The Shepherd’s Voice 8.29.16

I was preaching at a church that I have been to before, so they know me quite well and enjoy the message of the Lord I bring. The Pastor trusts me so much, he invited me to speak, while he was out of state. At the end of my message, I could sense that the sheep in this congregation were not hearing some of the things I was saying, even though they were directly out of the Scriptures. The Lord spoke to me and said, “they know how to hear their pastor’s voice but they don’t know how to hear Mine, so they see you as a strange voice to them”.

As I have been thinking about this statement the Lord spoke to me, I have come to realize that men who are shepherds of congregations have taught their sheep (people) to hear their voice, but not the Shepherd and Overseer of their souls voice (1 Peter 2:24-25). John 10 says that My sheep will hear My voice and a strangers voice they will not follow, unfortunately what we have in the church today is people that have heard their pastor’s voice for so long, that when the Lord wants to speak to His sheep, they cannot hear His voice, because they think it is a stranger’s voice, so they do not follow. As shepherds of God’s sheep, we are called to teach them how to hear, obey and follow God’s voice, not ours.

This to me is just more evidence of the biblically illiterate church system in which we are living in. We quote verses like John 10:10 saying, “the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy…” but that is not what the Bible says, it says, “the thief”, not the devil and if you read verses 1 through 10 you know that the thief is a false teacher, not the devil. So, our shepherds have taught us the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but the devil is not even mentioned in this passage. This is just one of the many scriptures that we quote, because we have been taught them by our shepherd’s voice and so when the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls speaks, we resist it, reject it and won’t believe it, because it is contrary to what our shepherd has taught us.

It is imperative that we have a Biblical Reformation. We are being defeated not by the devil, but because of our ignorance. Biblically illiterate people have no infrastructure to even know what voice is God’s and what voice is man’s. We have spent so long letting man’s voice tell us what is truth, we are not even able to hear God’s voice when it is speaking to us, for it sounds foreign to us. But thanks be to God, He is releasing word warriors, who rightly divide the word of truth, who are not looking for twitter followers, You Tube subscribers or Facebook friends, they are wanting to train, equip and deploy a generation to know the voice of the Shepherd and Overseer of their souls. They are not seeking personal fame, fortune or glory, they are living a laid down life, for they are the friends of God (John 15).

I see brand new bible schools being established that are more like training centers than manufacturing plants; I see apostolic centers arising that resource those who are doing the work of ministry all over their city, state and region; I see stadiums filled with people hungry to know the truth; I see healings breaking out on every street and corner; I see lovers of God and lovers of people advancing the kingdom of God; I see people who are passionate, not promiscuous; immovable not immoral; unshakable not undecided; who are faithful not floundering. I see the Bride of Christ rising on the earth with one voice, one heart, one passion, one Husband (Jesus Only) and I see the world looking to her saying, who is that? All because they learned to hear the Shepherd’s voice.

Seeding the Atmosphere

Have you ever been in church and knew you had a word from God for that moment, but there was no room given to speak forth that word in this current system we call church? Have you ever wanted to grab the microphone and share something the Lord was showing you, knowing it would be a blessing to the church? Have you ever followed the proper protocol to submit the word to the leadership, but that word was not allowed to be released from the microphone for whatever reason? For prophetic people this happens quite often. For people that can hear the voice of God, they hear Him a lot in worship, and rightfully so, for Paul said, “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up” (1 Corinthians 14:26, NIV). So, there is biblical precedence for your word being spoken, unfortunately, more often than not, there is no room for it, so what do you do? Many prophetic people have gotten offended because they have not been given the microphone to speak their prophetic word and because of that offense, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Proverbs 18:19, NKJV). Many prophetic people have left the church, so the church is without a prophetic voice. But in this hour, God is restoring the prophetic voice to the church!

One of the things God has been doing with His apostles, prophets and teachers in this past season is training them in righteousness. This training has been taking place on the back side of the desert, in the secret place, in the caves and crevices where no one can see you or hear you, publicly. The Lord has been healing both religious and relationship wounds in His emerging leaders. The Lord has been developing their character and in a word making them mature. The reason for this long season of maturing His rising leaders is because according to Ephesians 4:11-13 “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (NASB). As a leader you will make people who are like you, so if you are not mature, the people who look to you as a leader will not become mature, because they become who you are not what you say. Therefore, God is calling us to maturity, that is why His emerging leaders needed to mature, so they can lead the Body of Christ into maturity.

Now back to the prophets, God is releasing mature prophets back into the church, but most people, if not all people have no idea the function you are fulfilling, but you do. So, as the Lord speaks to you, giving you a word to speak in that moment, if there is no room for you to share that word from the microphone, we need to remember that as prophets our words carry authority and that authority is not increased or diminished by the microphone, it is only amplified. Therefore, speak the word God gave you, even if you are not given a microphone, speak it into the atmosphere in prayer, your words are powerful, they are seeding the atmosphere. When you seed the atmosphere with what God is saying, someone else will say what you seeded into the atmosphere because your words are full of authority. It takes maturity to not need to get the credit for a word God gave you. Maturity is knowing that the word is from God not from you, so if you have to seed the atmosphere in prayer, because there is no room on the microphone, it does not change the truth that God’s word is going to be spoken and He is going to get the glory. This is how prophetic people can stay in the church without getting offended, they must remember the word did not originate with them, so it does not matter who amplifies it. Seed the atmosphere with your prophetic words, speak them out, even if people can’t hear them, the atmosphere does and God will get the glory. You carry authority, your words have power, speak prophet speak, even if your words are not amplified, you are still seeding the atmosphere.

Dream Trip

On July 1, 2016 I had a dream, where I saw a swimming pool full of people laughing, splashing and enjoying one another. It was a grand and great celebration, then I hear in a loud voice, in my dream, Western Arkansas. The sound of the voice was so loud it woke me out of my sleep. I immediately went to my computer to find out what is in Western Arkansas. You see this year; I have been “re-digging the wells” per a command from God out of Genesis 26. This command has brought me to many places around our nation, so I had a thought that this was a call to a well I did not know existed, little did I know how significant this dream trip was going to be. I found out that in 1914 the Assemblies of God had their first General Council meeting in Hot Springs, AR (Western Arkansas), so now I knew what city I was headed to.
With a date set for this trip, a rental car and hotel reserved, I was nearing the time to go on this trip, so I emailed the World Headquarters of the Assembly of God in search of an address for the location of this first General Council meeting. I sent this email on Saturday August 6, 2016, 11 days before I was going to leave for this dream trip. On Sunday August 7, 2016, I had another dream, this one was about storm clouds I saw rolling in, so I ran into a building up to the 2nd floor bathroom, looked out the window and saw a pueblo below with people hanging around. I look to my left out of this window and see the flood waters coming down the hill, they hit the pueblo and create a wave. I realize I need to leave this building, for the rain is coming. I run downstairs to a porch located on the front of this building. I see many friends from high school on the porch, so I check the stability of the poles holding up the patio. I realize they are loose, due to the number of people on the patio, so I leave that location and take off running down the street. I run to a parking garage, get up the second floor, look outside and see the flood waters coming down the street below, but know I am safe in this parking garage. I am not afraid, just making sure I am secure. I hear a voice that says, in my dream, “Did I not tell you there is going to be an abundance of rain?” End of 2nd dream.
Monday morning, August 8, 2016 I get a phone call from the Archive Department at the World Headquarters of the Assembly of God church in Springfield, MO, the lady says, I got your email about wanting an address for the location of the first General Council meeting for the Assemblies of God church. I said, yes ma’am I sure do. She said, the address is 200 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR, there is a plaque in the cement on the sidewalk to show this was the location of which used to be a Grand Opera House, but that building has since been torn down and now there is a parking garage. She went on to say, I hope that does not disappoint you, I said, no ma’am that actually excites me. She said, alright, enjoy your trip. I said, I sure will.
I got off the phone and wept like a baby, what kind of God do I serve, that He would give me two dreams with such specific details. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by the goodness and love of God, as well as super excited for this trip. So, on Wednesday August 17, 2016, I drove down to Hot Springs, AR and found the parking garage, which is in the picture with the plaque on the ground in front of it. I got to this dark, dingy, beer bottle, vodka bottle and dusty cars holding parking garage. I went to the second floor and declared that healing waters will flow again, that the well of revival that was birthed in this place will be re-opened and that America and the nations will experience a might healing revival like we have never seen before in our short history as a nation. I prayed, I sang, I declared and I cried as I was led step by step to this very location.
When I sensed I did what I was brought there to do, I stepped foot out from under that parking garages roof and it began to rain. I cried again, I not only have heard the sound of the abundance of rain in the spirit, I have seen it in the natural and I felt like the Lord said, when I walked out of that garage, “IT HAS BEGUN!” I walked up and down that historic street in the rain, looking at places that used to be, dreaming about what was coming. All I could sing while walking in the rain for over an hour was, Let It Rain, Let It Rain, Open the Floodgates of Heaven, Let it Rain! This was my dream trip to Western Arkansas and I will never be the same again.

Exploring New

When you say you want something new, do you mean you want a brand new version of what you already have or do you want something completely brand new? I guess that depends on what you are talking about. I was in the car driving, meditating on what do we mean when we say we want revival? Are we asking God to make what we currently have, brand new? Or do we really want something new? And when we ask the Lord for something new, what does He think of when He thinks of something new? I know for people that don’t like to think deeply about things, this will be trivial, but for us who are serious about being leaders in the emerging future, we must ask these kinds of questions.
I turned to my 8-year old son, in the midst of this thought process and said, if I say I want a new phone, holding my iPhone 4s in my hand, am I asking for a brand new iPhone 4s or am I asking for a newer version of the iPhone? He said, of course you don’t want a brand new iPhone 4s, you want a brand new iPhone 7. Then he said, why are you asking me this? So, I told him, because when we ask for something new, do we really know what we are asking for? He just stared at me like I was weird, but I think the Lord is probing many of his leaders with this question right now. What exactly are you asking for? Do you want the same version of what you have, but just make it brand new, like it was when we first made it, or do you want something you have never seen before?
If I say I want to buy a new house, I am not saying, I want someone to rebuild my exact house, so I can have the same thing, just brand new. I am saying I love the house I am in, but I am ready for a new house, maybe I need more space, a different location, or just something completely different. We understand what we mean when we speak of things in the natural like cars, houses and phones, but when it comes to asking God to make us new, do we know what we are asking for? 2 Corinthians 5:17, says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV). God does not give us a brand new version of our old self, He makes us into something brand new, something never seen before. Then in Revelation 21:5 we read, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (NIV).
I think God is making things new, new like we have not seen before, new like an upgraded version with features we have yet to see, new like you are going to love all the new features I added to the latest version, I think He is making all things new, but we are resisting the new, because we prefer the old. Luke 5:38-39 says, “No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better” (NIV). I think many people want a brand new version of the old, but Jesus is releasing something completely brand new, that has never been seen before. People can feel it, they know there is a paramount change taking place, so they are hanging on to the old because they believe the old is better. But, He is God and does not need your permission or mine to bring something brand new to our planet. Just like in the days of Jesus the old will still operate in their old patterns, but the new is about to come on the scene, so people have an alternative option, because they know the old is not working, but the new has not arrived yet.
I don’t know for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion just like the new iPhone 7 is going to have a brand new operating system that will not work on any version earlier than the iPhone 6, I think God is releasing a brand new operating system that is not going to work in the older versions of how to do life in the kingdom. God is releasing an upgrade that is going to stir more buzz than anything Steve Jobs released and it is going to cause people to wait in line to get their hands on what God is about to release. It is going to be brand new, a surprise like none of us could have imagined, and it is going to reverberate throughout the nations of the world. I don’t know about you, but I am leaning into the emerging future, by exploring new.

Take the Land

In the Old Testament, Israel was commanded to take the physical land of Canaan and all the other lands the Lord was giving to them as their inheritance. Each tribe was given a section of land that was designated as theirs. They had to conquer kingdoms, fight giants, tear down walls and keep advancing in order to take the land that Yahweh was giving to them. The Lord even went as far as to say, wherever your foot treads, that land will be yours (Deuteronomy 11:24/Joshua 1:3). So, Israel marched in and took over land from other peoples who were enemies of Israel and were squatting on land that belonged to Israel, for the Psalmist tells us, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” (Psalm 24:1, NIV). But when Jesus came to the earth, there was a significant change that took place, but that many, if not most have missed it.

In John 2, Jesus is having a discussion with some Jews after He turned over tables in the temple and this is what Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body” (NIV). Jesus makes a significant shift in understanding from the temple being brick and mortar to the temple being His body, He now was the temple. Then Paul takes the thought one step further when he says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cor. 6:19, NLT). So, there is a shift that takes place from that which used to be outside of them to it being inside of them.

As New Testament believers everything that Israel obtained in the natural or outside of them, like land, like defeating of enemies, like building temples, all of these things are what the Lord has placed inside of us. Think about this for a minute, Jesus prayed in Matthew 6, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. Who is the earth Jesus is referencing? Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7 that we have this treasure in earthen vessels. Is it possible, Jesus was praying that the kingdom of God would advance inside of us, that God is seeking to take ground in our hearts, in our lives, not in the earth, but in people? Think about this for a minute, Christ in you is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), then from what direction is the Lord seeking to advance His kingdom, outside of you or inside of you? Where is your real battle, is it outside of you or inside of you? James says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (James 3:16, NIV). James, Paul, Jesus all say that everything is inside of us.

The land the Lord is calling us to take is inside of us, not outside of us. The battles we face are not outside of us, they are inside of us and inside of others. The only way anything is outside of us is if it comes out of our mouths (Luke 6:45) or our actions. The fruit of the spirit is inside of you, the spirit of God is inside of you, the kingdom of God is inside of you. Everything you need is inside of you, but it all starts with you allowing the Lord to advance the kingdom of God within you. Many people are not successful, not effective, not because they have not had a door open, or an opportunity arise, but because they have resisted the advancing of the kingdom of God in you. 3 John 2 says, “May you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers” (NIV). The land the Lord is trying to take is inside of you, so who controls how much land is taken, you do. Let Jesus, Take the land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I AM Shuffling the Deck

When you buy a brand new deck of cards, they come color coordinated. All the hearts are together, all the diamonds are together, all the spades are together and all the clubs are together. Even the hearts and the diamonds are next to one another and the spades and the clubs are all side by side in a brand new deck of cards. There is something about us as human beings that likes to be around people who have the same color as us. To take it a step further, we tend to be suspicious of people who are of a different color than us. So, this prophetic word God gave me about a month ago has finally made sense to me, God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.”

Revelation 12:7-12, says, And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

Did you know the Greek word for accuser is kategoros, which is where we get the English word, categories? The enemy, the devil, Satan himself seeks to bring division by putting us into categories. Black or white; rich or poor; slave or free; spiritual or sinner; Democrat or Republican; Baptist or Pentecostal; leader or laity; the number of categories that we have been placed into us beyond naming, and the goal of categories from the enemy, the accusers standpoint is so we are divided. Division is the goal of the enemy and what we are seeing on the earth right now is the highlighting of categories or can I say division.

God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.” When we rise up in anger based on injustices we see, the enemy, the accuser is right there to egg us on to strengthen the categories. If the media highlights a mistake that Trump makes, the categorically Hillary supporters jump on the band wagon and character assault Trump, if Clinton and the DNC fire someone, then the enemy eggs on the Republicans to reinforce the belief that Democrats are not trustworthy. Now, if you are not a Christian, these divisions, party lines, attacks on one another, in many ways is to be expected, because the god of this world has blinded the eyes of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). But as believers, as Christians, as people who claim to be in the light, we should have eyes to see the scheme of the enemy who is seeking to put us in a category and divide us as people.

God is shuffling the deck not just on the streets of America, not just in companies around this country, not just in politics but He is shuffling the deck in the church, which if we were honest is the most categorically divisive place on the earth. What we are beginning to see and will see more so in the days to come is black preachers speaking in white churches, white preachers speaking in black churches and women preaching in every church. God is shuffling the deck and the church is not going to be exempt. Leadership teams are going to be including women and men, black and white leaders, young and old, all serving together, all leading together. The revival that is coming is multigenerational, multiethnic and multi-gender, because as Paul said, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are ALL one in Christ” (Galatians 3:28).

The reason the church has very little voice in the racial challenges our nation is facing, minimal authority in the political arena or in the streets of our cities, is not because we lack authority given from Jesus (Matthew 28:18); not because we do not have the truth (John 8:32); but because we are just as categorically divided as they are and Jesus said in Matthew 12:22-28, a house that is divided cannot stand. God said, “I Am shuffling the deck.” Kenneth Copeland said just the other day at his SW Believers Conferences, “thus saith the Lord, nothing is going to look like it has looked, a change is coming that is going to be so different than anything we have ever seen.” So, God is the I AM and He is shuffling the deck!

Out of Order

On Periscope @lisagreat
On the bathroom door at our church, there is a sign on one of the stalls that says, OUT OF ORDER, in big bold letters. This sign is meant to let people know that this stall is inoperable at this time. It is not that it will never work again, or that it is damaged beyond repair, but to inform those who come in the bathroom, that this one stall is out of order. No one is mad at the stall, saying, I will never use that stall again, or that somehow this church has issues because there is one stall that is out of order. Common sense tells the reader, this stall is unable to function according to design at this time, but will be back in operation as soon as it is fixed.
This sign caught my attention on Sunday after church, because, the Lord has been speaking to me about order and how many people are living lives that are out of order. What He has been showing me is that when we are out of order, we are ineffective, we are not producing based on design and even though we hope no one notices, others often see that we are out of order even before we do. So, what I am sensing is we need to admit to ourselves, the Lord and others that we are out of order.
1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.…” Then James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail.” Finally, 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 says, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Because people are living lives that are out of order, our nation is out of order and the nations are out of order for people make up nations. So, if we want to see a change in our nations, we need to start with something changing in us. I am hearing a lot of people talk about the problems in our nations, there is a lot of blaming going on as to why things are the way they are right now, but I believe we need to take a look at our life and realize we are out of order, that is our family is out of order, our city is out of order, our money is out of order, our health is out of order, our nation is out of order. The issue is not global, national or even local before it is individual. We have a corporate problem, yes, but it is because we have individual problems that come together and reveal a national problem.
So, what do we do, I believe as believers in Jesus Christ we need a chiropractic adjustment from the Chief Cornerstone. We are out of plumb line (Amos 7) individually, so the first order of business is for me, is for you to return to the Lord. We must repent of our lifestyle that has compromised the word of God; we must repent of living self-centered lives; we must repent of our disobedience; because disobedience to the word of God what got us out of order and obedience to the word of God is what will bring us back into order.
Many men and women who are in pulpits and have platforms today are crying out for fresh voices to arise, not because we need more preachers, but because we need new preachers, ones who can bring the old truths of the gospel in a fresh way. We must go back to the foundation of faith in order to get back into order. This may mean, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to do a spiritual detox of choices of movies, music, and spending habits; we may need the Lord to convict us of the way we treat other people with our words and attitudes, especially those that live with us; we may need Jesus Himself, the lover of our souls to create in us a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit in us (Psalm 51).
Ladies and gentlemen, you can try to act like it’s not true, but the reality is, we are out of order and God is bringing a reformation of truth to put us back in order. He wants us to produce fruit of righteousness, live in safety and peace again, and experience the presence and power of God in our lives, our families, our churches and our nation again. We may be out of order right now, but it is temporary, for the Great Physician is on the way to heal our lives, if we will surrender, not resist His way of putting us back in order.