How to Receive Strategies and Blueprints from the Holy Spirit

In 2001, the mission agency my husband and I was involved with was in transition and we found ourselves in a financial crisis. I wrote in my diary, ‘we’re in one of the most difficult seasons ever.’

One night when my husband was out at a meeting and my children were asleep in bed, I got down on my knees. I was crying out to God about what was happening in our missions ministry. Suddenly, while on my knees praying, I saw in my mind’s eye some diagrams. They clearly explained the changes affecting our organisation.

I got up off my knees, found some paper, drew the pictures that I’d seen and sat up late writing notes from them.

Those diagrams described a paradigm shift taking place in the way local churches approached missions, and they helped turn our ministry around. Wherever my husband Malcolm and I went, and we showed the diagrams to pastors and leaders, their response was electrified. ‘That’s it! That’s what’s on our hearts!’

That insight—described in pictures and given by the Holy Spirit—contributed to the turn-around of our New Zealand ministry, and was instrumental in moving us here to Australia—into God’s new season for our lives! [1]

Supernatural Strategies and Blueprints

We often pray and ask God for guidance; for direction. For where to go. But there are times when He wants to add to that. He has made available strategies and blueprints that describe not only our destination, but also how to get where we’re going. We simply need to ask.

One definition of a blueprint is, ‘a guide for making something — a design or pattern that can be followed.’ [2]

Our Father is saying, ‘Will you believe and ask Me to give you supernatural strategies, and blueprints—patterns and designs? Will you seek Me for wisdom? I long to give you so much more than you’ve received up until now.’

The Power of an Anointed Strategy

In Genesis 41, Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s prophetic dream—that seven years of plenty in the land are going to be followed by seven years of famine.

Joseph doesn’t stop with the interpretation—he boldly follows it with an anointed strategy for how Pharaoh can manage the situation and save the nation.

And Pharaoh asks, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the Spirit of God?’ (Gen 41:38). He then puts Joseph in charge of the project!

One anointed strategy from God is powerful; it can even save nations.

God’s Wisdom may not Make Earthly Sense

In 2 Kings 4, a widow cries out to the Prophet Elisha because she is in debt. He doesn’t give her money—he gives her an anointed strategy from the Holy Spirit that uses a resource she already has on hand. ‘Go get as many empty jars as you can, pour your oil and keep on pouring—sell the oil.’

Here’s the thing about strategies from Heaven. Sometimes God’s wisdom may not make earthly sense. And maybe no one has articulated it this way before—but God is giving you a strategy that’s a ‘now’ blueprint for the new thing He’s doing.

  • It’s supernatural wisdom
  • It’s a Heavenly solution to your earthly problem

Now is the time to believe God and be open to receive a strategy that will bring glory to God because Jesus is the only explanation for what people see taking place.

How do you receive a strategy from God? Simply believe, ask, listen, and record.

The strategy may come in a dream, in a prophetic word, in a picture, or in a moment of practical but God-breathed wisdom insight—so be open to the many ways God can speak to you.

Right now the Holy Spirit is stirring us, and He’s saying, ‘Will you believe and ask Me not only for direction, but also the strategy, the ‘how’ of getting there?’

Be encouraged by these words of James:

‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.'(James 1:5)

[1] My husband Malcolm was National Director of a mission organisation called Asian Outreach from 1995 – 2002 in New Zealand and 2002 – 2004 in Australia. We also served for seven years prior to that, in a voluntary capacity.
[2] Source:

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© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family

5 Steps to Receiving a Word from God (from the life of Habakkuk)

At times when you, or others around you, are facing life’s challenges, receiving a word from God can bring great comfort.

Here are some thoughts from the story and example of the Prophet Habakkuk, to help you receive your own word from God for yourself and others in times of need.

How to Receive a Word from God

1. Position Yourself to Hear from God

‘I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts’ (Hab 2:1a)

Habakkuk used the imagery of going to a fortress, a place positioned above and apart from the everyday activities of the city, to wait on God in a secure place. This also represented his position as prophet, hearing from God for the nation of Judah.

In times of trial or distress, God Himself is your refuge and your fortress; a safe strong place. (Psalm 91:2)

When you desire to hear from God, then like Habakkuk, be intentional about being positioned in such a way that you can hear His voice.

  • The first place to go is to Scripture—as you read and meditate on God’s Word, allow the Holy Spirit to minister a fresh word to your personally
  • You may have a regular place where you pray and meet with God
  • Be open to the Holy Spirit’s call to take special times apart when you need to hear a word from God

2. Take your Problems and Questions (and those of others) to God

‘I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.’ (Hab 2:1b)

Communication in a relationship is two-way, involving both talking and listening. The book of Habakkuk records the prophet’s discussions with God.

Habakkuk’s conversation with God was raw, honest and authentic. He did not hold back when he had questions and complaints. Sometimes we feel that we can only go to God once we are already uplifted in our faith, forgetting that He longs to do that for us!

God is your help, your strength and your comforter—and He can only be those things to you as you take your pain to Him.

It was only as Habakkuk asked the difficult questions that he could foresee Judah crying out during the future trials, that He was able to hear of God’s plans for the coming redemption.

The name ‘Habakkuk’ means ‘embrace’, or ‘to hold close’ (Strongs 2265), and because the prophet allowed God to fully minister to him, he was in turn able to supply the comfort and encouragement of God to a nation.

‘But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.’ (1 Cor 14:3)

3. Go on a Journey with God

‘How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?’ (Hab 1:2)

Your communications with God and your conversations with Him, will be a journey. Hearing from God is not like taking aim and hitting a target or bullseye. The heart of God responds to those who seek Him—and that takes time.

Don’t be content with a small snippet, or piece of revelation, when God desires to speak more to you.

Learn from Habakkuk, who went on a journey, complaining, crying out, conversing, waiting and listening until he reached a place of faith and heard all that God had to say to him.

Habakkuk’s journey throughout this small book is one where he progresses from a viewpoint of desperation, to one of trust and victory. The last chapter of Habakkuk is directed as a Psalm set to music.  It inspires those listening to hope in God despite the circumstances.

‘The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.’ (Hab 3:19)

4. Pay Attention to the Unique Way God Speaks to you

‘I will look to see what he will say to me.’ (Hab 2:1)

Habakkuk used visionary language to describe how he listened to God. For those of us who are seers and visionaries, listening to God also means watching.

God is Spirit, and has many ways to communicate. Take into account your gift and the unique way you connect with God.

Be open to receiving impressions from the Holy Spirit and dig deeply into God’s Word.

5. Record what God is saying

‘Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”’ (Hab 2:2)

As with Habakkuk, there are times when a message from God is prophetic and concerns His intention and His future outcome. As you record a communication from God—whether it is a prophetic insight, a dream, Scripture or Word, it gives clarity in the journey, both for yourself and others you may minister to.

Having a written or audio record of your word from God gives you something tangible to celebrate.

Glory is given to God when it comes to pass.

Recording what God is saying allows you to pray about it, weigh it up and if it goes beyond general encouragement, to submit the word to oversight for confirmation (1 Cor 14:29, 1 Thess 5:19-21). Accountability gives us security in our journey of learning to hear God’s voice.

Finally, as Habakkuk reminds us, the ultimate test of a word from God is whether or not that word comes true.

‘For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.’ (Hab 2:3)

In preparing for this study, I read Habakkuk in different translations and also listened to Habakkuk several times using an audio Bible App. I mention this because I encourage you to do the same as you study God’s Word. Take time to connect fully with what He is saying and also to be further enriched by discovering what is happening in the background culturally and historically.
My favourite websites, used in this Bible study, are and
I found this commentary on Habakkuk chapter one insightful:

Has this teaching on how to receive a word from God encouraged you today? I would love to hear about it in the blog comments section, or on Facebook or Instagram. If the blog comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.

Related Posts:

10 Ways You Can Hear God’s Voice

4 Life Lessons from the Prophet Ezekiel

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family

3 Simple (Yet Powerful) Keys To Hearing God’s Voice

Hearing God's VoiceThree times the young boy Samuel heard a voice calling his name, and each time he ran to Priest Eli in response. Finally Eli realised that it was God calling the boy. He gave Samuel some simple instructions:

“Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” (1 Sam 3:9)

The story of how young Samuel first heard God’s voice, and how his prophetic ministry was launched, provides some important keys for us today:

1. Develop the Awareness of God Speaking to You

When God first began speaking to Samuel, the boy did not know that God was the source of the voice.

We also need to awaken to the fact that God is speaking to us and be expectant to hear from Him.

We read, ‘In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.’ (1 Sam 3:1) That is not the case today. You have the Holy Spirit within you, communicating what is on the Father’s heart. God delights in sharing His thoughts and intentions with you.

Perhaps God is communicating more than you have previously been aware of. He is stirring your faith to receive more.

Psalm 139:17-18 says, ‘How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!’ (In the NIV footnote it reads: ‘how amazing are your thoughts concerning me!’) ‘Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.’

The picture is one of a constant stream of personal thoughts towards you, from God. It could be likened to ‘live streaming’ on the Internet—a constant flow of communication.

Many people have a scarcity mindset when it comes to hearing God’s voice. But you can develop the awareness that God is speaking to you continually and that He wants you to hear what He is saying, because He loves you.

‘For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he does.’ (John 5:20a)

2. Position Yourself to Listen to God

In our home, we have difficulty with mobile phone (cell phone) reception. In order to speak to someone using our mobile phone, we have to locate a spot in our house where there is one or two bars of signal, and prop the phone up on a shelf to have a conversation.

Positioning to hear God’s voice can be like that. The Holy Spirit is continually communicating what is on Father’s heart, but we may not be tuned in. We have to position ourselves internally to listen. Remember, God was already speaking to Samuel, but the boy had to put himself in the place to hear God.

Like Samuel, you can have your ‘antenna’ up and develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s voice.

Developing the ability to listen is firstly about attitude.

You can hear from God any time, at any place. However, there may also be a space where you can focus on relating to God and hearing Him more clearly. For me, that is taking time outdoors to walk and pray. It is an appointment when I have greater clarity and focus—I develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in those moments that impacts every moment of my life.

3. Seek Relationship with God First

In prophetic ministry, it can be easy to drift into focusing on the ‘what’ God is saying, and the word of the Lord, and forget that the heart of ‘prophetic’ is relationship.

Hearing God’s voice is about encountering God as a Person.

Samuel began his prophetic ministry with an encounter with God. God met with Him personally.

When people heard from God in Scripture, in the many ways He communicated, they were encountering Him. And God is calling you to a ‘face to face’ relationship with Him.

It is possible to hear what someone is saying, without engaging with them on a personal level. There is a distance between you.

  • You can listen in to someone talking on the radio, TV, Internet or video and take note of what they say.
  • You can listen to a speaker or preacher and be inspired.
  • You can come away with something important they said that spoke directly to you, or information you need.

In these instances, you can hear someone speak, but it is an impersonal, remote listening. It is one way.

Hearing God’s voice is not like that. It is firstly about relationship. When God speaks to you, He desires for you to engage with Him. Like having coffee with a friend or loved one, a conversation and an exchange is taking place.

It is on the heart of God to get up close and personal with you, just as He did with Samuel. He desires to have conversation with you. He longs for you to participate in a face-to-face relationship with Him. And even when you think that you have begun to discover what this means, there is always more of Himself that He wants to reveal to you.

Related Posts:

4 Barriers to Hearing God’s Voice

10 Ways to Hear God’s Voice

How do you hear God speak to you? Leave a message in the comments section, on Facebook or on our new Instagram account. If the blog comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.

© 2015 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

4 Barriers to Hearing God’s Voice (and Biblical Insights for Breakthrough)

Hearing God's voice‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jer 33:3)

I sometimes receive comments from people who are interested in prophecy but are having difficulties in hearing God’s voice.

If you can relate to this, here is a checklist of possible barriers that could be hindering you, along with Biblical keys to help you overcome them.

4 Barriers to Hearing God’s Voice

1. The Barrier of Doubt or Unbelief

‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.’ (John 10:27 NLT)

First thing we need to do is settle the fact that God is speaking to us and wants us to hear Him.

Some people think that they cannot hear God speak unless they have a prophetic gift, or some other spiritual gift or special ministry. But this is a misconception. God wants to have a relationship with us! This is why Jesus paid the price of His life on the cross. Communicating with our Father is the basic right of sons and daughters and the joy of our God.

It is what we are created for!

‘For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.’ (Rom 8:14)

Never be intimidated by someone else’s spiritual gift, or the way another person hears from God. God has uniquely wired and created you to hear from Him.

2. The Barrier of Sin-Consciousness

‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom 8:1-2)

Sometimes people allow shame, condemnation or a sense of unworthiness to make them feel as though they are separated from God—and therefore, unable to hear His voice.

We need to remember that for Christians, the barrier of sin separating us from God has already been dealt with on the cross.

  • Sin is not the problem – sin-consciousness is.

This is our inheritance as Christian believers: to live conscious of our righteousness in Christ, rejoicing in the power of God’s grace and forgiveness, and to know the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood. (Heb 9:14, 10:19-22)

Rather than view sin or temptation as a barrier between God and us, God wants us to take the very issue that is troubling us into that place with Him. (Heb 4:15-16)

Sin loses its power when we bring it into the light.

In James, we are instructed to ‘confess our sins to one another.’ (James 5:16) If an issue of sin, addiction or temptation is continually troubling you, in addition to prayer, find a safe place to share and be accountable—for example to a Christian mentor or leader.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7-9)

3. The Barrier of Fear

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:14)

Some people are fearful that what they are hearing may not be from God.

It’s true that there are many voices around our lives, and that we need to weigh up what we are hearing to ensure it is from God. Maturing in discernment is a process, so weighing up what we hear is important. Remember:

  • God’s voice will never contradict what the Bible says (2 Tim 3:16)
  • In church life, God’s word will build the church and promote unity (1 Cor 14:3)
  • What we are hearing from God will be in accordance with His nature – e.g. the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)
  • What you hear from God will withstand the accountability of oversight (1 Thess 5:19-22)

The antidote to fear is a love relationship. (1 John 4:18) Think about when the phone rings and you pick it up. How different are your responses when the caller is:

  • A telemarketer
  • Someone you love

You see it’s not about the fact that someone is speaking—but recognising the Person behind the Voice. As you grow in your love relationship with God, you will get to know His voice. You can trust that what He has to share with you is good, and from His Spirit. (Luke 11:11-13)

4. The Barrier of Misunderstanding how the Holy Spirit Speaks

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13)

When we talk about ‘hearing God’s voice,’ we are using an earthly expression to describe a spiritual concept. You and I use words, speech and body language to communicate. However, the Holy Spirit has many creative ways that He can communicate with us.

We hear God’s voice, not with our physical ears, but with our heart and our spirit. For example, here are some ways in which the Holy Spirit can speak to you in a prayer or devotional time:

  • You are reminded of a Bible verse or story—or one is highlighted to you when you are reading the Bible (Scripture is the primary way God speaks to us—and also the primary way we weigh up what we believe God is saying)
  • You ‘see’ a picture in your mind’s eye
  • An idea or impression comes to mind
  • You feel something emotionally or physically
  • A word comes to mind or you ‘see’ a written word in your imagination

Other ways God can speak are through:

  • Leaders, e.g. preaching or personal instruction
  • Dreams
  • Waking visions (like a movie in your imagination)
  • The insight of another person
  • Circumstances

In the book of Acts alone, we see God speaking through prophecies, dreams, visions, angels, leaders, signs, and the inner voice of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit often speaks in light, spontaneous impressions and we need to be intentional about listening.

Have you ever been speaking to someone and it is as though they have ‘zoned out’? It is not that they are out of hearing range, but they have momentarily been distracted, either internally or externally. We can zone in to God by having an expectant and listening attitude and being open to the many ways He can speak to us.

Do you have any insights about hearing God’s voice that you would like to share? Leave a comment in the box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.

Related Posts:

3 Simple Keys to Hearing God’s Voice

10 Ways You Can Hear God’s Voice

How to Recover the Wonder of Hearing God’s Voice

Has hurt or disappointment affected your ability to hear from God, your spiritual gift or ministry? The following article may help:
Break Free of Hurts that are Blocking Your Prophetic Gift

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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Is Selective Hearing Limiting Your Walk With God?

Selective hearing occurs when we tune in to what we want to hear, and zone out that which we do not want to listen to.

  • Greg wonders why his boss does not seem to have heard his repeatedly expressed concerns about safety in the workplace, and yet jumps at the smallest complaint from customers.
  • Kelly, a young mother, jokes with her friends about what she calls her husband’s ‘selective hearing.’ At night he seems to be oblivious to the baby’s cries, slumbering on while she wakes and attends to their son’s needs.

In spite of these examples, selective hearing can actually be a good thing. It is important to filter out those things that are clamouring for our attention, but are a distraction, or wrong and ungodly.

Selective Hearing in our Relationship with God

When selective hearing occurs in our relationship with God, we may genuinely believe that we are hearing from Him. However, the truth is that we are only listening to what He is saying to us on some issues. We have neglected to listen to His voice regarding other, important things.

I know that many of my readers have a great love for God and desire to serve Him. Like me, you may be involved in some kind of ministry or service, or helping people, or preparing for ministry.

When it comes to our ministry priorities, many of us eagerly listen and press in to God. But I believe He desires to encourage us to hear His voice in other areas of our lives.

The Father wants you to know that He knows and cares for every area of your life intimately. He does not have a hierarchy of concerns—every part of your life is valuable to Him.

Remember what Jesus said: ‘even the very hairs on your head are numbered.’ (Matt 10:30)

Signs that we are Selectively Hearing

Important areas that we may overlook in our conversations with God may include health, family, finances, relationships, our attitude and even the quality of our thought life.

We may be sincerely loving and serving God and even have an active devotional and prayer life. But if we do not communicate with God over the above vital areas in our lives, they begin to clamour for attention.

  • Weaknesses  in our health and general wellbeing begin to show—eventually they actually hinder us from doing what God has called us to do
  • Relationships start to come under stress, and may begin to break down
  • We feel stressed, or lack the joy that we are supposed to have in our service for God
  • Our financial situation starts to slide, and so on

For example, as a writer, it is very easy for me to spend a lot of time sitting at the computer. This is a vital ministry role for me. But sometimes I work additional hours at the computer and do not spend sufficient time resting and walking and exercising. After a while my body starts to ache and complain because I am not living a balanced lifestyle and looking after my fitness and wellbeing.

If I were listening to God and following His leading in the area of my physical health, then I would be attentive to this.

Selective hearing does not just happen with ministry. We can also be focusing on some priorities in our lives to the exclusion of others—for example working hard in the area of fitness, but not spending quality time with our family.

Do a Self-Check for Selective Hearing

At this time of year especially, it is beneficial to do a self-check in each of the following things. Note: if you have recently had a holiday, think about the quality of your life immediately prior to your break.

  • What is my body telling me?
  • What is the quality (or lack of quality) in my close relationships telling me?
  • What is my schedule saying?
  • What about the state of my finances?
  • Am I honouring God in my thought life?
  • Am I communicating with and listening to God in each of these areas?
  • What am I tolerating?

As you consider these questions, the Holy Spirit may bring another area to mind.

I have come to realise that selective hearing is defective hearing.

It is not honouring to God when important areas of our lives are not in submission to Him.

Samuel was one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. He had an intimate relationship with God, listened to His voice and instructed a nation in God’s ways. And yet, he did not pass on his spiritual values and legacy to his sons—they grew up to be godless men who neglected justice and took bribes. (1 Sam 8:1-4)

Talk with God about your Whole Life

One of the best things that I did last year was take a week’s break to get aside and relax and spend quality time talking with God with no ministry agenda. After a few days, I found myself talking to my Father about important things in my life that I did not normally take the time to pray about. There were things that I was tolerating, that I knew were not His best for me. I was able to be honest and to process some things. I came away with a renewed sense of vision for the whole area of my life, not just my vision for ministry.

Do you call Jesus Lord? Do not just listen to Him concerning the areas that satisfy your desire for fulfilment. Give Jesus the leadership of your whole life, not just a part.

The life that honours Him is one of balance and wisdom.

As you enter this New Year, take some time to meditate and pray about on these different areas in your life. And remember, you can be transparent in your dialogue with God. The Father’s love for you is intimate and all-encompassing, and no issue in your life is too small or too big for His interest and care.

Related Posts:

Jesus Is Lord: What Does This Mean In My Daily Life?

Your Prophetic And Christian Ministry Will Be Impacted By This Choice

How To Recover The Wonder Of Hearing God’s Voice

Do you have any further thoughts about the topic of hearing God’s voice? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.

© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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