Monday, October 23, 2017
On our first Sunday in Redding CA we spent 11 hours at Bethel church with worship services in the morning and at night, a class called Firestarters, and an afternoon prophetic session with two amazing people, Joel and Lori. Yes, another Joel!
The free prophetic session for the two of us lasted only 12 minutes but certainly gave our world a spin. We had struggled to make the appointment, having to go online at a certain time of morning to sign up ~while we were traveling. With God's whisper in my ear to "TRY AGAIN" after I was told the sessions were full, I went back online and we were able to sign up for later in the afternoon on the 10th. Yay! Some of what was said confirmed for us that these were words from God. God likes to let us know He is in the midst of our seeking. It was life changing..........did I say that already?
The prophetic is not something that is always understood in our world. Even though it is one of the gifts, and Paul tells the churches they are desire it before some others, it can be misunderstood. Prophetic words are given for wisdom, encouragement and confirmation.We are not talking about prophets here, like Elijah or Jeremiah. We are talking about those with the gift of prophesy. Prophetic words speak of the present and the future, releasing God's purposes. It is described as God speaking to us through others with pictures and words.
We have not shared with many people what we received, precious gems given to us for this season of our lives. Yet even with the trusted few that have heard our session, reactions have been from excitement to amusement, indifference and a few" uncomfortables" in between. I was pondering this when God reminded me that these specific words were not for others, they were and are for us. They would not mean to others what they mean to us. God was speaking to our hearts.
Pastor Bill Johnson from Bethel has a spiral notebook filled with the words spoken to and over him. Years of promises from God that build and encourage him daily and provide hope. It is what compelled me to listen over and over again to our recorded prophetic session when another health issue surfaced.
Have you noticed how our world seems a bit off kilter? It can be scary. North Korea alone can make us shudder. The suffering of others is heavy in the atmosphere around us....the air if filled not only with the ash of fires, but with the grief of others. Hurricanes, floods, threats, destruction, and death. It is during these times that we have a choice to focus on the "what ifs" or the "we know's".
We are given the opportunity to quiet our souls and remember what God has spoken over and to us. We know God promises to give us beauty for the ashes....We know that all things work together for good... We know that God sent His Son...........We know that Jesus came so that we may have abundant life......... We know His Word says He will give us back our health and heal our wounds......We KNOW and can stand firm on whatever promises He has highlighted and whispered into our individual lives! The promises that encourage and release hope. Keep your own list of promises from God. The Bible is full of them. Pay attention to what is spoken to you and over you. Just hearing "TRY AGAIN" opened a door to others sharing God's words for us. Be bold, listen for God's voice, and let the words penetrate deep into your heart. They bring beauty for ashes in a much needed world.