If my mind goes blank when prophesying

Has your mind ever gone blank when faced with having to give a prophetic word to someone immediately?

Mine has.

I am on our church’s prophetic team, and we are often involved in a prophetic presbytery. Our church sets it up with multiple pairs who prophesy over a person for a maximum of 5-6 minutes. We have a line of people waiting to receive a prophetic word. As soon as you and your partner have finished prophesying over a person, that person leaves, and the next person in line moves forward to come to an available team. We begin by introducing our names and ask if their recording device is ready to record. Usually, I immediately get a sense of something from God for the person, and more comes as I speak it out. I am also learning to wait a minute before speaking to get more detail and greater depth. There are some occasions, though, when I get nothing, and my mind is blank.

I used to be paired with different people who wouldn’t speak first but liked to wait for me to go first. My prophesying first gave them confidence; they were sometimes seers and saw pictures. They spent several minutes asking God more about those pictures before speaking. In the last few years, I am usually teamed up with a person who is relatively new to giving prophetic words and wants to hear what I have to say first or who is not 100% confident in giving prophetic words to people. Unfortunately, since we are usually limited time wise, we don’t have the luxury of having a long pause before we speak the prophetic word.

Practically, these are the things I do when my mind goes ‘blank’ in these situations:

The first thing I do is to turn my heart and affections to Jesus. I get the focus off myself and my thoughts of ‘oh no’ and turn my thoughts to God. I silently worship God. Praise shifts the atmosphere. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”. If I want to enter His presence and see what He is seeing and hear what He is saying, praise and thanks will do that. I have learnt to do this in my preparation for prophesying before I even arrive at church. But this has been useful for me when I am in the community and feel like giving an impromptu prophetic word to a stranger.

I then ask God how He sees this person and how He wants to show love to them right now.

If I’m still finding it hard to connect, I ask God a question about the person, eg

  • How He sees this person dressed
  • Their strengths
  • What this person’s identity in Heaven is, i.e. how is this person known in Heaven?

If I’m still finding it hard to get a prophetic word for this person, I picture them standing under a Holy Spirit waterfall. I imagine them standing there with the Holy Spirit flowing down over them, and I ask the Holy Spirit what He is showering upon them.

The above questions focus on identity words. Identity always precedes destiny. If our identity in God is not solid, how can we do what He requires of us? I also like to give destiny words. If I am struggling to get a destiny word, I try to imagine a blank canvas or a blank jigsaw puzzle. I then ask God what is the next piece of the puzzle this person needs to know, or what will this canvas become?

Remember, this usually occurs within 10-30 seconds. It would take longer if I were at home writing a prophetic word out for someone. Thus, in situations like the Prophetic Presbytery, I find it invaluable to have a list of questions to ask God in my mind, ready to ‘pull on’ and get God’s perspective for the person.

The questions I have ready to ask God include:

  • How does God see this person?
  • How does God want to show love to them right now?
  • How does God see this person dressed?
  • What are their strengths?
  • What fruit of the spirit does God want to grow in their life?
  • If the person was a tree, what would they be, and what fruit would they produce?
  • What is this person’s identity in Heaven, i.e. how is this person known in Heaven?
  • What are God’s plans for this person’s future?
  • If this person was standing under a Holy Spirit waterfall, what is it Holy Spirit that you are pouring over them and filling them with, and why?
  • What is the next piece of the puzzle this person needs to know?
  • What will the blank canvas of their future become?

Upon reflection, the times I find it hard, I need to take a further moment not to rush things. I also need to look at my preparation. How have I prepared for giving prophetic words, and how could I prepare more effectively? For instance, my husband often asks God for random words. He writes these words in his notebook, and for the next few people he meets, he releases a prophetic word to that person using the following random word on his list. When you have a starting word, thought, or image, it can help the flow begin.

In asking myself how I can more effectively prepare for prophesying, the question challenges me and helps me be ‘switched on’ immediately to release God’s heart out of my mouth for these folks.

I know from experience that when I feast on God’s Word in the lead-up to giving prophetic words to people, parts of Scripture will come back to me as I prophesy and apply to that person. A key in the preparation process is spending time with God and nurturing my intimacy with Him.

Three principles from Scripture:

  1. Grab the ‘quiet’ thought. In 1 Kings 19:11-13, we see Elijah waiting until the storm passed before hearing God’s still, quiet (gentle) voice. I wonder if sometimes we don’t recognise what God is already telling us because it is not in the manner we are looking for? If they are in a good relationship with God, I encourage people to grab the first thing that comes through their mind when they ask God what He would like to say to the person they are prophesying over. Often it can be so obvious, but we disregard it because it is so obvious. At those times, we need to wait for the quiet prompting of the Holy Spirit. To lean into what we are sensing, feeling, smelling, hearing, tasting, and knowing.
  2. Take captive every thought. 2 Corinthians 10:5. Deliberately choose to throw away any unhelpful thinking (e.g. on no, my mind’s gone blank) and thank God for His thoughts for this person.
  3. Don’t be anxious or go to a place of fear. Philippians 4:6-8. Quietly refocus on God, thanking Him, waiting for His prompting.

As a last resort, you can be honest and admit that your mind is blank and that you have nothing for them. If you still want to give them a prophetic word, you can tell them you will pray and seek God and get back to them, taking their contact details so you can pass on the prophetic word later.

What do you find helpful when you have a ‘blank’ mind when you give someone a prophetic word? I would love to know, so please feel free to comment below.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every blog post I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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: Gather foods that are sour, bitter, or have an unpleasant taste. Ask everyone to taste one and while tasting them to ask God who or what the taste reminds them of. Ask God to reveal to them a solution or encouraging word for the person/place.

2. Group Activation: Buy a variety of chocolate/candy bars and display them. Ask people to get into pairs and select a bar for their partner. Give that chocolate/candy bar to their partner and prophesy over them using the name of the chocolate/candy bar.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God asking Him what season of life you are in at the moment. Ask God more questions around this eg Is there something God would like you to be doing at the moment, what is His perspective on the season you are in, etc.

4. Intermediate Activation: Find an area in your town where there is a lot of vandalism or crime. Visit that area and ask God to show you His perspective on that area and to give you the words to prophesy into that area’s future and the people who congregate there – into their future.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God what His heart is for abortion clinics in your state or country and the women attending them and for the other options. Prophesy over the alternatives that need to become available for these women. Declare these into being. Ask God what your role is in the process.

Miracles – the impossible becomes reality

Seeing the impossible become a reality increases our faith.

A few weeks ago, our family saw the impossible become a reality. And boy, did it increase my faith. I woke up the following morning ready and raring to pray for the impossible and excited to see more miracles.

That particular Wednesday evening, I picked my son up from his group activity. He jumped in the car, and his first words were: “Oh boy, you would never guess what happened?”

As soon as he told me, my heart leapt with excitement. “That’s what I’ve been praying for!!” I almost screamed. He looked at me, amazed. “Really?”

“Yes, but I didn’t tell you as I knew you would say it was impossible and no way a miracle could happen.”

But God.

But God is in the business of miracles.

But God is in the business of redeeming injustices.

I won’t go into the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ here as I need to be aware of privacy issues, but God did a miracle. My son had had an injustice occur against him, preventing him from a fantastic opportunity. He accepted it resiliently and didn’t fight back.

But this mama is learning to fight injustices and to speak up. To speak up to God. To go into bat in prayer and declaration.

Even when the miracle occurred and my son was about to be given the opportunity, another person tried to find another person from twenty-six different groups to fill that role. But God kept it available (or hidden) for my son.

God trumps man.

God is in the business of miracles.

When we see a miracle, the impossible becomes a reality, and it increases our faith.

If you are currently facing an impossible situation, here are a few proven strategies I use to increase my faith and to keep focused on that which God can do and will do.

  1. Speak life over your situation. 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 desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Speak aloud the result you are desiring. Thank God for the anticipated result.
  2. Remind yourself of past miracles. Surround yourself with ‘memory stones’ – reminders of when God has performed a miracle in your life. Joshua 4:1-9 (verses 4-7: “So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” When our children were healed of anaphylaxis, wow – did that increase my faith in praying for healing for others and seeing God heal them.
  3. Intentionally surround yourself with people of outrageous faith, people who believe God can do the impossible.
  4. Read stories in the Bible and current life stories of miracles. Ten years ago, friends commented that my faith had increased dramatically. Several reasons for this, not the least that our family devoured autobiographies of people of faith. Missionaries who had experienced ‘life or death’ miracles. We believed that if God could do that for them, He would do that for us.
  5. Worship God. Give God His worth.
  6. Thank God in advance for the outcome.
  7. Speak in tongues. When I speak in tongues, I find that my inner man increases and my belief in all things become possible increases.
  8. Step out and start praying for the impossible. Look for, and pray for, healing and miracles.

What current impossibility are you declaring will become a reality? What are you implementing to see that occur? I would love to hear your experiences so please feel free to comment below.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every blog post I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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: Gather supplies of paint, paintbrushes or droppers, and paper. Fold the paper in half then splash a couple of dots of paint on one half of the paper. Fold the paper and squash the paint between the two halves of the paper. Open the paper and ask God to show you something positive and encouraging you can say to someone from the art created.

2. Group Activation: Play prophetic musical chairs. If the group is less than six people, have one less chair than the number of people playing. If it is larger, have two less chairs than the number of people playing. With the small group, when the music stops and the person without a chair to sit on is ‘out’, the person who is out then has to prophesy over everyone left sitting on a chair. Keep playing until last person is left sitting and the ‘winner’ – ask them to prophesy over the rest of the group. With a larger group, have two people ‘out’ each time the music stops. These two people prophesy over each other. Keep playing until you are down to the last two people and encourage them to prophesy over each other.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to show you a family portrait of you with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus. Lean into God and ask Him to show you the expression on everyone’s faces, what you are wearing, colours, positioning, etc. Sit with God and explore the picture/images He shows you. Continue to ask God further questions about the picture.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to remind you of an area of your life where you need a miracle. Ask God to show or tell you how He would love you to partner with Him in this. Prophesy into this situation.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you an injustice in your sphere of influence. Ask God what He sees your role as in redeeming this injustice. Prophecy into that injustice.

I can’t hear God for Myself

I can’t hear God for myself. What do I do?

Have you ever had trouble hearing God for yourself? I have.

Twenty-three years ago, hubby and I asked God where we should church plant. There were so many options. We visited places. Prayed over locations. Tried to break through the fuzz. Made up spreadsheets. Fasted. Prayed. Waited. Waited. Waited.

Ten years ago, as we flew to Queensland for a family holiday, I asked God to reveal to me on the holiday what I should do with nursing. I was nursing in a Coronary Care Unit one to two days a fortnight on weekends whilst home-schooling the kids. Sensing the time for finishing was near, I asked God to confirm it. The dream that first night on holiday was a clincher – give up or it will be taken from you. I hung on, not willing to take the plunge to leave nursing as the money was great and provided for our holidays. Interesting outcome. Not bad. Just a change in the boss several years later meant twenty-five of the best nurses left within seven days.

With big decisions now, I check immediately if God has already asked me to do something, and I haven’t obeyed.

Often, I can find it hard to hear God for myself when I have a significant decision. I can start doubting my ability to hear and sense God.

Sometimes God may appear silent because the options we have given God are all good. My husband was giving prophetic words at a worship gathering on Tuesday evening. A young woman was asking for direction in her life. She couldn’t seem to hear from God. Gary sensed that three doors were opening and each of the three were a good fit. He sensed God saying, “You choose what you want.” The young woman gasped as she had just been presented with three research positions. She had been asking God to show her which one she was meant to take whereas God was saying they are all a great fit – you choose.

I have tried several things to help me when I struggle to hear from God. Usually, I will try an ‘encounter’ with God, as explained in the last two blog posts, to imagine myself positioned with God. Other times, I have attempted to ask God a different question.

I will never forget the first time I decided to ask God a different question. I was driving home from an Anzac Day Service where I had watched my son march with his Air Force Cadet Squadron. Whilst watching the march, I began crying. Not sobbing but crying enough that my response shocked me. Why was I crying? When anything unexpected occurs, I try to ask God:

  • “What did that trigger in me?” or
  • “Why did I respond like that?” or
  • “What’s underneath that emotion?”

Nothing came. My mind was spinning with a thousand thoughts – was it because our son wanted to join the Defence Force, and he may be fighting in a war one day? Was it because…. Numerous what if’s came to mind. But God seemed to be deathly silent.

I sat with it a bit longer, and it suddenly struck me – I think I was asking the wrong question. The more suitable question was, “Was it appropriate the emotion I expressed?” Immediately I heard God’s voice – “Yes. You are extremely grateful for those who served and fought to save this country and your future.”

Try changing the question.

Thus, when people comment that they find it hard to hear God for themselves, my first response is to suggest they ask God a different question.

Have you ever asked God:

  • “What are you NOT saying?”
  • “Why is that God? Please show me more of the background.”
  • “What is your perspective God of where I am right now?”
  • “Why …..?” or “How ….. ?”

We can do several things to clear the communication lines when trying to receive communication from God for ourselves.

Suggestions to implement when you feel a blockage in hearing God for yourself:

  1. The first thing I do is turn my heart and affections to Jesus. I silently worship God. Praise shifts the atmosphere. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”. If you want to enter His presence, see what He is seeing, and hear what He is saying, praise and thanks will do that.
  2. What are you asking God? Can you reframe your question? Are you asking God the wrong question? Are you wanting to hear a specific answer, i.e. treating God like Santa Claus, thus not hearing God because you’re not hearing what you’re desiring?
  3. Change things up a bit. Do something different. Perhaps put on other worship music. Change position or posture. Try spending time with God in nature or a different place. I love going to the beach on a stormy day and ‘feeling’ God in the storm.
  4. Have you been obedient in doing what God has asked of you? If you haven’t been obedient in following through on what God has already asked you to do, how can you expect Him to tell you the next step?
  5. Is there any sin in your life? Sin has a disastrous way of blocking the relationship between God and yourself.
  6. Facilitate an encounter with God. I explained this in the last two blog posts – encountering God part 1 and encountering God part 2. In your imagination, go to a place where you feel close to God, a place where you hear God’s voice easily. Imagine yourself there. What does it feel like, look like, smell like, taste like, sound like? Imagine that Jesus walks to where you are in that place. Look for Jesus in your imagination and imagine that He has a present in His hands for you. Watch Him place it down next to you or place it in your hands. Unwrap it, savouring the experience. What has Jesus just given you? (Usually, something like this can open those lines of communication between God and ourselves again.) Another encounter to try is to imagine yourself under a waterfall. Look around and feel, hear, smell, and see what it is like under that waterfall. Imagine next that that waterfall is God pouring out good stuff over you. What is He pouring over you? Revel in what is flowing over you. Enjoy. Splash around in it. When you finish imagining this, try spending some time just enjoying God for who He is.
  7. Are you prepared to lean into God over a more extended period – fast, meditate, pray, enjoy being with God, spend time listening?
  8. Ask God if there is a lie you are believing. If you perceive there is a lie, ask God to show you the truth.

If there is an issue you are struggling with or are finding it hard to hear God on an ongoing basis, regular prayer ministry enables blockages to be quickly erased.

The key is a vibrant, life-giving relationship with God the Father, Holy Spirit, and Jesus.

Next blog post I will explore several suggestions if your mind goes blank when prophesying.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every blog post I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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: Play prophetic ‘duck, duck, goose’. People sit in a circle with their eyes closed. Walk around the outside of the group and tap one person on the shoulder. That person is receiving the prophetic word. Ask everyone else to ask God what He would like to say to this (unknown) person with the scribe taking notes. After 5-6 people have shared, ask the receiver to raise their hand. Pass the written notes to that person for encouragement. Ask them to feed back to the group how accurate the words were, how they made them feel etc. Then repeat the process taping someone else on the head/shoulder.

2. Group Activation: Find a creative way of getting into pairs. Once in pairs, each person asks God for a book title for their partner. It may be an actual book title or a made up title that God wants to give to that person to highlight something about them. Remind people to capture the first thought that goes through their mind and go with that, as long as it is encouraging, strengthening, comforting. Keep asking God questions about the book – fact or fiction, children or adult, what the title means, what you would find in the book etc. Ask them to share with their partners. Set a time limit of three to five minutes total to help people be precise and hear/sense quickly.

3. Beginner Activation: Quieten your heart and focus on God. Then imagine a plane flying overhead with a banner trailing behind it. Look at the banner – what has God written on it just for you? Why? Spend a few moments asking God more questions about the wording and what it means for you. Then ask God to show your imagination the plane flying overhead again with a different banner. This time the banner is for someone else. Ask God who it is for and why. Is there anything else God wants to share with you about this? Ask God if you are meant to share this with the person and when.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight someone to you who politically votes completely differently to you. This activation is not about conflict and trying to change people’s opinions. It is about asking God for a love for this person and for God to show you His heart for the person. Ask God how you are to communicate to the person what He has shown you for them.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God hearing His heart for Australia and her future as the election is tomorrow. Prophecy aloud that which you sense is Australia’s future. Ask God if there is anything else He would have you do eg a prophetic act.

Encountering God part 2

Often I come across people desperate for a prophetic word. These people chase after prophetic people and hang off every word uttered. When challenged, they say they can’t hear God for themselves, or have a decision to make and desperately need to have a prophetic word.

Unfortunately, these folks are cheating themselves.

They are cheating themselves out of a vibrant relationship with the Living Almighty God. It is almost like they are taking second best. Please hear me. I am not saying it is wrong to get a prophetic word. Prophetic words are invaluable. What I am saying is don’t go chasing a prophetic word from someone. Chase God instead. Going to someone inferior to God for a word from God with that word filtered through that person’s experience. 1 Corinthians 13:9 tells us that a prophetic word is not the complete picture from God – “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.”

Why encounter God for yourself?

The purpose of an encounter with God is intimacy with God. Pure intimacy. The outcome will be change within you and the presence of Kingdom values – peace, joy, freedom, healing, truth, etc.

Not going with feelings is crucial. If we have felt nothing, it doesn’t mean that we haven’t had an encounter with God. Be careful not to judge something based solely on your feelings. Sometimes we may not even realize we have changed, but others can testify that we seem more at peace, more kind, etc.

When we encounter God for ourselves, we experience a personal revelation from Him. We become aware of Him through our senses. We can see, hear, sense, feel, smell or taste God or the things of God.

Encountering God for ourselves is vital, as it is a method we hear from God for ourselves and others. Sometimes we can fall into the trap of hearing from God for other people, but we can struggle to hear Him when hearing for ourselves. We need to explore ways we can hear God for ourselves during all seasons.

Last blog post, we explored how there will always be good fruit from an encounter with Jesus.

What an encounter can look like:

Sometimes the language we use can be off-putting. The term ‘encounter’ is very Pentecostal. Initially, I struggled with the word because I falsely believed that I had to manifest physically by speaking in tongues, shaking, falling to the ground, groaning, etc. An encounter with the Heavenly Father is purely being aware of His Presence, His Power, His Person, His delight in us. It is a transaction of intimacy.

An encounter will be different for everyone. Some people may have a physical experience, others a quiet reflection. Others may sit quietly but feel that they have travelled spiritually to heaven or a place where they are with Jesus.

God is a personal God. Thus, everyone will have an individual experience. Don’t imitate anyone else.

One of the first times I allowed myself to imagine I was with Jesus was a time when we ended up (in my mind) on a wooden pier – laying down and peering through the holes in the slats at my life here on earth. I can remember asking Jesus about an issue I struggled with, and His answer was perfect. Many times since then, I have quietened myself and imagined Jesus and me lying on that wooden pier peering through the slats at issues in my life.

How do I have an encounter with Jesus?

Great question. Everyone is different, so what works for you may not work for me.

I find it easier for me if I quieten my heart first or if I am worshipping God. Thanking God and coming into His Presence. I then allow my cleansed imagination to join with my Heavenly Father or Jesus and let my thoughts flow.

There are several places in my home that I have stewarded to create ‘thin’ places. These places feel like there is no discernable difference between heaven and earth. They are places usually of beauty, refuge, safety, and sacredness. It is typically a location or moment treated with reverence and awe.

Spending time with God can steward a thin place. You may find a favourite comfy chair where you love reading the Bible or praying becomes a place where you hear God’s voice clearly. It may be a place you steward silence and reflection. Because I love praying to God regularly in the shower and when ironing, I find I hear God’s voice immediately as soon as I go to those places. The same as the beach. I love walking along the beach, especially in rough weather, as I hear and sense God. My husband loves the bush and finds it easy to encounter God there.

I encourage you to posture yourself, to steward a thin place for yourself.

Encountering God demands obedience

Last week, I covered several times in the Bible where people changed after an encounter with God.

In Genesis 32, we see Jacob wrestling all night with God. Jacob gained a new identity and confidence. Our identity comes from who we are in God, so whenever we encounter God or spend time with Him, we become more attuned to our true identity.

In Genesis 6, God encountered Noah and revealed His plans to Noah. The outcome was Noah’s obedience. Noah trusted God despite the culture and everyone else’s opinions and fulfilled what God has asked him to do.

In 1 Samuel 3, the young boy Samuel heard the voice of God four times. Eli discounted the first two. The third time, Eli realized a transaction was occurring. Our response is to believe and be quick to obey.

Types of encounters:

1. The waterfall

A common encounter people seem to love, but one which I find harder to experience God is the waterfall. Close your eyes. Quieten your heart and focus on God. Imagine yourself walking under a waterfall. Imagine yourself feeling the water washing over you, washing away your cares and concerns and everything that’s not from God. Imagine the water filling you up like the Holy Spirit. Take deep breaths of His infilling Presence. Enjoy a time of transaction with the Holy Spirit. When you are ready, imagine stepping out of the waterfall, carrying that which has filled you up.

2. The Gift giver

Jenny and Ken Hodge from Christalignment taught our Stairway Healing Rooms this simple encounter, and it is so effective.

Close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a safe place that you love. What does it feel like, look like, smell, taste like? Take a few moments to arouse your senses in that place. Imagine that Jesus walks into the scene. In His hands, He is holding a gift. What does the gift look like – the shape, the wrapping, the colour? Watch as Jesus comes towards you. How are you feeling? Imagine Jesus handing you the present. You take the present and unwrap it. What is it? Is there anything else about the present? Is there anything Jesus wants to share with you or tell you? Continue to explore the present and the meaning of the present with Jesus?

3. Memory stones / triggers

Intentionally place something that will remind you of God and a particular time or a miracle in a specific spot. Use that memory stone to remind you to pause, thank God and focus on Him for today. (I rarely use the word trigger as it can have negative connotations but several friends use the term to trigger them to pray and connect with the Father’s heart.)

4. Left and right hand

Stand up and close your eyes. Quieten your heart towards God. Think of an issue you need answers for. Imagine placing the issue in your left hand. Hold your left hand out, palm up. Allow space to be quiet and transact with God. Now, put your right hand up in the air. Ask God to show you the answer to the issue in your left hand. Ask God to put the answer in your right hand. Pull the answer down from heaven into your reality.

5. Other ways

Some people love journaling and writing out their prayers to God and listening to Him for His answers as they write. Others may find meditating on a single Bible verse, repeating the verse a several times and reflecting on the words a valuable method of encountering God. Worship, speaking in tongues, creative prayer, drawing, painting, and dancing to worship music are beneficial.

It is vital that you discover ways where you can hear God for yourself and have an encounter with Him and His goodness, His mercy, His love and freedom, peace and joy.

Next blog post, I will explore some methods we can use when finding it hard to hear God or encounter God.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every blog post I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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: Gather warm, fuzzy material or favourite blankets and give a piece of material/blanket to each person. Ask them to get in a comfortable position, whether sitting or lying, and wrap that material around them, imagining God’s arms around them giving them a hug. Have music playing softly and encourage them to ask God questions and listen to His response. Have paper and drawing materials available for children to draw/write their experiences.

2. Group Activation: Take the group outside and ask them to look for something that is unusual or captures their attention or a unique sound or smell. Partner up and prophesy over their partner using the object that caught their attention as the starting point.

3. Beginner Activation: Try the ‘Gift-giver’ activation from above. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a safe place that you love. What does it feel like, look like, smell, taste like? Take a few moments to arouse your senses in that place. Imagine that Jesus walks into the scene. In His hands, He is holding a gift. What does the gift look like – the shape, the wrapping, the colour? Watch as Jesus comes towards you. How are you feeling? Imagine Jesus handing you the present. You take the present and unwrap it. What is it? Is there anything else about the present? Is there anything Jesus wants to share with you or tell you? Continue to explore the present and the meaning of the present with Jesus?

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask Jesus to highlight to you a person who is desperate for an encounter with Him. Ask Jesus what He would love you to do about this and your part to play in this person receiving a touch from Jesus.

5. Advanced Activation: Carve out some time this week to go to a ‘thin’ place where you can spend extended time with God. Ask Him for a prophetic word for the US Supreme Court in relation to the Roe verse Wade ruling being deliberated. Decree and declare the response aloud. Ask God if there is anything further He would have you do.

Encountering God part 1

The first time someone asked me to lead a class in an encounter with God, I was terrified. I was teaching at our church’s college on the prophetic (hearing God), and the Co-Ordinator began each session with a time of encountering God. I was okay with experiencing God for myself, but had never led others to encounter Him apart from when I led people to commit to Christ. The Co-Ordinator had always manifested physically, e.g. by shaking or a physical reaction etc when encountering God, and I wasn’t into physical manifestations. I felt out of my depth.

I encouraged my assistant to lead the encounter instead.

Later, as I reflected on leading others to encounter God, various truths replaced the lies in my mind. One truth was that we don’t need to have a physical manifestation to prove that we have encountered God.

God is amazing. He is so unique. So present. So everywhere. God is so concerned with the individual.

God is not a cookie-cutter, releasing the same experience to everyone.

God is never short on time, so He never takes shortcuts and gives the same stuff to everyone in a hurry.

God loves everyone. He desires intimacy and a relationship with us all. God will do virtually anything for us to experience Him.

God is a God of many and the individual.

Thus, it may differ completely from how others encounter God when we encounter God. There is no right or wrong. In saying that, you will know it is not God if it doesn’t meet the character qualities of God. E.g. Satan can masquerade as the angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), so if we see an angel of light that is unkind and unjust or deceiving, that is not God.

How do we know if we have encountered God?

How do we know if we have encountered God–we will be changed. There will always be fruit from the encounter. You may experience peace or joy, or healing. Maybe you feel calmer or have received an answer to a decision. You may feel closer to Jesus. A truth may have ‘popped’ into your head. You may be more aware of God’s presence, power, person, and delight. You may have heard, seen, sensed, or felt God.

Encountering God means you experience God’s Kingdom values–e.g. peace instead of fear. Joy instead of blandness or lack. In an encounter with God, you can often experience movement, whether there is a movement in the grass background or you and Jesus moving, e.g. running together, dancing together. I often experience Jesus leading the way and showing me things. Light and colour will predominately fill the encounter, as they belong to God’s Kingdom.

There will always be good fruit from an encounter with Jesus.

Where can we encounter God?

Anywhere. Wherever God is, there is an opportunity and availability to encounter Him. Encounters are not limited to a church service. I often encounter God walking on the beach or around our neighbourhood. Often, we can experience God unexpectedly, amid pain and suffering, despair, joy and laughter, with friends, or alone. Most times I am showering, or when ironing, I encounter God. I turn my affection to God, my thoughts to God, and imagine myself with Him. He always responds to an invitation to be close to us.

Some examples from the Bible:

The Bible is full of people who encountered God. Saul was an enemy of God with a fierce determination to kill as many Christians as possible. God met him unexpectedly on the road to Damascus in Acts 9 with a blinding light, resulting in Saul becoming blind until Ananias prayed for him and Saul was healed.

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah wrote how He encountered God in the year of King Uzziah’s death. He saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on the throne. Above Him were seraphim, each with six wings.

In Numbers 22, the angel of the Lord stood in the middle of the road and stopped the donkey. The donkey saw the angel of the Lord, but Balaam didn’t. Thus, not only people encountered God.

In Acts 2, many people experienced a sound like the blowing of a violent wind from heaven. Tongues of fire rested on them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. It was a time when many people encountered God.

Many people have asked me how they can encounter God regularly as an experience, not just in the initial experience of deciding to follow Jesus. Thus, I will write a series of blog posts outlining simple ways you can encounter God wherever you are.

An encounter experience for you to try:

A simple encounter you may enjoy is meditating on God. I find it easy to do this if I am somewhere comfortable and have music playing softly in the background. I turn my thoughts and affections to God. I imagine myself in a favourite place with Jesus beside me. I then ask Jesus a question and wait for Him to reply. I chat with Jesus about any concerns or queries I have or spend time restfully in His presence.

Many people call this ‘soaking’. A great video that explains this further is a free resource from Beth Kennedy if you sign up for her blog. You can find it here: https://godisgoodstories.com/

In the next blog post, I will unpack encountering God further along with a different experience for you to try. The five prophetic activations listed below will also contain different ways of encountering God.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every blog post I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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:  Gather paper and drawing supplies. Ask everyone to imagine they are at a park with God. Ask them to draw the scene ie what they are doing and where God is and what He is doing etc. Instead of drawing, you may actually want to go to a park and briefly ask these questions when you arrive. Ask everyone to look to see where God is and what He is doing. Encourage everyone to share.

2. Group Activation: Get into pairs. Each person asks God to show or tell them a weapon He wants to give to their partner and why. Spend a few minutes asking God more questions about the weapon, then share with their partner.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend a few minutes with God, asking Him what game He would love to play with you. Go with the first thought through your mind and ask further questions of God to understand more fully what game God wants to play with you and why.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to bring to your mind someone who is currently fearful. Ask God to show you His heart towards that person and how God would love you to respond to that person.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you His heart for the people of Ukraine and/or Russia. Spend time asking God further questions about His desires for these countries. Speak aloud a declaration or a prophetic word from your time with God.

Thriving, not just surviving, in the Season of Waiting.

The season of waiting is hard. It can be painful. It can be disheartening.

You may feel excited initially but may gradually lose that sense of excitement as time slowly passes.

You may feel rejected, or dejected.

You may be waiting for a baby.

You may be waiting for a job.

You may be waiting for a partner.

You may be waiting for a healing or a medical diagnosis.

You may be waiting for the end of covid or for the end of mandatory vaccinations.

You may be waiting for a loved one to return home, or a son or daughter to come back to the faith.

There are many things you may be waiting for. And one thing doesn’t take precedence over another.

It is more how we handle the waiting. What we can do to keep the faith, to keep the joy in the journey and not let the despair, the dejection, the current circumstances overwhelm us.

            Waiting is a transition.

                        A preparation.

                                    An opportunity.

                                                A spiritual discipline.

My husband and I waited a long ten years as we battled infertility. Boy was it hard. Friends having babies was exciting but reinforced the lack in our lives. Youth we ministered to having babies out of wedlock was another punch in the gut. Then when our precious children arrived, multiple food allergies. Meanwhile my mum dying of cancer despite our intense prayers. Another season of waiting for healing that never eventuated.

The last two years of being isolated whilst enduring lockdown in the most lock downed city in the world due to covid-19, followed by mandatory vaccination, or exclusion if not vaccinated, has seemed to drag on. With restrictions being lifted, only with more enforced if unvaccinated – unable to enter any shops except supermarkets, pharmacy or the Post Office and unable to hold down a job or play sport or go to church or be involved in any community activity for anyone aged 12+ years due to not being mandatory vaccinated. Waiting for the bans to be lifted can seem unbearable, just like waiting to fall pregnant seemed unbearable. 18 years later, that is a dim memory. Thus, I am choosing to adjust my attitude and be thankful and content despite the situation our family is facing. I certainly do not want to have to ‘go around this mountain’ again due to not learning the lesson God is desiring me to learn in the ‘waiting’.

How can you steward this waiting season for your best outcome?

1. Determine which season you are in.

Some initial questions to ask include:

  • Is this a season to share with a lot of people or to have one or two close confidants or just God?
  • Who do you need to support you in this season?
  • What do you need to do?
  • Who do you need to become to be able to steward it when the promise comes?
  • Where do you need to grow so that you are ready and able to properly steward the promise when it becomes evident in your life? What character traits, physical abilities, intellectual requirements will be necessary so that you can steward the outcome?
  • What can you focus on now?
  • Do you need someone to keep you accountable?

2. How can you remain content whilst waiting? How can you ‘wait’ well?

The Apostle Paul in the Bible is renowned for his writing about contentment. He wrote the letter to the Philippians whilst sitting in prison due to the action of corrupt officials. He was facing the possibility of execution for preaching the Gospel. If ever there was a time when you wouldn’t be content, it was then. But Paul managed to write these verses: Philippians 4:11b-13 “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

So often we can view life, the world, our situation as a dichotomy – two opposing or mutually exclusive aspects on life. Like good or bad. Often, though, we are called to hold the differing aspects of our life in tension. I feel this worldview may well assist our ability to be content in all circumstances.

What would it look like for me to be content whilst waiting?

  • Be fully present in the now. Give up wishing for the future or for now to be no longer. Live your life and not put it on hold. Enjoy the present. Laugh. Find joy and gratitude in the now.
  • Be faithful to that which God has called you. Your calling hasn’t changed. Your frustration may have though. Remain faithful to that which God has called you to do.
  • Be careful what questions you ask God. Instead of when or why me, choose to ask what now Lord or how Lord do you want me to respond?
  • Be focussed on God and others.

3. Waiting is a ‘surrendering’ season.

Surrendering your plans, your desires, your timing to God and His plans, His timing, His outcome.

  • How can you turn waiting into surrendering?
  • How can you use this time wisely and not waste the opportunities you currently have in this season?
  • How can you embrace the waiting and realise that waiting is part of God’s plan for you?
  • How can your attitude and behaviour change so that you realise God is using this season as part of His plan?
  • What does God want to do in you while you wait?
  • What do you need to still surrender completely?
  • Where in your inner depths does God still want to be allowed to transform and embrace you?

4. This season is not just a waiting season. It is a growing and an enlarging season.

Usually, we don’t choose the season of waiting. Usually, it is thrust upon us. We do have a choice, though, in how we wait, how we respond during this season.

We can lose out when we feel we are just treading water and waiting. We can waste this precious season and the benefits we can acquire from the pain and frustration of waiting.

We have an invitation to grow in this season, to develop.

  • What is your invitation in this season?
  • How is God wanting to redeem this time for others?
  • What does God want to bring about in your life so that you can laugh in the face of the future? (Proverbs 31:25)
  • How does God want to use this time to triumph over the devil? What is the bigger picture at play?
  • What if this season is purely learning to wait well? What if the sole goal of this season is learning to wait well? How does that change my view and help me embrace this season well? Waiting strengthens character. Isaiah 40:31 “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Too often, our desire is to obtain the goal as soon as possible, but what if this waiting season is not about you, but about the proclamation of the Gospel through your waiting? If your waiting displays God and His attributes in a whole new dimension, how does that change your attitude, behaviour, and responsibility?

Waiting is a spiritual discipline. To resist the waiting season can be to resist the very thing that is making you into the image of Christ.

Applicable Bible verses:

  • Philippians 4:11b “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
  • Lamentations 3:24-25 “I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”
  • Romans 5:3-4 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…”
  • Isaiah 40:31 “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
  • Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
  • Psalm 33:20 “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
  • Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word, I put my hope.”
  • Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” The Passion Translation puts verse 3 as “A new song for a new day rises up in me every time I think about how he breaks through for me! Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until everyone hears how God has set me free. Many will see his miracles; they’ll stand in awe of God and fall in love with him!”
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  • Jeremiah 32:27 “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”
  • Psalm 94:19 “When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul.” Or in The Passion Translation “Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight.”
  • 1 Samuel 7:12b “Thus far, the Lord has helped us.”

How can I wait well during the season of waiting?

  • Keep your eyes on God.
  • Fast social media.
  • Allow God’s voice to be louder and have pre-eminence than other people’s voices.
  • Prophetic acts.
  • Worship. Praise God in the big and small.
  • Make a daily choice to keep your faith in God.
  • Get into the Word and look for a promise from God. Hold on to that promise and make it a declaration.
  • Look at what you are saying every day. Are you negating the promise by how you speak? Our words do not return empty. Isaiah 55:11
  • Stay fully present in your current situation.
  • Remain faithful.
  • Choose to trust God and look at how you can grow.
  • Pray for others you meet who are also navigating this season.
  • Daily relinquish control.
  • Re-examine expectations. Unmet expectations are painful, so it may be time to look at lowering or changing your expectations.
  • Look to what new song God is putting in your mouth. Psalm 40:1-3
  • Celebrate the ordinary.
  • Create memory stones from how God has come through in the past. Remember the times God has worked miraculously in your life so far. Joshua 4

How exciting it is to learn to wait well and not have to re-learn the lesson because the first time we didn’t undergo the character transformation that was purposed for us.

Faith comes from surrendering not striving. Surrendering completely in this season is the invitation we can embrace fully.

Let the words from 1 Samuel, Psalm 94 and Psalm 40 be true for us as we wait well.

  • 1 Samuel 7:12b “Thus far, the Lord has helped us.”
  • Psalm 94:19 “Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight.”
  • Psalm 40:3 “A new song for a new day rises up in me every time I think about how he breaks through for me! Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until everyone hears how God has set me free. Many will see his miracles; they’ll stand in awe of God and fall in love with him!”

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every blog post I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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:  Ask God to highlight a person who is feeling isolated at the moment. Brainstorm how you can show love to this person this week.

2. Group Activation: Ask God to highlight a refugee group or asylum seekers where you can show love practically to them this month. Compile a prophetic word to release to them as well.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to remind you of the memory stones in your life where God has performed a miracle for you. Grab some rocks/pebbles and textas/paint and physically create memory stones that you can place in a special spot to remind you of God’s goodness.

4. Intermediate Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to show you someone struggling in the waiting season. Ask God to show you how you can express His heart to them. Craft a prophetic word for them as well.

5. Advanced Activation: Identify a person of major global influence at the moment. Spend time with God gleaning His heart for this person, then declare it aloud into the atmosphere. You may even feel inclined to write to them as a means of releasing it to them.

Identity part 5

What is one thing you desire to hear? That you are worthy. Loved. Precious. Valued.

As a Christian, what would you love to hear from God?

When we prophesy, we partner with God to communicate His heart to others. We become God’s conduit. When we prophesy, it is as though we are holding up to the person a mirror angled between them and God. When we prophesy, we communicate God’s heart and desires for that person. We are helping them to see and hear what Father God sees and hears and feels about them. When we prophesy, we try to ‘get out of the way’ as much as possible. We try to minimize any of ‘us’ and maximize more of God.

God is far more concerned with our identity and what we think of ourselves than our destiny.

Thus, when we prophesy, identity comes first.

Speak identity first. Then actions, destiny, and influence.

When we believe and are born again, we become perfect in Christ. Our identity changes into spiritual perfection. We are perfectly righteous, perfectly healed, perfect in all ways. Hebrews 10:14 “… he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” or “who are being made holy”.

Our identity can take a while to catch up to how God sees us. Sanctification is the process of understanding and applying to our life and experience who we already are in God’s eyes. Our mind needs renewing to our Biblical identity, and this enables us to become transformed into Christlikeness.

Numerous people in the Bible didn’t see themselves as God viewed them. Gideon, in Judges 6, is a classic. Fearful. Hiding in a winepress. An angel comes and tells him he is a mighty warrior and will save a nation—a direct contradiction to how he saw himself.

In Exodus 3 and 4, Moses is privileged to have an angel of the Lord visit him in a burning bush and God himself dialogue with him. God explained what He required of Moses and how God would make it occur. Moses then replies in Exodus 3:11, “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Moses had an identity issue and felt inadequate and unworthy. Yet again, in Exodus 4:10, Moses tries to dissuade God from using him by saying, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Not only did Moses not understand how God works, but He had forgotten who he (Moses) was and his privileged upbringing in Pharoah’s court. Moses did not understand his identity in God’s eyes, and he certainly wasn’t living it out.

Jeremiah was another example. In Jeremiah 1, we read of God calling Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah replies, “I do not know how to speak. I am too young.” Jeremiah did not understand who he was in God’s eyes. He didn’t understand his identity.

Usually, people are not manifesting and living their true identity, not living how God sees them. Prophesying is helping people see themselves through God’s eyes. Then, they can live out their calling. Once they understand who they are, then they can live out their destiny.

When you prophesy, release the person’s identity first to help them understand who they are in God’s eyes. Then, release their destiny. The same goes for prophesying over churches, groups, businesses, cities, nations.

Identity before destiny.

I can remember one of the first times I received a prophecy. It was on a chilly morning as the sun peaked over the horizon in Mozambique. I can remember hearing that my eyes were focused in the eyes of God and that the Lord and I had the same gaze. The prophecy talked about healing, restoration and reconciliation gifts, nation-building, etc, but these all came from my eyes focussed in the eyes of God and us both having the same gaze.

This challenged me to spend time with God. To become more intimate with God. To understand who I was and to focus on God and His gaze.

Identity before destiny.

The world is currently in an identity crisis. People are finding their identity in the wrong places. Fear of man is paramount. Fear is dominating over love in many areas. People need to understand who they are and who’s they are.

Clues to someone lacking understanding of their true identity include:

  • Fear of man
  • Lack of personal confidence and self-worth
  • Insecurity, fearful, jealous, full of doubt
  • Difficulty accepting our strengths and weaknesses
  • Other people set our agenda
  • Unfulfillment
  • Acting in a manner that doesn’t glorify God
  • Seek other’s approval and acceptance
  • Focused on the negative
  • Afraid of being alone or in community
  • Feeling anxious or depressed
  • Believing others are better than yourself
  • Lack of internal peace
  • Habitual or addictive sins through which we seek relief from our fears
  • Sense of inferiority
  • Never admitting we are wrong
  • Meek and compliant
  • Perfectionism
  • Controlling personality
  • Acting differently around different people
  • Fear of comparison, disapproval or rejection
  • Not able to accept compliments

Insecurity is a warning that we are vulnerable to danger. It is a signal that we need to take protective action.

Insecurity is an invitation. God is inviting us to find security in Him instead of in our false beliefs of who we are and what we’re worth, etc. Our identity is who we understand ourselves to be at our core. It needs to be in who God says we are.

Prophecy challenges how we see ourselves and, through a process, upgrades that vision to how God sees us.

When we prophesy, it is essential that:

  • We prophesy from the Father’s heart, with God’s love as our motivation.
  • The content of the prophecy lines up with the character of God.
  • We are not prophesying out of our woundedness or from a personal agenda.

When I give a prophetic word, I like to ask God first, “Father God, how do You see this person?” What are Your thoughts towards this person?” Then I ask God, “What are Your plans for this person?” This usually leads me to speak identity into a person, then destiny. Our destiny comes from our identity.

When we give people a glimpse of their reflection in a mirror that is angled towards God, we open up the potential for someone to discover their true identity.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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:  Play the game ‘headbands’ but with identity statements. Take it in turns writing one word that symbolizes how God sees that person. Don’t let the person see it but place it on their forehead or pin it to a hat that they wear etc. The person has to try to guess what the word is that God sees them as.

2. Group Activation: Give everyone a piece of paper and a pen. Ask them to write a letter to an important person, the names you have but will share with them afterwards. Males write to males, females to females. Ask them to capture God’s heart for that person and the identity, adventure and destiny that God has for that person. At the end, share how that person is themselves ie the letter is for themself from God.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to place a person’s name on your heart who may be struggling with identity. Spend time with God asking Him to show you His heart for that person. Ring them up or write a note to them, sharing what God has revealed to you about them.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you which emergency workers need encouragement. Ask God to show you how to encourage them and what He would love you to do in response.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you His heart for the country of Haiti which earlier today experienced a horrifically damaging earthquake. Ask God how you should prayer and prophesy into their future as a country and for the people.

Identity part 4

Imagine an aggressive army invading your country. You are powerless to fight back or take a stand. It is a time of hiding, becoming invisible to survive. The enemy sweeps through the country, killing every person and animal, destroying every crop and business. Becoming destitute and impoverished, living seems futile. But you try. You don’t give up. Not knowing what else to do, you do the one thing that comes naturally to you. Harvesting. Gathering the remnants from your crops, you hide inside a winepress as you try to thresh the remaining wheat. Cowering in fear, you frantically try to preserve your produce whilst not drawing attention to yourself. This was Gideon in Judges 6.

It must have seemed crazy, but an angel visited Gideon, telling him he was a mighty warrior, a man of great strength. The opposite of what Gideon was manifesting as he hid, cowering in fear.

The angel gave Gideon instructions, which Gideon carried out. His actions, though, demonstrated he didn’t trust the outcome. He ‘hedged his bets’. The angel then gave him further instructions. Each time, Gideon seemed to become more courageous. Each time, Gideon asked for a further sign. It was a journey of overcoming fear and finding courage. Fear still dominated but became less and less paralyzing.

Gideon slowly demonstrated that, yes, he was a mighty warrior.

The more Gideon believed that which the angel told him, the more courageous he became.

Hearing, meditating on, and believing our true identity is crucial. We cannot consistently act in a certain way if we don’t believe it.

Growing in our identity is a journey. A journey of discovering more about ourselves and more about who we are as God’s beloved child and the implications of that.

When we embrace our identity and live fully in that, we are unconquerable and weapons of power in the Kingdom. Since that is such a threat to Satan, he loves to challenge that part of us the most – our identity. Satan tried it with Jesus in Matthew 4:3 & 6, saying twice, “If you are the son of God….” Thankfully, Jesus knew and was secure in his identity.

When we are secure in who we are and whose we are, i.e. our identity, we more easily identify the games the enemy plays to ensnare us. We keep our eyes firmly on God, secure in Him and His thoughts towards us.

The enemy will endeavour to throw you off the true path. He will do anything to have our identity distorted, damaged, or destroyed. When we partner with the enemy in this, we go down misleading and damaging paths. The Bible is full of people who struggled with their identity and ran from their true calling, often engineering circumstances differently. Gideon, Moses, Sarah, Rebekah, etc. I am currently reading the Book of Genesis in my daily devotions and finding it fascinating how these men and women of God tried to orchestrate their calling and prophetic words. They stuffed it up completely, often causing tragic circumstances that outlived them, negatively affecting their generations to come.

When you examine the lives of these Bible characters, you realize they only complicated things even more. They often caused more harm and damage to their identity and self-worth.

Insecurity and being unsure about our identity are a fantastic invitation to lean into God. It is an invitation to identify any false beliefs about who we are, our purpose, etc. and to integrate God’s perspective in all those areas.

Prophetic words will often address identity and destiny. The fulfilment of these prophecies often depends on us becoming the person spoken of in our prophecies – our character, our identity, our nature. Whilst we are waiting for our prophetic words to be fulfilled, we have a significant role to play – that of aligning our character and identity with whom God says we are.

We defeat our internal giants before we take on external giants. Becoming the person God sees us as is claiming and possessing our inner territory. If we are insecure and fearful, don’t expect to overcome fear in the world. Start with yourself. If we are harbouring bitterness and unforgiveness, it is hard to bring love to a hurting world. If we are full of regrets and disappointments overwhelm us, it is hard to bring hope to a dejected world.

Sanctification is the process of renewing our mind (Romans 12:1-2) and allowing what God says and thinks about us to shape who we are and what we do. It is becoming more Christlike, transformed as we believe and live out our Biblical identity. Our beliefs dictate our behaviour.

If we live out of our true identity as a beloved child of God and how God sees us, we no longer feel the need to find worth in our external circumstances. People’s opinions, work success, family life, friendships, looks, etc no longer define us and determine our significance. We are then free to experience God’s unconditional love and worth afresh.

When we realize our true identity, we have more clarity about our purpose and destiny. We can determine that our function is not our identity. A classic example of this is when people have been called a prophet or prophesied they will be a prophet, that person can subtly incorporate that title as their identity. Being a prophet is not your identity. It is purely a function.

My identity – that of discovering who God has created me to be, is a process. A journey of discovery. Of becoming that which we discover about who Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ says we are.

Like an onion with many layers, as we spend time with God and deal with sin and hurts in our lives, we learn more about ourselves, who God says we are, and who He sees us as.

This changes and solidifies us on the ‘inside’ – our soul – mind, thoughts, feelings, and emotions, eventually becoming expressed in our behaviour.

I would love to hear any additional aspects of your identity which you have recently discovered. Please comment below.

To read the previous posts in this series on identity, click on the following titles: Identity part 1, Identity part 2 – starts with who God is, Identity part 3 – steps towards a healthy identity

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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:  Ask God to highlight to you as a family or group someone who is afraid. Ask everyone to sense what God wants you to say or do to help this person.

2. Group Activation: Spend time with God as a group, asking Him which areas of their lives each individual person needs courage for. Ask everyone to share what they were feeling, sensing, hearing, seeing. Ask God to highlight a creative way of releasing courage over the group as a whole and over each other. Finish with blessing each other.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God, asking Him to show you an area of your life He would love to strengthen you in. Ask God to highlight a Bible verse/person/book. Read this and spend time with God asking Him how to apply the principles to your life. Ask God to show, tell or give you something you can apply to your life or strengthen you from this time. Ask God to show or tell you how He sees you.

4. Intermediate Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to show you someone in your life or community who lives in fear. Ask God to show or tell you His heart for this person or group and what He would love your response to be.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight a ‘people group’ or nation living in fear. Spend time with God, hearing/sensing/seeing His heart for these people. Craft a prophetic declaration for these people and their future. Release the prophetic declaration in a creative way eg dance, act, speak, paint, draw, poem, prophetic act, etc.

Identity part 3

Hubby and I were loving our week in London after a mission trip to Israel. Sunday evening found us in church – Holy Trinity Brompton (where the Alpha Course originated). Excited about a well-known minister praying for us, we went forward for prayer at the end of the service. Both hubby and I were gob-smacked as the minister said something about me discovering my true identity. We believed he had ‘got it wrong’ as I seemed very secure in my identity. I certainly was not concerned with what others thought about me.

Around this time, we were also trying to get pregnant. Ten years went by with no success. Before this, whatever I wanted to do, I did. I achieved much. I was able to accomplish a lot, and my identity was based in what I could do. Suddenly I was faced with something I had little control over. This caused much heartache. I realized that my identity and self-worth were in my accomplishments and what I could achieve. During this period, I faced the fact that my identity needed to be in God. I went on a journey of discovering my identity based in Jesus Christ and my relationship with Him, rather than what I could or couldn’t do.

When someone is struggling with their identity, it is common to believe that it manifests with low self-esteem, lack of personal confidence, difficulty accepting both your strengths and limitations, focusing on negatives, thinking others are better than you, feeling anxious or depressed, fear of other’s disapproval or rejection, not accepting compliments, sense of inferiority, fear and rejection looming large in your life, unfulfilled etc. Less common traits are perfectionism, controlling personality, comparison, acting differently around different people, maybe only wearing name-brand clothes, etc.

The foundation of our identity comes to the fore when we experience failure, significant miscommunication, relationships fracture or an adverse life event.

Last blog post, I addressed the issue that our identity is in who God says we are. We need to know who God is and revel in Him with awe and wonder to understand who we are, how God made us, and our identity.

Who God says we are is always in relationship to either God or others. We were made for community, not isolation.

Practical steps to help embed a Godly identity:

1. Worship God

Spend time in awe and majesty, worshipping your Creator. When we realize who we belong to, we can then discover our value.

2. Declare Scripture over yourself
To find out who God says we are means we need to spend time with God – listening, praying, meditating, asking, waiting, watching. It means devouring the Bible, God’s Word, to discover what He says about us and why He made us.

There are many Scriptures that help gain insight into how God describes us. You can easily google and find them. You can also take the time to read the Bible and allow it to sink into your mind and soul. Unfortunately, there is usually a gap between our heart and mind – intellectually knowing what God says and practically believing it and living it out.

I find an effective method is to declare Scripture over myself about who God says I am. I find Scriptures and write them out, and then declare them over myself. A great starting place is Ephesians 1. “I declare that Father God created me and blessed me with every spiritual blessing. He chose me before the creation of the world. I am called, chosen, special and equipped to spread the Gospel.” You will discover your identity changes when you declare over yourself how God sees you and believing that which is written in the Bible about yourself.

3. Prayer

I have created a prayer calendar for June based on our identity in Christ. There are 30 days of prayer from Scripture outlining our identity as a child of God. I created this over at my other blog http://www.raisingworldchangers.com.au to pray over our children to help them with their identity. I realize it is also powerful and effective praying it over myself. Here is a pdf version. Feel free to download it here or contact me to receive an emailed copy.

4. Deal with faulty beliefs

Our perception can influence our thinking and beliefs. Often, we can incorporate lies or faulty beliefs into our life through our perception of events or words. An easy method to deal with this is to take a few moments to spend time with God and ask:

  • Father God, is there any lie or faulty belief I am believing?
  • Grab the first thought through your head and explore that.
  • Ask God to show or tell you why you believe that.
  • Ask God if there is anyone you need to forgive. If anyone comes to mind, forgive that person. Bless them. Do you need to forgive yourself?
  • Ask Father God to show, tell, or give you the truth.

Healthy self-esteem and identity come from being who we are designed and created to be in community.

Next blog post, I will address how identity is a journey and helpful hints along the way.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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:  Gather craft supplies and cut-out cardboard crowns. Ask everyone to decorate their crowns with how they are known in Heaven. Finish with everyone placing their crowns on their heads and declaring over themselves how God sees them.

2. Group Activation: Gather craft supplies, textas etc and create pictures/collages of the godly identity of the person on your right. Give this to the person on your right, blessing them in their royal identity.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to show you how He sees you dressed (eg princess, paratrooper, lover, explorer etc). Spend time asking God more about the picture He shows you. Then declare it over yourself.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you someone struggling with their identity. Spend time with God, asking Him to show you how they are known in Heaven and how He sees them. Find a way to communicate this effectively to that person and encourage them.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight a powerful voice in your life at the moment. Ask God the true identity of that voice and prophesy into the effectiveness of that voice and their reach.

Identity part 2

Seeing little children revel whilst they play, occasionally glancing towards their parents, warms my heart. These children are safe and secure in their identity. They freely play, unaware of any danger or insecurity. Subconsciously they realize they are part of a ‘bigger’ picture, they belong to others and their security comes from that. They are safe and secure to explore and ‘be’, play, and do because they are connected to their source of security and identity.

On a mission experience overseas, we witnessed time and time again a young, adopted boy wandering off from his parents and the safe compound we lived in. He seemed to have no fear and was often found being cuddled by strangers. Many folks incorrectly commented on how this boy was so secure in his identity. This was a concern for me as that is not security in identity. Instead, it showed a lack of attachment.

When we have children, we name them and give them an identity, both through their name and being in our family. As our children grow, they take on our family values and lifestyle. Our identity is not in isolation. It always comes from being in relationship.

In my last blog post, I challenged readers to look at the starting place of identity by looking at who God is. When we are in relationship with God, we obtain our identity from Him. Thus, we need to know who God is and revel in Him with awe and wonder to then understand who we are, how God made us, and our identity.

A great starting place is in the Bible. In Exodus 34:6-7, God explains who He is. He is compassionate, gracious, patient, loyal, faithful, love, just, forgiving. The Bible is full of who God is.

Once we realize who God is, we receive our inheritance and generational blessings of identity. It is through our identity that we become those attributes of who God is. We can then become compassionate, full of grace and patience, loyal, faithful, just, forgiving, full of love.

Our identity is in who God says we are.

An easy way to discover whom your God is, is to look at who or what determines who you are and what you are worth.

I encourage you this week to spend time with God, gazing in awe at Him and His Majesty. Search your Bible for how God describes Himself and revel in who He is.

Next week, I will further explore identity and who God says we are.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God 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:  Gather craft supplies and cut-out cardboard human bodies. Ask everyone to receive from God a picture of who God says they are, then decorate their cardboard cut-outs accordingly.

2. Group Activation: Have blank pieces of paper with each group member’s name at the top. Fold over the name so it is not visible. Pass the sheets around so everyone has one piece of paper each. Ask group member’s to ask God for a statement/sentence of identity for the person whose name is on the paper. Once written on the paper, fold the paper again so the writing isn’t visible and pass the paper to the person on their left. Repeat several times. Then ask everyone to unfold the paper and read out the identity statements over the person at the top of the paper they are holding.

3. Beginner Activation: Gather writing and drawing supplies and sheets of paper. Spend time with God, reading His Word, documenting His character attributes, revelling in Him with awe and wonder. Then ask God to show you who He says you are. Listen, watch and sense as to who He says your identity is.

4. Intermediate Activation: Spend time revelling in God and His majesty with awe and wonder. Ask God to highlight someone to you who is struggling with their identity. Ask God to show you how He sees them. Communicate this appropriately to the person.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you a ruling family (whether constitutional or governmental) who are struggling with their identity. Spend time with God, seeking His heart for this family and its leaders and their true identity. Proclaim their true identity and ask God if He wants you to communicate this to them and how.