A Prophetic Vision: God’s Call To Intimacy With Him

‘The Lord… leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.’ (Psalm 23:2-3)

Recently during our team’s regular time of worship and prayer, I had an unusual vision.

I saw a wide river, with smooth waters. Alongside, following the course of the water, tall pipes stood from the riverbank. I recognised them as being those of a pipe organ.

The Pipe Organ

The pipe organ is a magnificent instrument. Yesterday, The Hunk and I saw and heard one in action at St Paul’s Cathedral here in Melbourne, Australia.

The secret of the pipe organ lies hidden below the pipes—a reservoir filled with pressurised air.

As the hand of the organist selects a note, the corresponding pipe receives a burst of wind, producing a glorious sound.

Vibrations—waves of sound—pour out through the pipes, into the air. All who are within hearing distance can enjoy and respond to them. [1]

The Father’s call to Intimacy

‘A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’m thirsty for God-alive.’ (Psalm 42:1, MSG)

The Father is calling us to spend time with Him—with no agenda except to know Him and to be known by Him.

In that place of intimacy He fashions and shapes our hearts, tuning them with His own desires. In that place of communion, He refills us with His Holy Spirit.

The New Sound

‘He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.’ (Psalm 40:3)

Just as the pipes of the organ are filled with a burst of air that has only one place to go—outwards—as we spend time in intimacy with God, His Spirit fills us to overflowing.

Then, ‘we cannot help but speak of what we have seen and heard.’ (Acts 4:20)

  • This new sound is, for some of us, a renewed testimony of God’s goodness as we encounter Him.
  • For others, it is a fresh revelation of God—His love, His power, His mercy. As we pass it on, it brings life, healing and hope to those we encounter.
  • For those of us who are in prophetic ministry, it is God’s message, crafted in us, then resonating through us. [2]

Returning to Intimacy

Sometimes, we do not take significant time apart with God because we are busy. We may even be spiritually dry.

And yet, we should prize God’s intimate Presence and anointing above all else. (Ps 51:11)

Have you lost the freshness of your close relationship with God?

God is always present with us. (Matt 28:20) However, just as Jesus took time apart with the Father, so can we. (Mark 1:35, 6:46)

Time spent alone with God is life giving. You can start by rediscovering the unique ways that you connect with Him. [3]

The picture of intimacy with God beside still waters has particular significance to me, as I connect with God best through spending time outdoors—especially where I can walk alongside water, be it a lake, a reservoir, or the sea.

Today, I encourage you to take a moment to meditate on this—listen to God’s personal call to you. Allow His Spirit to awaken the hunger for His Presence in your life.

God is calling us to take time apart in intimacy with Him—and as we do so, a new sound will resonate from our lives and ministries, reaching the hearts of many.


Notes:

[1] Information about the pipe organ can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipe_organ and http://www.aucklandorgan.org.nz/tour/how-it-works

[2] In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul uses the following example:

‘Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? So it is with you.’ (1 Cor 14:6-9a)

[3] See the following posts for thoughts about how you can uniquely connect with God:

How To Discover Your Spiritual Pathway

How Using Your Learning Style Can Revitalise Your Bible Study


Related Posts:

Hunger For God: 6 Ways You Can Stir It Up

4 Benefits of Soaking Worship

How You Can Have An Intimate Relationship With The Holy Spirit


Do you have some thoughts to share about intimacy with God? Leave a comment in the comments box. If it is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

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

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Counterfeit Prophetic Vision: Don’t Settle For Less Than God’s Best

Parched and exhausted, our hero staggers along in the desert. Suddenly, he spies an oasis—water and palm trees—not too far away. Discovering a final burst of strength, he drags himself towards the vision that represents freedom, only to find it is a mirage.

In a movie, two friends are wandering in the Australian outback, thirsty, disoriented and exhausted. Suddenly one of them spots a four-wheel drive. He gets in and finds to his amazement that a slurpee—frozen cold drink—is sitting in the console waiting for him.

His mate looking on cannot believe his eyes. His deluded friend is sitting on the desert sands miming the whole thing.

The audience laughs.

The Deception Of A Mirage

A real mirage is not like the hallucinations we see in cartoons or movies. It is an actual visual phenomenon.

A mirage can occur in extreme heat, such as is produced in the desert, or as we more commonly experience, on a scorching highway or tarmac.

Layers, or ripples of air of different densities rise up from the ground. Sunlight encounters these ripples and bends, or refracts, upwards. What we see looks like water, but is in fact a reflection of the sky. [1]

The danger of a mirage in a desert is its potential to lead someone in a different direction from where he or she should be going—further away from the source of real water.

The Power of Prophetic Vision

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10

A true prophetic vision for our life is a picture of God’s plan for our lives. It is our guiding purpose.

We may receive a prophetic vision from God for our lives in many ways, whether through:
· The desires He places in our hearts (Ps 37:4)
· Scripture that has a significant meaning for us personally
· Recognising the gifts and abilities God has invested in us (1 Peter 4:10)
· Prophetic revelation—prophecies, dreams, visions (1 Tim 1:18)
· An inner sense of God’s call or purpose
· A cause that burns in our heart—a problem that we desire to be a part of the solution for
· The witness of Christian leaders and people that are close to us (1 Tim 4:14)

A prophetic vision for our lives can come suddenly, such as Paul’s call in Damascus (Acts 26:16-18) or it can emerge slowly as we walk by faith (Prov 3:5-6)

Counterfeit Prophetic Vision

A counterfeit prophetic vision appears real, but is a false and misleading picture of God’s purpose for our future.

The Bible warns us of false prophets and false prophecies. Most of us would like to believe that we have enough discernment not to be deceived by a false personal prophecy. [2]

However, like a mirage, counterfeit vision can be also created by a very subtle distortion of the true vision the Father has intended for our lives.

I have come to realise that I am indeed vulnerable to these subtle distortions, through personal weaknesses that the enemy knows only too well.

Like the mirage, a counterfeit vision can distract and lead us away from God’s true purpose, causing us to settle for less than God’s best.

For many of us, this is the true danger.

At worst, it can lead us into deception and away from God’s plan altogether.

Some Causes of Counterfeit Vision

A mirage is caused by light that is bent, or refracted. Likewise, ‘refractors’ that exist in or around our lives can distort God’s vision for our personal future.

Some of these refractors are:

1. Our Personal History

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Cor 5:17

God sees us according to our destiny. However, the enemy wants us to live out of our history.
Counterfeit vision can occur when deep down you believe that history will repeat itself—that the failures, rejections, or frustrations of your past will inevitably be a part of your future,

2. Fear

‘What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.’ Job 3:25

Fear can affect our vision as we continually foresee a negative outcome. Fear causes you to hold back. The danger of fear is that what you see, you inevitably head towards.

This can include fear that words spoken over us by others or ourselves hold truth.

3. Low Self-Esteem

‘When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
…”But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”’ Judg 6:12,15

Low self-esteem can warp our vision of God’s intended purpose for our lives. We don’t see ourselves as God sees us—therefore, we don’t rise to fulfil our destiny and fall short of God’s best for our lives.

4. Unbelief

‘Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise. They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD. So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the desert.’ Ps 106:24-26

The call of God is always going to be bigger than what we can comfortably achieve on our own. Unbelief will cause you to waver between the true vision of God and what you deem ‘reasonable’ or ‘achievable.’

5. Pride

‘Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.’ Prov 16:18

Pride can distort our God-given vision, causing us to move too quickly and presumptuously.

6. Enticement

‘Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.’ 2 Tim 4:10

Worldly enticement is like a mirage that leads us away from the call of God.

We are presented with a tempting, alternative picture of how we can use our gifts and talents to gain recognition or success in an arena that is not God’s intended purpose for our lives.

Escaping Counterfeit Prophetic Vision

Recently I have recognised at least two of the factors I have mentioned above affecting my vision. If you can identify with any of these, the following action points may help: [3]

1. Refresh your desire for pure vision, to see as God sees.
2. Recognise the things that are distorting your vision.
3. Repent of seeing less than God’s best for your life
4. Renounce the counterfeit vision—acknowledge and verbally dismiss it
5. Reveal any issues that have been hidden; find a safe person to share with
6. Restore—do whatever you need to do to get healed up in areas that I’ve mentioned above
7. Refocus on God’s vision for your life.


Notes:

[1] For more information on the fascinating science of mirages, see the following:

http://www.light-science.com/desertmirage.html

[2] Related posts that you may find helpful are:

How Can You Tell A Personal Prophecy Or Dream Interpretation Is From God?

How Do You Weigh Up What The Prophets Are Saying?

[3] Related posts that you may find helpful are:

The Gift Of Prophetic Vision: See What Heaven Sees

How Your Perspective Can Impact Your Destiny


Do you have any experiences to share or questions and ideas related to this topic? I would love to hear from you—leave a comment in the 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

 

The Gift of Prophetic Vision: See What Heaven Sees

I sat in the office of a counsellor, head down in prayer. The visit was precipitated by difficulties in a ministry situation that had left me discouraged and heartsick.

At this point in the session, the counsellor was inviting me to look into my heart—to visualise, with God’s help, what was happening on the inside of me.

To my complete surprise, instead of the darkness she was verbally preparing me to face, I found myself in a vision:


I was under water, looking up towards the surface, where a current was flowing swiftly. A thin layer of scum was being carried along and away by the fast-moving water, skimming across its surface.

As I wondered what I was seeing, the vision changed. I saw myself at the bottom of a river, and Jesus was with me. Together we were pulling up weeds from the riverbed, laughing, enjoying the moment. The weeds came away from the river’s floor easily. As we raised our hands and released them, the current of the river caught them away.


My problems were not difficult for the Lord to handle. In fact, I saw that He delighted in sharing this process—of identifying and removing what was not of Him in my life.
That day, I looked for pain and encountered my Saviour. The prophetic vision He shared with me changed my perspective and helped bring me healing.

Revelation Brings Heaven’s Perspective.

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless?”  (Gen 15:1-2)

Abram had a perspective problem. He was wealthy, but without an heir and without lands he could not comprehend how God could bless him.

The Lord responded by assuring him that He would give Abram a son and that his descendants would possess the land around him. Then:

‘He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”’ Gen 15:5

When God gives us prophetic revelation—whether in vision or otherwise—He enables us to see from heaven’s perspective.

  • A vision from God changed Peter’s perspective about the Gentiles and facilitated the spread of the Gospel throughout the Gentile world (Acts 10:9-20)
  • A vision of the Risen Christ overturned Saul’s perspective, transforming him from a persecutor of the church to a founder of many churches (Acts 9)

How can we tell whether a personal revelation is from God?

A revelation from God does not come cloaking our own ideas; neither does it reinforce our opinions, suspicions or prejudices.

Instead, like a contact lens placed on a natural eye, a vision from God brings adjustment and focus.

The Holy Spirit enables us to see circumstances, others and ourselves as the Father sees them.

He transforms our viewpoint so we can see like Him—and ultimately become like Him.

  • When we are discouraged, He brings hope
  • When we are fearful, He speaks a word of faith
  • When we are hungry to know Him, He reveals more of Himself to us
  • When we are confused, He brings clarity
  • When we are critical, He shares His love for another

Here are some more ways we can check whether a vision or revelation is from God:

1. Is it Biblical?

2. Does it reflect God’s character and wisdom?

3. Is it redemptive—speaking of God’s heart to save and restore?

4. Do you have an inner witness that it is of God?

5. If it concerns direction—does it have the confirmation of circumstances, your gifts and wiring, and other believers—including your leaders?

The Power of a Vision to Restore

If you could see what heaven sees for your situation right now, how would it change your viewpoint?

Years ago, we experienced division in our church. I was deeply hurt, and shared the opinions and grievances of my friends who had left the church. My heart was urging me to leave.

Standing in a service one day, I received a prophetic vision that brought heaven’s perspective to my situation. I stayed, repented, and was restored. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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Related Posts:

How Your Perspective Can Impact Your Destiny

Counterfeit Prophetic Vision: Don’t Settle For Less Than God’s Best

How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 3: How Can You Tell Your Revelation Is From God?

How to Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 2: How To Receive A Revelation From God

Need a Breakthrough? Uncover the Mysteries of Heaven

© Helen Calder    Enliven Publishing

Now on team with David McCracken Ministries