Follow the Spirit

Follow the Spirit

I received this prophetic word on May 14, 2018. May it encourage you to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

My child, I have called you to follow me. I’ve called you not to follow the doctrines of men or the religion of humankind. I’ve not called you to follow the Church, but I’ve called you to follow the leading of my Spirit. For I will lead you and guide you into all truth.

I will make my face to shine upon you and I will show you my way. I will light the way before your feet, for my word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. I will speak my word to you; I will direct you and guide you in the way that you should go.

I will guide you with my eye upon you. I see the way before you, and I will open your eyes to that which I would show you. I will enlighten your eyes.

I will illumine my word within you, and I will grant unto you my revelation. For this revelation comes by my Spirit, and by my Spirit I will open your eyes and I will open your mind and I will open your understanding to that which I desire you to comprehend.

For I have more that I would share with you. I desire to open the heavenlies unto you, that you might see, that you might partake, that you might enter in to all that I have set aside for you. For this is my glory: that you be glorified in me and that you share my glory by contemplating me.

Seek wisdom, and I shall surely grant it, for I am Wisdom to you. I am Peace, I am Life, I am Strength. Follow me. Look not to another, but lean wholly on me. Run after me. I will lead you into all truth and I will make you like my Son.

How to Interpret Your Dreams

Night sky

Ever had a puzzling dream? I have—tons of them. And if a dream contains a message, I want to understand what it is.

14 For God does speak—now one way, now another—though no one perceives it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds,
16 he may speak in their ears…
–Job 33:14-16a NIV

This post presents a method of dream interpretation I developed from that of psychologist David Ryback.

Dreams: prophetic or symbolic?

We experience two basic types of dreams: prophetic dreams and symbolic dreams.

Prophetic dreams

Prophetic dreams are dreams that come true. They usually depict realistic scenes without much symbolism, and their content is literal. Dreamers find them memorable and recount them as being so vivid and strange they must tell someone about it.

Prophetic dreams often contain one or more odd details that, when they come true, are far beyond coincidence. These rare dreams often prove to be precognitive, foretelling some event.

Two out of three people claim to have had prophetic dreams. Those who give credence to their dreams, as I do, remember them and have more prophetic dreams than those who deny the experience.

When they are heeded, prophetic dreams may forewarn or prepare the dreamer for some future event (see Job 33:15-18).

Symbolic dreams

Symbolic dreams are more common and what we’ll focus on in this post.

Symbolic dreams are filled with seemingly nonsensical happenings. They draw images from our life experiences and mash them together in unique and interesting ways.

Although they may not come true in a literal sense, symbolic dreams have practical interpretations that can provide understanding and direction for our lives. That’s why we must learn to understand them.

At center stage are our emotions, which play parts in a drama. Symbolic dreams are disguised and emotionally encoded in story form using symbols that we must interpret.

“Universal dream dictionaries” may be popular, but every dream analysis book I’ve ever read says that symbols used in our dreams are personal, meaning they’re unique to us as individuals and therefore must be interpreted personally. It’s easy, once you get the hang of it. Here’s how.

Training yourself to remember your dreams

Some people say they never dream. But everyone dreams, although not everyone remembers their dreams.

It takes some practice to train yourself to wake immediately after dreaming and then record your dream. I begin by repeating to myself as I’m falling asleep, “I will remember my dreams… I will wake and record them….”

It may take a few nights or a few weeks, but with determination, eventually you will succeed in waking after a dream.

Tips: The longer you sleep, the better your chances of remembering dreams. Get to sleep early so that you don’t need to jump out of bed at the blare of an alarm. Days off are best for recording dreams, when you can awake slowly, enjoying that dawning phase between sleep and waking consciousness.

Summary of the dream analysis process

The symbolic dream analytic and interpretive process follows these steps:

  1. Write down or record your dream.
  2. Identify the dream elements.
  3. Use word association on each dream element.
  4. Divide your dream into dramatic scenes.
  5. Interpret each scene according to its word associations.
  6. Summarize your final dream interpretation.
  7. Seeking the Lord, make a positive response.

This process works on both prophetic and symbolic dreams. I’ll use a recent symbolic dream of mine as an example.

1. Write down or record your dream.

You can’t analyze your dreams unless you in some way record them. Once you’ve trained yourself to wake after dreaming (see above), you must record the dream immediately upon waking.

Tip: Be aware that the less you move your body upon waking, the more you will be able to remember.

Keep a notepad and pen beside your bed. Or use a recording device. (I use the voice memo app on my smartphone.)

Write or speak your dream naturally, as if you’re telling a story to someone else. Don’t worry about the writing or spelling—just get it down quickly.

Include the main ideas, sensory images, strange little details, expressions, reactions, and anything happening on the side. Remain in the dream mood as much as you can. Relate as much detail and emotion as possible.

Let’s use an example of a dream of mine I recorded on the morning of May 31, 2018, to learn the process.

Dream of Class Being Healed, and Me, Dragged by the Power of the Spirit Around the Classroom

I’m in a class, studying spiritual things. And we all begin to get sick with a stomach virus with flu-like symptoms. The teacher says this happens every time she teaches the class and says, “Could you believe for one to be healed? How about if we can believe for the entire class to be healed?”

We close our eyes—I don’t know whether we’re praying or resting or whatever—but at some point I’m sitting up against the wall in the back right corner of the room. I feel something take me by the scruff of the neck or the back of my shirt and begin to drag me across the floor, around the perimeter of the room. [I believe it was the power of God, like the Spirit dragging Ezekiel.]

I was in the back on the right, and it drags me across the back wall and then around the left wall. There must be 300 to 500 people in the room.

I begin to see things, writing appear on the wall, things that she [the teacher] said, like, “By your stripes we are healed.”  I go, “Whoooaaa!”

When I stop, I have a page of notes with me that I’ve already taken some notes on. She finds me in the front right corner like with my neck or back glued against… I don’t know whether it was a radiator. I can’t move; I can’t get up.

I try to and finally go back to where I was, but then can’t find my papers.

It was just the most amazing thing, that healing was released, and everybody got healed. I got dragged around the entire room and saw the writing on the wall change colors. Amazing dream!

Note that I used present tense: “I am in a class,” not, “I was in a class.” Record your dreams in present tense.

If you record your dreams as audio, you must transcribe them. I transcribe all my dreams and store them in my database of journaling words from the Lord.

2. Identify the dream elements.

Read through your written copy and underline every dream element: each person, place, action, emotion, and descriptive word or phrase. Here’s what I did with my dream:

I’m in a class, studying spiritual things. And we all begin to get sick with a stomach virus with flu-like symptoms. The teacher says this happens every time she teaches the class and says, “Could you believe for one to be healed? How about if we can believe for the entire class to be healed?”

We close our eyes—I don’t know whether we’re praying or resting or whatever—but at some point I’m sitting up against the wall in the back right corner of the room. I feel something take me by the scruff of the neck or the back of my shirt and begin to drag me across the floor, around the perimeter of the room. [I believe it was the power of God, like the Spirit dragging Ezekiel.]

I was in the back on the right, and it drags me across the back wall and then around the left wall. There must be 300 to 500 people in the room.

I begin to see things, writing appear on the wall, things that she [the teacher] said, like, “By your stripes we are healed.”  I go, “Whoooaaa!”

When I stop, I have a page with me that I’ve already taken some notes on. She finds me in the front right corner like with my neck or back glued against… I don’t know whether it was a radiator. I can’t move; I can’t get up.

I try to and finally go back to where I was, but then can’t find my papers.

But it was just the most amazing thing, that healing was released, and everybody got healed. I got dragged around the entire room and saw the writing on the wall change colors. Amazing dream!

Now, list these underlined elements on a clean sheet of paper, leaving two or three blank lines between each entry.

Class:

Spiritual things:

Get sick with a stomach virus:

… etc.

3. Use word association on each dream element.

At this time, don’t think about the meaning of the dream. Instead, quickly review your list and, using word association, jot down the first thing that comes to mind upon hearing the element. If several things come to mind, record them all briefly. You especially want to identify the emotions.

Tip: You could have someone read each item on the list for you and take notes as you respond.

Here’s how I fleshed out the above list:

Class:  Place of teaching, learning. Students on the same page, learning.

Spiritual things:  Biblical teaching, things (gifts?) of the Spirit.

Get sick with a stomach virus:  Affects what we’ve ingested. Problem with assimilating the teaching—it doesn’t sit well. Prophetic revelation, like John eating the scroll in Rev. 10:9-10 [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+10%3A9-10&version=NIV].

Flu-like symptoms:  Vomiting, fever. “Like”: fake symptoms?

Every time she teaches the class:  Common reaction. Everyone reacts this way to the teaching when they first receive it. It’s meat, not milk.

Believe for the entire class to be healed:  She doesn’t dismiss the class due to illness. Takes it a step further from individual healing to mass healing. Don’t step back in fear, but surge forward in faith.

Close our eyes:  Traditional posture of prayer. Take our focus off the natural.

Praying or resting:  Seek the lord, rest and trust in the Lord.

Sitting up against the wall in the back:  Not part of the class, on the outskirts (an outcast?). “Back against the wall”—in a hard-pressed situation; as far away as I can get without being totally excluded. But still hungry for the teaching.

I feel something take me by the scruff of the neck or the back of my shirt and drag me across the floor:  The power of God. Unexpected Holy Spirit power encounter. Done by a hand: the hand of the Lord.

Around the perimeter of the room:  Although I’m on the outskirts, I’m still “in the box.”

Drags me: Hand of the Lord. Spirit transportation (Ezek. 3:14,22 [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ezek+3%3A14%2C22&version=NIV])

300 to 500 people in the room:  Teaching is popular; many are hungry for it and want to receive it.

Writing appear on the wall:  Prophetic message like in Daniel (Dan. 5:5,24-28 [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Dan.+5%3A5%2C24-28&version=NIV]). Supernatural breaks into the natural. Done by a hand.

“By your stripes we are healed”: The Scripture being demonstrated prophetically by the power of God.

“Whoooaaah!”: I’m blown away and ecstatic that this is happening to me.

Page with me… taken some notes on:  Traditional way of learning. Learning with my mind instead of spiritually experiencing. The Law vs. the Spirit.

Neck or back glued against… radiator:  God has pinned me down, put the heat on.

I can’t move, can’t get up:  Under the power. God is in control.

Go back to where I was:  To my original place in the back, still on the outskirts.

Can’t find my papers:  My notes, my traditional mental way of learning. Maybe this way is no longer the one to use.

Healing was released:  Power of God demonstrated to bless His seekers.

Everybody got healed:  Not a small feat but a big miracle, like when the children of Israel left Egypt (Ps. 105:37 TLB). A corporate manifestation.

Dragged around the entire room:  Controlled and moved by the power of God.

Saw the writing on the wall change colors:  Technicolor. The ancient Word comes alive. The prophetic, upgraded.

Get the idea? Don’t belabor the process. Think quickly, freely, and listen to your spirit. You may want to make several passes, fleshing out your list over the course of a few days.

4. Divide your dream into dramatic scenes.

Now, divide the dream text and its corresponding associations into four dramatic scenes, like those of a story or play:

  1. Setting: The first scene presents the setting of the dream and its initial situation.
  2. Conflict: This is where some problem or dilemma is presented.
  3. Climax: The situation and problem work out to a crisis here.
  4. Resolution: The conclusion suggests a solution or a change in attitude. If you take this part of the dream seriously, it will reveal its meaning.

Transitions between scenes are often indicated by words like “all of a sudden” or “then.”

Delineate the scenes of your dream according to one of these approaches for the four segments:

Dramatic Scene Approach Symbolic Approach
Setting Situation
Conflict Problem: dilemma, question
Climax Crisis, working out to a climax
Denouement Resolution, answer

Use whatever terms feel right for you. Split your associations list into the same segments.

Here’s how I divided up my dream:

Situation: I’m in a class, studying spiritual things with 300-500 other students, who are sitting in chairs. But I’m sitting on the floor in the back corner with my back against the wall, taking notes.

Problem: We all begin to get sick with a stomach virus thing with flu-like symptoms. The teacher says this happens every time she teaches the class and says, “Could you believe for one to be healed? How about if we can believe for the entire class to be healed?”

Crisis/climax: I’m dragged around the room by the hand of God and immobilized. I see writing on the wall change colors.

Resolution: I return to my original place but can’t find my notes I’d taken on the teaching.

5. Interpret each scene according to its word associations.

Review your associations for each section and translate them into a coherent summarizing thought, the dramatic point of that scene. Here are some helpful questions to spark your interpretations:

  1. Setting/situation: “What is this dream about?”
  2. Conflict: “What is the dilemma?” or “What is the question?”
  3. Climax: “What happens next?” or “How does it work out?”
  4. Solution: “What is the resolution?”

If you have trouble with some of your listed dream elements, you might glean deeper understanding by personifying them. For example, I could consider the teacher in my dream a character and hold a conversation with her, asking her what she wants, how she feels, and so on, and then answering freely for her using my sanctified imagination.

Remember that you’re looking for the emotional meaning of the symbols in your dream.

Here’s how I interpreted the scenes of my dream:

Situation: What is this dream about?
The dream is about… wanting to learn and participate in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I’m as hungry as everyone else, but I’m in a position of being on the outskirts (whether self-imposed or imposed by the class, I don’t know). I’m learning as best I know how, using the methods I’ve always used (taking notes).

Conflict: What is the dilemma?
The dilemma is that… the whole class gets sick. Perhaps the teaching is “hard to swallow,” or stretching us beyond tradition and comfort, dealing with new and advanced prophetic principles. Can we believe not just for individual healing (belief of the past) to corporate healing (challenge of the present)? Can we take it to the next level?

Climax: What happens next?
It works out that… we begin to pray, and the power of the Holy Spirit, the “hand of God,” drags me physically around the perimeter of the room. I see technicolor writing on the wall of things that are being taught. The supernatural breaks into the natural realm in a powerful way. The entire class is healed.

Solution: What is the resolution?
The resolution is that… I am immobilized by the power of God—learning my lesson that God is in control. I cannot go back to the ways of learning the things of the Spirit as I had before. I must not simply study but must experience the power of God.

When you interpret each scene individually, you’ll notice how seemingly unconnected segments now make sense when you analyze and interpret them. I was surprised at what I uncovered through this process.

6. Summarize your final dream interpretation.

Next, take the analyzed segments and weave them into a final interpretation. Here’s what I did:

This dream is about my hunger to learn the ways of God and the things of the Spirit. I’m studying by traditional means and feel that I’m on the outskirts, not belonging with others.

But in this day God is teaching new things, advanced lessons in the prophetic, and they must be learned not by classwork and book learning, but by direct experience with the power of God’s Spirit.

God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20). God will demonstrate His power not only to me, but to all who believe Him for great things.

Once you see the power of God demonstrated, you can’t go back to former ways. You’ve taken a step up into new prophetic advances. I need to step forward into the things God is doing now.

So this is how I interpreted my dream. Is it accurate? Only time will tell.

If you feel your interpretations aren’t quite hitting the mark, make a first-pass attempt at analysis and then come back for another round in a day or two. Meditate and pray over it. When you have an “Aha!” moment, that’s when you know you’ve interpreted the resolution correctly.

7. Make a prayerful, positive response.

Interpreting your dreams is interesting but serves little purpose unless you respond in some way to their messages.

Each dream presents a lesson that is revealed through your Spirit-inspired analysis and interpretation. Armed with understanding during your waking hours, you must decide if and how to respond to the dream lesson.

My response to my dream is this:

  • Even though I feel like I’m on the outskirts, I’m hungry for God, and God will use me to demonstrate the power of His Spirit.
  • I will submit to God’s hand upon me, even if He wants to use me as an example.
  • There’s no substitute for experiencing the power of God. I will yield myself joyfully to the Holy Spirit and believe Him for great things.
  • I will not worry about past ways of learning but accept the new prophetic things He is revealing in this hour.

I hope this post proves helpful in interpreting your dreams. It’s definitely a process that must be practiced. But once you learn it, the revelation and insight are rewarding.

Until next time, sweet dreams!

 

God’s New Temple, part 5

Worship

This five-part series explores how the early Church separated from the Jerusalem temple, where the first Christians often met (Luke 24:53; Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:20-21). Part 5 is about God’s new temple, the Church.

The Church is God’s house

In the early days of the Church, the new believers continued to meet in the temple (Luke 24:53). But in A.D. 70 Rome demolished the Jerusalem temple just as Jesus had foretold: “‘Do you see all these great buildings?’ replied Jesus. ‘Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down’” (Mark 13:2 NIV). (See also Matt. 24:2; Luke 21:6.)

The ceremonial observances—animal sacrifices—finally were abolished. God had ensured that those who worshiped Him would do so not with regard to place, but in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).

God’s presence was no longer confined to the temple; God would now reach into all the world to build a new temple where the Holy Spirit could dwell and fill all the earth (Eph. 1:22-23).

The Church, the true temple of God

Under the new covenant, the Spirit of God dwells not in any building or structure of wood and stone, but in the spiritual house of the Church—the corporate Body of Christ.

4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—
5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. …
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
–1 Peter 2:4–5, 9–10 NIV

The Church is a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, a spiritual house and temple with Jesus Christ as its Chief Cornerstone.

Paul’s teaching echoes the Body-as-temple motif:

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
–Ephesians 2:19–22 NIV

The Church is a spiritual building made of living stones, whose foundation is Christ Himself. It is a temple where the Spirit of God dwells.

9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. …
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
–1 Corinthians 3:9–11,16–17 NIV

Paul informed the Corinthians that, as a local body of believers, they were God’s temple, a local expression of the Body of Christ where God dwelled by the Spirit.

Later in this same letter, Paul revealed that each believer was also a temple of the Holy Spirit:

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? …
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
–1 Corinthians 6:15a,19–20 NIV

As Spirit-filled believers, we are the temple of the living God—personally and corporately. (See 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15.)

God no longer dwells in buildings made of stone. When we step into a church building, we should no longer quote Psalm 122:1: “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (NIV).

A church building is not God’s house or temple; “…WE are his house” (Heb. 3:6 NIV).

Let’s recognize the Lord’s house for what it is—the Body of Christ—and not human structures. Jesus died to set us free from temple worship, and so did Stephen.

Be that temple of the Living God where the Holy Spirit lives and moves and has being. This is new testament Christianity.

More information:
God’s New Temple, part 1
God’s New Temple, part 2
God’s New Temple, part 3
God’s New Temple, part 4

God’s New Temple, part 4

Tabernacle

This five-part series explores how the early Church separated from the Jerusalem temple, where the first Christians often met (Luke 24:53; Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:20-21). Part 4 is about the persecution of the Church and the house of the Lord.

Stephen’s death results in persecution

In a strange way, Stephen’s message was confirmed. Place no longer mattered for Jews who had accepted Jesus as Messiah.

Proof of this became apparent when persecution broke out against the fledgling Church, and they scattered everywhere (Acts 8:1-4).

The “house of the Lord”

In the Old Testament it was the tabernacle and then the temple—the “house of the Lord”—where the people gathered to worship God and experience God’s presence.

The phrase “house of the Lord” occurs 234 times in the King James Version of the Bible. All of these references appear in the Old Testament, and they refer to the building of the temple. Here are a few examples:

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
–Psalm 27:4 NIV

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
–Psalm 122:1 NIV

1 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.
–Psalm 134:1-2 NIV

The house of the Lord was a physical building where the Israelites were required to gather and worship the Lord. It was there that God met the people by God’s Spirit, as in the days of Solomon.

10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord.
11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.
12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud;
13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”
14 While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them.
–1 Kings 8:10–14 NIV

God had designated Jerusalem as the place of worship where God’s people must bring their sacrifices. (See Deut. 12:4-7,11-14; 2 Sam. 7:5,13; 1 Ki. 11:36; 14:21.) But God could never be confined to any building.

Jesus predicted that temple worship would come to an end (see John 4:21-24). Those who would worship God would worship “in spirit and in truth.”

Before his stoning, Stephen argued that “‘the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands’” (Acts 7:48 NIV).

When Jesus hung on the cross and surrendered His spirit to the Father, the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in the temple was rent in two—from top to bottom—showing that this was the work of God, not people. (See Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45.)

It was the initiation of prophetic fulfillment of this passage from Ezekiel:

26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
–Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV

See also Jeremiah 31:31-34.

Through Christ’s sacrifice, God opened “a new and living way… for us through the curtain, that is, [Christ’s] body” (Heb. 10:20 NIV).

This new access was not only to lead believers into a deeper worship experience within a special building. Rather, it signified that God was letting His Spirit out to touch the entire world.

How?

Through God’s new house, the Church. We’ll learn more next time.

More information:
God’s New Temple, part 1
God’s New Temple, part 2
God’s New Temple, part 3

You Can Prophesy

prophesying

You can prophesy, did you know it? If you desire to bless and encourage others, you can deliver messages from God. Here’s how to get started.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prophecy

On the day of Pentecost, God poured out the Holy Spirit on the followers of Christ. The Apostle Peter quoted the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.’”
–Acts 2:17-18 NIV

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prophecy. If you’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you’ve been given the potential to speak for God.

When Paul placed his hands on [the Ephesian disciples], the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
–Acts 19:6 NIV

Paul told the Corinthians, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. … For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged” (1 Cor. 14:1, 31 NIV).

All Spirit-filled believers have the potential to prophesy. But they must eagerly desire the gift to bless others.

What is the gift of prophecy?

Christian prophet Dennis Cramer defines prophecy as “a supernatural message given for the purpose of ‘strengthening, encouraging and comforting’” (You Can All Prophesy, Arrow Publications, 2003). His definition comes from the words of the Apostle Paul:

But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
–1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV

The gift of prophecy is available to all believers filled with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7). The gift of prophecy is not for foretelling world events, but simply for bringing strength, encouragement, and comfort to those who receive the message. You can prophesy to individuals or groups.

Here are four principles to focus on if you want to prophesy.

1. Esteem the prophetic gift.

First Thessalonians 5:20 says, “Do not despise prophecies.” J.N. Darby translates it, “Do not lightly esteem prophecies.”

The first principle in becoming a prophetic person is to value the prophetic gift. The revelation of the Spirit is precious. Treat it like it’s important and respect the message. (As well as the messenger.)

“I hold prophecy in high esteem.”

2. Believe you can prophesy.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged” (1 Cor. 14:31 NKJV).

You can prophesy. You all can prophesy. You can all practice prophesying so that everybody learns.

Prophesying—speaking a message from the Holy Spirit—is not just for a chosen few who are specially gifted, but for everyone who wants it. That means you. Say with me:

“I can prophesy!”

3. Desire to prophesy.

Believe it or not, a key factor in determining whether you move in prophecy is how badly you want to.

Some believe they’ll deliver a message only if the Holy Spirit overpowers them. It doesn’t work that way. Romans 12:6 says you prophesy “in proportion to your faith.”

You can prophesy. But you must believe it—believe it enough to step out in faith, try, and keep trying. Faith comes to those who prepare for it through desire.

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy” (1 Cor. 14:1 NKJV). Another version puts it, “you should truly want to have the spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy” (NCV).

If you follow the way of Christ’s love, you’ll want the Holy Spirit to use you to speak inspired words of strength, encouragement, and comfort to others.

“I desire to prophesy.”

4. Be eager to prophesy.

Wanting to prophesy is important, but it isn’t enough. You must be eager to do so every chance you get. This is another area where desire will open the door to opportunity.

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues” (1 Cor. 14:39 NIV). The word “eager” is zeloo in Greek, which means “to burn with zeal; to desire earnestly, pursue; to envy; to covet.” Strong words, but good advice.

You esteem prophecy. You can prophesy, you want to prophesy, and you have a burning desire to receive and deliver the message from the Spirit. You must be zealous to prophesy at every opportunity.

“I am eager to prophesy.”

Understand that any prophetic message is instigated by the Holy Spirit, not your own desires. Part of learning to prophesy is being sensitive to the Spirit’s nudgings. So be eager without being too aggressive.

Start by ministering to your close friends, then as you grow in your abilities, branch out to other acquaintances who are on the same page spiritually. Be eager but start slow and learn as you go.

Prophetic principles to promote prophecy

This is my daily meditation. if you make it yours, God will use you to bless others with encouraging messages from above.

  1. I hold prophecy in high esteem.
  2. I can prophesy.
  3. I desire to prophesy.
  4. I am eager to prophesy.

Let me know how this has helped you in your life and ministry. God bless you!

Jesus, Crowned with Many Crowns

Jesus

Sweet visitations of the Holy Spirit came to me early in 2015, and I want to tell you about one vision I experienced the morning of March 18, 2015.

Vision of Jesus on his heavenly throne

I was listening to some worship music (Darlene Zschech, “Worthy Is the Lamb”), and the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit came upon me.

I saw myself ascending to the throne room, and beheld Jesus glorified on his heavenly throne. I bowed at his feet, weeping and worshiping and adoring him. There were so many, many, many gathered around him doing the same.

We crowned him with many crowns, and I saw crown after crown—many thousands of crowns—coming from the worshipers, flowing to him and being placed on his head, which was brighter than lightning, brighter that the noonday sun, and being taken in and absorbed, and him growing brighter and more glorious. He ascended high into the heavens, with rays of light flowing down upon us all and over the entire earth.

Later, as I typed this vision and listened to the song again, the holy Presence and weeping came upon me again, and I began to clap and speak in tongues. The interpretation follows.

Interpretation of tongues about coming up higher, the glory

For yea, the Lord says, I am calling you up higher. I’m calling you into the heavenlies. I’m calling you to come up and to be where I am. I’m calling you forth in the Spirit and to step into the Spirit.

I will provide that which you need to be a catalyst for you to step into the Spirit, to launch yourself into the heavenlies, that you might be with me where I am, that you might enter the realm of miracles, that you might enter the realm of signs and wonders, and that you might enter the realm of angels and of the glory of the Lord.

For I desire to reveal my glory unto you in this day and in this hour, and it shall come forth shining as the sun, and it shall come forth and it shall bestow upon you gifts and graces that only have been promised you before by the words of my mouth. And I will surely make good on all my promises to you. I will pour my Spirit through you.

I will anoint you to do the things that I have called you to do. I will anoint you to call in the lost, I will anoint you to speak forth my plan and my purpose, I will anoint you to be my spokesman, to be my prophet, to be my mouthpiece in this day and in this hour.

Here and there, I will take you. Here and there, I will speak through you. Here and there, I will bring them, and I will bring them so that they may sit in your presence and hear from me, says the Lord, for I have a glory to share with you; I have a glory to share through you; I have a glory to share among you, that you might walk in my presence and my power.

And I’m drawing those unto myself. I’m drawing you and I’m drawing those unto myself that you might together come and be that body that I have equipped you to be and to be members of the fold that I have called you to, over which the banner rises, “Accepted in the Beloved.” The banner over you is love.

I’m calling you, says the Lord. Will you not come up higher? Come up higher and rest in me, and you shall find your refreshing, and you shall find the power that you need to fulfill your calling in me, says the Lord.

Lord, let your word come to pass quickly.