Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Honest Faces

I walked into the hotel lobby where I am staying and passed a sign that read, “Please show your room key.” Showing my room key was to gain entry into the hotel’s breakfast buffet. As I walked by the front desk the man working behind the counter didn’t even raise his eyes to look in my direction. I paused and went back to show him my room key. When I said, "Here's my room key", he glanced up front his paperwork and looked directly into my eyes and said, “I don’t need to see your key. You have an honest face. Have a nice breakfast.”

I don’t know how honest of a face I have, but like you, I want to be perceived as an honest and honorable person. It was 6:00 am. I was dressed in a baseball cap, hoody, cargo shorts and hiking shoes. I needed a shave and my morning shower.  I looked more like someone who just walked in off the street trying to grab a free breakfast than a patron of the hotel who was in town to speak at a local church.

Those who carry the Spirit of God reveal more to those around them than their attire or life-circumstance can transmit. I have seen the depth of God’s countenance carried in the eyes of a tattered homeless person and failed to see it in a well-dressed person of privilege. It is all about the heart being revealed through the eyes, the window of the human soul.

Most of us spend time trying to look presentable and keep in at least a semblance of good physical health. We are a human temple of worship with a body, soul, and spirit created to house and express the presence of God. These three elements of our being are designed to work in harmony with each other. It is the inner peace of God that is picked up by people in the most unexpected moments – especially in a pre-dawn journey to a hotel breakfast buffet before a shower and shave were able to do their magic. If you are at peace with God and with people it really does make a difference. No matter what is going on in your life, your inner peace will transmit a message. It will reveal your true identity in the most unusual moments when you were least expecting it.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Heaven Has No Coincidences

As I sit here in a hotel room in Eureka, California, I find it by no coincidence that several things are happening all at once on the same day. Later this morning, I will take the short drive to where I am scheduled to speak at the First Baptist Church of Arcata, California. The church is physically located next to Humboldt State University.  Thousands of students attend this university. Twenty years ago, Bill Johnson spoke here and prophesied the next Jesus Movement would be birthed in this church. 

This is Pentecost Sunday, the day in Church history when we celebrate the coming of the Spirit in power. I also happen to be staying in the same looking over the same courtyard described in my book, The Sound of Reformation. During that previous stay, as I watched koi fish swimming in circles in the courtyard pond, the Lord said the circle-swimming fish resembled a religious pond of predictability that has invaded the thinking of some in the Church. It is a resulting way of living birthed from a mindset where we no longer expect more. The koi fish are still here doing the same thing they were doing during my last visit. Nothing has changed. They are still swimming in circles. 

God has another plan. He wants to free us from our ponds of predictability and transplant us into the freshwater current of His Spirit where we will experience personal and corporate revival and a resulting cultural reformation.  

This specific day on the calendar of 2018, the koi pond revelation and Bill Johnson’s prophetic word are not a human coincidence. They are divine indicators that God has a plan to execute that no coincidence of human logic could ever imagine.

Today, remove the limited thinking and faithless conclusions of coincidental thinking. Let God lift you out of the pond of predictability and fill you with the same expectancy I have of what God is about to do this morning. You and I are not responsible for outcomes. We are responsible for the measure of faith we carry into situations where supernatural outcomes are possible. Let faith arise and the enemies of God be scattered, especially any faithless expression of faith.  Every day is a new day with God. See today with the eyes of Heaven and you will see the new thing God is releasing upon the Earth.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Fruit of a Double Portion

Yesterday, I brought home some cherries. As I was eating the cherries, I noticed most of the cherries in the basket were double cherries. It was hard to find a single cherry in the basket. In all my life, I had only seen a double cherry a time or two. I stopped eating and said to myself, “I need to get a picture of the remaining ones just to show people this actually happened.” It was then the Lord began to speak.

“Don’t allow what surrounds your life to determine your vision or define what your future holds. I am releasing double portions and double blessings to those who have the eyes to see as I see. This double portion will clarify your vision and redefine your future. The double portion is already in your basket. Look again. This is not blurred double vision. It is the double portion of goodness I have planned for you before time began.” 

Today, look again at your life – your friendships, resources, hopes, and dreams. Look at all of your life through the lens of faith, hope, and love, especially those areas where you may have lost hope. Clarity will begin to come. You will begin to see as Heaven wants you to see. That is the vision you need to have in order to step into your future with confidence, trust and expectation.

“Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours” (Isaiah 61:7).

Friday, May 18, 2018

Measuring Your Dream

Lately, I have been seeing objects lying on the roadway at intersections. Last week, I wrote about seeing the head of a claw hammer on the ground at an intersection (http://www.prophetichorizons.com/2018/05/the-hammers-of-disagreement-and.html). Later, in another intersection, I saw a measuring tape, the kind that spools up the metal tape inside a small enclosure.

The significance of both objects was their location. Seeing these things in the middle of an intersection infers a coming change. An intersection is a place of decision and new direction. When I wrote about the hammer the Lord was telling some of you to no longer allow your life to be hammered by people who disapprove of your decision and then voice their disapproval with blows from the hammer of condemnation. In order for a new season to unfold, we must deal with the sound of these voices in our heart and mind before we can move on.

Once we transit the intersection of condemnation we will arrive at the intersection of measurement. In this intersection, God wants you to begin dreaming impossible-sounding things not imagined in the intersection of condemnation. 

In the image the Lord was unfolding, I saw a person stop and pick up the measuring tape. The one I have on the workbench in our garage only measures 25 feet. It comes to an abrupt end and lets you know in no uncertain terms it cannot measure past its designed distance of measurement. When the person in my vision began to unwind the measuring tape, I saw them pulling and pulling on the tape with no end in sight. Like my 25-foot tape measure, they thought it would come to an end, but it kept unwinding as long as they continued to pull. They were surprised and delighted. There was enough tape inside the roll to measure the depth and substance of any dream God gave them as long as their faith continued to pull on the tape.

Every dream has a measurement defined by Heaven. God will provide all the tape you need to measure the cost and summon the resources required to make your dream a reality. He has brought you through the intersections of condemnation and measurement to make you ready to experience the next leg of your journey toward the fulfillment of your dream. All things are possible when condemnation is silenced and when you are measuring your dream with Heaven’s measuring tape. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Discerning Hidden Messages

Jan and I live at the edge of our small town close to the forest. It is not uncommon to see all kinds of wildlife. We have seen deer, wild turkeys and on a couple of occasions, a cougar. Last night, I was awakened shortly after midnight to the loud howling of a coyote. He was close – just across our street and up the hill. The howling went on for a few moments.  

This morning, I researched the vocalization of a coyote and realized what I was hearing was a howl from a coyote separated from his group. He was howling to be found. Coyotes have 11 different vocalizations. People who study these animals can tell you what each howl, bark, and yip means. They are able to discern the coyote's message within each sound they make.

It is important for us to be able to discern the message hidden within the sounds being made by individuals and culture. What can be written off as only a complaint may be an appeal for something authentic. A negative comment may hide a wounded heart. An overly gregarious response to life may hide a fear of engagement.

A prophetic person is not just a mouthpiece for God. People who carry a prophetic anointing must be able to discern the message hidden within the sounds of culture in order to accurately discern what is taking place before they speak. Last night, I had no idea what the coyote's message was until I studied the wisdom of those who work with these animals. God wants us to study the wisdom and revelation of the Spirit for the audience of our words before we deliver them. A surface understanding will not reveal the heart and motivation of a person.  Without this depth of revelation, we could easily misinterpret what is actually taking place. 

When the howling of the coyote stopped last night, I wish I could have seen through the darkness. I would have been able to see the coyote rejoin his family unit. The other coyotes would have discerned his appeal at a level my neighbors and I would have missed. That reunion is a goal of prophecy - to reunite separated people with the heart and will of God. 

In life, there are times when people will make strange sounds as they begin a journey toward wholeness. A prophet motivated by love will try to interpret the message hidden within the sound of someone’s voice before they speak.   Seek to understand their message before you deliver a word and God will be able to use you in profound ways.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Living the Dream

A few weeks ago, I was shopping and struck up a conversation with an employee. I asked, “How are you?” The woman said in a cynical tone, “I’m living the dream!” After a few moments of conversation it was obvious she was not living her dream. Some of what she shared was painful. Her life condition had placed her on a long and lonesome road of despair. The look in her eyes conveyed to me the depth of her daily struggle. 

At the end of our conversation, I spoke a word of hope to her. It was like cold water was splashed in her face. Her countenance changed immediately. Literally, a different person was looking back at me. She reached out and gave me a big hug and said, “I never saw my life that way before.” After that initial encounter, I went on to do more shopping. A few minutes later, the woman left her department in the store to track me down and said the words of hope I spoke to her had changed the direction of her life. You could see a transformation beginning to take place in how she carried herself and in the lightness of her step. Hope gave her the ability to see her life differently. 

The greatest ministry of the Church is the release of hope. The resurrection gave the early disciples hope when they thought death was the only option available. Hope has been the coin of Heaven’s realm for the last 2,000 years. If you want to know where the next revival, reformation or breakthrough is going to take place, listen for the sounds of hope. Hope is the dream.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Distant Sounds

Distant sounds capture my attention. There are times when I am sitting in my writing chair next to the open window that I can hear those distant sounds. The horn of a train sounding as it travels through the city. A dog barking a warning or birds singing in the darkness of the predawn. I remember the tug on my emotions the first time I heard the call of a loon echo across a mountain lake or the call of a foghorn cutting through the dense coastal fog. 

These distant sounds gently capture our attention to remind us of things outside our immediate reality. The Lord will do the same to gain our attention. These sounds of Heaven are an announcement. A testimony, an unexpected blessing or a sense of something approaching not yet fully defined, raise our awareness to look beyond the moment to anticipate the arrival of something new.

The Lord spoke to me this morning when I heard one of those distant sounds. I know the following word is not just for me. It is for some of you. He said, “The new thing I want to do in your life will be announced before it arrives. My announcement will be like a distant sound.  I am releasing this sound to gain your attention. When I gain your attention you will be offered a choice to believe. Once you believe, a connection will be made to what the sound is announcing. Just as certain sounds in the natural realm create a beautiful longing in you so it will be for what is coming. That longing in faith is what I need to perform what I have promised.”