Category Archives: Prophetic Themes

Relational Bits From the Lord

LastSupper300X400I haven’t posted in a while, and it isn’t because I do not have material. It has to do with that little commodity called time. However, I have a few moments, and thought I would share two interesting tidbits with you.

First, we were having a conversation with the Lord recently—you know the type, he speaks, you listen—and he showed us a picture of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. As he was showing this, it was evident that the painting really bothered him. He made it clear that the original scene wasn’t like this at all. He was especially concerned that it missed the intimacy of the event.

Of course, we all know this. We understand that the people of Jesus’ time reclined when they ate. The picture below recreates an informal Roman table scene from the era. At a Jewish banquet such as Passover, the seating would have been more formal. Jesus, as the host, would have reclined on his left elbow, second in from the left. His attendant, his right-hand man, would have been immediately in front of Jesus reclining at the first position on the left. We know that John filled that first position, since his head was level with Jesus’ chest (see John 13:21-25). Then the rest of the guests were arranged around the table from there, placed from the most important to the least important. This little detail helps us understand why the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest on the way to the Passover celebration. MealMore than likely, they were fighting over the seating arrangement at the table. They had missed Jesus’ point about sitting at the least important position at the table, the far right, and allowing the host to honor you by moving you into a more important position closer to the host (see Luke 14:7-10).

All this is interesting, but why did the Lord choose to highlight this for us? I believe that he wants to remind us about relationship. As people, we tend to make spiritual things into formal ceremony rather than relational celebrations. Da Vinci’s portrayal of that Passover celebration turned it from the intimate event that Jesus hosted, into something that errs from Jesus’ intent. I believe we can learn a lesson about the Lord’s desire for intimacy by simply remembering the event as it would have been, not as Da Vinci pictured it.

The second thing that I want to highlight today also involves being close to the Lord. The Lord showed us how many people are walking around with headphones on, ear buds in, or are otherwise consuming media content. It is certainly not a bad thing to enjoy music, to read, or watch entertaining videos. However, if we have something plugged into our ears all the time, it is very difficult for us to hear the Lord through the noise. Just imagine the Last Supper if several of the disciples had ear buds in, and others were checking their emails or texts. You can imagine that the intimacy would have evaporated. If we do not give ourselves some downtime away from media, our intimacy with the Lord will be greatly hindered.

These are two key things about intimacy and relationship that the Lord has shown us recently. I will write an article soon to wrap up the Atlantic hurricane season. There is a lot going on. I will take some time to post things that I am seeing soon.


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Walking in Your Vision

VisionWalk300X400Now is the time to press in for healing for your eyes and your feet. God is speaking about improving our vision, and our ability to walk that vision out. When he begins to speak about spiritual truth, he will often demonstrate it in the natural through physical healing. He is doing that very thing right now.

The Vision

I had coffee the other morning with a friend of many years. He told me about something the Lord showed him while he was at the eye doctor recently. My friend is near-sighted (unable to see far), and has astigmatism. As a result, his glasses are the progressive vision type. However, because he has the type of astigmatism that can actually get better as you age, his prescription is changing. The eye doctor told him that he could tell that his eyes were getting better because of how he had to move his head in order to read. Rather than performing a simple movement to read, my friend had begun, unconsciously, to hold his head “just so” in order to make up for the difference between his better vision and his prescription glasses. If left unchecked, this would have caused levels of physical stress to my friend’s head and neck. The doctor, of course, fitted him with a new prescription so that he could once again have a normal range of movement when he wore his glasses, eliminating the stress.

Pay attention, I am writing about more than eye glasses. This is a parable about spiritual vision. As a result of his visit to the eye doctor, the Lord began to speak to my friend about spiritual vision. The Lord showed him how often the body of Christ gets stressed because it attempts to fit itself to an old vision, and how often increased vision (revelation) requires a change in our tools.

When my friend told me this story, he did not know something I had just shared with my congregation on the Sunday before our meeting. I had told my congregation that my eyesight has been getting better.

I have fought the need to using reading glasses since I turned forty lo those many moons ago. When I first noticed the need for reading glasses, I bought some +1.25 glasses from a wholesale store. For those of you who do not know, that level of magnification is like  starter reading glasses. Since that time, about a decade, I have had that same level of magnification. During that time I have persevered and prayed that I would not need to increase the magnification, and would even try not to use them if I could do so comfortably. As a result, I am very aware of what I can and cannot read without reading glasses.

I became aware of a change while I was reading a credit card brochure a couple weeks ago. While I was reading the fine print, it suddenly occurred to me that I was reading the very small print without any reading glasses. I noticed that I could even read the very small print under the boxes where you fill in your details if you want to apply. I was a bit shocked because I haven’t been able to read such small print without using reading glasses for quite some time. But now I found that I could.

I was pleased by this change, and did share what was happening with my congregation, but I did not put a spiritual lesson to it—other than encouraging people to press in for healing. Within days the Lord made certain that my friend would not only have a similar experience, but the Lord also made certain that my friend would understand the spiritual point and share it with me.

The message is this: The Lord is increasing our vision. This is going to require some changes on our part.

The Walk

Why will increased vision require change? The problem with increased vision is that it not only helps us see God’s plan, but it can also help us see the obstacles more clearly. God’s plan is to take us through the obstacles, but that will only work if we don’t get consumed by worries about the obstacles.

The Lord wants to help us avoid this trap. He recently told us, “I am healing feet right now.” He then explained, helpfully, that it was a sign. He told us that we was going to do this “because people need to walk in a greater level of peace right now. They need to be in peace for what is coming.”

Many prophetic people have begun to walk in an increased vision of what is coming. Some of the things that are coming do not look all that pleasant. If you lack peace, you will miss what God is doing as you stress out over perceived problems. If you have peace, you can be used by God to bring relief and refreshing to those around you. So, as God is healing eyesight (vision), he is also healing feet (peace). These two things must go together so that we remain balanced and faith-filled in our walk.

As I wrote at the beginning of the article, press in for physical healing if you have issues with either your eyes or your feet. But more importantly, also allow God to work on your spiritual vision, and to release the spiritual fruit called peace into your life. It will bear even greater dividends as we walk out our visions together.


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A Slow Hurricane Season?

CapeVerdeSeveral sources are reporting that this has been the slowest start to a hurricane season on record. Those reports are incorrect. The erroneous reports state that this is the first season on record that we have not had an Atlantic hurricane by this time. However, the Weather Channel found five hurricane seasons where the first Atlantic hurricane did not form until September (67, 84, 88, 01, 02). While this certainly is a season with a slow start, we will have to get through September 11 with no hurricanes in order to set a record.

Even though this isn’t yet a record breaking season, it certainly has had a slow start. One of the reasons for such a slow start is that there is a large area of dry air over the Atlantic. None of the storms coming off Africa—the so called Cape Verde-type storms—have been able to survive passage through that dry air. Those of us who live in hurricane-prone areas truly appreciate that. This South Floridian extends his thanks to everyone who has prayed against hurricane force winds this season. I’m certain the dry air is an answer to our prayers and intercession.

However, the Lord has shown us that we are not out from under threat, no matter how slow the season may seem. The National Hurricane Center would heartily agree. We have much of the season in front of us. Even if we successfully fend off all the Cape Verde-type storms so that none become hurricanes, we still have those late season Caribbean disturbances to deal with. As if that isn’t enough to keep us on the prayer wall at this time, the Lord has also given us some indication that a storm may develop in an unusual way in order to get around our normal prayer patterns. I don’t know exactly what that means, but it will keep me on the alert.

The last time a hurricane did something that got through our defenses was in 2005. At that time, we simply did not expect significant hurricane threats to come at us from the west. Though we watched hurricane Wilma closely, and even prayed about her in our regular meetings, we didn’t call a special prayer meeting. Forecasters told us that Wilma would be a spent storm as it hit Florida’s west coast. Since it had to travel a hundred miles over land to get to us on the east coast, we didn’t think it was much of a problem. So when Wilma strengthened as it passed over Florida, and released destruction in our area, we learned a lesson and closed that gap in our understanding.

While we certainly still have gaps in our understanding, we can learn. We can ask the Lord to teach us how to pray even more effectively in this arena. We can ask the Lord to teach us more about the intricacies of hurricane development so that we can counter any plans from Satan’s Kingdom to get one through.

Do I believe that we can stop every hurricane? I think the biblical answer to that question is obvious. The one who quieted a raging storm with a word has given us his authority (See Matthew 16:18-19). He has also called us to stand in the gap for our geographic areas (See Ezekiel 22:30). Until he warns me that the gap is too large to cover, I will pray believing that our prayers will stop hurricanes from hitting our area of influence.

Can our prayers stop any hurricanes from developing this year? Or at least delay them to the point that we do set a record for the slowest start to a hurricane season? Let’s continue to pray, and find out.

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Image credit: PD-USGOV-NOAA


Chantal’s Short Run

ChantalTropical storm Chantal, the first Cape Verde-type tropical cyclone of the season, sputtered to an ignominious end yesterday afternoon, days earlier than expected. While forecasters are blaming several key atmospheric conditions, I believe that the real cause of its demise rests on the prayers of Kingdom people.

When I last spoke to Bob Jones, a prophetic voice who has an incredible record of predicting storms, he urged me to get the word out to churches in Florida and other coastal areas about the importance of praying for their geographic area this year. He is very concerned that there are areas where the Church is not praying against storms. This could be a costly mistake this year, especially for Florida. If we do not take the time to use our authority, we should not be surprised if bad things happen to our area of influence. It is that simple.

Bob also told me that the season would begin early this year. Chantal has fulfilled Bob’s word about the early start to the hurricane season. Chantal became a named storm late Sunday evening, July 7, and ended on Wednesday. Even so, it fulfilled Bob’s prediction, and may be a harbinger of a busy storm season. Dr. Jeff Master’s, from, wrote this about Chantal’s early formation:

Formation of a tropical storm east of the Lesser Antilles Islands in early July from an African tropical wave is an uncommon occurrence. Since Atlantic hurricane records began in 1851, there have been only thirteen tropical depressions or tropical storms that have formed July 15 or earlier that have passed through the Lesser Antilles, an average of one early-season tropical cyclone every thirteen years. Note that two of these storms, Dennis and Emily, occurred during the notorious Hurricane Season of 2005. There were five other pre-July 16 storms that formed east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, but did not pass through the islands (Bertha of 2009, Barry of 1989, and tropical depressions in 1967, 1978, and 2001 that did not become named storms.)

He then adds why he believes this portends a busy season:

Chantal’s formation on July 8 is an usually early date for formation of the season’s third storm, which usually occurs on August 13. A large number of early-season named storms is not necessarily a harbinger of an active season, unless one or more of these storms form in the deep tropics, south of 23.5°N. According to Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray, leaders of Colorado State’s seasonal hurricane forecasting team,

“Most years do not have named storm formations in June and July in the tropical Atlantic (south of 23.5°N); however, if tropical formations do occur, it indicates that a very active hurricane season is likely. For example, the seven years with the most named storm days in the deep tropics in June and July (since 1949) are 1966, 1969, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2005, and 2008. All seven of these seasons were very active. When storms form in the deep tropics in the early part of the hurricane season, it indicates that conditions are already very favorable for TC development. In general, the start of the hurricane season is restricted by thermodynamics (warm SSTs, unstable lapse rates), and therefore deep tropical activity early in the hurricane season implies that the thermodynamics are already quite favorable for tropical cyclone (TC) development.”

Two of this season’s three storms have formed in the deep tropics–Tropical Storm Barry, which formed in the Gulf of Mexico’s Bay of Campeche at a latitude of 19.6°N, and now Tropical Storm Chantal, which formed at a latitude of 9.8°N. With recent runs of the GFS model predicting formation of yet another tropical storm southwest of the Cape Verde Islands early next week, it appears that the Atlantic is primed for an active hurricane season in 2013.

In response to Chantal, and out of an abundance of caution, we scheduled a prayer meeting last evening to stand in authority against any negative consequences of this system. However, before we could gather, the storm had degenerated to a tropical wave. We had prayed against the system on Sunday, before it became a named storm, however, we thought we would take another shot at it last night. When it dissipated, we canceled our meeting. If Bob Jones and Doctor Masters are correct, we will have other opportunities to gather.

Get the word out. It is time to stand in our authority (see Matthew 16:19).

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Image credit: NWS National Hurricane Center


Sitting Under The Willow


The Lord gave us an important message for intercessors while I was preparing for a ministry trip to England and Wales. He showed us the picture of a weeping willow tree, and then explained that there are two sides to the tree. He told us that one side represents a very good thing. That very good thing is when intercessors tap into the heart of the Lord and begin weeping and interceding before him with groans that words cannot express (see Romans 8:26). He also let us know that the other side represents a very bad thing. That occurs when intercessors take their eyes off the promises and power of the Lord. At that point depression and despair are very real dangers. The Lord is calling intercessors to step away from depression and discouragement into his promises and purpose.

When we received this word, I knew it was for my ministry trip. I knew that I would have opportunity on two of my stops to deliver public words to those assembled. So, of course, I was asking the Lord if this word was for both of those ministry destinations.

At the first ministry stop at a congregation in southwestern Wales, right when I was about to get up and speak, I realized that I did not know if weeping willows were indigenous to the United Kingdom. I didn’t want to give a word picture if those gathered did not know the picture. Thankfully, the congregation had wireless internet, so I was able to check with a search engine. When I entered my query, the first result was about a pub in the UK called the Weeping Willow. I almost laughed out loud when I saw that the proprietors, a husband-wife team, had the same first names as one of the couples who were leaders in the congregation at which I was ministering. You can imagine that we had a fair amount of fun with that particular reference, and that the Lord greatly encouraged the congregation to step forward in the true “spirit” of intercession.

On my second stop, this time at a conference in England, I was once again asking the Lord if I should share the weeping willow word. While I was having coffee on the first full day of the event, I was visiting with the pastors of the Welsh congregation where I had shared the word first. They also were attending the conference. While I was visiting with them, one of them told me that they suspected that the weeping willow word was also for the conference. When I asked why they suspected this, they told me to look behind me. When I turned and looked out the window into the courtyard behind me, I saw that the central feature of the courtyard was a weeping willow (the actual willow is pictured above). When I saw that, I agreed that I needed to release the word at the conference.

While it was obvious that I was to share this word on my trip, I also know that it has application far beyond Britain’s shores. Sometimes we, as intercessors—wherever we live—can get so caught up in the strategies of the enemy, that we forget that we are on the victorious side. We can become like Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, in the Lord of the Rings. While he was able to accurately see into the counsel of his enemy, he was deceived into thinking that the enemy was unstoppable. As a result he became an impediment to victory.

We cannot afford to become impediments to victory. When the Lord shows us things over which we are to pray and intercede, he is showing us the path to victory, not defeat. We must see through the eyes of faith, not self-focus or despair.

How can you tell if you are partaking of the wrong side of the weeping willow? When you are on the correct side of the willow, you may become engulfed in amazing and intense bouts of  intercession, but when that intercession is done, the intensity should lift. An intercessor on the correct side of the tree should be able to get up and enjoy the rest of the day without having depression or anxiety trail after them. If those things do trail after you, it is time to evaluate what has happened to compromise your faith. It is vital that you make the necessary course corrections so that you do not make a shipwreck of your life or ministry (á la Denethor).

Our intercession is a powerful tool. Like most power tools, it must be used correctly. The Lord has taken the time to remind us of the operating instructions for our benefit. We need to be on the right side of the weeping willow. In that way we can accomplish his purposes.

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Photo credit: Randal Cutter