The weight of prophecy, notsoskinnydreams.com

The Weight of Prophecy

I received a prophetic message not too long ago. At the time, I was both excited and skeptical. Anyone who knows me, knows I believe in receiving directly from God what he wants to tell me. So when I hear from others that God spoke to them about me, I turn around and ask God “what’s up? Is what they’re saying true?” However, this time the more the prophet spoke the more I could not deny the ring of truth in their words. The words confirmed things that I had been privately seeking God for confirmation on. Also, I had to trust the holy spirit within me that didn’t twinge with a shade of hesitation at the prophet’s words. Initially after receiving the message I felt lighter and more enlightened. Then as days passed, I felt weighted down by what I’d heard. It felt like an albatross around my neck. It’s only now that I realize the weight or seriousness of prophecy.

If you are seeking prophets, it’s a dangerous game.
Knowledge can be a scary thing. Your actions from here on will either take you on the right path or completely off in the wrong direction. Then can come the addiction to always “know.” This is how people become prophet junkies where they depend on them to hear from God. Instead working on hearing from Him themselves, they find more satisfaction in seeking another person. My mother warned me of this herself. That it’s easy to fall into a trap of “easy answers.” Where you make another human being your oracle. I could see how that could happen. As we talked to the prophet it felt so comforting to have another person do the legwork for us. Which is why I personally felt weighed down and worried. Worried that this could become a dependency and weighed down by the responsibility of hearing. It weighed on me that I was told both the good and the bad. That inadvertently I could fall into the bad. Today after taking my morning walk, I’d had enough of the worrying. I also decided never to seek out a prophet again. The root problem was my relationship with God, else I wouldn’t seek anyone else out.

Don’t get me wrong. The prophetic gift is a wonderful gift from God. Paul held prophetic gifts in high regard and considered it higher than speaking in tongues.

For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.” 
1 Corinthians 14:2-4

The prophetic message I received was comforting and consoling at a time I dearly needed both. However, like I said when your relationship with God is weak then even a prophetic message can have the adverse effect. The relationship is not stronger because of a mediator. It’s up to you to work on it. The prophet cannot do that for you, they are just the messenger. If prophets could change hearts, just by speaking, then the old testament would tell another story. Once the message has been shared their job is done. It’s now left to the one receiving to do the rest. That part is what weighs on me. The rest, making the right or wrong decisions are left to me. I recognize this weight as a result from a lack of intimacy with God. I know how it feels to be completely intimate with Him. In those times, nothing can shake you. Not that things don’t happen, but a profound sense of peace is rooted in your spirit. I’m a daughter of God and I know it will be well. He has never forsaken me and never will.

I now believe that before hearing a prophetic message you should be prepared to hear it – spiritually. Especially if you’re going to seek a prophet out. In seeking, I see a selfishness to it. A desire to console the “self.” To self-exalt. To take a short-cut. I remember being jealous when a prophet would visit our church and skip over me. Even my little sister, sitting beside me, would receive a message. This kind of jealousy is pure fleshly desires. A desire for the spotlight. When the spotlight should be on God. I read an online book on Prophets and Prophecy in Today’s Church. Chapter 2 was on The Dangers of Prophecy.  It was an insightful read. The section on “Helping God” spoke the most to me. Here is an excerpt:

“Any time we decide on our own to help God’s word come to pass, we are acting in the flesh . . . the same as Abram and Sarai. God spoke to me in the early 1970’s that He was sending me as a teacher of His church among the non-Western nations of the world. It wasn’t until 1988 that the Lord said, “Now is the time.” Because I understood this principle, the only action I took when I initially heard this personal prophecy was that I tried to be a diligent student of God’s word and His principles. In other words, I tried to learn all I could so I would be prepared to go teach. I left the timing and commissioning to God.

When God gives a promise, through prophecy or otherwise, our part is to 1) believe it, and 2) make the necessary preparations. Then we must let God bring it to pass. Otherwise, we act in the flesh and produce “an Ishmael.” ‘

I definitely do not want to produce an Ishmael. It won’t be an easy task but now starts the due diligence part. Where I put my head in the bible and my heart in prayer. For however long it takes for God to do his work in me.

 

notsoskinnydreams

WAR ROOM

A couple of weeks ago I saw the movie “War Room.” As someone with a background in video production, I was a bit skeptical on whether I would like it. I was used to Christian movies that fell far short from what I considered a basic standard of quality. However, “War Room” despite the few quirks here and there fully satisfied my needs. The message was so deep that I was able to look passed minor flaws and receive what the makers were giving me—a message of love. A persistent love that withstands any situation life throws at you. I learned a new method of praying.

A better word would be STRATEGY. I never thought of strategizing my prayer life or writing down prayers. I left the cinema excited and on a mission to make my own war room. Unfortunately, I could not find a space in the house for one. Instead, I compromised by starting a “war journal.” I’ve started writing down the season I’m in, whether it is a desire for career fulfillment or praying for discernment. I write it at the top then break down the prayer in sections. First is praise, where I put down every reason I love God just for being God. Then I pray for those who have wronged me in any way in an effort to fully forgive them and move on. Then I confess my own sins to God and ask for forgiveness. After that, I pour out my heart to Him about all that is weighing on my heart about that particular topic. Everything is interspersed with bible verses to help support the foundation of the prayer. The research alone is helpful because the bible has all the answers and promises God has already given us. It confirms that as long as what we ask for is not against His will He will answer us as His children.

Prayer is a powerful weapon against the enemy and, of course, we should not wield it lightly or haphazardly. So far, I like this way of tackling the situations in my life. If nothing else I desire a kinship with God and any way to get closer to him I will try.

Dealing with Depression

Dealing with Depression

Depression is not something a lot of people like to talk about or reveal. I’m not talking about the light stuff. This is the deep down, “I just don’t want to live anymore,” kind of depression. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been through it. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Through a testimony I gave recently, other people have approached me about their own depression. It is more prevalent than we like to think. The saddest thing about it is that because we hide what we are going through we miss the opportunity to connect with others that can help us. From my own experience, I’ve found that once you’ve gone down the darkest path possible in your thoughts it never completely leaves you. If I’m not careful it has its moments when it passes by reminiscently. Caressing my thoughts and darkening the edges of a forced smile. In a moment futility hits me… then I shake it off the best way I know how – with God.

As a Christian, I deal and have dealt with my dark moments with the Word. That double-edged sword that cuts deep both ways. Cutting the enemy/sin and also yourself with its pure and unadulterated TRUTH. A truth that acts like an ambient light, making no room for shadows. My prescription is a hearty daily dose of the bible. Nothing else has worked for me. Not even just reading other Christian books or listening to motivational speakers. It’s the word that He passed down to us to help in all our seasons that has proven my most powerful pill. In Philippians 4, Paul tells us not to let anything bring us down but to give everything to God so that His peace that passes all understanding would guard our hearts and minds. He especially tells us to think on good things; the noble, pure, lovely… The bible does that for me. It keeps my thoughts on the right things.

I recently read Esther and her story encouraged me. Here is a woman who did not know that God was placing her in a position of crucial importance and timing. Where her access to her husband, saved a whole race of people. Even knowing she could die, by just trying to speak to her husband – the king, she still went forward saying:

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.
Esther 4:16 (AMP)

“If I perish, I perish.” Wow! that line hits me to the core. Esther was dealing with a situation where if she did nothing she would die, maybe not immediately but eventually, and if she did something she could still die. A seemingly hopeless situation. However instead of miring herself in depression, she stepped out despite her circumstances to make a difference. When I read accounts like this I feel strength and hope. Also, a giddiness bubbles up from right beneath my breastplate that makes it hard not to smile ruefully. In those moments, my thoughts leap into thankfulness and wonder.

How wonderful is our God! How excellent are His grace and mercy! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies so powerful is your might! Who shall I fear? on earth??? No one compares to you!

I understand how David could burst into song because of his God. Even when he was going through the worst moments of his life, he thought of God and rejoiced! As I wrote in “Women of Blood” the only audience you should really care about is the one On High. For Him, even when I’m feeling low I put a little bounce into my step, a little jig in my hips, and a smile on my lips that says everything is and will be ok. Soon my spirits are up. I want God to look at me and know that I am thankful for everything.

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
Psalm 40:16 (ESV)

Woman with the Issue of blood, Jesus Christ, Savior, Faith, praise and worship, notsoskinnydreams

Women of Blood

A couple of days ago, I attended a service of ordination, of a fellow church member. It was held in a place very far from our own church and in a room with many people I did not know. There came a point where we, the audience, were to give our offerings. I sat with a few aunties from my own church. Upon hearing the call for offering, they smiled broadly as if they had been personally called to the front. I wondered at all the smiles and why they were bustling about as if in preparation for something. Then I saw the flags come out. Large, brightly colored and decorated flags were thrown in the air by these excited older women. Then one was thrust in my own hand. The flag trailed orange, yellow and red colors as if it would catch on fire at any moment. I hesitated at first then grasped it firmly, myself grinning from ear to ear. As the thrumming and rhythm of the choir and band’s music took up and shook the building, we shook along with it. I led the way to the front of the church waving my flame colored flag, aunties behind me jigging and singing along with the choir and waving high their flags.

In the not so distant past I would have been too embarrassed to join in. I would’ve smiled demurely at the expectant aunties and shook my ahead, staying firmly rooted to my seat. That was before I realized what God had taken me through. You know when you die to your flesh because God demands it of you to be all His. That moment when I gave up what I’d thought the world could offer me and gave myself to Jesus Christ, because I had nothing else to live for but him. Instead of living because life was worth living, I lived because he was worth living for. It took an extremely tough time in my life that broke me, to decide between life and death. I chose death, death to the world so I could have ever lasting life through Jesus Christ. I’d seen what the world was capable off and it was Ugly. God saw my brokenness and made a new shell for me to fill.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

What I understood that day as I waved my flag high, as high as my arm could reach, was that, that death and resurrection connected me to these women. My church aunties who danced and sang, praising the lord, as if nothing else mattered. In their movements you could see a similar pattern of old pain healed and joy in a savior that had heard their cry. We were women like Hagar who at one point were struggling on our own, crying to ourselves, and seeking help or death when He heard us, saw us (Gen 16: 7-14). Or like the woman with issue of blood who had nothing else to lose but to believe that one touch from Him, even just his garment would give us a new life (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). That shared knowledge that Jesus Christ was the only reason we were alive today, made us the same despite our differences in age, tribe, and character. As our motley crew swayed, stomped and waved our flags around the room, we gave no care to the room full of gawkers we did not know, nor to how we must seem. All we knew was our audience was not in the rows of strangers, but in a higher seat we could not see with our eyes.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

Blocked

Today I felt blocked. Instead of working, I distracted myself with temporal things to keep my mind off focusing on anything serious. When I feel blocked, whether it’s spiritually, creatively, or any other way, I tend to lack focus. What I’ve been doing lately to help when this happens is that I do mini fasts. Short fasts that start in the morning and last till whenever my spirit feels ready to commune with God. Today I was ready by noon and I felt drawn to Isaiah 6:3-8.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Isaiah 6:3-8

I’m in a season of preparing my vessel for God’s purpose. Seeing this passage on my iPad, without me seeking for it, was a message for me. I decided to pray for God to cleanse me. To touch my lips with the burning coal that all my guilt should be gone and sins forgiven. A vessel must be cleansed before use. When I have these blockages I know that I need to seek His face so he can melt them away. In the process of seeking Him I gain clarity and peace. I also realized that like Daniel, that the enemy can delay our answers/blessings (Dan 10:13). As I spoke to God about how I was feeling and that I wanted him to guide me and use me completely, It came to my heart to also pray against the enemy blocking my path. The enemy is all around us, It is only by God’s might that we are able to defeat all principalities. However, to be strong in the spiritual gifts that are able to fight off the enemy we must be spiritually and physically prepared. So today I shout out like Isaiah did:

“It’s all over without you God, I am a sinful woman. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I KNOW you the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and I seek your face wholeheartedly that I may find you. Here I am! Use me!”