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The following word was given this morning at Fiordland New Life Church in the worship time by Lyn Packer. It is given for the Church in New Zealand but is also a word for the Church in the nations as well.

“I say to you, victory is your starting point, not need! Provision is your starting point, not need. I’ve given you eyes to see; will you see, will you look from my perspective?

I’m raising up a company in this nation; a company of burning hearts, a company of those who see rightly, whose starting point is the as yet unseen reality of my promise. I am raising up a company of those who will take me at my Word and see that my promises have been fulfilled before they are given, who see the provision has arrived before its journey started. I am raising up those who see ahead of time to an already established reality and I am doing it in this place, in this time.

Can you see them? Can you see them, because they are you! I am doing a work in your life that will forever shift your sight line! Today I decree a shift in your sight line. No longer will you be satisfied with seeing through veiled or faithless eyes; no longer will you be satisfied with seeing from a ‘needs’ perspective. Today I say you shall now see with spirit eyes; the eyes of a seer are released today, here and in this nation. I give you eyes to see, and to function. from the place of victory already established, from provision already given.

See beyond time. See my already established future, my hope, my plans for yourself and this nation of New Zealand. I have given you my promises so that you may know ahead of time what your tomorrow will look like.

 You are about to step into a prophetic window of time that will establish what your future and the future of this nation will look like. It is a crucial time, weighty in its implication and in its reality.

Listen for me in what you hear, look for me in what you see. Look beyond today; see your future and begin to live in that now. Who said there must be steps you must take? Who said there must be levels to ascend. What I say you can do, you can do. 

Do not say “I am too immature, I need more healing before I’m ready.” I have already made provision for it, it is already established as I see you. I will take care of character as you walk in submission to me. I have already brought you into fullness of maturity in Christ. Stay in Him, lean into Him, rely on Him. Exchange your weakness for His strength and it will become your strength. Step into your future today. Don’t put it off into tomorrow, you can walk in it today. Go beyond now and walk in tomorrow today. I operate beyond time, so you can walk according to my vision, what I see, not earth’s timeline.

Victory is your starting position; maturity is your starting position; provision is your starting position, because they are already established in me, in my plans for you and for the nation. Do not look at this nation and say “It is too hard.” It is already accomplished in me. I am making you and I am making this nation a company of burning hearts. You, my called out ones, my burning hearts, will move through this nation and the nations of the earth, sharing the reality of my Kingdom.”



A declaration to make

“I declare that I am a part of the company of burning hearts that you are raising up in this time. I have eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand what You are doing in this time.

I declare that victory is my starting place, that provision is my starting place, that maturity is my starting place; those realities already exist because of how You see me. I declare that I walk in purpose and destiny already because You see my end from my beginning. I am Your child, called by Your Name, destined to burn with Your love so men will see and be drawn to You!

 My jurisdiction is first this nation then the nations of the world. They are mine. You have given them to me as my inheritance and so I take my place in Your company of burning hearts, as one that will burn for You!”

 

Over the last few decades particularly there has been a disturbing trend that has mushroomed; that is the “Christian celebrity” scene. This in turn has led to something I call “celebrity led Christianity” which has crept in to the Church and has caused some people to become more celebrity led in their Christian walk than Spirit led.

In many ways celebrity status Christianity it is nothing new – the Christians in Corinth had the same problem saying “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos” (1 Cor 1:12). Yet during the last half century the tendency to elevate people and their teaching to celebrity status has reached a new high-water mark. This has, I believe, largely happened because of the increase in media saturation particularly through the Internet; not to forget the devils purpose in it of turning people away from their priority of loving and following Christ first and foremost.

Why does someone become a favourite – usually because they preach what we believe or because they bring us fresh revelation. If they preach what we believe then the trap is that it can subtly feed our ego and sense of pride. And if they bring fresh revelation then the feelings of thankfulness and emotion we have because of that can sometimes causes us to focus more on that person than on the Holy Spirit who is in fact the one who leads and guides us into truth. Liking what someone shares and liking them as a person isn’t wrong – it’s when that liking slips over into a subtle idolatry that it’s wrong.

While it is not always bad for preachers to become popular there are inherent problems in that. One is the problem of preachers believing their own PR and getting sucked into the celebrity trap. This has in some cases led to pride and fleecing the flock with some preachers charging thousands to speak in a church meeting or conference either because they believe they’re worth that much or they have big money hungry organizations to keep running. The size of an organization is not necessarily a indicator of it’s effectiveness in the Kingdom. Also they can fall into the trap of believing that they have the monopoly on “their revelation” or on the truth.

Another problem comes on our end, when we accept everything someone says simply because they are popular, one of our favourite preachers or are our Pastor.  The more popular someone is the more influence they have over people and there is a danger in this because they are not infallible, they do not always see things correctly, they are growing in understanding as well as character – as we all are! Don’t fall into the trap of accepting blindly everything your favourite preacher says just because they say it.

We all see things through the lenses of our current theological understanding and preachers are no different; they all preach from their place of current understanding and revelation. That understanding should develop and change as we gain more understanding and the Lord gives us more revelation. In five years time I may look at some things I believe now and be less convinced of them or I may be more convinced of them – depending on the fresh revelation and understanding that the Lord has given me. We must make sure we don’t fall into the trap of believing that our current understanding will be our only one on any subject – it can and should change as we grow in understanding and maturity.

In this media driven world we live in it is so easy to fall into the trap of relying on what our favourite preachers say without checking it out in scripture for ourselves or asking the Lord about it. In some cases we are even taught not to question those who hold some sort of position of authority. Asking questions is sometimes seen as sowing discord or being rebellious or even worse leading to someone being labeled as having a Jezebel spirit; the amount of times I’ve seen that happen over the years isn’t funny! The reason why it is seen like that is often because a leader was themself taught never to question authority figures or sometimes because of insecurity in that leader’s life.  An insecure person will sometimes be tempted use their position to prove or bolster their sense of worth.  So if their teaching is questioned they will sometimes see it as a personal attack or an attack against their credibility and not see it as what may simply be a very reasonable enquiry.

By our fascination and promotion of Christian celebrities we are in danger of building a Church that relies mostly on other peoples revelations, that no longer thinks for itself or asks the Lord for direction to the extent that we should. In fact it may be hard for many of us to accept that our favourite preacher has somehow become someone of celebrity status to us and a subtle idol instead of being simply a brother or sister who is on a journey of progressive growth and revelation just as we all are.

There are people that are gifts to the body – the five-fold ministry is a part of that, but even they should keep pointing you back to Jesus as the focus of your attention and not try to draw you to themselves. Their job description is to train the body for it’s work of ministry, not to just do the ministry themselves, become a celebrity and build a following.  They are given to train people in how to hear from the Lord for themselves and follow him, becoming good Kingdom representatives and sons and daughters who grow into maturity, releasing heaven into earth, bringing freedom wherever they go. If they are not doing this, then they’re possibly not a real five-fold ministry person or they have gone astray from their calling.

Today do take the time to do a spot check. Are there those that you follow who have become someone of celebrity status to you? Do you accept whatever they say without checking it out for yourself; if you do then determine to change that. You have the freedom to question and to grow, the liberty to think for yourself and to learn how to function as a mature son and daughter of God, walking a Spirit lead life not a celebrity led one. By all means, honour people and their gifting but don’t make them something they were never meant to be. Don’t fall into the ‘celebrity status Christian’ trap.

It’s Easter and traditionally it’s the time to tell the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Usually in the telling we focus on the aspect of salvation and how we can know God and have a relationship with Him if we will give our life to Him.

Yet the message of Easter (the gospel message) is not about us giving our life to Him; it’s really about Him giving His life to us! It’s a subtle difference in words but a huge difference in outcome! God doesn’t need our life but we definitely need His! Without His life in us we are dead – dead in sin and dead to knowing Him.

We often concentrate on Jesus’s death and the aspect of Jesus forgiving our sins. But I don’t believe we concentrate enough on His resurrection and its meaning, which is “life”, new life – God giving His life to us in order that we may fully live and that He may live in us and through us.

When you actually think about it, that’s huge! God – the One who is love, freely gives Himself for us and to us. That’s the good news, in fact that’s really good news!

What does that actually mean ….

  • God’s love is unconditional and is not dependent on anything we do!
  • His love and grace have nothing to do with how good or bad we are!
  • In His love God gave Himself to win us back, not just so that He could know us and we know Him, but so that we could know the reality of Him living in us and through us!
  • We can live our life knowing His love, grace and favour flowing in and through us if we believe and accept what He did for us and allow Him to give His life to us!
  • He will supply all that we need to live that life of grace and favour! All of it, everything! We don’t supply any of it!

Wow, that’s really good news!

I believe that the concept of us ‘giving our life to God’ comes from our belief that because of what Jesus did we owe Him everything, which includes giving our life to Him. Yet He doesn’t ask for our life in exchange for giving us His; He gives His life to us freely. Our giving our life to Him in any way, or loving and obeying Him, is simply a response to that love, not a prerequisite for obtaining that love. Yet we have made it a prerequisite. Over the last couple of centuries we have introduced into the Church the ‘sinner’s prayer’, which we maintain must be prayed in order to obtain God’s forgiveness and have relationship with Him. Yet the only thing God actually asks is that we believe / accept what He did for us. “Jesus answered and said, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”John 6:29

His forgiveness is already a fact, whether we accept it or not. We don’t have to do something in order to get it. He did something, He forgave while we were still dead in our sin (Rom 5:8). Then, in His resurrection, Jesus invited us into newness of life; His life – flowing in and through us!

The good news is that we can know the reality of a loving relationship with the Father because of what Jesus did. The good news is that by His death and resurrection Jesus has provided for our salvation, our healing, our wholeness, and a life of fullness and prosperity in all areas of life – “He has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” 2 Pet 1:2-4.

When we accept what Jesus has done and allow Him to give His life to us we are made new creations in Christ; the old ‘us’ is crucified with Christ. (How that transpires may be a mystery to us, yet it is still true and real). We are grafted into Christ and His loving grace brings us into a living relationship with Himself, the Father and Holy Spirit. We become sons and daughters of God. We then get to live no longer by our own efforts but by the life of His Spirit living in us. There is nothing we can do to earn His grace and favour; He gives it to us freely. It is a free gift from God. Rom 5:15-18

We live and walk by faith, which is based not just on cognitive belief but on relational trust, and the more we walk in Him and experience His love and faithfulness, the more we trust and can walk in faith. (Faith is belief in and experiential knowledge of His love, trustworthiness and faithfulness that comes from knowing and experiencing His character, His loving nature and His provision in every area of our lives).

The Good News message is all about God’s grace and love – love displayed, love given, love lived in!

In this life of God’s love, grace and favour…

  • We don’t have to give our life to God in order to get salvation – He gives His life to us when we ask Him into our lives. Gal 2:20
  • We don’t have to try and become close to God – He came close to us, He made us intimate with Him – in fact you can’t get closer than being “in”… Rom 8:9,10 2 Cor 1:21
  • We don’t have to earn His pleasure and His love – He gives it freely. Eph 3:17 1 John 4:16
  • We don’t have to keep asking for forgiveness over and over again – His love is such that He has already forgiven every sin we will ever commit – ahead of time!
  • We don’t have to try to become holy or sanctified; He has made us to be holy and sanctified in Him.  1 Cor 1:30 1Pet 2:9
  • We don’t have to try to become righteous; He has made us righteous in Christ. 1 Cor 1:30
  • We don’t have to try in our own strength to not sin; sin has lost its hold on us. His grace (and His Spirit) teaches us how not to sin Tit 2:11 – 13
  • We aren’t justified (made good enough) by our works but by His work Gal 2:16.
  • We don’t owe God; He gave all things freely, not so that we would be indebted to Him, or owe Him anything  Eph 2:8
  • We don’t have to try and keep in His good books; because of what Christ did we are loved and accepted unconditionally as His beloved child. Eph 1:16
  • Just as we were saved by grace so we are kept by grace Col 2:6
  • We can’t finish (in our strength) what He started; He will complete the good work started in us Gal 3:3  Heb 12:2
  • We don’t have to struggle to know the will of God; His will is that we know and live in everything that is good, acceptable and perfect. Rom 12:2 Ps 23:3
  • I don’t read the scriptures to find out what I have to do, the rules I have to live by; I read them to find Christ in them Luke 24:27 , to learn about His nature, character and heart for me and mankind, and to learn how His Kingdom of love functions.
  • We don’t have to try… because of what He did we get to rest in Him. Matt 11:28 Heb 4:3  
  • We don’t have to keep begging God to provide – He has already done so. 2 Pet 1:2-4 Mark 11:24
  • We don’t have to serve; we are not servants, we are sons and heirs. Any service we do is a response of love and allowing Him to serve mankind through us John 4:19 Eph 2:10 Phil 2:13
  • We were not saved because God needed workers; He saved us because He loved us and wanted us back in His family Phil 2:13 Eph 2:10
  • We are no longer under the law (any of it) but under grace; we live by a new law – the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. He has set us free from the law of sin and death Rom 7:5
  • We are made whole and complete in Him; In Him we live and move and have our being. It’s His life in us that causes us to live this abundant life. Col 2:10
  • We don’t have to jump through hoops to become free; He has set us free already. Gal 3:13 John 8:32
  • God does not want complete control of our life; He wants to give us His life and teach us to walk as mature sons not as puppets or slaves/servants John 10:10

You have been forgiven, buried with Him, raised with Him, made alive in Him and, filled with Him. You get to live in Christ and Christ lives in you and through you and… He supplies all you need to live that kind of Christ life! Now that’s good news! That’s the gospel of his glorious grace and that’s the love and grace that we get to live in!

Last month in our ministry newsletter we featured an article by Stephen Crosby that unpacked the verse “The just shall live by faith”. We had a couple of emails regarding it so I thought I’d share a little bit more on its theme this month. (see original article here)

In his article Stephen shared that from a Jewish perspective/understanding faith had more to do with relational trust than with cognitive belief. Obviously both are needed, but as western Christians we have tended to believe that faith has more to do with mentally understanding something than relational trust. This has caused an imbalance in our Christian walk on a large scale with many Christians filling our churches who read the Bible, listen to sermons, give mental assent to what they hear and end up with a religious belief in Christ rather than a living, growing relationship with Him. We hear and understand that the Christian life is one of relationship with the Lord yet for many that relationship is a formal and somewhat uneasy one, based on their ability to believe in their minds instead of trust in His nature and character.

The Bible tells us we have all been given a measure of faith (Rom 12:3) and that we need to believe in the Lord (John1:12; 6:29). That’s where the problems lay – we think that believing means agreeing in our mind. Yet believing has as much to do with relational trust as it does with mental agreement. We can only truly believe someone when we know that we can trust them.

When we initially come to Christ we trust that what is shared with us about Him is the truth. And when He comes into our life, filling us with Himself, we find out that it definitely is true! From there we get to know Him, and He proves over and over again His faithfulness, love, trustworthiness and so much more.

So when troubles and challenges come our way we look back on that track record and know that because He previously came though in all those times, He will do so again. That track record of His faithfulness is what builds relational trust. And relational trust makes it easy to walk in faith because we know He can be depended on to come through.

So when it comes to the Lord asking us to do things that require faith, it’s actually relational trust that we step into more than cognitive understanding. We still need the cognitive understanding but that is not all we need; we must combine the two, understanding and trust. It’s this combination that will get us through. We read in the Word testimonies of His faithfulness to others; we read His promises to us and we recall His faithfulness to us. We then step into the reality of His faithfulness, knowing that as He has come through in the past, He will do so again. He will provide all that we need to accomplish what He calls us to, and what our need in that situation calls for.

The Christian walk is one of relationship, not mental assent, so it figures that faith must also be about relational trust not just mental assent and understanding. Everything in the Christian life is about trusting in the Lord, knowing that He has already granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness and that He will supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ – He’s done it many times before and nothing is going to cause Him to violate or break that trust you have in Him. You can depend on Him and put your faith in Him – He is trustworthy. That’s why you can walk and live by faith!

A new year has well and truly started, my batteries are refreshed and my creativity is flowing… sounds great doesn’t it? And it feels great too!

I have just finished the first draft on a new book about how to grow and enhance your creativity. It’s funny – but when you start to write you realise you know a heck of a lot more than you thought. You just are so used to putting it into practise unconsciously that you don’t stop to think what you’ve learnt along the way. You also find out how much you don’t know lol, and how much you can still learn. So the new book is in it’s infancy but should be reality fairly soon. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

Today – can I suggest that you take some time to think about something you are currently involved with doing and consciously think about and be thankful for the things you’ve learnt that you’re putting into practise in that task. Gratitude is such a positive creative booster and mood booster you’ll find that your day will even go better because you took a moment to be thankful. And quite possibly your task will too.

 

We are in the midst of a great awakening in the Church where the children of God are waking up to “who they really are.” Part of the foundation of this awakening is a deepened revelation of the love and goodness of God that is giving birth to a “Love Revolution,” now sweeping the earth. The Church is learning how to live loved and, as a result, is becoming “living love” – pouring out love in ways that is causing transformation to come to thousands daily. You are called to be a part of that revolution, and it starts with knowing that you are loved – unconditionally and irrevocably.

Let Father God love you, really love you, and through the transformational effect on your life, you will not be able to do anything but love as He does. As a result, you too will transform the lives of those you come in contact with.

The One Word That Is At the Heart of the Good News of the Gospel

One of the amazing things Jesus accomplished through both His life and death was to reintroduce a reality that had not existed since the fall of mankind – a loving close relationship with God.

With one word Jesus changed everything. He declared the end of religion and proclaimed the restoration of relationship. He changed forever the way man would see God (if they really looked). That one word is at the heart of the Good News of the Gospel. It’s not the word “forgiveness,” or even the word “grace.” Those are powerful words, but the one word Jesus used to change everything is “Abba.” Abba is the word for “Father” or “Daddy.” It may not sound like much of a revolution-starting word when you first hear it, but that word “Father” changed everything and assaulted every religious belief in existence, both outside and inside Israel.

Knowing “Father” Changes Everything

Jesus came not only as the Savior, but also as a Son. He came to reveal the Father and to provide a way for us to return to relationship with Him. Knowing God as “Father” changes everything because it reveals our reason for being created – to be in a loving, cared-for, protected and provided-for relationship with Father God. We were never meant to have to strive in order to know God, or have to earn a relationship with Him. We were meant to be “children” to the Father – a Father who loves us with 100% pure, untainted, undiluted love and goodness.

Jesus came not only as the way back to the Father but as a model of how we were created to be in relationship with the Father. That’s why He came as a child, as a Son, because only a Son could reveal God as Father. A servant cannot reveal God as the Father – he can only reveal God as “master” or “boss.” Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”(John 14:9). In Jesus we see the Father’s love revealed and expressed. And once we see the Father, something in us wakes up and remembers that we were made to be in loving relationship with Him!

Experience His Daddy Love

God wants to lavish us with His love. He wants the experiential knowledge of His love to be the very foundation of our lives. He wants all that we do – all the decisions we make and our revelation of who He is and who we are – to be a result of knowing and dwelling in His glorious love. The apostle Paul understood how important it is to have this revelation of God the Father’s love and to experience it. That’s why he prayed, “That you, being rooted and grounded in love…may comprehend what is the breadth, length, height and depth and to know the love of God that surpasses understanding, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

He’s a Good Dad. God is Love. Everything He does is motivated by love. He has no ulterior motives, no agendas except to love. Love is not just something He does; it’s who He is! He doesn’t love you because He wants something from you. He’s not looking for servants. He’s not expecting people to try hard to please Him. He is looking for someone to lavish His love upon. That is the type of Father He is. Yes, we will serve and we will obey, but those are the results of knowing His love, not the means of gaining it.

Some of us never knew our fathers. Or maybe we had fathers who were absent emotionally even if they were there in person. Some of our fathers were abusive. Others demanded perfection of us. Earthly fathers have let many of us down, but we can’t afford to judge God the Father by what our experiences tell us a father is like. I used to, and because of my relationship with my dad I didn’t want to know God as Father. In my mind, fathers weren’t nice; they abused their children. Thankfully those hurts have been healed and I am set free from those lies. Now my relationship with Abba, Daddy God, is so precious to me. I know He will never abuse me, that He only has good things for me. And I know He is the same for you.

His Treasure

Daddy God has chosen us as His special treasure. He IS love and His love melts away our performance-oriented mentality. God does not want to treat us like a servant/slave but as a son/daughter. He’ll let us be a servant if we insist, but it’s not what He wants from the relationship. And if we insist in seeing Him just as master and not Daddy, Abba God, we miss out on so much.

You are a son or daughter of your heavenly Father, the One who is Love and who is forever good through and through. There are no hidden agendas in His love. You now live under a new and everlasting covenant based on Daddy’s promise that He will never stop loving you or doing good for you (see Romans 8:38-39, Jeremiah 32:40)!

God is love; and Daddy God loves you with an everlasting, 100% pure, unfailing love! Revel in His love; soak it up! You are not being greedy; you are not being somehow less spiritually mature by reveling in that love. In fact, really knowing His love is a mark of maturing in childlike faith and trust. Enjoy it – go on, really enjoy it. There are no catches here, no tricks, just pure undefiled love. God, your good Father in Heaven, wants you to know that glorious love, to be set free by it, to make your home in it, to be comfortable in it, and to find the full expression of who you are in it.

 

It’s almost Christmas and every year Christians around the world get upset with the whole Santa thing, the commercialism of Christmas and how to live in this world while not taking it’s standards as their own. When my kids were growing up I worried about the same things and in the end chose the route of teaching my children how to discern for themselves instead of using blanket “no’s” to many things.

When our kids got to an age where they could understand (about two – three years old) we explained Santa to them. They grew up understanding that he was make-believe yet fun and we didn’t feel it compromised our Christianity by allowing our children to partake in make-believe. After all God gave us our imagination to use not only to dream with him and see into the spiritual realms but to imagine – to make things up – thats where CS Lewis dreamed up Narnia and his other wonderful stories – in his imagination. (The world would be a very sad place if all imagination was removed – we would be automatons without dreams or vision and nothing that man has dreamed up would have been created yet)

The other day I was checking out some craft blogs and came across this wonderful example of explaining the whole Jesus & Santa thing. The explanation doesn’t kick in until a little bit down the page but I loved what they have chosen to do to explain it all. The couple in the blog are also learning to walk in grace-based parenting and share a couple of great books in the link that I’m sure would be well worth the read. Here’s the amazon link for them as well as another one called “Grace based parenting” which is on the same page.

I hope it gives you some ideas of how you can approach this whole subject with your family. I am certainly going to share it with my kids and hopefully we can incorporate something like it into their Christmas family traditions.

The Hui

Last week I attended a Prophets Hui (gathering) made up of Prophets from various parts of our nation (New Zealand). During that day there was a very strong sense of the manifested presence of God present amongst us and also that the times we’re in are momentous times for our nation.

Throughout the day we worshipped and prayed and talked about what God was doing in the nation. There were many things brought out during that time some of which I’ll share in the days ahead.

One of the most encouraging and powerful words that came out of the day was when the Lord said “Stop asking for me to come, I have already come!” There was more to the word but that was the crux of it. Sometimes we can miss the actual time of release because we are so caught up in the” praying for” or because it comes in a different form than what we were expecting. As a result of what the Lord said we should now begin to change our petitioning for revival into thansksgiving and prophetically release decrees of God’s will and intention into our towns, cities and nation.

That which we have been praying for has been released! It is here now – God is moving powerfully throughout the nation. There is a groundswell of Kingdom release that is building in power and being released on a nationwide scale. This move of God is not a sudden revival type move located in one place – it is an awakening that is taking place in all parts of the nation simultaneously, that is why many have missed it. People are stepping out in the power and love of God in numbers that are increasing daily. Miracles and healings are becoming common occurrences as the church is awakening to who she really is and who Christ is in her.

Back to the Hui – I want to share a vision I saw as we worshipped.

A child called Hope

In the vision I saw a young girl. She had fallen asleep in a forest, curled up under a tree. The darkness of the forest covering had caused a false sense of night, of slumber. When I asked the Lord about her I was told her name was Hope. Her name was Hope but Hope was asleep! I heard someone call her name and the call woke her – it was a call to wake up, to begin to walk again, follow the call; to follow the voice and walk out into the light again. I saw an understanding, a flame begin to flicker in her heart as she began to walk – following the voice. In the voice was love and kindness and she realized she had heard the voice before many times but it had somehow become clouded in her hearing. As she continued to walk she saw light ahead and the flame flickered brighter and her heart began to beat stronger.

As I asked the Lord about what I saw I felt the forest was a prevailing atmosphere over our nation – the feeling that darkness has the upper hand. I felt him say that for many in our nation hope had faded (it was like their hope had gone to sleep because they had succumbed to the darkness). They hadn’t lost it altogether; it was just not functioning at a fully awakened level. I believe the Lord is awakening hope within his people in this time. They are beginning to hear the call to follow and trust in a new way and are responding. The nation is awakening to hope again, awakening to the call to walk into the future guided by God’s Spirit and His Voice. We have been in the place of unnatural darkness to the point where many have been lulled into a sleep state. It is time to awake and walk out into the light again. We are children of light destined to bring light into darkness not to let darkness overtake us!

What is the call on our nation?

This was a question we asked that day at the Hui? We asked it because – if the church in our nation (New Zealand) does not know their identity and call then we will wander aimlessly and every man will follow his own personal vision and desires. While it is not wrong to have personal and church visions we need to know how our vision fits in with the Lord’s desire for us as a nation. We are all individually and as churches a part of a bigger whole and just as the Lord has plans for each person and church he also has a plan and destiny for us as a nation. For too long we’ve not been aware of or functioned from that fact and so have been a fragmented body of individualists who don’t know how to work together. It is time for that to end and for us to recognize the strengths in each other and how we can function together while still keeping our individual personalities as churches.

Today I’ll share some of what was said at the Hui re our nations call and then over the next few weeks I’ll release other prophetic words and declarations from that day as well.

We are as a nation…

So what is the collective call on the church of New Zealand – in some ways it is many stranded but one of the significant parts of it is that our nation is to be a forerunner nation many of whom have apostolic & prophetic mantles.  We are known worldwide as ones who carry a very strong prophetic mantle and are also an apostolic release nation, a nation of sent ones – of evangelists & missionaries that plant, build and disciple nations.  As such we are a people destined to move in signs, wonders and miracles, with a strong healing emphasis, to proclaim and release the reality of Heaven into Earth.

We are a proclaiming people – releasing the heart of God through prophetic proclamation that calls into being that which is not yet reality in the earthly realm,  again – releasing Heaven into Earth. This is done mainly through teaching, prophetic release, music and media.

We are a nation called to release hope amongst many things into the nation and into the nations, to call them into their destiny and fullest expression. That is why hope has been under attack in our nation – to stop us from being who we were created to be. If hope can be stifled then we will not walk in our apostolic and prophetic destiny and because of that others will miss out.

The above-mentioned giftings and call are a very significant part of who we are as a nation. I’ll share more about the call on our nation and from the Prophets Hui over this coming month in the belief that when you write the vision (and speak it) people can hear it and run with it (Hab 2:2,3). Please pass the posts along to others (individuals and Pastors) as the more that read, the more that will recognize themselves and begin to walk in their true identity.

Part 3 – Stewarding Trance Visions & Visitations

In this article we are going to look at trances and extended periods of revelation. I was also going to cover protocols for entering the Throne Room and heavenly places but decided that it would be better handled in a separate article, so I’ll look at that in the next one.

Things like trance visions and heavenly experiences are being talked about much more today than they ever have been. Are there more instances of these things happening or are people just feeling freer to talk about their experiences? I believe both to be the case. But with the increase in these things it becomes all the more important that people are taught how to understand and steward their visions and experiences. In the last article I looked at the different components of revelation – the revelation itself, the interpretation, the application, and whether what we are seeing is literal or symbolic. If you haven’t read that article (or the previous ones in this series) please do so, as it is foundational to what we’ll look at now in this article.

Trance Visions

I want to talk about trances for a minute because of all the ways that God gives us revelation, they are the most prone to being called ‘New Age’. We need to realize that nothing was created by the Devil. Everything was created by God (John 1:3; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11) and is a part of how his Kingdom functions, including the different ways people receive revelation. All the devil can do is twist and distort something that was created for God’s purposes.

I think the aspect about trances that freaks people out is the state of being ‘out of control’. As I said earlier, trances are happening more frequently and I know people who experience them often. For some of them the idea of ‘not knowing what was happening to them’ was freaky at first, but knowing that God is with you and is leading you is a great source of assurance and comfort. Yet not all trances have this component, as we’ll see later.

This aspect of being ‘out of control’ doesn’t seem proper or right to many of us. We believe that God is the ultimate gentleman who will only empower us, never overpower us. Yet when we look at scripture we find that in most trance states, some of peoples’ natural faculties seemed unable to function – like physical movement or ability to see the natural realm. In other words God took them over to some degree or another. This also happens when a person gets ‘the shakes’ in the Holy Spirit – their body is taken over by the power of God. Some examples of this are as follows.

  • Peter on the rooftop (Acts10:10)  – one of the most well known trances in scripture. In this trance state Peter was able to interact by speech with God.
  • Saul before he became King – he was changed into another man (1 Sam 10:6), although this is not officially a trance, as Saul was still conscious, this was an overtaking of Saul’s person by God, according to Browns-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions.
  • Paul in Acts 22:17 went into a trance where God communicated with him and told him to leave Jerusalem quickly because of danger.
  • John in the book of Revelation Rev 1:17 “I fell at his feet as though dead”, this is a trance like state – Thayers Greek Definitions says this means destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative.

So what does a trance look like? To an observer it may seem like the person has ‘spaced out’ and is unresponsive. In trance vision states often the Lord and your spirit will supersede your body functions.  You may be unaware that you are in this state, as you will be caught up into the vision or experience. Your body functions will often slow down or cease to be an issue during this time, especially in extended trance times. Hunger and thirst become non-issues and bodily functions relating to eating and drinking often don’t happen. I know a lady who has had many trance visions. Her first one lasted approximately 24 hours, during which time she didn’t move or even blink, let alone eat, drink or need a bathroom break. She was caught up into the heavenly realm, seeing visions and having experiences with the Lord there. This trance was witnessed by at least three others for this whole period of time.

 Stewarding Trance Visions

How do we steward a trance vision.

  • If it is happening to you then you will probably be unaware that it is even happening, so you won’t be able to do much. Some people have a physical or Holy Spirit given warning that it is about to happen so that they can sit down somewhere comfortable first.
  • If you observe it happening to someone else then, if possible, stay with the person and stop others from interfering, poking and prodding them etc. People try to do that to ‘prove’ whether the experience is real or not.
  • Try and make them comfortable, maybe cover them with a blanket to keep them warm if the building is cold. If they need to be moved for safety sake then do so, otherwise disturb them as little as possible. Often they will be stiff as a board so laying them on the floor or a mattress is the safest thing to do. Pray for them during this time, covering them as they are experiencing this encounter.
  • When the person comes out of it don’t pepper them with hundreds of questions. Allow them space and time to come to terms with what just happened. Later on, get them to write down as much as they can remember of what they saw and heard. They will then be able to go back to it later and process it through with the Lord. If it has been an extended time then maybe offer them a drink and some light nourishment, as they may well need it.

Stewarding extended times of revelation

How do we steward extended periods of visitation – over weeks or even months? When we are going through a season of visitation it’s important to understand how we deal with that. The following are suggestions, not a  formula. Most of them are intensely practical, but are still a part of stewarding wisely our revelations.

  • Realize that if the Lord takes you into an extended period of revelation that He will look after you during this time. Don’t be afraid to surrender yourself to Him. Many people pull back from going into revelation because of fears relating to the ‘unknowns’ involved.
  • Don’t tell everyone what is happening to you – it may not be God’s time to reveal things; in fact you may never get to reveal some things. Some things will be shown to you so that you can simply cooperate in prayer with the Father over them. Pride can also become a factor here – remember your experiences say nothing about how spiritual or mature you are, they just say that you are being blessed with revelation at this point in time.
  • Remember to ask the Lord for help in distinguishing between what is ‘literal’ and what’s ‘symbolic’ in your visions and experiences. This is important, as it will all feel real. In the same vision there may be both literal and symbolic things. Asking for the interpretation and application is also important (See article 2 in this series for teaching on these).
  • Have someone you are accountable to and can share with. We all only see partly (1 Cor 13:12) so it’s good to have someone trustworthy that we can double check our experiences with who can help us measure them against scripture, God’s nature, His character and His heart for mankind.
  • Have trustworthy people who can support you in prayer during this time if possible.
  • Have notebooks and pens ready and accessible – journaling what you see and experience is important for a variety of reasons. It is easy to forget details, especially when you are in extended times of visitation and seeing lots. Also it helps with accountability.
  • Make sure that you look at rearranging your schedule if need be – drop non-necessary activities in order to free yourself up to spend the extra time in the Lord’s presence. If that’s not a possibility then stay in the place of faith for strength and staying power.
  • Make sure that you are getting regular meals, plenty of water etc. Sometimes your body works hard during these times, especially if there are manifestations of shaking, burning etc.
  •  Realize that the Lord will look after you – physically, emotionally and spiritually during these times.

I hope this has given you a little more understanding on trance visions and extended times of visitation. We need to learn how to steward these as they are happening more frequently and may very well happen to you or someone you know in the days ahead.

Please fell free to pass this series of articles on to others to read, too, as the more who understand how to wisely steward their revelations the better.

The next article in this series will be the last and I am going to look at protocols for entering the Throne Room and other heavenly places. I hope you’ll join me again for that one.

We’ve just had a great time with Linda and Dan Wilson. They did a mini conference for us called “Supernatural Marriage” and are the authors of the book by that name. It was, I think, the best marriage seminar/conference I have ever attended. Linda and Dan are just such lovers of God and of people that you couldn’t help but be encouraged around them.

While they taught on having a supernatural marriage many of the things they taught were applicable in a far wider arena than marriage. For example – a reminder that the fruit of the Spirit is who we become, not just something we try to do.  Life in Christ is about being transformed into the image of Christ and that affects every area of our lives. There was an encouragement to pray for each other and impart to, prophesy over and release the power of the kingdom into each other’s lives. We were encouraged to consciously draw on the wisdom, might, counsel, understanding etc of the Holy Spirit in all our relationships.

Dan & Linda also shared that because we often live so conscious of the earthly realm we can get lost in the facts of our life, and the truth just gets lost. Yet truth is mightier than facts – the truth of who God is and who he wants to be to us in this present situation and what of heaven he wants to release into the situation.

All these things are a part of living the normal Christian life and it was good to be reminded of them. I don’t know about you but sometimes I find that it is all too easy to forget some of these things in the demands of daily life.