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.

Identity part 1

People can become infatuated with being called a prophet.

I regularly get contacted by people who want to explore their prophetic identity or say they are a prophet. Just because you call yourself a prophet, or have that title, does not make you a prophet.

Being a prophet is not your identity. It is purely a function.

My response is to encourage them to explore their identity as a child of God first. Your identity is not in being a prophet. Prophetic identity is living out the essence of who God has called you to be. It is vital we don’t get caught up in wanting to be recognized as having a prophetic gifting, or even worse, as a prophet. This is similar for anyone who has a gifting and allows that gifting to become their identity, e.g. evangelist, Pastor, etc.

Unfortunately, our world looks at the exterior and titles and thinks it is fabulous. What you, or others, call you does not enamour God. He is enamoured with you and who He made you to be.

We don’t prophesy to become someone special or a so-called prophet. We prophesy from a place of knowing who we are and whose we are.

We prophesy out of our identity, not to build our identity.

People can easily become caught up in their gifting as their identity and see people through the lens of their gifting instead of purely loving them.

We need to get caught up in being a child of God. In living our lives for God and allowing everything to flow from that.

The Oxford Dictionary defines identity as “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.”.

Who you believe you are is so foundational. Similarly, who you are becoming.

Our identity answers the question, “Who has God created me to be?”. Our identity does not answer the question, “What am I to do?”. That is a destiny question that follows from identity, but our doing is not our being (identity). When we get our sense of identity from what we do, then the very essence of who we are, our core being, becomes vulnerable and unstable. When an unexpected event occurs with what we do e.g. lose our job, fail a course, our identity and self-worth can fracture.

This past fortnight has been a significant time in our family. One of our children was on a challenging promotional course for thirteen days. On the morning of graduation, they found out they had failed one small section, which meant they had not passed the course. After the graduation ceremony, this child’s identity shone through as they declared that even though they were disappointed, it wasn’t final; they would try again next time. This child realized they were no less a person because of that failure. This child showed resilience and security in who they were as a child of God with how they handled the disappointment.

So often, when we look at our identity, we start with ourselves. We examine what the Bible says about us eg Psalm 139:13-18 and how we were created.

Imagine, though, if we began with looking at God and taking our identity from God and how He sees us. When we start with God and look at our identity through God’s eyes, we have a solid base.

Over the next few weeks, I will unpack what it looks like having a solid identity in God.

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 eg stickers, glue, textas, and cardboard crowns. Ask each person to decorate a crown for themself, writing on the crown a word that God gives them that describes how He sees them. Orchestrate a special time of placing each person’s crown on their head, declaring over them the identity God has bestowed on them.

2. Group Activation: Spend time as a group hearing from God about your identity as a group. Craft a group identity statement.

3. Beginner Activation: Go to your food supply and ask God to highlight an item of food. Select that item of food and look at it carefully, asking Him to show you how that item of food relates to your identity. Spend time with God asking Him to reveal more about your identity.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a local street/place that has a high rate of crime. Ask God to show you His heart for that street/place and what He would love your response to that street to be.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God asking Him to show you your nation’s physical and spiritual identity. Ask God to show you how He would love you to respond.

Growing your Spirit

Thirty years ago, hubby and I drove into an Australian town well known for its New Age and witchcraft practices. We glanced around the place for a gift shop and for somewhere to eat, but before we had time to find anywhere, I asked hubby if we could drive on to the next town. I sensed something ‘awful’ in the atmosphere, and it felt like a fear descended on me. Fast forward twenty years, and hubby, the kids, and I drove back into that same town, and it ‘felt’ completely different. We loved the place so much that we hung around that place for several days.

                   What was the difference?

A Christian church had a massive impact in the town ministering to the New Age community, but the New Age and witchcraft presence was still ‘thick’. The major difference, though, lay within me. I had grown and matured as a Christian, but I now knew my identity as a daughter of the Most-High King. I was also aware of ‘brushing’ off negative atmospheres (see here). My spirit had grown enormously and could now ‘defend’ itself instead of being intimidated.

How do you ‘grow’ your spirit?

Just as your physical body needs nutrition to grow, your soul needs love, safety, and care to grow, and your mind needs intellectual stimulation to grow, your spirit also needs to grow.

The top five ways to grow your spirit:

  1. Intimacy with God through worship, relationship, obedience, decreasing sin, and open communication with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus.
  2. Grow your identity in God. Go after your inner healing. Have prayer ministry regularly to deal with issues.
  3. Speak/pray the Bible over yourself.
  4. Pray in tongues often, i.e. daily. 1 Corinthians 14:4 says, “anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies (or builds) themselves up”. One of the most effective methods is to pray in tongues each day.
  5. Bless your spirit.

How do I ‘bless my spirit’?

I first realized the enormous impact of calling one spirit to attention and blessing it after I found some teaching from Arthur Burk and Sylvia Gunther and started practising on my family. Our son is a spiritual thermostat. He quickly and automatically ‘picks up’ the spiritual atmosphere of a room, place, or land region. This caused numerous hassles earlier in his life until we became more fully aware of what was happening. (A particular city in Australia has the ruling spirit of rebellion over it, and when we stayed there, our son became very rebellious. We tried disciplining him with no effect and began to doubt our parenting until I ‘connected the dots’ and realised what was happening. As soon as I identified it, our son’s behaviour immediately normalised.)

Thus, when I began calling my family’s spirits to attention and reading a blessing over them of a night, this son loved it. Each night he would ask me to ‘do that thing that makes me feel good’.

As a side note, I used to call people’s spirit forth eg “Jane, I call your spirit forth”, but a Pastor’s wife became quite anxious about that, as if I was trying to make people’s spirit travel. Thus, I now call them to attention. Look at it as if you are asking them to stand up on the inside and take notice. Eg “Jane, I call your spirit to attention” or “Jane, I call your spirit to take notice of what I am about to say”.

Over time, I have noticed a massive effect on people whenever I bless people’s spirit. I use this all the time in our Church’s Healing Rooms at the end of each person’s ministry time. It is uncommon for me not to use it when praying for someone.

I have several friends who will call their spirit to attention each night and bless their spirit and their spouse with a blessing. There is no magic formula for what to say. Go with what you feel Father God is saying to you. With my kids, I will often bless their spirit with their identity, their prophetic words, the giftings they have, their dreams and their sleeping, and their relationship with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus.

David Tensen has an excellent course on this. He bases his blessing on 4 D’s – delight, design, destiny and dominion. I can never remember the 4 D’s, so I ask Father God to show or tell me how to bless each person.

I have crafted a short blessing for you, my readers. Please feel free to try it and speak it over yourself, inserting your name into it.

Blessing:

“(Your name), I call your spirit to attention and bless you with knowing that Father God loves you so much. There is nothing you could do to make Him love you any more or any less. (Your name), Father God had you in mind before He created the world. He ordained your parents, time in history and birth date. I bless you with knowing how precious and valuable you are to God, your family, friends and community. I bless you with knowing that Father God delights in you and loves being with you. I bless you with an ever-increasing intimacy with Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus.

I bless your spirit with knowing that God has gifted you with unique gifts and has created you with your personality. He so loves you and has incredible plans and purposes for you.

(Your name), I bless your spirit with realising more deeply today the reality of God’s love in your life. I bless you with experiencing today Father God romancing you in a fresh novel way, with you seeing, hearing, and experiencing his extravagant and generous nature and goodness and kindness. I bless you with receiving His kisses of joy and delight in you today. I bless you as you walk out the next few days and weeks and months ahead that you will see the hand of Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus on your life clearly. I bless you with incredible insight and discernment from God, with hearing Him at a deeper level and seeing what He is up to in the spiritual world.

(Your name), I bless you that wherever you walk, you carry the peace of God and change atmospheres; that people will know that a child of the Most-High God has been there. I bless you with leaving a lingering fragrance of the presence of God wherever you step. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

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 share with each of you a present He would like to give another family member at the moment. Write down or draw what you feel God is showing, telling or giving you for that person. Then share with that person, putting it into a blessing to pray over them eg ‘Jane, I bless you with peace.’

2. Group Activation: Partner up and spend a few moments listening to God as to what He would like to give your partner. Pray a blessing over them, calling their spirit to attention.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time worshipping God. Then spend time listening to God, focusing on Him and soaking (meditating) on Him and His goodness. Write down, draw or capture what you feel God saying, showing or giving you.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a Pastor in your local area who needs encouragement. Visit them or send a letter to purely pray for them, bless and prophesy over them.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you someone in a significant position of power who desperately needs encouragement. Find a way to encourage them by blessing and prophesying over them.

Praying BIG

Six years ago, when our daughter was 12-years-old, she had an amazing year of opportunities being opened up for her to speak to people she wouldn’t usually be able to speak to. She was awarded the Shire Young Citizen of the Year and spoke at least a dozen times to several thousand people at Shire events. She also had afternoon tea with the then Australian Prime Minister, Mr Tony Abbott, and gave him a prophetic picture and prophetic word.

This started during a family devotional time at the beginning of the year where we were asking God some questions and listening to Him speak to us. Our daughter felt God was going to create opportunities for her to speak to people from all over the world. (Mind you, she didn’t enjoy speaking at that time and it is amazing to see her speaking in front of people now when 12 years ago she refused to go on stage in the end-of-year dance concert because she didn’t want people looking at her.) Since she had heard this from God, we then prayed into it and asked God to create those opportunities, and we started declaring this. That year she spoke at all the shire citizenship ceremonies where people were becoming citizens from hundreds of countries, many secondary schools, and gave a ‘TED’ to several hundred senior high school students just after the YWAM Founder spoke at YWAM GoFest.

What has this got to do with Praying BIG? This was something that started with her hearing from God, and we then started praying into it. I would never have thought to pray for her to speak and share her story to so many people and have tremendous opportunities of speaking in front of some of the world’s influential people.

What are the possibilities if we asked God what big prayer should we be praying and declaring for ourselves and our families this year?

I encourage you to take a few moments, either by yourself or with your family, put on some quiet worship music and ask God to show or tell you what BIG prayers you could start praying for yourself and your family. Ask God to literally ‘blow you out of the water’ with these prayers that He fills your mind with. Then go ahead, write them down and declare them out aloud.

Boldly asking God for opportunities and then declaring what God shows and tells you is ‘normal’ in the Bible. Faith is “the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. (Hebrews 11:1) Read through the Bible, and you will see countless examples of people being stretched and grown and then affecting nations, usually starting from hearing or sensing from God and believing what God said. For example, in Genesis 6, Noah took God at His Word and began building a boat when there was no likelihood of rain. This would have seemed ludicrous to those around him. Did that stop him? No.

Our daughter heard from God, then we believed her and began boldly declaring that God would create opportunities for her to speak and make an impact. Within several weeks, she had received an invitation to have afternoon tea with the then Australian Prime Minister. Upon opening the official envelope, we laughed and then rejoiced. God was opening doors we couldn’t open. We then ‘walked through that door. One of the first thoughts was that it was a fabulous opportunity to give him a prophecy. Thus, we all wrote prophetic words and drew prophetic pictures, and our daughter gave them to the Prime Minister. Many friends later commented that they would never have thought of doing that. Perhaps that is why God chose our daughter to meet with the Prime Minister, knowing that our family were already operating in this gifting and prepared to take every opportunity we could.

Are you prepared for when God opens the door you have been knocking at?

What do you need to believe God for today?

Our words 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 to create outcomes by the words we speak. Do you boldly declare what God has revealed to you, partnering with God in opening the door and bringing it into being?

         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 desire and 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.”

I encourage you today to:

1. Ask God to reveal to you something big He wants to do through you. Dream BIG on how you would like to partner with God on this for the year.

2. Write this into a declaration and begin speaking it out.

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:  Compile an assortment of magazines, scissors and positive ‘words’. Spend time as a family/group sorting through the words and magazines for a ‘word’ that stands out to each person. Write that word down and chat about that word and how it applies to that person for this year. You may like to make a poster about that word and place in a prominent place or bedroom.

2. Group Activation: As a group, practising hearing, sensing and seeing together for a Bible verse for the group as a whole for this year. Have people share and come to a conclusion. Spend time chatting about what you have learnt about getting a ‘prophecy’ together for the group.

3. Beginner Activation: Spend time with God and ask Him to reveal to you a special Bible verse that is applicable to you this year. Pray into that verse and how it applies to your life.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God for a Bible verse or chapter or Bible character to prophesy over your family this year. Spend time with God, opening further up the meaning and application.

5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God asking Him for a Bible verse for your nation for this year. Ask Him what you are to do with this and how you are to proclaim it.