God Has Begun a New Thing

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“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

If I were to re-write the above scripture it would say:  “Behold, I have accomplished a fresh work; now it shall sprout and come about; do you know what I’m doing? I will even lay down a new path in the wilderness and a new river in the desolate places.”

This particular scripture was spoken over me approximately 15 years ago as a prophetic word.  Today I am declaring this word over you!  God has begun a new thing.

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A chance meeting (only if you believe there are chance encounters with God) over the weekend opened up something new for me. I ran into a man I’d met two years ago. I’ll call him Andy. During that encounter, Andy spoke a prophetic word over a group of believers, gathered for a time of worship and prayer.  It was a good word, one that resonated with me so deeply that I was impressed to ask if I might be able to share it with my church home. He graciously consented to send me that word once he got home and was able to transcribe it.

I emailed him my contact information and waited. In the busyness of his life it took a little time. One day Andy wrote that he had not forgotten me, and he would get to it soon. In the meantime, he asked if I would pray about a situation in his life and he proceeded to tell me a bit about a problem with one of his children. My heart ached for him and I wrote back something I felt inspired to share.

You see, this is how God works in family. In the weakness of one, He will use another, perhaps someone in a similar situation, perhaps one who is doing well or standing in God’s strength at the moment, to speak encouragement to the other. This is what happened that day. I was caught up in a similar situation and at that particular moment, I was walking strong in God’s provisions. That I would respond to this new brother’s dilemma was all the Lord asked at the moment. A short time later, Andy sent the transcribed word I had asked for. And then our correspondence fell silent. Until last weekend.

My husband and I almost declined to go to this meeting but, at the last moment, we went. We’d just arrived and were going down the aisle to find a seat when once again, I ran into Andy. He recognized me and we quickly struck up a conversation. With neither of us remembering the email correspondence from two years earlier, he told me about his life now and he made some bold statements about his relationship with his children today. Andy was walking firmly in the new thing God had provided for him! I asked him how he’d come to this new understanding and his reply was, “I’m not sure when or how this happened, but I’m so comfortable in this place, knowing He has my kids covered!” I had recently experienced a troubling encounter with a family member and I was still hurting and struggling from that time. Andy’s words in this moment ministered greatly to my hurting spirit.

I went home that night and remembered that I wanted to look for Andy’s prophetic word.  I had recently purged old emails and was a bit fearful that perhaps I might have deleted his word. I laughed out loud as I found Andy’s word on the last page of my emails; I had deleted everything prior to about a month before Andy and I began corresponding! I love God’s sense of humor!

As I read our email thread I not only found the prophetic word but also the email about Andy’s child and my response. I was deeply touched, not so much by my words of encouragement, but by the reciprocity of God’s provision. Here were words of encouragement sent to pretty much a stranger in his struggles. Our encounter earlier this evening provided the exact same encouragement to me, almost two years later to the day!

Do we understand the power of our God? How much fun does the Father have, sitting in heaven, orchestrating such encounters? Do He, Jesus and Holy Spirit sit around a table and make plans for this child and that one, providing chance encounters for us, spinning the tale into these delightful times that transcend time, and sometimes bringing us back around to the point of beginning, only swapping participants so we stand in awe at His provision? I don’t even know if this is truly expressing the awe and wonder that I feel as I realized all that had been in play at my meeting and corresponding briefly with Andy.

To top it all off, I shared Andy’s prophetic word with my pastor last night at our mid-week service. He was truly touched by this word. And here’s the kicker. Andy’s word was deep and two years ago it touched me that it was indeed a word for our body of believers. But when I finally received the word from Andy a few weeks later, I never shared it and in fact, I forgot all about it. Not to worry however, because God had it on His timetable and this past Friday evening, He orchestrated to get Andy and I back in contact so the word would arise. It speaks to our congregation now even better than if I had shared it two years ago!

The end of the story is this. I’ve been wrestling lately with a couple of decisions that have to be made. I’ve been wrestling with my life, my future, and what does God want for me. I wasn’t hearing a thing – until I ran again into Andy. And suddenly, the truth of Isaiah 43:19 is releasing something into my life. Right. Here. Right. Now.

I wish I could put into words the deep rumbling I feel in my spirit. It is a transition space similar to that of a child being born. Just before the birth, there is pain and discomfort indescribable. It is the agony of anticipating something joyous and yet you cannot see it, touch it, and it actually hurts! I am in transition and I am waiting for that which I know is going be a joyous time in my life. I do perceive it.

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My friend, I’ve learned over the years that when God does something in me, He is willing to do much the same for others. My life, just as yours, is a testimony of all that Jesus Christ has done and is planning to do in my future. Testimony is the spirit of prophecy! What Christ does for one, He is willing to do for others for He is no respecter of persons.

I declare over you right now that Jesus Christ is doing a new thing in you; do you not perceive it? He is making a way through the desolate places of your life, providing life-giving waters where there has been none. You are entering into a new place – now! I pray you will receive this prophetic word over you today and I would love to hear your comments below. Get ready to move – God has begun a new thing!

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Like Chickens with Their Heads Cut Off

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The last two days have felt like something I witnessed as a child at my grandmother’s farm.  We were going to have fresh fried chicken for dinner this day and so of course, the chickens had to be butchered!  I followed my grandma out to the chicken coop where she quickly grabbed a couple of those plump chickens, methodically walked over to a tree stump there for just such moments, and with one skillful blow of the hatchet, chopped off a head and slammed the now headless chicken between a table in the yard and the back of the garage.  Pinned between the table and the building, their now headless bodies wriggled and flinched, legs scrambling in a useless attempt to get away.  As a child I was grossed out but fascinated at the same time; I finally understood where the saying, “like a chicken with its head cut off,” came from as the lesson wriggled there right in front of me.  The last two days I felt like those chickens.  Flailing mercilessly at an unseen opponent, not knowing whether to turn to the right or the left and, if I actually turned, I still wouldn’t know which way to go.

What do we do as Christians, when life changes and we find ourselves thrust into a situation that is foreign and uncomfortable, perhaps even seeming almost dangerous at the first? We do what our entire lives of listening to our pastors has taught us – run to Jesus! While I’m not going to give you a specific account of what my past two days contained, I’d like to share my process in the hopes you will gain a new strategy when you next find yourself in a “headless” state.

The news hit. My initial reaction was one of total dismay and almost simultaneously, emotions. OK, I get it, I’m a woman and I was made with emotions. A man might react differently, as my husband in fact did. While he remained calm, I fell apart. My mind catastrophized the incident; I went to every single negative place my mind could imagine as a result of this news. My husband, well I can’t rightly say where his mind went because he didn’t share much with me initially. I guess he was chewing, trying to get his logical mind around the situation.

Funny thing was that in spite of what I saw as very disturbing information, I was aware that I wanted, more than anything, for Jesus to show up in the mess. “What do you want me to do Lord? Where do I begin to unravel this mess?” I pleaded with God. I heard nothing. Coincidentally (I’m only using this word because it fits the moment, but not for even one second do I truly believe that when I cry out to Jesus, the things which follow are a coincidence), this day I received two phone calls. One from a Christian brother in our body, offering a “word from the Lord” for me. The word? It was a truly uplifting and wonderful word from the Lord, a true prophetic word of encouragement. The second call was from a Christian sister, also from our body, telling much the same as the first. As uplifting as both these calls were, they almost seemed like nonsense under the weight of what my husband and I were dealing with.

The next day was about the same. Same foreboding thoughts, same emotional response. That evening, yet another message from God from a very unsuspecting and kind man, who really had no idea what his message brought in the way of encouragement and comfort. The odd thing about all three of these contacts was they literally came out of left field. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had someone in my church come up to me with a prophetic word! It’s probably been almost eight years ago when I was dealing with cancer and loving brothers and sisters in the Lord were interceding for me in that journey. It is with this in mind that I refute the coincidental nature of these words. I have walked with the Lord too long; whatever follows any cry to my Savior, has turned out to be His divine process in action and it is all to be savored.

So, three days into this the fog has lifted. Is it still disturbing? Yes. Is it still confounding? Yes. Do I have any inkling as to the outcome? No, not yet. But here’s where I land in the midst of this thing. I am to continue walking. I cannot guarantee it will be in a straight line because I don’t know what is waiting just around the corner in this unfolding drama. What I’ve come back to is that, in part because my sweet, sweet Lord saw fit to deliver three messages to me from people who have no idea what it’s all about, there is a way through. My job is to get my wits out of the drama of it and decide what the best course of action is – at this particular moment in time. Whatever comes from walking through this, I know He’s walking with me.

So, the line of defense is this:

1) Cry out to Jesus. Don’t wait. Don’t try to be strong. Just go to Him and tell Him what’s on your heart.
2) Allow yourself to settle in the process. Waiting two days was a torture of sorts, but I truly didn’t know what to do. So I went on with life as usual and continued praying about the situation.
3) Look for the Lord in the midst of the problem. In this case, it was the delivery of three distinct messages, sent from people in my life. I wasn’t absolutely sure of their meaning, so I continued on.
4) Determine the next logical step. For my husband and I, the next step was to go to our covering (our pastor) for his input.
5) Get into the Bible. We are searching through the Word for His truths. Our pastor gave us some really good advice on what to look for. Sometimes the relevance of the Word might look difficult to grasp but it really does address our needs in all areas of our lives. If you need help with this aspect, do not hesitate to go to your pastor or someone who is well versed in the Word for help.
6) Walk. We recognize this one is going to be a journey; it cannot be resolved today. So, we must continue on with our life as usual and we must trust that He is guiding us to what we need in this situation. We will continue to touch base with our pastor as we go.

If need be, go back to step one and start all over again!

I hope this might help you in your walk with Jesus. I may need to come back to this in a few days and remind myself of what I just said. But here’s the good news: I don’t feel like the headless chicken anymore. My peace is back. God wants me to have victory through this because He’s on my side. Hallelujah, His victories are coming!

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 (NKJV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

If you can see it, you can be it!

My heart is full today.  I’ve been reading about God’s gifts, particularly the gift of prophecy.  I used to think that prophecy was one of those gifts for special people.  You know, those with a calling on their lives, those having a direct line to God.  Prophecy wasn’t for me because, well, I’m just one of the regular folks who love the Bible and besides, I don’t hear from God all that well.

I’ve been pursuing prophecy for the better part of two years.  I wanted to know about it…you know, inquiring minds and all that.  This quest turned into something I wasn’t quite prepared for: I discovered I can be prophetic!  Not prophetic like I can tell you about your future (not yet anyway), but prophetic in the ways of knowing that I know a truth about God and what that means for myself or others.

So what changed that suddenly I was hearing from God?  Nothing.  Seems I’ve been hearing Him all along, I just hadn’t discerned that the different ways He talked to me fell into the category of prophecy.  To be clear, I am not a prophet, called to the office of.  I am simply a lover of Jesus, willing to be used by Him when a need arises.

I recently read a statement by Graham Cooke.  In his book, “Approaching the Heart of Prophecy”, he said, “If you do not see it, you cannot become it.  Identity must be visualized before it can be realized.”  This statement sent me off on a journey recalling my past attitudes about life.  So many things I’d wanted to do but quickly discounted.  On the other hand there were things I did because I wanted to and couldn’t come up with good enough reasons not to.  That crazy tipping scale of life where we want some things and can’t/won’t pursue them and the other side when we experience victory because we tried!  It’s truly a conundrum.

Graham Cooke challenged me to look, really look for prophecy and all it holds and this is what I’ve learned:
1)  God can use anyone to deliver anything in a moment of need.  Be available.
2)  God speaks to us all in a variety of ways.  Listen.
3)  Prophecy is not always about the future events of our lives; it is often nothing more than encouragement.  Encourage.
4)  Prophecy is often given to me about my life, but more often than not, it’s for others too.  Share.

Someone said, “What’s the best gift?  The one needed at the moment.” If we are willing, if we will listen, if we will be brave enough to speak, God will use you.  Whether the need be prophecy/encouragement, healing, cleansing prayer, words of wisdom, or any of the other gifts of the Holy Spirit, He will use you.

In my adapted words, if I can see it, I can be it!  I’ve been looking and I see possibilities.  I’ve begun picturing myself differently and astoundingly, I’m aware that my actions are changing as is my mindset.  I’ve asked for a new vision of the woman God had in mind when He created me.  He’s showing me and I can see her, in ever increasing clarity.

Can you see it?  Can you see who He created you to be?  Ask Him to show you.  You can be it!