Category Archives: Prophetic Themes

Sitting Under The Willow

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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Turning Away Hurricanes

StoppingtheStormAfter speaking with a prophetic mentor today, I felt I needed to issue this warning about what he has seen about this hurricane season. As I wrote in an earlier post (see The 2013 Hurricane Season), Bob Jones had seen a threat to our South Florida area this year. In that post I wrote: “Bob told me that he had seen at least one [hurricane] that we would need to push away, but that he was confident that we would be able to do so.”

He reiterated that same thing to me today, but added some sobering things. He believes that the storm that he has seen is a powerful storm that would bring a lot of damage wherever it hits. The good news is that he is confident that our congregation, and those who are praying with us for our area of influence, will be able to turn the storm away. The bad news is that as we turn this storm away, it will turn toward other vulnerable areas where the intercessory coverage, and the understanding of intercessory authority, may not be as developed. He has asked me to get the word out to as many leaders as I can. He wants entire coastlines protected by churches who understand their authority in Jesus Christ.

Bob asked me to remind people that we have the keys of authority that Christ has won for us. When we ask the Lord to intervene in things over which he has given us authority, we ask amiss. We need to take authority over storm systems and command them not to come into our arenas of influence. Bob said that we have enough degrees in the body of Christ, now we need decrees. That doesn’t mean that education isn’t good, or that the pursuit of educational degrees is somehow bad, but we should seek to grow in Christ’s authority even as we aspire to further education. While degrees are optional, standing in Kingdom authority is not.

Jesus taught us clearly on this topic. He said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19 NASB). He has given us the keys of authority, we must use them in accord with heaven. As the Head of the Church, the Lord issues decrees in heaven, then his Body binds or looses on the earth according to his decrees. Our authority derives from Christ’s finished work, and our direction comes through the Holy Spirit, but we are the ones exercising the authority he has given to us on this earth. If we choose not to use that authority on the earth, or do not understand our authority, we cannot blame heaven. We need look no further than the mirror. We have a job to do, and we must do it.

Please do what you can to stir up intercession during this hurricane season. We do not walk in fear. Peace is our mandate, and a major part of our protection. God will protect his people, but we also want to protect our regions as those who stand in the gap. The Lord is still looking for those, who like Abraham and Moses, intercede for those who deserve judgment. His heart is revealed in Ezekiel, “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30). His is still looking for those who will build the walls of protection, who will stand in the gap between grace and judgment, and release mercy to a region.
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Hurricane Warnings

FLLBeachLast week, the Lord indicated that Dawn and I were to visit and pray over three separate beaches in our county. This is the first time in our fifteen year history of praying against hurricanes that he has given us such a directive. My faith is normally modeled upon that of the Centurion who sought Jesus’ aid for his servant (see Matthew 8:5-13). When Jesus granted the Centurion’s request, the Centurion pointedly told Jesus that he did not need Jesus to come to his geographic location. The Centurion knew that Jesus could provide the aid by simply giving the orders. In the same way, I have realized that when a group of believers gathers together at their place of worship, they can release protection across their area of influence without necessarily going to every location personally. But this year, assuming we heard him correctly, he sent us to the beaches in person.

Why? I don’t know exactly, however, I can hazard some educated guesses. First of all, I think he wanted to remind us just how lost our beach culture is. Even though we live in the Fort Lauderdale area, we almost never get to the beaches. I suspect that the Lord wanted to show me what has happened in the years since Fort Lauderdale divested itself of Spring Break. While we are no longer an attraction for Spring Breakers, we certainly haven’t lost the sensual indulgence or the immodest apparel which were the hallmarks of that era. In fact, the apparel has become more immodest as the years have gone by. As we walked the beaches, we not only prayed against storms, we also prayed for the many spiritually needy souls whom we encountered along the way.

The second reason he may have called us to the beaches probably has to do with our increased need. We are holding our second prayer meeting of the season this evening, and events on the ground might have changed over the years so that personal involvement is more necessary. The Lord has taught us over the years that the more wickedness a region tolerates, the more susceptible to hurricanes (or other disasters) that region becomes. It’s as if our indulgence in sin pushes the protecting hand of the Father away from a region. Satan is looking for any gap that he can send disaster through in order to torment people. He is always seeking ways to kill, steal, and destroy (see John 8:44 and John 10:10). As the Father’s hand of protection is pushed away, intercessors must stand in the gap for their region. As that hand of protection is pushed even further away, they must increase their intercessory activity to match the gap between God’s protection and Satan’s hatred. While we did not have to walk the beaches in the past, it might now be a normal part of our activity, at least until revival and repentance are granted to our region (thus closing the gap again).

In any case, the Lord’s direction highlighted something I stated in my last post. We can expect some level of storm activity this season for the South Florida area (as well as other regions). If there were no specific threat, I doubt that the Lord would have sent us to the beaches.

I also have another specific word from the Lord about a strategy that Satan has released against our region this year. I’m not going to explain what that strategy is, simply because we will be dismantling it in tonight’s prayer meeting. However, the very fact that the Lord gave us a specific strategy indicates that we are countering some level of increased threat.

We are at a very early point in the hurricane season. The Lord is preparing his troops to bring protection to their areas of influence. I am grateful for every direction and strategy he releases to us. He does not delight in death and destruction (see Ezekiel 18:23). So he helps us stand in the gap for our regions of influence. Pay attention to the strategies he is giving you. They may make all the difference this season.
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The 2013 Hurricane Season

stormyweather1Are you prepared for the hurricane season? Many of those who post about the hurricane season remind us to be prepared “just in case.” You can find lists of items that you should have prepared, just in case your area is hit by a major hurricane. While I remind people that stocking up for emergencies is part of being a good citizen and neighbor, I believe that our best preparation for the hurricane season involves standing in the authority that Jesus Christ has won for us. He died and rose again to win the keys of authority for his Church. We use that authority in many different ways, but for those of us in South Florida (or any other hurricane prone region), it is absolutely vital that we use our authority to protect our region from hurricanes.

We held our first intercessory meeting for the hurricane season just over a week ago. As I have often mentioned, we do not wait for the storms to come to us. We recognize that destructive hurricanes are released from hell to harm population centers. We don’t like to wait for Satan’s strategies to emerge during the hurricane season. We are much more comfortable preempting his plans by using the keys of authority that Jesus has given to us. We use those keys to lock the door on Hell’s strategies against our area of influence, and to unlock the purposes and blessings of God in our weather patterns.

Last year the Lord alerted me to three specific storms that Satan’s agents intended to use against South Florida (see South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season and 2012 Hurricane Season Recap). The Body of Christ rose to the challenge of the storms, and none of the three presented any problem for our immediate area, though they certainly troubled some other areas.

Bob Jones, one of my prophetic mentors, asked me recently if the Lord had given us anything about the 2013 hurricane season. While the Lord has shown us some things about the tornadoes and storms troubling other areas (see More Storms Coming and Tornadoes and Rain), he has not given us much about our own hurricane season. Bob told me that he had seen at least one that we would need to push away, but that he was confident that we would be able to do so.

I mentioned to Bob, that at this point, I believe that the Lord is only speaking to us about specific threats when there is something we can learn from it, or something that we must expend more intercessory effort over. Since the Lord has given the earth to man (Psalm 115:16), I believe he expects us to walk with intelligent stewardship over it. When I release a task to employees, or to my children, I actually expect them to perform the task. I will train and equip them for the task, I will also monitor things to ascertain whether they are being done correctly, but at a certain point I will simply expect that they will handle the task without much further input. I will certainly encourage them appropriately, but the highest form of praise is the fact that I no longer need to micromanage what they are doing.

In the same way, the Lord gives us callings, tasks, that he intends we carry out on his behalf. He trains and equips the members of his Body to do these tasks. He certainly encourages us along the way, but he also expects that we will grow up into our callings as we mature. He will certainly give us information as we need it. But if we do not need it to accomplish our task or develop our relationship with him at a higher level, he really does not need to tell us every detail of what is coming.

Do not get me wrong, I like the details. Back in 1998, the Lord spoke to us in great detail for over a year about a specific threat to our area. He gave us the information, and the wisdom about what to do with that information, so that Hurricane Irene did not devastate our region in 1999 (see Hurricane Irene). Since then, I have learned that there are threats the Lord will speak to us about, and there are some that he does not bother to speak to us about. I have learned to be at peace with either circumstance.

Those who analyze weather patterns have told us we can expect an active hurricane season. Veteran prophet Bob Jones has seen some specific threats. That means we all must man the walls of intercession and authority. That is our task. Let’s do it well this season.
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Tornadoes and Rain

lighthouseMoore, Oklahoma was hit by a tornado again this past Friday. If you read my last post (available HERE), you know that the Lord showed us that we could expect more tornadoes to hit towns and cities. However, I really didn’t believe that meant that Moore, a city that is grieving the loss of dozens of its people, would be among those hit. My heart goes out to them.

The Lord told us that the names of the cities that tornadoes hit this year would be signposts along the way for what was coming. When Granbury, Texas had the first tornado outbreak, I was concerned that it meant that the next storm (or storms) would have a high death toll (grand bury). When the large tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, I realized that the town’s name pointed to more tornado outbreaks, and released an alert along those lines. The fact that Moore has been hit again probably indicates that even more tornadoes are coming.

There was a second signpost with Friday’s storms. When I read media reports, I saw that they said that Moore and El Reno were hit by tornadoes. If these names are our signposts, then we know more storms are coming (Moore/more), and that it probably will bring even more flooding rain.

El Reno means the reindeer. Since both Granbury and Moore were signposts based upon their pronunciation rather than there name meanings, I suspect that reindeer refers to rain-dear, where the meaning of dear is costly. I don’t think this is too much of a stretch, since the storms that hit last Friday brought a lot of flooding (costly rain) to the areas that were hit.

God’s people have authority to pray the death out of these disasters. We live in dark times, but according to Isaiah 60, when times are dark God’s people can shine brightly. We can release the light of intercession over our geographic areas. It is imperative that we do so now.
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Update in 6/3 at 2:30 PM: Carol O. sent me an alternate interpretation of El Reno that I rather like. She wrote, “Reindeer may have several meanings…  More means more, but reindeer could express how precious rain is, and deeply needed in the correct way, to relieve drought in the Midwest and plains states, not in downpours that run off into flash flooding.” Amen. Whether we interpret El Reno negatively or positively, the prayer application is the same: We can stand in authority and pray that the only rain that falls is beneficial and helpful toward breaking the drought, but not more than the land can safely absorb. We do want that drought broken.
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