A great weekend in the Bay Area with the family!
My son played in a big basketball tournament and their AAU team won the whole tournament!
It started out a little rough.
The team was not flowing well together. Everyone was playing as individuals rather than as a team.
My heart started to get a little negative about it. I could tell my frustration level was beginning to rise.
So instead of moving in the flesh and using the negative power of my words to complain ... (my previous blog), I decided to put my headphones on and to pray.
I thought .... instead of being negative about what is NOT happening - I would pray and ask God to help change things up a bit.
And He sure did!
The coach, within 20 minutes, began to talk to the kids about playing as a team. He strongly rebuked all the show off work that was happening on the court.
I also noticed that my son was also not flowing in who he was created by God to be on the court. I have seen him when he is in his groove with the Lord and I can tell when he is not.
I could see that he had not yet started "flowing" with this new team for a variety of reasons. I could see that he was constrained by various things - both spiritually and in the natural.
And because I know my son so well - I knew what they were and so, I started to pray for him.
I put my headphones on and began to worship over the team and over my son!
The Lord told me very clearly to sing the song, "God's Not Dead" by the Newsboys over him.
God wanted me to call forth (through intercession) the son who glorifies God when he plays ball.
He wanted me to declare this truth - through prayer - over the whole tournament and over my son.
And, so I did!
I was in the back row, with my head phones on, and praying for every kid in the whole tournament.
And I was praying for my son - for the God who is in him, to arise! I prayed for the things constraining him would fall off so God could be glorified through him.
After about 15 minutes of praying, my son was like a rocket that began to take off. It was so amazing to see the power of prayer at work right before my eyes! It doesn't always happen like this, but I was thrilled it did this time!
The layers that confined him started to break and he ended up scoring like 24 points in that game!
It was amazing to see how powerful intercession truly can be when it comes FROM the voice of God ... because it then comes from the will of God.
There is POWER in worship to change atmospheres.
We just need to believe it and walk in it!
Walk in the power of the living Word. Hebrews 4:12.
The Word is what God gave us as our offensive weapon against the enemy. Ephesians 6.
We must take up this weapon and use the sword given to us by the Almighty for tearing down strongholds.
Declaring the Word through worship ... will change darkness into light.
We can pray the Word, sing the Word, declare the Word, say the Word, worship the Word!
Whatever we do - we just need to open our mouths and let the Word be spoken in whatever form God is calling us to release it!
We are told in Isaiah that God's Word will never return void, it will always bear fruit and it will bring life to dry bones!
Change will happen - IF ... we choose to believe Him; who IS the Word.
"By Faith ... be it unto you"!
We must keep speaking it and keep believing it.
The KEY - is listening and partnering with God in what HE wants us to speak.
Intercession is powerful when we listen to the voice of God and do what HE is telling us to do.
God is highly strategic and He knows what is needed far more than we do in every situation.
What we don't know or understand - God does!
This is why seeking the heart and will of the Father is so important.
Jesus only did what His Father in heaven told him to do. John 12:49-50.
We need to know the Father intimately in order to discern what is on the heart of the Father.
What was SO cool this weekend - was my son - after he makes a basket - he always lifts and points his finger to God. To give Him the glory.
After each game - the players on various teams - asked him why he does that (most of the kids are non-Christians).
He got many opportunities to share Christ with others.
If Christian had been in Mexicali with everyone this week - those he shared Christ with - might not of had the chance to hear about God.
As God's church and leaders - we have to encourage people to hear the voice of God and to be where God wants them to be.
I am 100% for Mexicali - but there is a bigger issue here - and that is - we have to teach people how to live from the voice of God and to do His will.
To teach people to discern what God's will is for them and then encourage them to serve God in those places.
Because God needs people in every mission field - from Mexico to the basketball courts of Oakland, California.
Want to do ministry for God or FROM God?
The key is seeking God's Word.
The key is seeking God's will.
The key is listening to what God is asking us to do in any given situation and then stepping into bold obedience to Him.
We MUST step through the layers of fear .... and the fear of man and be willing to look foolish to man so God can be glorified.
We must learn to listen to God's voice, to the promptings of His Spirit .... and learn to discern His will through His Word as we listen ....
.... and step into what God is asking of us .... with bold obedience and the movement of His Spirit will follow!
And give ourselves grace when we don't!
At one of the games on Sunday, I was sitting behind this one player. I could tell he was really "focused" on his game.
He was waiting for his game which was playing right after my son's game.
I was praying for my son with my headphones on and listening to this song by the Newsboys. And God stopped me and told me He wanted me to pray for this kid sitting in front of me. He told me very clearly what He wanted me to pray.
I was getting a word of knowledge and the Lord REALLY wanted this kid to know how He felt about him.
I argued with the Lord for about 10 minutes as to WHY it was not the right time to share it. GEEZ! Until I simply told the Lord, "no". I was unwilling to step out in faith and respond to the Holy Spirit.
I left the game - repenting to God for my disobedience. I was afraid to look foolish in that moment and so, I missed a possible Divine moment.
I left the gym that day - deeply grieving - wondering what IF that was his last opportunity to know God?
I am not beating myself up for this - but I did repent. I asked God to forgive me for allowing my fear of man to direct the will of God in my life.
Then, I received His grace and asked Him to help me walk more boldly in the future.
This principle works in intercession as well.
Intercessors must learn to cultivate a hearing ear - they must learn to discern God's will - so that they are partnering with God's Spirit ... and not a spirit of witchcraft.
Why listen and why test what we are hearing as intercessors and/or as prophetic people?
Because we must tap into the river of God's will rather than to force our agenda or our selfish ambitions onto God or others ... through our prayers.
This is witchcraft and where there is selfish ambition we will find all sorts of evil being released into our ministries!
And as prophetic people - if we don't listen well and test well - we can partner with evil in releasing havoc into our churches, ministries and families and not even know it. This is why Godly counsel is so important even in our intercession.
I see it all the time - people partnering together in prayer for a certain cause and they are so determined they are hearing God and yet - they have no accountability, no testing to discern if what they are hearing is Godly, honoring, life-giving to those they are praying for.
This is why I am passionate about training and discipleship in the things of the Spirit. Jesus had to rebuke Peter, when Peter allowed Satan to speak though him. We need to be willing to do the same thing as God's people.
We must be willing to test and discern what is God and what is not - and be willing to say no to things that are not life-giving. Now, I am not saying in every moment we have to find 2 or 3 people to test a word like how I prayed for my son as described above.
That truth - God is in you - is an obvious one to pray.
I am talking about discerning the more complex prophetic words we get for people - we need to learn how to hold it captive to Christ.
If you don't believe me about the need for testing, discernment and accountability?
Read the book of James.
God said it, not me - "where there is selfish ambition - you will find ALL sorts of evil".
So, how do we know if we are being led by selfish motives?
How do we know and test our own hearts for this?
We know the Word and the character of God.
Witchcraft is when man is forcing his will onto God and others through control, fear or intimidation ... rather than surrendering his will into God's.
I know I am bouncing around a bit. There is just so much to ponder this Easter week and so much I have been pondering in the light of this past weekend.
The fullness of Scripture is lived out this week through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The whole of Scripture points to this event in time and the mission that resulted from it! Our mission to bring Christ to others; to make disciples and to reveal the love of God to the world.
Have a great Easter Week everyone!
What a great week to ponder ALL that Jesus died to give us!
The Good News - We are a new creation in Him!
Lord, help us to live from the new man and let the old man stay in the grave. He is better off dead and we are better off alive! God's not dead - He is fully alive in those of us - who have chosen to believe in Him! Help us to live from you, from your voice and to do the will of the Father - in every moment of every day - bringing the movement of your Holy Spirit to every life we touch. Amen.
Do you need to be encouraged this week? Feeling hopeless?
Listen to this song again!
Declare this song over your life!
Declare the Truth - God is NOT dead - and He is alive in you!
Say it again and again and again.
God is NOT Dead and He is alive in you!
He wants to touch lives through you!
Don't give up HOPE!
If you are not dead, you are not done!
It is that simple!
Play this song over and over again until your heart comes into alignment with the Truth revealed in this song!