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“Get ready, get ready, for those who prepare now will be ready to be a part of revival when the time comes. I tell you this in order to prepare you. The time of preparation is now. You will know true revival when you see it. Revival will not wait for you, but will come upon you suddenly, like an “armed man.”” (Proverbs 24:33-34.)
“Though you may not have met an armed man before, you know him when you see him! In the same way, you will know revival is here once it is upon you. At that time there will be no more preparation but only action. As with the hurricanes that flooded the South this year, those who were prepared were ready to be used to help. Those who were not prepared were caught and left to their own devices, or were at the mercy of others.
As I prayed recently, I saw in the Spirit a sleeping army, like an army of dry bones in the valley (Ezekiel 37:1-14). I believe I heard the Lord say, “It is time to wake up those who sleep, to activate those who slumber.” I felt His desire to reassure you of His friendship with you. He wants to call forth creative abilities in the Spirit!
God is calling forth latent creative gifts within you and calling you to come to the forefront. It is time for a great army of creative worshipers to arise like dry bones out of the valley. God is going to cause the brittle and broken dryness of your lives to disappear, and to be rubbed with a salve that takes away all pain. Those who cannot see or envision what God is doing will have their eyesight restored. Those who need creative input will receive anointed ideas, not just techniques, to impart LIFE.
Summertime and the living is… NOT always easy! If you’re a parent with kids, you know how *challenging* summers can be! Between long work hours for my hubby and an increasingly busy schedule feeding and caring for my family (think weekly sleepovers, the constant geographical shuttling of children to and fro, doctor’s appointments, and - oh – did I mention we are scraping AND painting the house ourselves in this heat wave?!), I was distracted from my usual routine and beginning to feel exhausted. And there’s still another month until the kids go back to school!
Thankfully, through the generosity of a friend, the children and I escaped to the mountains for a few days this week, bringing one of their friends along. Here, they could swim and play with less supervision on my part, and I could relax and perhaps write. The words of David in Psalm 119 came alive to me: “Revive me, Oh Lord!”
In this season pregnant with revival, you readers have some pretty amazing “God-sized” dreams! Last week I asked you to send me your prayer requests for the bigger things God has called you to do. And you did. Lots of them, from various corners of the earth. And they are amazing.
Okay, it's your turn! Spiritually, what's your biggest, best dream? When you think about making an impact for the Kingdom of God, what is the deepest desire of your heart? This week, I'd like to help you turn even that distant desire into a reality - through prayer. I plan to set aside more time each day to pray specifically for YOU.
To continue our "Better Together!" series on Corporate Prayer, I want to introduce you to a pastor friend of mine. John Whitsett is the Lead Pastor at Lakeside Community Church of the Nazarene in Hastings, Nebraska. I first met him through Pray.Network, where I read a doctoral thesis he wrote on corporate prayer and revival. John was buried in 15” of snow last week in the Midwest’s “Snowmageddon,” so I had the unusual pleasure of interviewing someone who is normally very busy!
There are some things in life that I just can’t do by myself. No matter how good a pianist I am, I can’t play a concerto by myself. Or fight cancer. Or build a house. Or start a family. For these, I must cooperate with other people under the coordination of a leader: a conductor, a doctor, a foreman, or a spouse.
Some things are meant to be done together!
Prayer is one of them.
November 23, 2015 is the International Day of the Bible. Christians around the world are celebrating the Word of God, which has now been translated, at least in part, into over 2500 languages. In America, we also celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the beginning of our nation's freedom to worship God.
The day before I began writing this post, I spent a few minutes thinking about what I am most thankful for this year. God, family, and YOU - my readers - top the list, of course, but what really creates thanksgiving in me is that there is such a wealth of Christian resources available to so many of us around the world today.
Think about it: in the United States alone, there are multitudes of Bible-believing churches within driving distance, along with Spirit-filled conferences, prayer meetings, and worship gatherings. You can even get a ministerial degree online!
You might also have noticed that thanks to technology, I can link all the Bible verses I use on my website to Bible Gateway, a powerful Bible search engine (www.BibleGateway.com). Bible Gateway, in turn, circulates my blog along with many others to their readers around the world. Online study of the Bible is so common now that even in our church services, we often see people pull out their cell phones when the pastor says "please turn to the book of Hebrews!"
Advances in technology are not just impacting the US. In the 1980's it was prophesied that one day, Chinese workers in the rice fields would have 24/7 access to Christian programming - via a "device like a TV on their wrists." This was long before anyone had conceived the idea of smartphones and smartwatches. Today, Chinese readers make up the second largest group of readers for our "His Inscriptions" blog - outranked only by readers in the United States!
The Multiplication of the Word Brings Revival
The "smartwatch prophecy" was the last in a series of three events prophesied by Bob Jones that would happen before the "One Million Soul Harvest." We are living in an era of nearly unlimited access to the Word. The Holy Spirit, of course, knows no limits! We are also on the edge of a huge ingathering of souls. Some of you have prayed for years for corporate revival, and I believe we are very close. Here's why.
In the Bible, there is a recurring pattern, illustrated below:
Persecution of believers leads to multiplication of the Word, which then leads to revival in the Holy Spirit. A good example of this is found in Acts 4:16-31. The early church faced threats of persecution, which led them to pray the Word more intensely. As a result of prayer, the building where they were assembled was shaken and they "were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness." That's revival!
Jesus also illustrated this same pattern when He broke bread for the 5000 (Matthew 14:13-21). The Word of God Himself took bread (a symbol of the Word), broke it (persecution), prayed a blessing over it, and it was multiplied. Thousands of people were revived - physically nourished - because of the multiplication of the Word. It was a natural example of a spiritual principle. (For another example, see Acts 12:24).
Historically, what seems to be the "breaking" of the Word - whether Jesus, broken in body, or believers, persecuted for their faith - results in multiplication of that same Word, and a stirring up of faith in others by the Spirit.
So on this day to celebrate the Bible, I am thanking God for His living Word that energizes and revives me. And I'm praying for you, precious readers, whether you are in America, China, or any other nation. I'm praying that you will pray the Word until you access the Spirit. And that you will pray in the Spirit until you gain deeper revelation of the Word. The Word and the Spirit are intricately linked, and powerful in combination! May you see a greater multiplication of the Word of God in your lifetime. May you pray the words of the Bible over the harvest of souls that has yet to come in to the Kingdom. And may you know the empowering work of the Holy Spirit in your life, reviving you and all those whom your life touches.
c. Deborah Perkins / His Inscriptions. *Legal Disclaimer: I receive no compensation from the organizations described here, nor from links you click in this article. :-)
What makes one person thrive while another barely survives? Why do some people seem to live almost effortlessly, while others go through life hanging on by their fingernails? Even Christians are not exempt. We cling to the Gospel's wonderful hope of heaven. But is that all there is? What about the problems in this present life? What do I do between now and eternity?
I believe there is a key difference between survivors and those who thrive in life. Or for Christians, between the survivors and the revivers! It's not just a difference between rich and poor. It's actually a different state of mind.
To describe this, let's look at the law of the jungle.
What is happening right now in Boston is amazingly prophetic. Just two days ago, I was writing about revival after visiting John Adams' rare books collection at the Boston Public Library. (To see that post, entitled "Step Into Your New World", click here). What I did not know was that the same day I was publishing my article, archivist Pam Hatchfield was prying open a 220-year-old time capsule at the MFA, one that had been embedded in the State House's cornerstone by Sam Adams and Paul Revere in 1795. On July 4, 1795, fifteen white horses - one for each state of our union - had pulled this cornerstone and time capsule through the streets of Boston for the dedication ceremony.
Inside the box (which took nearly 7 hours to open), were artifacts from the dedication of the Massachusetts State House on the 20th anniversary of our independence. A silver plate, probably crafted by Paul Revere, displays an inscription for the building's dedication and names Sam Adams, Paul Revere, and Revolutionary War Colonel William Scollay. (See photo above). 23 coins, including one in a half-penny denomination, and a medal of George Washington are also part of the capsule.
This would be amazing in itself, of course. (I didn't even mention the significance of the public unveiling of the capsule on the 7th day of the first month of 2015!) But on this same day (the 7th), I also happened to be given an old Harvard University book from the 1950's, entitled: John Adams and the Prophets of Progress.* It is a collection of the books and articles John Adams annotated most frequently as he read and formulated his political philosophies for the founding of our new nation. The title, I knew, was no coincidence.
The significance of all this, lest we miss it, is that God is sounding a LOUD prophetic alert with signs confirming! I must write again, it is time to wake up to what the Spirit is saying! Prophets and intercessors, the watchmen on our walls, have heard the sound of revival coming. I am not alone in proclaiming that we are very near a spiritual progression of epic proportions. We must look to the foundations of our nation's birth to discover keys for the coming times.
Just last year, another time capsule was discovered, this one ironically located in the head of a lion on top of the old Massachusetts State House. This one, dated to 1901, contained original nails from Old South Church and the Old State House. Again, lest we miss the significance, Sam Adams was a member of the original Old South Church and met with the "Sons of Liberty" in 1773 at the Old South Meeting House. As an infant, Benjamin Franklin (another founder of our nation) was baptized into the congregation of Old South Church in 1706. The church now houses Paul Revere's bell.
The inscription above the portico of Old South Church reads: "Behold, I have set before thee an open door." (Revelation 3:8). We sons and daughters of true liberty must arise, step through heaven's open door, and awaken to what the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is saying for such a time as this! We are seeing amazing confirmations of His Words just in this New England area alone. Many believe revival will even start here, in the Northeast, and sweep across our nation.
I couldn't let this go unnoticed, and I hope you will forgive my enthusiasm in sharing this with you, my readers. If nothing else, I pray that the things we are seeing will convince us once and for all that the Lion is jealously roaring over His people, calling some into position as His mighty warriors and others into the foundations of relationship with Him. HE IS the Chief Cornerstone, the One who holds all things together and the One who is coming back - on a white horse, no less! - for His Bride.
May you know beyond any doubt the things He is calling you to do each day, and sense His Presence with you as you move from glory to glory. Like the Adams, Ben Franklin, and Paul Revere, your obedience to Him in even the little things plays a major part in His end-time revival plans.
To read the initial article on John Adams, scroll down to the next post or click here.
*John Adams and the Prophets of Progress ; Zoltan Haraszti, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1952.
Deborah Perkins is passionate about helping others to connect with God. She writes about knowing God and hearing His voice at His Inscriptions.com. You can also follow her on Google+ or Twitter@DeborahSPerkins, & Facebook at HisInscriptions.
c. Deborah Perkins, 2015
‘Tis the season for lights and decorations, trees and candy, hot chocolate and presents!
Our children persuaded us to decorate the tree a few nights ago, just after the Thanksgiving turkey had been consumed. On went the Christmas music, the kettle was fired up for hot cocoa, and the children (please don’t tell them I told you this…) were dancing in the kitchen. Yes, my boys – at least the younger ones – were dancing. All was merry and bright.
Bright, that is, until we tried to turn on our pre-lit tree. You know the kind – the “unscented,” mess-free version of a Christmas tree that comes with lights attached. Unfortunately, certain sections of our tree failed to perform their “pre-lit” duties. The result was a Tigger-esque tree, a sort of half-hearted, striped effect. Not quite what we were looking for.
A search for the defective bulb yielded nothing, and replacing one empty spot with a bulb from another set did not work, since the extra bulb was made by a different manufacturer. This strand was only going to give off so much light.
So in the end, long after my dancing cherubs were dreaming of sugarplums, the only solution was for me to string a second set of lights through the bare spots, using an extension cord. The tree now complete, I joined my family in dreamland.
The next morning, I happened to be praying in the room where we had set up our tree. I also happened to be praying about the power of God to heal, to bring revival, to reach the multitudes with His power. As He often does, the Lord surprised me by connecting the ordinary stuff of my life to the extraordinary stuff of His.
Using the “Tigger tree” as a parable, He said this: ‘Tis the season to be connected to My power. Now is the day of salvation, now is the time (see 2 Corinthians 6:2). And it's going to take more than just one strand to light the world!
God is the source of all power, the “electrical outlet” we plug into when we are saved. That divine outlet contains unlimited power and resources, available to anyone who connects with Him. Like my pre-lit tree, our world automatically lights up and shines when we plug into Him. Our connection with the Holy Spirit gives us a measure of His light and power in our lives.
However, there are still areas of our lives where the light does not yet shine. There are areas of the world where His power has not yet been seen. To make sure we ourselves are shining brightly, we must appeal to our Manufacturer to restore any defects or brokenness we may have. But God also wants to extend our reach, just as the addition of an extension cord brought more light to my tree.
Believers are the “power cord” from heaven’s light to earth’s darkness. Several connected strands will bring more light to the world than just one alone. Where we need more power, God can plug us in with others who will help extend our reach.
Next year, I’ll be in the market for a brighter tree. And it’s my prayer that next year, we believers will be more connected than ever – to His power, and to each other. I pray that His power will increase throughout His Body so that we will have a greater impact on our world. I pray that He’ll help us radiate His glory in greater measure.
I'm going back to decorating my tree now. And I'm singing right along with the kids: May your days be merry… and bright!
In the same way,
let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16, NIV
c. Deborah Perkins, 2014
Deborah Perkins is passionate about helping people "connect" with God. She writes about knowing God and hearing His voice at HisInscriptions.com. Follow Deborah on Twitter@DeborahSPerkins, or click here to read more of her blog.
In every major revival, and for every notable Christian, there is a common denominator: intimacy with the Presence of God. Those who have seen an increase in the supernatural power of God are the ones who have allowed for a corresponding decrease in their own personal ambitions. Humility precedes honor.
In fact, to put it in more scientific terms, there is an inverse relationship between our movement and God’s movement. We deliberately resolve to surrender our personal drive and intentions, choosing instead to come to the restful place of prayer and adoration of God. It seems largely counterintuitive and unproductive to us at first. But amazingly, He transforms our stillness into a harvest of abundant fruitfulness.
Why? Because He is seeking intimacy with His creation. A quick look at nature reveals that intimacy is impossible without time spent together. Love is indeed a choice, and a good relationship is one in which both parties have chosen to invest in each other. Two cannot walk together unless they are agreed. Yet if two agree to walk together, there is an unlimited potential to what they might accomplish: “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:19, NASB).
Our Maximum = His Minimum!
As we invest in the quantity of time spent in prayer, we will see a yield in the quality of our fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God. Setting ourselves in agreement with the Lord of all creation opens up possibilities that otherwise would not exist for mankind. By ourselves, we have limited energies, educations, and abilities. With God, the maximum limit of our potential becomes the minimum for what He can do with us! Cancer cannot be cured by man, but healing is possible with God. Human argument alone cannot convince someone of the need for salvation, but the conviction of the Holy Spirit can.
I believe that we as a church have settled for far too little. I am not alone; there is a company – an army – of others who have seen this as well. They have understood that the severity of our times requires massive, large-scale revival, and are willing to pay the price to bring the manifest Presence of God to the earth. What is that price? It is the willingness to lay down personal desires in order to meet with God in prayer.
Who is Responsible for Revival?
The burden for revival has for too long been relegated to those who call themselves intercessors, worshippers, or prophets. Our particular gifting within the Body of Christ neither includes nor excludes us from the responsibility for revival, either personal or corporate. It may be that the intercessors hear the Lord’s directions first because they are setting aside time to hear, but all of us are called to take some course of action based on the type of commission we receive.
In fact, I have heard the Lord say that He desires for each of us to find our “specialty” within this end-time army. Knowing what our specific callings and talents are will help us to both find our place and work with others in revival. As we get to know our Commander-in-Chief, He gives us greater understanding of the unique roles He wants us to fulfill. He also shows us what not to do in order to complete our commission.
Promotion comes from submission. Intimacy is the key to hearing. If we are not hearing God, it is only because we are choosing not to. Any leader worth his salt in the Kingdom of God (pun intended!) has learned to spend time with the General, receiving the strategies for his life.
Psalm 19 says that there is no place on this earth where God’s voice cannot be heard! John 10 reveals that there is no sheep in His fold who cannot hear His call. But God has made it so that enlistment in His army is volitional. I like the way Pastor Brian Simmons put it recently: “If revival depends on you, how close are we?”
We all need to hear our marching orders. We are all given, at salvation, a key that opens the door to the war-room of God. We may find that this door is located in an inconvenient place, hidden far below the common-rooms of Christianity. But it is here that strategies are birthed and generals are made. Those who emerge from this place are anointed with the power and authority of the Lord of Hosts to accomplish His will on the earth. My prayer is that in the coming days, many more will hear the call to enter in to this place of divine intimacy, emerging with the radiance of those who have been with Him (Psalm 34:5) .
c. Deborah Perkins, 2014.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.