Identity – Living from a place of Victory (part 2)

Have you ever watched a young child automatically approach their father and reach up for a hug and a sit on the father’s lap, even amidst an important occasion for the father? This child automatically knows his or her position as a child of that father. Their identity is secure in their father’s love for them and their authority as a child of that father to approach him whenever or wherever.

When we do not know our true identity and we are not living in that, we leave ourselves wide open to everything that Satan can fling at us. I believe one of our greatest weapons in living a life of victory and defeating Satan is that of knowing and living in our true identity. When we combine this with using our authority as sons and daughters of the most High God, we have an amazing weapon, an amazing freedom, an amazing life.

Our identity is so very important.

We defeat our internal giants before we can take on external giants.

Becoming the person God sees us as is claiming and possessing our internal territory. Thus, if we are afraid and haven’t gone after inner peace with God, then we can’t expect to come against fear in the atmosphere or in someone else’s life.

I personally believe that how we see ourselves, the identity that we have from our perspective, will never be as great as how God sees us. God sees us as so brilliant and I don’t think we ever really fully comprehend the enormity of how God sees us as individuals. I believe that God is always inviting us to a deeper level of understanding of our identity and how we see ourselves. This is all tied up with our self worth and our values.

James Hird, a famous Melbourne footballer and coach, recently wrote an article in ‘The Age’ newspaper about Essendon football players and the drug controversy. His article included the following paragraph -“Football, rightly or wrongly, was our identity…over time (the controversy) stripped away our identity, our value and our worth. When people do that to you, you are vulnerable to go down a path…that maybe you wouldn’t have gone down otherwise.”

It’s so important that we don’t get our identity from what we do. This not only leaves us vulnerable, but it leaves us incomplete. Our identity is not about doing. It is all about being but it affects our doing. Our doing comes out of our identity and we must learn to separate them. Otherwise we will get caught up in a performance mentality.

Satan challenged Jesus about His identity. Matthew 4:1-11 is when Satan met with Jesus in the wilderness and challenged Jesus about His core beliefs – who He was. Satan also challenged Jesus to worship him. I believe our worship flows automatically out of who we are. When we grasp and fully believe who we are as sons and daughters of the most High King, we cannot help but worship God extravagantly. Worship flows out of who we are and who God is.

Once our identity is based on how God sees us, it is an easy next step to walk in authority. Just like worship flows automatically from our identity, so too does our authority.

Jesus, towards the end of His time here on earth, Jesus tells His disciples that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater than these” (John 14;12). Matthew 28:17 has Jesus saying, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go…” He gives us the authority to do what He has been doing.

Our identity affects our authority and the way we pray.

How we walk in our identity and authority as royal sons and daughters will automatically affect the way we pray. Whether we approach God as a desperate beggar or as a confident son or daughter affects the outcome. It also affects how Satan approaches us and what he knows of our weaknesses.

The quest to discover more of our true identity and to live from that place is one of the reasons that I am a huge advocate of prayer ministry or inner healing. I advocate that it is great to have an annual time of where you go deeper with God and receive healing and insight into more of who you really were created to be. Just like you service your car so that it continues to run smoothly, I believe that it is great to have a time of ‘inner service’ on ourselves so that we can deal with any small issues before they become bigger issues and also to dig down deeper into issues of self worth, value and authority.

Whenever we react in a manner that surprises us or we over-react to something, then it is definitely time to take a moment and ask God “What lie am I believing at the moment?” After God shares that with you, confess that lie to God and ask Him, “What truth do you want to replace that with God?”. God will always come through for you and help you replace lies with His truth.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Make up some cookie/biscuit dough. Divide into enough lots so that every member of the family/group has enough. Ask each person to fashion/mould a shape or something out of the dough that represents another person’s identity – that of who God says they are. If you have enough dough, keep going so that everyone can make something for every other person. Tell each other what you have created. Then cook the biscuits and enjoy eating them.

2. Group Activation: Make enough play dough so that every person has some. (Google ‘no cook play dough recipe’ for a quick and easy recipe.) Get into pairs and ask each person to craft something out of the play dough that describes their partner’s identity of how God sees them. Give your partner the crafted item and share the meaning with them.

3. Beginner Activation: Open your fridge or food cupboard. Ask God to highlight a particular food item. Ask God to then show or tell you how that relates to you and your relationship with God.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a person to you this week who doesn’t realise their full identity in Christ. Ask them if you can share with them how God sees them.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight an area of sin that your nation / culture has now accepted as a normal part of life. Spend time with God asking Him for His perspective on this and what response He wants you to make.

Worship – Living from a Place of Victory

Friends of ours live and work overseas and also have a house back here in Australia. They come back for a fortnight to Australia every 4-6 months. I will never forget my friend sharing how they always left Christian worship music playing on repeat in their Australian house when they returned overseas. My friend shared how they never had to worry about their garden as no weeds ever grew in it and she surmised it was due to the worship music saturating the atmosphere of her house and garden. One time, they had had someone stay at the house just after they had left for overseas. This person had turned off the Christian worship music whilst they had been at the house. They had not turned it on when they left. When my friends returned three months later, there were weeds two feet high all throughout the front yard.

Can worship make that much difference?

It seems totally absurb but our God is powerful and giving Him His worth through worship is extremely powerful.

I look at it from a different angle and say why wouldn’t it do that as worship changes everything.

When we worship, we give God all the glory and God can’t help but come and invade the praise of His people. With God present with us, our perspective changes, our actions change, and our problems seem smaller.

Worship changes atmospheres.

Worship changes our focus.

Worship helps us realise our identity and position in the heavenly realms.

I would rather be fighting from a position of worship and having ‘the joy of the Lord as my strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10) than be focusing on the devil and how to protect myself.

The devil will not co-exist with God and our worship. Thus, I much rather prefer to worship God and let the devil flee without giving him any attention.

When I was a young Christian, a lot of emphasis was put on “living a victorious christian lifestyle”. The only hassle was that it was all about living from a defensive position. The devil seemed huge and I had to build myself up and get rid of any sin in my life so as to be able to defeat him.

When I worship God, I am on the offensive, not the defensive. Worship becomes the first thing, in every situation. In fact, worship becomes a lifestyle. I love living from a lifestyle of victory and having the attitude and actions that we are coming from the position of the winning side. It changes my whole perspective.

We were made to worship God. If we are not worshiping God, then what are we worshiping? Whatever that is, it is an idol.

This is the first blog in a series of blogs covering living from a place of victory. This series will include blogs about the things we say and declare, living a godly lifestyle, changing atmospheres, blessing your spirit, spiritual ‘cleanliness’ before and after ministry, rest etc. If you are not a subscriber to this blog, I encourage you to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on part 2.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Buy an art canvas for each family member. Set up the paints and allow each person to paint their canvas background. When the paint is dry, grab some permanent markers. Write each person’s name in the middle of their canvas. Focus on one family member at a time. Brainstorm as a family the strengths of that person and the words that God would use to describe that person. Write these words on that family member’s canvas. You may like to hang each person’s canvas in their bedroom as a visual reminder of what God thinks of them.

2. Group Activation: Get into groups of 3. Elect one person to receive the prophetic word. The other 2 people in the group will play ‘prophetic table tennis’ – one person starts giving a prophetic word, the second person then carries on giving the prophetic word in the same vein of thought, then it returns to person number one to expand even deeper on that thread, then back to number two to expand deeper still. Try not to introduce any thing that doesn’t follow that thread. Instead, ask God how you can go deeper with just the one thread of thought. After you finish that one concept/thought etc, switch positions for someone new to receive a prophetic word.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to highlight to you an area of your home that seems dreary or unproductive or somewhere that you prefer not to relax in. Leave worship music playing quietly in that area for the next week/fortnight and see if it ‘feels’ any different or anyone else notices any change.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God for an encouraging Bible passage for someone undergoing a difficult season. Communicate this to that person in a loving, encouraging manner.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight an MK (Child of a missionary) or a PK (Child of a Pastor). Ask God for a prophetic word for that child. Write a letter to that child highlighting what God has shared with you about that child and how great God sees them.

Hearing God’s Voice (part 4) – Growing in the Prophetic

Three years ago, our 11 year old daughter was invited to have afternoon tea with the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott. One of our first reactions as a family, after agreeing that we would do everything possible for her to attend, was to agree to draw (for the children) and write (for hubby and I) a prophetic word each for him.  It was just natural to think that way, almost ‘second nature’.

(Our children find it easier to express what they are hearing / seeing from God for a person by drawing a picture for them and writing a sentence or two of explanation.)

Several weeks later, I was amazed at the number of Christians who had commented to me that they would never have thought to write or draw a prophetic word / picture for him. This shocked me. Why wouldn’t you take the opportunity in person to do that. We didn’t include any Christian language. We were encouraging and strengthening in what we wrote and drew. We purely asked God, “how do you see him and what would you like to say to him?” and then we listened for God’s reply.

Reflecting on this later, I realised that several years earlier, we would never have thought to do it either. The journey we have been on over these last seven years has prepared us for this. We have specifically tried to take every opportunity that we can to write, draw, and speak prophetic words over people. We have incorporated it into our daily lives so that it is part of us. We have grown considerably in our gifting because we have practiced. I encourage you to practice and take every opportunity you can.

We have stuck to the basics of it being encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting. We have tried not to use Christian language but begin by saying, “I sense that…” and not using “God says…”. We have never spoken or drawn negative things. If we ever did get anything negative, we would change it to the opposite and speak the positive, thereby giving life to what we said and to the other person.

Basically, there are four steps to take initially to grow in the prophetic.

Firstly, practice, practice, practice.

The more you practice something, the better you get at doing that activity.

I love prophetic activations for this reason. Prophetic activations are basically some exercises that you can do to help you practice hearing God’s voice and sensing what is on His heart for a particular situation or person.

At the end of each of my blogs on this website, “Unlocking the Gold”, I always compose five prophetic activations. They include one aimed specifically at families or groups of children, another one for groups, beginners, someone a bit further down the track and another for people who consider themselves quite advanced and have been operating in the prophetic for a while. You are most welcome to do the whole five each week.

The individual activations will take about five to ten minutes to do. Some may take a bit longer eg twenty minutes. I have found with my children that they hear God immediately and they are finished within five minutes whilst I am usually still trying to work out what God is saying.

My first year at operating in the prophetic, I used to write 3-5 birthday cards per week. At that time, I was involved in a weekly meal to help people who were struggling with life issues, usually suffering from mental illness as well, and I would write encouragement cards and birthday cards for these folk, as well as cards for friends and family. On the left hand side of the card, I would ask God what to write, listen to what I felt Him saying and then write it down. At the time, I was busy with young kids and would set aside the 30 minutes during the kids swimming lesson to do this, putting myself under pressure to finish them in this time.

Every time I went to the shops or had a coffee at a coffee shop, I would make a concerted effort to give the cashier or waitress a prophetic encouraging word. I would usually begin by saying, “I notice that you are (and go on to highlight an encouraging character issue)..” It was during this time that I noticed my gifting developing so much. I believe that it was due to my practicing and developing it.

I encourage you this week to look for ways to practice. Look for the hidden ‘gold’ inside a certain person and try to bring it to the surface by asking God to show you how He views them and what they need encouragement in. Then speak it kindly and gently to them in an encouraging and uplifting way. Remember to only speak words that are encouraging, uplifting and comforting, not negative at all. Use plain, everyday English. A great way to start the sentence is to say, “I sense…” or “I have a feeling that….” or “You are a … person who…..” or “I notice that ….”

  • Whilst in line at the supermarket, ask God to give you a few words to say to the cashier that will encourage and speak into their situation.
  • Ask God for people’s names and then write an encouragement card/email to them.
  • Leave a card with a prophetic word on it for the postman.
  • Drop an encouraging prophetic letter into your neighbour’s letterbox.
  • Every phone conversation you have this week, determine to pause and ask God what He wants you to release to the caller.
  • Find creative ways of writing and drawing prophetic words for your family / housemates. Leave them where they can discover them and be encouraged.
  • Realise that every time you come across someone who annoys you, it is an opportunity for you to discover the hidden ‘gold’ in that person and reveal it to them.

Go for it. Make it a part of your lifestyle. Enjoy!!

Secondly, intimacy with Father God

I have found that a hugely significant way to grow in the prophetic is to get closer to God. To become more intimate with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus. The more intimate we become with all three, the more we recognise the subtleties of what they say and do and who they are.

God is creative and He loves us being creative with Him. Experiment with how you relate with God. Change the place eg go for a walk on the beach during a storm, take a hike, sit in a coffee shop, rest in a quiet place. Change the how eg put on quiet music and meditate on God’s goodness, read the Bible, fast, be silent, go out into nature and touch that which the creator has created, try creating a piece of art, etc

We become what we behold. Thus, we need to be careful at what we are looking at. What are we listening to and watching on the television or our social media? Who do we surround ourselves with that are impacting on our soul and spirit? What are we feeding our spirit, soul and body? If we are exposed to the glory of God, we will be transformed. 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Thirdly, look at your true identity

I encourage you to go on a journey of discovery with God and yourself. Look at who God says you are. Discover your true identity. Find out how you are known in Heaven.

Explore the good, the bad and the ugly about yourself. God is a safe person and place. Be truly vulnerable with God and ask Him to reveal to you those areas you need to grow in eg any fears, shame, guilt etc. Spend time with God immersing yourself in being completely vulnerable with him and discovering what He thinks of you.

As you uncover your true identity and live that out in its purest form, the more likely you are to hear God and operate in an intimate manner with God. Thus, your prophetic skills of hearing and seeing from God will grow and you will want to release what God is sharing with you to others.

Fourth, take responsibility for your own growth.

You are responsible for your own growth. Do not expect anyone else to take this responsibility from you.

Some further ways you can help yourself to grow in your prophetic ability include:

  • Read books about the prophetic
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Find prophetic people and ask them to mentor you.
  • Keep a journal outlining the promptings you feel from God and what you have done as a result and the outcome (if it was apparent).
  • Ask a friend if you can record a prophecy you speak over them so as to listen to it back and hear what you say. Sometimes we can be shocked by how often we mumble or keep repeating ourselves.
  • Ask friends if you can ‘practice’ on them.
  • Find someone to have fun with on this journey and be able to spur each other on in your prophetic growth.

When you are intentional about growing in the prophetic and taking risks, you will see a huge improvement in your ability to give prophetic words and the depth of those words.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Place an assortment of Lego on the table and ask everyone to make something from God for the person on their left out of Lego. Set a time limit. At the end, encourage everyone to share what they made and why.

2. Group Activation: Have enough envelopes and slips of paper for each person in the group. Ask people to write their own name on a slip of paper, fold the paper so the name can’t be seen and put it in the envelope and seal the envelope. Gather all the envelopes and shuffle them. Pass the envelopes out so that every person has an envelope. Ask people to write on the outside of the envelope a prophetic word for the person’s name inside it. Set a time limit of seven minutes maximum. Ask people to then open the envelope and pass to the person whose name is on the inside. Let that person read what is written on the envelope for them.

3. Beginner Activation: Find a strong fragrance and take your time inhaling the aroma. Ask God to reveal to you what He wants to communicate to you through that fragrance.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to speak to you through an advertising sign. Ask God to also highlight a person or situation that it speaks into. When you realise what that is, communicate the prophetic word to that person using the advertising sign as a base or springboard for your prophetic word.

5. Advanced Activation: Find a house or business for sale that has been for sale for a lengthy time and doesn’t seem to be selling. Spend time with God asking Him what to pray and then prophesy over that house/business. Observe over the next few weeks to see if what you prophesied makes a difference.