Renewing your Mind – Living from a Place of Victory (part 6)

When I first had my children, I really felt God impress on me to live my life with Romans 12:1-2 being paramount.

In the Message version it says in Romans 12:1-2 “Place Your Life Before God – So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

These verses and meditating on them, have helped bring a peace and joy to my life and that of my family. We have tried to base our whole thinking around what is of God versus what is of our culture. The NIV writes Romans 12:2 like this: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This led us to home school our children, an uncommon thing in Australia. I realise that home schooling is not for every family, but all too often people do not even ask God what form of schooling their children should have or who should have the major role in educating and indoctrinating their children.

Several principles I have found that have helped me tremendously in renewing my mind are:

  1. Whatever we focus on, grows.

Thus, if we focus on negative things, they will grow. Thus, be careful what you think about. Also, be aware that what you put into your mind, or feed your mind, will also reap fruit. Deliberately focus on the good. I am constantly amazed by people who continually say negative or depressing things. There is so much good in this world to focus on instead. Thus, be intentional what you look at, read, listen to.

 

                              I challenge you to go on a media fast for a week to a fortnight. Soak instead in God’s Word and see if there is any change in your circumstances and your thought life after the media fast.

 

  1. Change your thoughts

What we believe in our hearts not only determines our behaviour but it directs our lives. Check out Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”. Deliberately change your thoughts to positive thoughts.

The key to personal transformation is to change the way you think; to renew your mind (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 10:5, 1 John 5:4).

2 Corinthians 10:5 talks about “take captive every thought”. Stop and capture every thought that flitters through your mind that is not of God. Immediately take it captive and get rid of it.

I like to think of a 3 colour traffic light system with my thought life. Very rarely now will I be anxious, worried, sad or depressed. I classify those emotions as the colour red in the traffic light system. I am generally very positive and upbeat – thus green traffic light. I identify, for me, some things that raise an amber warning light in the traffic light system and that prompts me to immediately go back to God to keep in the green. I immediately take them captive and get rid of them. What are your ‘amber’ warning lights?

  1. Meditate on Scripture. Play Christian songs with lyrics that speak life.

Speak life over yourself. Write out a declaration and speak it out over yourself on a regular basis. Speak the Bible over yourself. Pray it over your life. Bless your spirit with words from the Bible.

  1. Don’t second guess or keep asking.

So many times, I know people have heard from God but they don’t like the answer so they waste precious time by continually asking God for (hopefully) a different answer. This does not lead to a peaceful mind.

  1. Watch your words – speak life. Be careful of what you say. Are you speaking words that bring life or words that bring death? Our words have the power to create the outcome. (see blog post from June 2nd, 2018 – http://www.unlockingthegold.com/what-we-say-living-from-a-place-of-victory-part-4/)
  1. Memorial stones

I find that it helps me to stay focused if I am beginning something new to have reminders around the place. Just like the Israelites had the memorial stones (Joshua 4 – stones from the Jordan River that reminded them of what God had done for them), I keep reminders at home for me. Little momentoes that remind me constantly of God’s goodness, kindness and love. These momentoes encourage me to turn my thoughts to Christ, to stay positive.

7. Guard your Peace

Be aware of living in a state of total peace so that when you come against any feeling that is not from this ‘peaceful’ state, you are immediately alerted in your spirit. Guard your peace. Do whatever you have under your control to keep your spirit at peace.

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: Go around your family/table and ask God to show you a supernatural superhero power that God has given to each family member. Encourage each person in their own superhero supernatural power.

2. Group Activation: In preparation, write an encouraging single word on a piece of paper eg fun, June, special, warm, gold, Holy, grace, laughter, September etc. Write enough different single words so that there is at least one piece of paper for each person expected to be present. During the group time, spread out the pieces of paper and ask people to choose one piece of paper each. Then ask them to find someone the word applies to prophetically and speak a prophetic word over them about that characteristic.

3. Beginner Activation: Keep track of every thought and feeling today, pulling yourself up when you start to feel, say or think anything negative. Capture those thoughts and change them to the opposite. Deliberately try to choose positive and thankfulness instead. Find someone who appears down and not cheerful and give them a sincere prophetic word.

4. Intermediate Activation: Find a house in your neighbourhood with an unkempt front yard. Walk past and spend time blessing the house, the occupants and the owners. Try and do this on a regular basis and take note of any changes.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God how you can be part of the response to your country’s refugee situation. Prophesy over the situation, whether your country or the wider world situation for refugees.

Changing Atmospheres – Living from a Place of Victory (part 5)

Several years ago, my daughter and I were having a drink with a lady whilst waiting for my husband and son to join us. After a good twenty minutes, we both were looking at one another in amazement. The woman was so negative. We were both feeling very uncomfortable because everything we said was turned into a negative complaint. The woman stated that it was such a cold, dreary day. She then went on to say that the café would probably forget her drink (which they did). She then said that the coffee would probably be cold, which it was. Everything she said was so negative.

Suddenly I remembered that we can change or ‘shift’ the atmosphere. As a family we had recently listened to a CD by Dawna DeSilva from Bethel on this topic but we hadn’t yet ‘tried’ it out. Very quietly so that only my daughter and I heard, I said, “Spirit of negativity I see you and I choose not to partner with you. Instead, I release a spirit of joy.”

Instantly this woman stopped complaining and being negative. The atmosphere changed significantly and instantaneously. My daughter and I were gobsmacked. We both realised the results were amazing.

I believe it is important to teach our children that they are responsible for their attitude and the atmosphere they carry and also how they can simply change the atmosphere around them by speaking a few simple words.

We are spiritual beings and the spirit within us has power to change the atmosphere where we are. I have personally used this a number of times in my work situation where I have been nursing a patient who is really upset and the atmosphere will completely change. It is usually so powerful that all my colleagues will notice it and comment on the change with amazement.

Friends, this is a powerful weapon. Whenever you notice an atmosphere that isn’t of God, use this method to change it. Whenever you walk into a room and feel an extremely strong emotion that isn’t you or you didn’t have a few minutes ago and there seems to be no apparent reason, try this method. It works.

An example is friends were walking through the casino from the carpark to the restaurant and the woman suddenly felt a strong sexual urge overwhelm her. She was completely baffled but tried this strategy and the strong sexual urge immediately left her. She had encountered a spirit in the atmosphere that was not of her but had impacted her as she walked through that area.

I encourage you to try it this week and then teach your children how they can also do it. When I teach kids how to do this, I usually frame it as saying, “fear go, peace come”.

I taught it to a Sunday School class last year and that very afternoon at lunchtime, one of the kids was in his kitchen helping his mum who was stressed and the atmosphere became quite tense. The mum later shared how her son said, “I learnt something today. I can’t remember what to say. Oh yes. Stress go, peace come.” The mum shared how they both noticed an immediate change.

Try it when you next encounter something negative “in the air”. It may even be your own children being grumpy, dishonest, defiant etc. You have spiritual authority over the situation, so just quietly say, “I see you spirit of…. and I choose not to partner with you and instead I release the spirit of…..(the opposite)”. See what happens.

If you would like to hear a full teaching on this, Dawna DeSilva from Bethel Church has a  fantastic teaching audio on ‘shifting atmospheres’. (http://store.ibethel.org/p4003/shifting-atmospheres)

Let me know how you go.

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: Cut shapes of fruit out of paper. Write negative emotions & characteristics eg fear, anger, bullying, lying, on those pieces of ‘fruit’. Stick to a wall. Get a nerf gun and take it in turns to ‘shoot’ the fruit. When you ‘shoot’ the fruit, you then can turn the fruit over and write on the other side the opposite emotion. Practice saying eg “Fear go, peace come”.

2. Group Activation: Play “Prophetic UNO”. It works best in groups of 6-8 people. Get a pack of UNO cards. One at a time, turn over the top card. Follow the instructions eg if a red card, then you give a prophetic word to the person on your left. This is most effective when you play it quickly ie people need to start giving a prophetic word within 20-30 seconds of turning over the card.

UNO Prophecy Instructions

                     RED            – you give a prophetic word to the person on your left

                     GREEN       – you give a prophetic word to the person on your right

                     BLUE          – you give a prophetic word to the person opposite

                     YELLOW    – you choose who to give a prophetic word to in the group

                     DRAW 2    – choose 2 people to give you a prophetic word

                     DRAW 4    – choose 4 people to give you a prophetic word

                     WILD CARD – Choose whether you give a prophetic word to someone or choose someone to give you one.

3. Beginner Activation: Take notice of the everyone whom you meet who is negative today. Practice changing the atmosphere by saying quietly into the atmosphere “Negativity go, peace and positivity come”. Watch and see the change.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight 3 articles of clothing to you – the colour, type etc. Watch for a person wearing those 3 articles. Be ready to give them a prophetic word to encourage, strengthen or comfort them. Remember, you can give a prophetic word that doesn’t have “christian” language in it.

5. Advanced Activation: Go to an area of your town which is often in the news for negative reasons. Ask God to show you His heart for this area and the people within it. Prophecy over this area for a change towards Kingdom values.

What we say – Living from a Place of Victory (part 4)

       “My feet are killing me!”

       “You’re a pain in the neck”.

       “I’m sick and tired of this.”

How often have you heard those words?

Maybe, you’ve even said them.

Fast forward a few years, you have feet that are in so much pain they are literally ‘killing’ you, and a pain in the neck area that you can’t get rid of. You constantly feel sick and tired.

The words we say are powerful. Whenever we speak, we are releasing the potential for positive or negative effect into the atmosphere. Our words have the power to create, to form and fashion something out of nothing and to change outcomes. In Genesis 1, God spoke and the world was created. He has given us the same creative power that by the words we speak, we create outcomes, good or bad. Do you speak life or death?

 

         God’s Word does not return empty and our words don’t either.

 

The Bible says a lot about our use of words:

  • Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desireand achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
  • Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death,and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
  • Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords,but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
  • Romans 4:17 “the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.”

This is a subject I often chat with my kids about and my children can sometimes be heard reminding me “Mum, be careful what you say as it will come true”.

Our family is so used to hearing about the power of our words that even last week we had a great example of this. Josh (12) was one of the top 3 semi finalists in the Victorian Young Achiever Awards for the Creating Change Category for his work with collecting over 18,000 pairs of brand new socks for the homeless. Dan (the eventual winner) had done amazing things and I commented how Dan would probably win it but that Josh and I needed to write a speech just in case Josh won. Josh interrupted me and said, “Mum, you are not creating a good atmosphere. You should be supporting me and saying instead, ‘When you win…’.” Josh was realistic but also fully aware of what we say into the atmosphere can change the future.

Self talk

Self talk also comes under this category. When we say negative things about ourselves eg “I’m an idiot, I shouldn’t have done that” it releases the potential for me to think like an idiot, to see myself like an idiot and to become an idiot.

Words spoken harshly or hastily can still affect us years after the incident. Did a parent or teacher ever make a negative remark to you that you can still remember?

  • “You are stupid”
  • “You’re ugly”
  • “You’ll never amount to anything”

How has self talk impacted your life? Your beliefs about yourself?

Impact of a Parent’s words

In a rash moment of anger or frustration we, as parents, can say something that will impact and change our child’s self-esteem and life forever.

I’ll never forget a number of years ago when Josh and I were going over his spelling words for his visual and auditory processing exercises. My frustration level was rising and Josh suddenly stopped and said, “Please don’t get angry and say something horrible to me.” This made me stop and have a serious think about what I was communicating to him. I was reacting out of shame. At the previous appointment, Josh had completely forgotten all the work we had done and the behavioural optometrist asked us not to come back if he couldn’t do it the next appointment as it was a waste of time. I had felt ashamed and that emotion was then impacting my behaviour when we next were practicing my son’s spelling words.

There is so much power in your words. We can take precautions when we are frustrated and angry to not speak, to take a few minutes time out, but there may be a time when we say something hurtful or life impacting in a negative way.

What can we do when we have hurt our children with our words:

  1. Apologise. Not just say sorry but accept full responsibility.
  2. Realise that it takes a lot more times of saying the positive for them to then believe it.
  3. Lead our kids through a prayer to break all agreement with the lies. You may also need to do this for yourself. An example is “I break all agreements with lies and negative thoughts, both known and unknown. I also break all agreements with assumptions & perceptions that have come about through believing the lies. Please forgive me God for partnering with the lie. God, what would you like to give me, show me or tell me in exchange for the lie?”

I encourage you to have a new normal in your life and at home. No negative words. Only kind and positive words allowed.

Power of words when praying:
Can I also encourage you to use the power of your words for good when praying? This is an amazing weapon that we have been given for living a victorious Christian life. I find that a massively effective way of praying is to decree & declare that what is in heaven is done. Eg “I decree and declare that your back will be completely healed”. I find that this carries a lot more authority than praying, “God, can you please heal this person?”.

There is slight difference between a decree and declaration.

  • A decree is an order, a command or a prescription.
  • A declaration is to announce officially, to proclaim, to make public.

That is why I usually listen to God for what He wants me to pray and then boldly proclaim, “I decree and declare…”

I encourage you to try it and see if there is any difference in the authority that you operate in as you pray.

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: Grab a tube of toothpaste and illustrate with your children how when you squeeze the toothpaste out of tube, it is then really hard to put it back in. Liken it to when we say words, it is then hard to take back those words. Go around the table and all share positive and encouraging words about each person. Spend a few moments asking God to highlight special encouraging words to say.

2. Group Activation: Break into pairs. Ask people to ask God to show or tell them an area of their partner’s identity or character that they are to speak into. Spend a few minutes going deeper with God to obtain more clarity about the issue. Speak this out over your partner and bless them in this area.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to reveal to you any lies you have believed about yourself from self talk or from what other people have said over you. Spend time with God receiving healing for this, repent of believing the lies and assumptions. Ask God to show you His truth about yourself and how He sees you.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a community group who cares for women deciding whether or not to abort their babies. Prophesy life over that group and pray and bless their effectiveness.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend some time with God asking Him about an identity area for your country or state that has been robbed eg same sex marriage, safe schools with gender ideology, legalisation of homosexuality, abortion, children growing up without both parents present etc. Ask God to show you how to intercede and what to prophecy about this issue and your country.

Authority – Living from a Place of Victory (part 3)

Imagine your dad owned a huge company that employed many people. Over many years, your dad has been trying to implement a new method of operating. He has completed just about all the background work and it is nearly ready for the big day when it is going to be officially implemented. You have spent a lot of your time just hanging around your dad whilst he had been working on it. You weren’t an employee, you were the boss’s kid and so you had free reign where you went and what you did. You loved the smell of your dad’s office and being with Him whilst He worked. He often talked aloud of what He was doing and you were passionate about what He was doing since you just loved being with Him. Your dad included you in the brainstorming of the solutions to problems. Your dad often allowed you to implement the changes.

The big day arrives and unexpectedly your dad can’t make the official opening. He asks you instead, as His representative, to be there as His delegated authority. You know the workings of it nearly as much as He does because of all the time you have spent with Him and the intimacy of the working conditions. Your dad has complete faith and trust in you. He knows that you understand what is required to be done and how to solve many of the issues. Thus, he delegates his authority to you.

Imagine this is God and He is asking you to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, change nature. What is your response?

Knowing our authority and the manner in which we walk in it can change our life. It impacts the way we pray, how we pray, what we say, our actions, our lifestyle. In fact, it can completely change how we live our life.

 

                         Authority is delegated power.

 

Jesus has complete authority and He gave us authority to do whatever He did plus more. (John 14:12)

Last week I posted about identity and living from a place of how God sees us as that will always be more accurate and far better than how we see ourself. Out of our identity and our intimacy with Father God comes our authority.

When we have a faulty belief system, it definitely shows up here. How we view and believe what God can and will do, certainly impacts the authority we operate in. When we believe that God is always good and wants to heal and can heal anything, it changes the way we pray for people and what we pray.

I can remember being in a Board meeting of our Healing Rooms and the Director was sharing about a team member needing heart surgery and she went on to explain the condition. I was a Coronary Care specialist nurse for over 25 years so I knew what she was talking about. I just automatically went to the position of the operation would be the best outcome for that type of condition. As we prayed, I said, “Father God, if it is your will to heal this person without surgery…”. The Director stopped me right there and said, “Jane, we don’t pray that way.”. I was rightly reprimanded as that is not exercising my faith and authority as a daughter of the Healing God that we love and serve. God wants to heal everyone. Fair enough, some people’s healing does come through having surgery but we do not pray, “if it is your will to heal”.

I have had to intentionally grow my faith so that it is bold and so that I operate from a belief system that God can do anything, that the impossible can become possible with God.

Some of the ways that I have grown my faith have included:

  • I have intentionally blessed my spirit. I call my spirit to attention and bless it with increased faith. I bless it with knowing beyond a doubt that Father God can and will do the impossible. That Father God specialises in making the impossible the possible.
  • Personally experiencing miracles and healing.
  • Studying the Bible and what it says about faith, healing, God.
  • Surrounding myself with people of great faith, who know the Bible and live by the promises in the Bible.
  • Listening to great teaching about the promises in the Bible
  • Spending time with God asking Him the hard questions and growing in intimacy with Him.
  • Prayer ministry has been another way that has helped me to see some faulty beliefs that I had about God. When I now react in a manner that is inappropriate to a situation eg get angry, I try to take a few minutes to ask God, “Father God, can you please show me why I acted that way. What lie am I believing? After I have my answer, and confess that lie/belief to God, I then ask God, “What truth do you want me to know instead?”

Sometimes we don’t actually realise how much we have grown in a certain area until we are around people who have a different belief system to ourselves. This was very evident to me last week when I was asked to give words of knowledge at a healing course and then pray for people who came forward.  I was gobsmacked by how many people said, “My back’s killing me” and “I’m going blind and there’s nothing that can be done about it” or “God’s never healed me before”. It also struck me how many people assumed that the Doctor’s diagnosis of their condition was true and final.

One of the reasons I was astounded by these words were that I have realised that what we say out of our mouths has a direct correlation with what happens to us in life and whether or not we get our healing. (My next blog post will be on what we say and the impact it has.)

For us to see the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, it will require us to go after it wholeheartedly. This is not for the faint hearted. Matthew 11:11 says, “And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the Kingdom of Heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force.” I am not advocating violence. Here it is talking about violence as chasing after it with zeal and intense exertion. To press into it with fervour resembling violence and desperation. It expresses the earnestness that we need to have to be rid of all sin and unbelief in our life and to rid this earth of all power belonging to Satan.

Do you want to see God’s Kingdom established here on earth, here in your life? Do you want to see healing restored back to its rightful place as part of the normal Christian life?

Jesus, towards the end of His time here on earth, 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.

Matthew 16:18 says, “… I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”

Are you chasing after bringing Heaven (& all that is in Heaven eg health, love, peace, joy, extravagance etc) to earth?

How could you change your life or your belief system so what Christ commanded us to do and be, actually occurs within your lifestyle?

When Jesus Christ was on earth, He gave His disciples authority over demons, nature/weather, death, sickness, sin, poverty and everything that wasn’t in Heaven. We are given the same authority but it seems to be unusual to see us exhibiting that same authority that the disciples had and used.

For us to operate from a position of authority requires us to have some experience in that area. Heidi Baker prays with authority for anyone who is blind as she knows that they will obtain their sight. When Heidi Baker first began praying for blind people, she did not see any difference though for the first 100 blind people she prayed for.

 

                         But she persevered.

 

She then saw breakthrough and she now operates in amazing authority whenever eye problems are an issue.

What prevents us as Christians from operating in that realm and with that same authority?

I believe when we spend time with God and are intimate with God and truly know the Father’s heart for us, then we can’t help but know that He wants people healed and has given us that responsibility and authority.

My prayer is that you will ponder these questions and, if need be, make some life changing decisions and actions.

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts.

 

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: Draw an outline of a person on a piece of paper. Give a copy to everyone. Ask everyone to colour in or write or draw on a particular are of the body that God shows or tells them. Share what body parts are highlighted. Ask if anyone present has a pain or injury or needs healing for any of those body parts. Pray for those people, preferably getting the people who had the word of knowledge about a body part doing the praying for healing for that body part. If no-one present has an injury or needs healing, keep a look out for the next person you see who needs healing of that body part.

2. Group Activation: Get into pairs. Ask each person to listen to God for what to pray over their partner, particularly in the area of identity, intimacy with God and authority. Ask them to call their partner’s spirit to attention and bless their spirit with what God has shown them. Take turns blessing each other with this.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God if there is a lie you are believing about operating in your God given authority that you have as a Christian? If He reveals a lie to you, repent and ask God to show you His truth. Then immediately start believing this truth and making it a part of your belief system and life style. Step out in faith in one area this week using your God given authority.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a person in authority who needs encouragement. Spend time with God getting a prophetic word for that person. Take time to ask God how (eg written or spoken) and when you are to deliver it to that person. Then do it.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you a new area and level of authority that He wants you to grow in. Ask God to highlight this to you and begin to contend for this in your life.

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.

Hearing God’s Voice for Others (Part 3)

  • “I’ve got nothing.”
  • “I can’t Hear God.”
  • “I’ve never heard God before.”
  • “What if it’s not God but my own thoughts?”

These are all comments I regularly hear when adults are beginning to prophesy. With children, I don’t hear the same. Children tend to just take it for granted that they will hear or see or sense something and that what ever that is, then it must be from God. Us adults can tend to highlight our own thoughts way too high and believe that what we are hearing or sensing is from ourselves, that no way would it be from God.

First Thought Principle:

I encourage people to grab the first thought that comes through your head when you are trying to hear or sense from God. This works well if you are in a great place emotionally and spiritually, but not so well if you are in the pits of despair or a spiritual barren place.

I find that the ‘first thought’ through my mind is from God. It comes so quick. Then a second thought follows soon after – “What if it is me and not God?” Grab that first thought and hold on to it and expand it with God. Don’t partner with the second thought of “What if it is from me?” Ask God questions to find out more information because He loves answering them.

Once you have started hearing God for yourself, you learn to recognise what God sounds like. Some people will see pictures or sense what God is saying. Once we can hear God or sense Him, it is easy to begin to hear God and what is on His heart for others. We can help others realise how God sees them.

When starting to hear God for others, it is always important to remember that you only ever communicate to another person the positive. 1 Corinthians 14:3 says “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for the strengthening, encouraging or comfort.” Thus, we only share that which will be encouraging, comforting and strengthening.

What if I am wrong?

I can remember when I was fairly new at hearing from God. I was matched up with another person and we were giving prophetic words to leaders in a prophetic presbytery at our church conference. This lady came in and sat down. I immediately received the words ‘Romanian orphanage’. I was aghast. I must have heard wrong. Fancy saying that to someone. What if I was terribly wrong? I couldn’t say that!

Take note that during these thoughts I had, I was giving myself and my thoughts far too much credit and not focusing on the magnificence of God. It became all about me and not about God.

I managed to say something to the lady but did not utter anything about Romania and orphanage. The lady politely sat there impassively, recording the conversation. At the end of five minutes, after repeated promptings of ‘Romanian orphanage’ in my mind, I finally blurted out, “I just keep getting a sense that you will have something to do with an Eastern European orphanage”. (I tried to be more general and not mention the exact word ‘Romania’ to be safer.) The lady immediately burst into tears and then preceded to share with us that only the evening before, her husband and her had agreed to lay the years of infertility treatment behind them and felt that God was calling them to adopt a baby/child from Romania. They had pleaded with God to confirm it within the next few days.

I am so glad that I finally got ‘over myself’ and the thoughts of it being from me or thoughts of ‘what if I was wrong’. It was so exciting to partner with God and see this lady receive an answered prayer. I decided then and there that I would always communicate exactly what I felt God was wanting to say through me.

This blog post is third in a series of 4 blogs. Last week, I blogged about Hearing God’s voice for yourself (Part 2). The first week of the series was Hearing from God (part 1)

For now, we are going to practice hearing or sensing from God for something for someone else. Encourage everyone that this is a safe place to learn to hear God for someone else. As long as it is encouraging, then that is great.

If you have more than one person with you, these two following exercises work well. If you are on your own, ask God to highlight to you a person whom you could use to follow these exercises.

First Activation: (For this activation you will need a number of matchbox vehicles)

  1. Put a number of different match box cars, trucks, planes, trains on the table.
  2. Partner up.
  3. Ask God to highlight one particular vehicle to you that represents your partner.
    1. Ask God why that particular vehicle.
    2. Ask Him what does that vehicle have about it that is similar to their partner.
  4. Pick up the vehicle.
  5. Explain to your partner what you felt God say or tell or show you.
  6. Ask if anyone wants to share in the bigger group or in front of every family member present what they felt, saw or heard from God for their partner.

Second Activation: (For this activation, you will need a number of pictures or patterned paper)

  1. Put a number of pictures or patterned paper on the floor.
  2. Partner up with someone different to your first partner.
  3. Get everyone to walk around and look at the pictures.
  4. Ask God to highlight to everyone a picture that says something of God’s heart for their partner. (Even just pick up a picture that gets your attention.)
  5. Pick up the picture.
  6. Give it to your partner, explaining what God showed, told or impressed on you about your partner and the picture.

I would love to hear how you are finding hearing from God. Please feel free to comment below. Next week I will blog in part 4 about how to grow in your ability to hear, sense and see from God.

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: Sit in a circle and ask God to show, tell or give you a movie/tv character for the person on your right. Ask God why this particular tv or movie character and what is similar about the character and the person on your right. Share with the person on your right.

2. Group Activation: Play ‘prophetic tag’. Choose a person to be ‘the tagger’. They stand in the middle of the room and everyone goes to the other end. These people have to try to get to the other side of the room without being tagged by the person in the centre (the tagger). If someone is tagged, that person has to give ‘the tagger’ (the person who tagged them) a prophetic word. They then become ‘the tagger’ and the previous ‘tagger’ joins the rest of the group trying to cross the room without being tagged. If you have a large group, consider having several people in the middle being ‘taggers’.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to highlight a Psalm from the Bible to you. Read it through and meditate on it. Ask God to highlight whom you could share this Psalm with today and how it might minister to them.

4. Intermediate Activation: Select a very old person at church and spend time with God receiving what He has to say about this person. Communicate this to them in an appropriate manner.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God asking Him for a prophetic word for the Seniors group in your church. If your church doesn’t have a Senior’s group, ask God which other Senior’s group it would be relevant for and deliver it to them appropriately.

Hearing God’s voice for yourself (Part 2)

As I asked God what He thought of me and how He saw me, I stood still and waited. Almost immediately an amazingly beautiful picture filled my mind of a me as a Princess. I was wearing this stunning pearl blue sparkling long gown with a stunning diamond tiara. But as I looked at this princess, I was most struck with ‘this is how God sees me, as a beautiful princess’. I had never believed I was pretty but it hadn’t been anything I had spent time thinking about. But looking at myself as a princess in this picture in my mind, I realised that God saw me as beautiful, as His princess. He was my daddy and I was His princess and that was all that mattered.

I was so excited. This was such a great picture and made me feel so great, that I couldn’t wait for the rest of the exercises or activations for that night. It was truly transforming for me.

That evening was one of the first times that I had actually heard God for myself about myself. I had heard His audible voice a number of times in relation to a directive for my life, but not like this. I was undertaking a year long course in inner healing and prayer ministry and we were looking at ‘Hearing God’s voice’. The first thing we had to do was ask God how He saw ourselves.

I believe that a great place to start when beginning to prophesy is to hear and feel God’s thoughts towards yourself. This process works really well with all age groups, particularly children. Children don’t seem to have the same ‘hang ups’ as adults do about what God would and wouldn’t do and say, so they find it easier to trust God. They just seem to automatically accept that the first thought through their mind is from God. They asked God and He answered them.

I have listed below three activations or practical exercises to help you begin to hear, feel, sense or see what God is saying to you. It is helpful to provide a quiet place where people can rest or lie down. It is also helpful to have sheets of paper and pencils/crayons/textas that people can use to draw what they feel God saying or showing to them.

First Activation:

  1. Find a quiet place to lie down and close your eyes.
  2. Ask God, “If you could play any game with me right now, what would it be?”
  3. Capture the first thought that goes through your mind, or the first thing you feel.
  4. If you are having trouble getting something, ask God to give you a feeling or to bring to mind your favourite game. Use that game in your imagination.
  5. Then ask God a question based on that, for example
    1. “God, why did you pick that game?”
    2. “What is special about that game?”
    3. “What do you want to teach me or show me through that game?”
  6. Share with someone what you felt or heard. Perhaps draw a picture of what you say or felt or heard. If you are alone, it is great to draw or write down what you felt, saw or heard God saying.

Second Activation:

  1. Ask God if He could have a special time with you anywhere in the world right now, where would He take you and why?
  2. Capture that first thought that goes through your mind, or the first thing you feel.
  3. Ask God some more questions about that place. Eg
    1. “God, why did you pick that place?”
    2. “What’s special about that place?”
    3. “God, what do you want to say to me here in this place you’ve chosen for me?”
  4. Share with someone what you felt God say. Perhaps draw a picture of what you felt, saw or heard.

Third Activation:

  1. Ask God how He sees you dressed. Ask God what sort of clothes you are wearing, what is on your head, what is on your feet, if there is anything you are carrying in your hand, etc. Ask God what sort of person and character He sees you as.
  2. Keep asking God more questions about this. Pay attention to anything you hear, feel, and see.
  3. Share with someone or write or draw it in on a sheet of paper.

Today’s blog is part 2 of a 4 part series. Next week I will be covering the practical steps of how to start to hear God for someone else.

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: Get some large paper eg Butchers paper (Ikea has huge rolls of this) and textas. Place a long roll of paper on the floor that’s long enough for a person to lie completely on and ask a person to lie down on the paper. Trace around their body. Write that person’s name on the sheet of paper. Do this for every person. Then spend some time writing on the paper encouraging words about that individual. Ask God to show, tell or give you words that describe that person. Write it on that person’s piece of paper. Then get each person to read aloud what is written or drawn on their piece of paper.

2. Group Activation: Divide the group into equal teams. Select one person from each term to stand at one end of the room. These people are the team captains and will receive a prophetic word. The rest of the team stands at the other end in a line. One at a time, each team member has to race to the other end and give the team captain a prophetic word. Once they have done that, they return to the team and the next team member runs to their team captain and gives them a prophetic word. Keep going until every team member has given a prophetic word to their team captain. The team captain then reports back on what they received, the accuracy but more importantly the flow of the combined prophetic words from their team.

3. Beginner Activation: Quieten your heart before God and ask Him “What do you think of me?”

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to help you activate a sense that you don’t use in the prophetic eg smelling or taste or seeing. Ask God to highlight this and spend time over a series of days practicing receiving from God using this sense.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight an unreached people group to you. Spend time with God hearing from Him for this people group. Then decree and declare out aloud what God has told, shown or given you for this group.

Hearing from God (part 1)

Twenty three years ago, hubby and I were in Israel on a work party painting a hospital in Nazareth. Whilst there, we also toured around and since it was part of a subject for our theological degrees, we had lots of biblical input from various people.

Unfortunately I don’t remember it all. But the thing I most remember is walking down the hill from the place where Jesus may have given his sermon on the mount to the Sea of Galilee. As our group chatted away, we passed an old arab shepherd and his small flock of about ten sheep. Due to our noise, we frightened the sheep and they ran off in all directions. The shepherd quietly uttered a couple of arabic words and the entire flock of sheep immediately stopped and ran back to him.

I was flabbergasted.

I had been brought up on a dairy farm in Tasmania and we had some sheep from time to time (mainly for the freezer). Sheep in Tasmania never obeyed your voice.

These sheep did.

As I pondered this, I realised the main difference was the shepherd was sitting with these sheep all day. They knew they were safe with him. They knew his voice.

It made the passage in John 10 come alive for me that day “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

Basically, to hear God’s voice, it requires us to be intimate with Him. To spend time with Him. To recognise His methods of communicating with us, His love languages, His voice, His nuances, His tone. I don’t know about you, but I want to hear clearly from God, to be able to instantly recognise Him.

If we want to become proficient in prophesying, we need to get close to God. Prophesying is communicating what’s on God’s heart to others. We can only know God’s heart when we are intimate with Him.

When I teach on this subject, I begin by giving biblical examples of God communicating His heart to His people and also a biblical perspective of God expecting that we will be intimate with Him and hear His voice. I then cover the three different voices we can listen to, the different ways that we can hear, sense or see what God is communicating, and then lead people through the practical steps of hearing God for themselves.

As Christians, part of our responsibility in our relationship with Jesus is to get to know Him, know His voice and follow Him.

In learning to begin to prophesy, we need to become proficient at hearing and recognising God’s voice.

Three Different Voices we can hear:

I believe that there are 3 different voices we can hear – God’s, Satan’s, and our own. (Sometimes we can also hear other people’s voice’s but I won’t cover that today.) It can be difficult to discern between them and it takes practice.

I find that children usually pick up God’s voice quickly because they don’t seem to have as much ‘junk’ in their thinking about whether or not what they heard or sensed was really from God or was it just their own thoughts etc.

What does God’s voice sound like?

God is always good. His voice is always kind, encouraging and uplifting. It never condemns. God is all about relationship and drawing us into a closer relationship with Him. He desires to share His secrets with us. He has great thoughts towards us. God’s voice is patient, loving, positive, comforting, safe, encouraging, peaceful, truthful and kind.

God will never trick us or contradict the Bible or go against His character and nature. He brings life. God’s voice will sound like the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) – love, joy, peace, patient, kind, gentle etc.

How do you know what God’s character and nature is like? Spend time getting to know God. Ask Him questions. He loves answering our questions.

Satan’s Voice:

Satan’s voice is full of condemnation, accusations and lies. He desires to bring us down and discourage us, to confuse us and make us feel guilty. His voice will not sound encouraging. It will make us feel worse. It is critical, negative, full of lies. It kills all hope. It is not uplifting. It sounds like his character (Galations 5:20-21) – angry, intimidating, jealous, bringing shame, guilt, doubt and fear.

Our voice:

One way we know when it is our own voice inside our head is if it is self focussed or if it majors on our desires. If the voice says, “How embarrassing” or “I want..” then it is most likely coming from myself.

One way I know if it is my own voice is that it will try and reason with human logic & what is already known. It may try and justify or be logical. It usually doesn’t contain any new information. It will speak what is best for us and our expectations and can go around in circles.

Sometimes we can confuse our own voice with God’s. Lots of times I believe that we give ourselves too much credit and spend time wondering if it was our own thoughts instead of God’s.

I love the idea of the first thought principle. Whenever you are asking God about something, grab the very first thought that goes through your mind. I usually find that it is a fleeting thought that rushes through. That thought is from God but this only truly works if you are in a healthy place with God at the time.

Different ways of hearing from God:

God is a creative God. He wants a relationship with us. Since He is creative, He hasn’t just created one way that we interact with Him. He has created a multitude of ways that we can interact with Him and hear His thoughts and desires towards us.

  • Auditory – loud voice, still small voice, songs, sounds
  • Visual – pictures, colours, symbols, vision, dreams, angels
  • Emotions/physical sensations
  • Other senses eg smell, taste,
  • Through reading the Bible
  • Impressions / ‘gut’ feeling
  • Spontaneous thought
  • Other – nature, music, numbers, and more

I like to bring it down to three broad areas of receiving something from God:

  • What is God telling me?
  • What is God showing me?
  • What is God giving me?

Another way of saying it is, “What does God want to show, tell, or give me?”

Our Imagination:

I find that God uses our imagination. He gave us our imagination in the first place. Usually though we have been exposed to movies, books, things that are not always helpful in keeping our imagination clean so that God can use it effectively.

To begin with, it’s great to pray a short prayer. An example is:

“Father God, I’m sorry for the things that I have seen, watched and read that are not of you. I ask you to come and please wipe my imagination clean. Can you please replace any images and thoughts that are not from you with your thoughts and images. Please cleanse my eyes so that I can see you and my ears so that I can hear you. I want to hear, see and feel from you. Thank you God. Amen”

How to hear God clearer: positioning oneself to hear more from God

  • Be intentional – desire to be more intimate with Father God, Holy Spirit, Jesus
  • Confess known sin
  • Worship Him
  • Spend time with God reading the Bible
  • Quieten yourself down and get rid of distractions
  • Soak – play some quiet worship music that allows you to sit / lie in God’s presence and meditate on Him.
  • Be open-minded – God doesn’t always work the same way. He loves trying new things and methods. God is creative. He wants to romance you with the unexpected.
  • Ask God what is on His heart for you and expect Him to answer.
  • Grab the first thought that goes through your mind (as long as you are in a healthy mindset). This ‘first thought’ principle is usually always God.

Today’s blog is part 1 of a 4 part series. Next week I will be covering the practical steps of how to hear God for yourself.

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: Grab some playdough and distribute among everyone at the table. Pair up and ask everyone to make the following for their partner out of playdough. Ask them to create what God sees when He looks at their partner.

2. Group Activation: Beforehand, place a number of various supermarket objects in a bag. Ask for 5 volunteers to go up the front. Blindfold them. Ask for 5 more people to come and stand one in front of each of the blindfolded volunteers. Get the blindfolded people to put their hand in the bag and select an item. Based on what that item feels like and reminds them of, get each blindfolded person to give a prophetic word over the person standing in front of them. At the end, ask each person who received a prophetic word to give feedback to their blindfolded person based on how accurate and ‘weighty’ the prophetic word felt and whether or not it raised any emotions within them ie how it ‘felt’.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to give you a particular song to encourage yourself with. Go with the first song that comes into your head (if it is encouraging). Then sing the song. Ask God why He gave you that particular song.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a particular person to you who needs encouragement. Ask God to show you a Biblical story or person from the Bible that reminds God of this person. Ask God why that person/story etc. Share this with your person who needs encouragement.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to reveal the name of a country to you that you don’t know much about. Craft/write a prophetic word for this country. Then pray it through. Pray a blessing over the country and its people as well.