Category Archives: Prophetic Themes

Stretching Backward

SlingshotDawn recently had an experience in which she was walking with the Lord. The Lord was showing her some items of interest as they passed through a cavernous area. Then she saw a long row of slingshots stretching off into the distance. She noted that each slingshot had a place where a person could be firmly placed upon the launching band. She saw many people in this position, and she saw many more lined up, waiting their turn to be launched. The Lord showed her several things about these slingshots. First, they were there to launch his people forward into significant destiny and calling. Secondly, the Lord showed her that when the slingshot was being stretched into launch position, the person who was going to be launched was feeling stretched, and felt like they were going backward instead of forward. Third, many of the slingshots were ready to fire.

Within a day or two of that experience, I had a dream in which I saw Paul, the apostle. The Lord highlighted something so that I would recognize that he had been on one of those slingshots in his day. This helped me understand the stretching backwards a bit more fully.

Paul was an intelligent and learned man. He, by his own testimony, was a Hebrew of the Hebrews and a member of the well-respected sect of the Pharisees. He had learned at the erstwhile feet of Gamaliel, and was an intimate of the Sanhedrin and the High Priest. He had credentials plus. His life, and his destiny as an important man in the Jewish nation was assured. But then Jesus intervened. He gave him a calling and a destiny, and then placed him on that slingshot.

I am certain that when Paul was called by Jesus, he thought like most of us think when God initiates a call in our lives, “Now things are really going to start happening.” Things did start happening for the apostle. He started to be stretched backwards. He started his ministry with persecution from those who opposed Christ, and rejection by those who served Christ. He went from being a notable star in the Jewish nation, to almost complete obscurity for the best part of thirteen years. I’m sure there were times during that thirteen years that the apostle wondered how he had messed things up so badly; I can’t imagine that there were not times in which he wondered about all the ground he had lost in his life. He was being stretched backwards in preparation for his launch.

The Lord certainly has a purpose in this stretching, just like he has purpose in our stretching. Paul had to unlearn much of what he had learned. The religious system in which he was trained had touched every area of his life. Religious ambition and misunderstanding was bound up in Paul’s life. The Lord needed to burn all that out of Paul in order to use him fully. The Lord gave Paul time to unlearn his previous life, and grow in the life of the Spirit. In Paul’s life this took about thirteen years from the time Jesus called him to the time that God’s slingshot launched into his ministry to the Gentiles (see Acts 13).

I know that many people who feel “stretched backwards” read this blog. Some of you have had significant impact in life or ministry before the Lord called you for his special purposes. We often answer the Lord’s call with high expectation without realizing that the Lord’s call also implies that he is going to take the time to remodel our souls. That remodeling, that time of real spiritual growth, can feel like we are losing ground rather than gaining ground. But as God is preparing our soul’s, he is also arming the very mechanism that will launch us into his purposes. At just the right time, he will release us into the true purposes of his calling, and that launch will be breathtaking.

Are you feeling a bit stretched lately? Does it actually feel like you have been losing ground? That is probably a sign that you are getting close to the launch. Press on. When that launch comes you will quickly see your destiny unleashed.
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More Storms Coming

14035415_sMy last post was about the power that intercessory prayer has released over weather systems this spring. At the time of the post, we had a year-long lull in tornado activity; a lull that was unprecedented since the record keeping started back in 1954. I was, and still am, excited that God’s people have stepped into intercessory authority. However, this is a war. We can never take the armor of God off, and we can never step off the walls, or the violent counter attacks that Satan is capable of unleashing may sweep us away.

In my last post I wrote (you may read the whole thing HERE):

I want to encourage all the intercessors to continue the good work. Even as I write this, severe storms are forecast for Oklahoma and Texas today. The prayers prayed in advance are having an impact, but we can also pray during the events and cut off Satan’s plans to kill, steal, and destroy. That is our job description, and our privilege.

Satan has truly been working to steal, kill, and destroy. Last Wednesday’s storms and tornadoes in Texas were awful. Six people died and dozens were injured. Yesterday’s tornado in Moore, Oklahoma was truly horrific. At least 24 people have died, many of them children at a local school. The grief and pain is unimaginable. My heart, my sympathies, and my prayers go out to all those who have suffered loss in these storms.

As intercessors, we may mourn with those who mourn, but we must also stay on the wall and do what we can to bring protection to our areas of influence. We may shed tears, and help in whatever way we can, but we must never forget our primary role, using the authority that God has given us so this does not happen again. We must intercede for our geographic areas. We must raise hedges of protection for the most vulnerable among us. And we must do it now, because more storms are coming.

The Lord has spoken to us about the tornado season this year. He didn’t give us a lot of details, but he did tell us that tornadoes were going to hit some towns. He then told us that we were to pay attention to the names of the towns that they struck. He said that their names would be signposts along the way.

Last week Wednesday tornadoes struck Granbury, Texas. As I explored the meaning of the town’s name, I told Dawn that I really hoped the name—Grand Bury— wasn’t pointing to a large death toll in the next tornado strike. Whether that was the intent of the “signpost” or not, yesterday’s strike certainly had a large and grievous death toll.

The reason I am writing this alert is found in the name of the town struck yesterday, Moore.

When I researched the meaning of the name, Granbury, I found that the town was named after a man named Granberry, but that he had changed the spelling of his name. In this instance, it wasn’t the historic meaning of the  name that mattered, it was the meaning of its current spelling that held prophetic import. In the same way, Moore can mean stately, or noble, that is its historic meaning, but it sounds like “more.” That is what I believe this prophetic signpost is warning us about. There are more devastating storms, like those that hit Granbury and Moore, coming.

If you live in an area that is prone to tornadoes, it is time to call special prayer meetings to raise the hedges of protection. If you don’t have time for prayer meetings, get on the phone with two or three others and pray in agreement binding any storms from hurting your area of influence. We have authority, but we must use it.

More storms are coming. Satan’s agents want to use them to steal, kill, and destroy. We have the authority to take these tools of destruction out of their hands. We must disarm them, or we will see these storms close up and personal. We must disarm Satan so that the youngest and most vulnerable are no longer victimized by his vile schemes.
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Our Tornado Drought

NoTornadoZoneI don’t want to call everyone to celebration prematurely, but I think it is worth noting something that is more than a little encouraging. I have spent the last several years encouraging people to pray against severe weather before it comes. We have learned that this is an effective strategy when we face the hurricane season every year, and have encouraged people who live in tornado-prone areas to do the same thing.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that the Lord has warned us about severe weather over the past several years. I have written a great deal about negative weather patterns during that time. However, when I write about extreme weather, I usually include a call for prayer warriors to stand in their authority (see Extreme Weather Grace for an example of this). The Lord has given us authority, but we will not see the benefit of that authority unless we use it.

I haven’t written anything about extreme weather in 2013, because the Lord hasn’t shown me anything. That may be because intercessors are stepping into their authority. While the last couple of years have had major tornado outbreaks, this year has been quiet. In fact, weather folks are so amazed they are calling it a tornado drought.

This quote is from the Washington Post:

We are living through the most anemic one-year period for tornadoes in the modern record – a cause for celebration if you dislike human suffering and destruction. The present lull in these violent storms stands in sharp contrast to 2011, one of the most active years for twisters, with devastating consequences for life and property. (May 6, 2013)

This one is from Harold Brooks on the NOAA Severe Weather Blog:

The 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity and tornado impacts in the United States . . .

From May 2012-April 2013, the estimate is that there were 197 tornadoes rated EF1 or stronger. Where does that stack up historically? Well, we have pretty good data back to 1954. During that time, the previous low for (E)F1 and stronger tornadoes in a 12 consecutive calendar month period was 247, from June 1991-May 1992 . . .  This apparent record was set less than two years after the record for most EF1+ tornadoes in a 12-month period was set, with 1050 from June 2010-May 2011 . . . (May 1, 2013)

On a a Wunderground post today, Dr. Jeff Masters highlights the fact that there were only three tornadoes during the first week of May. That is the third lowest since 1950. In his article, Harold Brooks also points out that tornadoes claimed the fewest number of lives this past year since 1899. This is worth celebrating. I believe our prayers for tamer weather, and our prayers for preservation of life, are having an effect. When we step into our authority, we can expect to see this type of effect. The Lord has given his people the keys to the Kingdom. When we use them, good things happen.

I want to encourage all the intercessors to continue the good work. Even as I write this, severe storms are forecast for Oklahoma and Texas today. The prayers prayed in advance are having an impact, but we can also pray during the events and cut off Satan’s plans to kill, steal, and destroy. That is our job description, and our privilege.
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Enjoying God Moments

UpsideDownChildLast night I was taken aback by God. It was one of those moments that I knew he had done something, I just couldn’t figure out why.

Here is what he did: Several weeks ago I decided to buy an intermediate pair of boots (that’s Cowboy boots for the truly discerning among us). I have a couple pairs of really nice boots, and one really grizzly pair of work boots that have paint, mortar, dirt, and all sorts of stains on them. I don’t have anything in-between, and I was wearing the nice boots way more than you should wear dress boots. So I decided to get a low end pair for everyday use. Here is where things get interesting. As I checked the boot maker’s website, I found a low end pair of boots that met my needs. However, as I perused their styles, a nice pair of smooth ostrich skin boots caught my eye. As I checked things out, I noted that the ostrich skin boots were twice as much money as the other pair I was looking at. So I decided against the ostrich, found a vendor that had the cheaper boots at a reasonable price, and placed my order.

I received the boots yesterday. Actually, I didn’t receive the boots I ordered. That’s what took me aback. I received the boots I had decided not to order. When I opened the shipping package, I found myself staring at the smooth ostrich skin boots that had caught my eye. I actually sat speechless for a few moments. When Dawn noticed my rather dumbfounded expression, she asked what was up. When I explained, she asked me to check to make sure I hadn’t accidentally ordered the ostrich boots. I knew I had not, but I quickly verified that I had ordered and paid for the other, much less expensive boots.

The truly amazing thing is that the vendor could not have known I had even looked at the ostrich boots. And with hundreds of styles and options, it is impossible to believe that they just somehow accidentally grabbed the exact pair I had been looking at. That is why I was amazed.

Dawn commented, “I guess the Lord wanted you to have those boots.” Yeah, I guess.

Of course, I sent an email to the vendor to alert them to the switch. I am still waiting to hear back from them. But no matter how this turns out, I recognized that the Lord was doing something. I just wanted to figure out what. This morning he gave me a vivid dream that helped me understand.

In the dream, Dawn and I were sitting next to each other as passengers on a large aircraft. After we had taken off, and had been in the air long enough to attain cruising altitude, the pilot announced over the intercom that we had just now received permission to take off. He obviously thought this was humorous. In fact, to punctuate this fact, he put the aircraft into a roll and dive just to play around a bit. At the end of the dive he continued the roll so that we flew upside down for a brief period. I remember thinking apprehensively, “Don’t do that!” as I felt my hair following the direction of gravity. The captain righted the plane, and then just for fun, flew upside down again.

When I woke up, I remembered how real the dream felt, and I remembered the pilot’s playful nature. That’s when I realized what the boots were all about. The Lord was having fun. He enjoyed turning my world upside down for a few seconds as I struggled to comprehend how I held the ostrich skin boots in my hands. I have no doubt that he enjoyed himself a great deal at just how incredulous I must have looked, and I believe he enjoyed it when I knew he was up to something. He was enjoying one of his kids.

We really need to hear this message. We live in dire times. The world is getting to be a dark place. But I don’t believe our Captain is one bit concerned. He is so far ahead of this game, that his plans are already in flight before those on the ground, those who look at things from the natural perspective, even know he has taken off. He is so far ahead of the game, he can even afford to have a bit of fun with those who are going along for the ride.

This is an encouragement to everyone who has been so focused on goals and purposes that you have forgotten to enjoy the relationship we have with our Captain. Last time I looked, the joy of the Lord was still our strength. Give him some room the turn your world upside down for a few moments today. He might just surprise you.
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The Pope Steps Down

PopeBenedict1Last April the Lord told us that Pope Benedict was in the last days of his tenure as pope (See Watch the Pope from April 9, 2012). Today the Pope surprised the Church and the world by his surprise resignation. In his written statement, he states that he will step down on February 28th because his health is no longer up to the rigors of the papal schedule. His move is shocking because he is the first pope to resign in almost six hundred years.

I certainly applaud his deep humility, and his obvious concern that the sheep in his flock get the best possible care. This, perhaps, is why the Lord told us to watch for this event. It is a great example of a shepherd more concerned for the sheep than for himself.

When the Lord told us to watch the pope, he also told us to watch the stands that the pope would take. He has been a fierce advocate of the family, while also opposing gay marriage, abortion, and euthanasia. I look forward with interest to Pope Benedict’s remaining several weeks in office. I will be watching this pope, and listening carefully to what he says.
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Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.