited version of a prophetic essay I was led to write recently.  With people’s natural tendency to try to put things into comfortable ‘boxes’, I thought it was time to question what makes a genuine community – was it location, people of like minds, or what?  Read and comment…

Divine Connections (2008.12.20)

“…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7b)

There is much debate about the shape of the church, and many labels – “emergent”, “missional” and “apostolic” being the latest key phrases these days. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with man trying to understand and come to grips with what is happening in the Spirit, but these labels sometimes have the effect of garrisoning – people ‘camp out’ in one of these ‘streams’ of Christianity and are effectively shutting themselves off from the whole move of God. It has the effect of splitting the church into these different, seemingly opposing groups, who take pot shots at one another, splitting hairs over doctrinal differences. But how does God see his church?

To the question asked of Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus said, “’You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,’ and the second command is like the first, ‘you should love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Matt 22:36, para.)

I have gotten the distinct impression that we as believers think too much about the Church’s overall shape, whereas the Lord is looking at something completely different. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.” Man is looking at structure, and organization, and hierarchy, rigidity or fluidity … but God is looking at something else in relation to his church.

The Lord dropped the words ‘divine connection’ into my spirit tonight as I talked about the Kingdom expansion going on within one of Barbados’ parishes with a friend, who has asked me to be a resource in her evangelistic efforts.  I have been feeling an increasing pull towards helping with what is going on there, making myself available to minister deliverance and prophecy, but also to teach and to help to baptize those seriously considering making a life change towards Christ. Carol has been seeking for a team of people to partner with to extend the Kingdom where she lives, and I have felt prophetically that the people are coming, and that God is doing something within her area.

I felt that we had a divine connection between us, and that God had linked us together for this time and this season to see his will accomplished. The Scripture I referenced when speaking to her was Eccl. 4:10-12, and verse 12 says, ‘Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, and a three fold cord is not easily broken.’

As we think about community, the temptation to do it exactly as was done in times past is strong: move house and live in a physical location and embody the Church in a physical location. If things are not done in this way, we may feel that we are missing the mark and missing our opportunity. However, I feel that this is more of the same – the ‘how’ being more important than the ‘what’. I feel that instead the Lord is emphasizing the divine connections between us: our relationships. He puts the lonely together in families, the Scripture says, and he binds people’s hearts and lives together for his purposes. The Lord has always been placing emphasis on the relationship. Jesus, for example, prayed that the believers would be one ‘as I and the Father are one’, and that ‘the world would know that [we] are his disciples because of our love for one another.’

Relationship is the divine connection that is important. Whether separated by physical time and space, the bond of love and commitment far outweighs the ‘shape’ or ‘form’ of community we adopt. Let us be free to explore different forms of community, different shapes for our local expression of the Body of Christ, but without losing the power of relationship. Let us explore the divine connections formed and forming in our lives. Let us see what God is weaving together from these different strings to ultimately display the majestic tapestry of his divine purpose! Let us also be free from fear of ‘missing it’ because the shape is not what we expect; God’s will is for us to have faith in the fact that HE is building his church, and obey his leadings concerning our part in it.

Have anyone felt drawn to another for divine purposes – and knew it was God’s doing?