Melissa–I want to talk about one piece that is absolute necessity in the year to come. That piece is self awareness. This may sound like a simple thing you would think comes naturally, but that is not so. We have become so self-focused that we tend to confuse the two. They are not the same. Self-focus is the Band-Aid that falls off with every raging flood. Self awareness connects the dots, and raises a standard against the flood (Isa. 59:19). Let’s look at the literal definitions of the two words. Awareness means informed, alert, knowledgeable, sophisticated. (dictionary com) Focus means a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity. As a geological term, focus means the point of origin of an earthquake. (dictionary com) Focus is narrow, where as awareness is broad. I particularly love how focus is the point of origin of an earthquake. Well, if that doesn’t just say it! Self-focus leads to personal earthquakes, and self awareness keeps us from them.
As the people of God assemble today may they look into and consider the Word of God which is the foundation of their individual lives and the role and order of the Ekklesia (the governing body of Christ). May we each realize our place in the body of Christ and work toward an orderly, essential, impacting function in this present culture and responsibly respond to the shaking of “all” things, including inadequacies and misconceptions in ourselves. Heb.12:27,TPT,”Now this phrase “once and for all” clearly indicates the final removal of things that are shaking, that is, the old order, so only what is unshakable will remain.”
A question I have heard asked repeatedly over the last few months is: “What is going on?” There is a sudden dawning upon people and nations that things are not the way they used to be while there is an underlying desire within the breast of the typical person for things to go back to the way they were in spite of the ever-present fear that they won’t. Even if you could get back to “the good old days” you would find them woefully inadequate in their revelation and application for today. Current events are not just the result of bad politics or bad politicians. They were not left in charge. An apostolic order for accommodating and advancing the Kingdom of God in the earth was the design when Jesus ascended to the right hand of Majesty on High (Acts 1:3). Things, therefore, must shake and adjust so that the church and the nations might come into correct order.
Kathy—Seeing clearly with our natural eyes is called 20/20 vision. I believe as we head further into the new year that we are in a God-planned time in history to see more clearly than ever before. I declare that understanding and clarity are coming to both physical eyes and the eyes of our soul and spirit. I truly expect keener vision and perceptivity in the months ahead that will equip us for successful and effectual days of walking out the purposes of God in our lives.
Melissa—There is a tendency in each of us to get tunnel visioned, and self-focused. Actually, it is somewhat of a plague in our western culture. There are plenty of seemingly good reasons to get this way: the down spiral of society, diseases with no names or cures, economic decline, etc. With such looming danger it is easy to see why our scope narrows to personal and family survival. The problem is this, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:3-4) He provided the cure for all of the above mentioned epidemics, and that cure is inside of us according to 2 Peter. There are pieces obviously missing in our lives if we are living by apocalyptic survival strategies daily. There are dots not connected if we are investing in Band-Aids while the cure dwells inside of us.
A big name ministry guy with a very large following on social media made a video sometime back after a couple of prophecies “didn’t come to pass” (at least in the manner and timing he thought they should have). He was making a very upset face and speaking to everyone like they were errant children while letting Christians know how embarrassed he was at the behavior of those still declaring the verity of said prophecies. He said that everyone should “just get over it and face the fact” that those prophecies weren’t true and those things weren’t going to happen.” That gentleman might should just go ahead and follow his philosophical train of thought and apply it to Abraham and Sarah. He might want to use his present agitated rule of thumb and tell them that they just need to suck it up and admit that they are barren and just get on with life and have some more Ishmaels that will complicate matters for the world and complicate nationhood for Israel even more completely. Then that videoing gentleman could march right over into the New Testament and tell Mary and Martha to just admit that Lazarus is dead, dead, dead and they just need to get on with their life because if Jesus was going to resurrect him, it would have already been done by now and certainly not on the fourth day when he is stinking. Then his point of view/opinion would most certainly instruct them to stop embarrassing the local rabbis and synagogues and just go ahead and seal up the smelly tomb so it doesn’t offend the community. In Jn.11:37 the people there were trying to tell Mary and Martha that if Jesus didn’t act within a timeframe and a manner which met their local approval that Jesus was false. However, if God doesn’t show Himself to be One who speaks and acts beyond our capacities to understand Him and all aspects of all circumstances, then He is too small and too weak to deliver His people. If every mouthy religious pundit and every verbose political pundit that comes along can know all the plans and timing of Almighty God and demand that He stick unwaveringly to them, then we will be of all people most miserable. 2Pe.3:8-9,Amp—“Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
Marty, Kathy and Melissa Gabler, Dr. Greg Crawford, Dr. Don Crum, Jim Hodges, Larry Burden. No fee to attend.
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(Kathy Gabler)—Can the Church, after this many centuries of preaching and teaching and experiencing God still have mis-beliefs and mis-understandings about Him and His Word? We don’t want to say, “Amen,” but we can say, “Evidently.” However, the good news is that as long as we are not stubbornly or fearfully determined to stop and camp out on a “someday” or “no way” or “never now”, God who is faithful intends to open our understanding of “Thy Kingdom come”. Just like yeast spreading, our understanding should be continually increasing and more and more folks should be realizing that “THY KINGDOM COME” means more than heaven “someday”. It means more than Thy Salvation come or Thy Religion come. It means more than Thy Tradition come and even more than Thy Church come! It might hit a holy nerve to realize that the Kingdom is more than the Church and that it actually encompasses the Church! The Church can be a touchy subject with us Christians because the Church cradles our concepts of Christianity. “Churchianity” provides the platform for our worship and represents God to a community. Churchianity usually defines our expectations upon God and His Word. Even so, when we pray, “Thy Kingdom come”, it can rattle Churchianity and initiate changes. In fact, we need to be aware that “Thy Kingdom come” is going to cause more radical rattles this year, both personally and corporately, because there are some NEW NORMS in the making.
Melissa—The prophetic lifestyle opens opportunities, timing, and connections. Opportunities: having the ears to hear to be at the right place at the right time for yourself and others. Timing: none of us understand the timing of God because He is working on so many levels. It takes a prophetic lifestyle to see beyond the limited vision of our normal dimensions. It can keep you sane where timing is concerned. Connection: Brings lives together for God team-ups, projects, events, etc. We were never meant to do life alone (1 Corinthians 12:20-21).
As the people of God assemble today may Holy Spirit speak to His people through their worship and the spoken Word and convince them of the surety and strong Rock they have in the unfailing Word of God. May they be encouraged and strengthened by the promises of Holy Scripture that assure them that, no matter what opposes at present, Yahweh who has kept Israel against insurmountable odds has an unbeatable plan to bring His sons/daughters through the present season and fulfill HIS design for their lives. Job 23:13-14,Msg—“But He is singular and sovereign. Who can argue with him? He does what He wants, when He wants to. He’ll complete in detail what He’s decided about me, and whatever else He determines to do.”
Occasionally someone says something or posts something disparaging toward prophets and the prophetic that had its origin in disappointment or eschatological misbelief. Does that preclude any ability of God Jehovah Almighty to turn this thing around? Except for Egyptian royalty adopting the Israelite deliverer, devoured conjured snakes, numerous plagues, a split sea and a drowned army, Israel would not have been delivered from Egypt. Those must-be factors were not listed in the original prophecy about the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. When God commissioned Moses at the burning bush (Ex.3), He warned Moses that opposition to his prophetic assignment would be powerfully opposed (v.22). So, any who may have been presuming the whole Egyptian deliverance to look like Moses would just walk in with a request and walk out after everyone had a day to pack with all the grateful, affectionate Israelites in tow were VERY upset and likely to call for an organized stoning. We don’t know all of God’s plans and workings behind the scenes as He works in people, circumstances and time. By the time He gets through, the events and the people may look far different from what we had imagined when we originally heard His word/plan. It ain’t over until God says it is over, no matter whose sensitivities are chafed. Isa.14:24,TPT—“The Lord Yahweh, Commander of Angel Armies, makes this solemn decree: “Be sure of this: Just as I have planned, so it will be. Every purpose of my heart will surely come to pass.”
Kathy—Symbols many times have a general or universal or common or typical meaning, and you can find such meanings in books, internet, etc. The Bible is a good starting place. Here’s an example, in general, snakes are not a good thing and basically symbolize a threat against the future, as did the serpent in the garden of Eden. That being established, then we pursue the specifics to know if the snake represents a person, a particular plot or plan, a deception, a devil, etc. Often, when you discover the meaning of a symbol in your own dream, it will likely have that meaning if it shows up in another dream. This is one way we learn the language of our dreams. There is no closed list on symbols because people have unique experiences in life to pull from. A rainbow could represent a promise in general but mean something dark to people of certain cultures. When Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, God had spoken about the future in symbolic pictures. The skinny cows pointed to a famine that was coming and the seven cows in his dream indicated it was coming in seven years. However, if a farmer or rancher dreams of skinny cows, it may be a warning to re-vaccinate because Hoof and Mouth disease is in the area. The number “7″ is not always going to be about years either. If you are on a search about meanings in numbers, one good resource is E.W. Bullinger’s book Numbers in Scripture. The number “7″ in his book indicates a God-completed thing. Since symbols can be specific to the setting or the message of a dream, you see why we need to develop an ear to hear the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, so we learn that Holy Spirit “click” that confirms an insight.
Melissa—Now, what is our part in this next season? Awareness. We must remember, at all times: the Kingdom of God is invading this nation. Each one of us has a piece of the Kingdom that penetrates and affects the region around us. We are going to WIN this fight. Hey, it’s not going to be pretty in the months ahead, but no matter what you see, hear, or face, it has no effect on what God has set in motion. After all, He has the last word! If you feel worried, afraid, or uneasy that’s your clue you are plugged into the wrong advisors. You may need to turn the TV off during this season in order to stay plugged into God’s agenda. Make sure you keep the air cleared in your vicinity. One great way of doing that is upping your prayer in tongues. Talk about an air purifier! Speaking in tongues is a beautiful weapon from Heaven for such a time as this.
“Sanctify” means “separate yourself.” Get rid of the things that are extra, added weight. Get rid of the things that are not the image of Christ. Let go of attitudes that don’t fit Kingdom thinking. Elders, deacons, bishops and presbyters won’t be able to help you on this one because none of us have been this way before. (Cf. Josh 10:14 and there was no day like that before it or after it.) I heard a speaker say, “The Lord of life leaves enough mystery to be intrusive, disruptive and surprising in order that He might shatter our tendencies to predictability; and yes even boredom. Saints die of many things but to die of boredom is an insult to the God of an ever-expanding glory.” Though some of us desperately long for the routine of our lives to be radically changed, long for the condition of our nation to be totally changed, we are disturbed and consequently resistant when confronted with the acts of God’s power which are required to change them. (According to Jesus, Lazarus had to be in the tomb for four days for the purposes of God before he could be resurrected. Jn.11:4-7) In order for God to radically change the present state of our lives, we must allow Him to forcefully break in upon us. (Nahum 1:3) “…the Lord hath His way in the whirlwind”. That means that we will not escape the Whirlwind.
Kathy—How do we know if a dream is symbolic? Sometimes, it is definitely obvious right up front that a dream is not literal, like if your cat is driving your car. (And no matter how smart your cat is, cats can’t get a driver’s license!) On a side note, symbols may be personal because of how they fit in your experiences and frame of reference. Case in point, if I dreamed a cat was driving my car, that would be a clear telegram for me that I am being soul-led rather than Spirit-led because a strong mindset is driving my thinking and behavior. I would know that because in my symbols discoveries through the years, cats represent strong mindsets, preset opinions and intense attitudes. However, a cat can represent something completely different to other people, like cats may represent companionship or home security because they kill mice, etc. So symbolism begs the question: ‘How do you narrow down what a symbol means in a dream?’ The answer is that you develop an ear to hear a Holy Spirit “click” that turns the light on in your understanding and confirms the correct thinking.
Melissa — If dreaming has not been an exciting concept for a while due to experience and our current state, just know your Father would have you to start dreaming again. Dreaming in the middle of this moment may sound counterproductive and silly, but it may be exactly what you need to move forward. What does dreaming look like? I honestly don’t know. I am working on that myself. I do believe it has something to do with looking ahead and letting passion, desire and creativity fill in the blanks. I also believe a dream crosses over into the realm of idealism when it becomes a fixed picture with no moving parts. Dreams are fluid and allow the Great Inspirer to add the elements needed for them to become real life. Maybe allow yourself to open up to the possibility of wide-eyed dreaming and see what might happen. We can’t allow victimhood to stifle us out of living with all that is possible in the God with Whom nothing is impossible (Matt.19:26;Lk.1:37;Phil.4:13). “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23) “Thou will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) (5 of 5)
As the people of God assemble today may the heavy garments of burdens and opposition fall away like the fall leaves fall away from the trees. May the Lord’s people be refreshed in His presence and the fellowship of the saints and move forward into the new year rested with the strength that only Jehovah can give. Matt.11:28-30,TPT—“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. 29 Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. 30 For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”
May the Lord grant that seasons of weariness and relentless opposition over your life break and dissipate like the morning mist and may the breaking and dissipation continue all through the year. “But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, TRIUMPH OVER OPPOSITION] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.” (Isa.54:17, Amp)
Kathy—Literal means “real with no hidden meanings and nothing to be de-coded”. Symbolic means “not real” and a detail represents something other than itself. If you dream there are birds all over your roof and it is symbolic, the birds aren’t really birds but they represent something else in the air or atmosphere or surroundings. Landing on your roof top or your high place would be your head and/or mind. So the message would be to guard your mind and thinking from something in the atmosphere trying to land and have presence or influence in you. A further search for possibilities of what birds could symbolize would be the next step, and then consideration of those options until a meaning clicks with you or bears witness and brings clarity to the dream. For example, when I think of birds being symbolic, my first thought is a bird can represent gossip, as in “a little bird told me.” If your co-workers or neighbors or family are really into gossip, then perhaps the dream is a heads-up to be on guard so that gossip doesn’t get into your thinking and opinions and cause you trouble. This is an illustration also of how a simple dream can be powerful equipping when we understand the information being passed on to us.
Melissa—Basically, we can miss the mark easily because all of the grooming, training, guidance, experience and cultivation it takes to fulfill the will of God in our lifetime is nowhere in the type of religious and cultural idealisms that form a picture of destiny according to our current understanding of Who God is. We have no way of knowing the intricacies God works in to establish His Kingdom on this earth through us. Our minds can’t comprehend that kind of detail. That kind of detail takes the entirety of our existence to manifest. Here’s the other thing, because Father is so intricate it is frustratingly contradictory to live in constant fear of falling off of His path. If He is that intricate, how in the world can we fall off His path that easily? An intricate God makes a wide path, and He knows our struggles with human nature. He’s not afraid so we shouldn’t be. He, of course, provides a way back, IF that’s even what is going on! You, I, we may simply be right in the middle of a transition of a lifetime, but we are listening to the ignorant voice of idealism saying, “you messed up”. But I offer this instruction from the Bible: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Less is more. Simple is wise. This year we have entered into is a great year to allow Holy Spirit to give weight to our words to help and edify people who are desperately looking for solace and solutions. We are going to find that the simplest things the Lord inspires us to say to someone are going to be the most powerful. You are the bearer of His Spirit, of His Living Word. Those words will be of the Lord and they will impact that person or persons and then they will walk away from us carrying something they did not have before we spoke the simple truth of God’s Word and God’s heart. Prayers and declarations do not have to be complicated. Just get out in the moment what needs to get into the atmosphere. ”What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear, proclaim on the housetops.” (Matt.10:27)
Kathy—Coming into the new year we would be wise to make decisions based in the Word of God, the wisdom of God. If we go to God for a deposit of His peace and wisdom, we can make a choice that contradicts our feelings. That doesn’t mean you are giving up strategy and resolve, it means you’re just choosing not to stay upset while it comes. To stay upset is to choose death because your body will suffer, relationships will suffer and “emotional reactions” will become king in the house and set an atmosphere that draws more upset.
Melissa—When I wrestled with a sense of victimhood, sometime back, I had to find peace in the fact that God is right in the middle of whatever is going on right now. And as I think of that time period, it leads me to a recent conversation with two very dear friends that are in intense battles of their own. We were catching up on the latest with each other when I started telling them about a meeting I recently had with a cherished voice in my life. In my conversation with this person she told me that it was time for me to dream again, and dream big (she was talking about dreaming about the future). I shared this with my friends and I could see that it hit them like it hit me. Dreaming has not been an exciting concept for a while for any of the three of us due to experience and our current state. We began to talk about what dreaming looks like and began to realize some things. The three of us have all grown up in church and are the types who truly want to stay right in the middle of the will of God. While that is not a bad thing it can take an extreme turn that you don’t even realize until you hit moments like this. The extreme comes when you have done all you know to do to be in God’s will (albeit stumbling through it), but you hit a rough patch and all you can figure is you made one bad decision that put you in this current situation. The extreme part of it is the “witch hunt” for what you did wrong so you can call it by name, repent and hopefully get back on God’s path for your life… if it’s not too late. The extreme is based in idealism. My friends and I realized that for the most part we really don’t know what it means to “dream big” because we have been operating in “sweet little Christian girl” idealisms for our lives. These type of idealisms form a picture of destiny according to our current understanding of Who God is and how He works filtered through our family, religious culture and nation’s cultures and traditions. And yet, our Father has intentionally put in place all the intricacies He works in to establish His Kingdom on this earth through us. (Part 3 of 6)
As the people of God assemble today may they not forget their godly heritage, the Word of God they were taught, nor their prayer times around altars stained with tears of conviction and repentance; the altars where life dedications were made and where the Spirit of Almighty God gripped their hearts and their family members’ hearts and their peers’ hearts. And may they lead coming generations to those experiences that have strengthened us and filled us with His Spirit, His faith, His hope and a righteous fear of Mighty God so that we all might keep standing and keep believing through whatever the times, the world throws at us. We are overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Rev.2:3-5,Amp–“…you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me]. 5 So remember the heights from which you have fallen, and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will] and do the works you did at first [when you first knew Me]; otherwise, I will visit you and remove your lampstand (the church, its impact) from its place—unless you repent.”