Have you ever taken a personality test?
People around the world have used personality profiles to understand each other better. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses has become a trend, especially in Christian circles. The information can be a helpful tool for teambuilding and for leaders, to know how best to motivate the people who serve them.
I have taken many of these tests over the years and emerged with a series of “labels” designed to define me. I’m sure you have, too!
I know, for example, that I am equally balanced between introversion and extroversion (although my husband might question the “balanced” part!). I love a good party, love connecting with people, but recharge alone and need some time to “regroup” after a series of social events.
I am a researcher, a teacher/trainer, a high achiever, a creative, a prophet with a pastoral bent, an intuitive “feeler” and a very passionate person. I have been called melancholic, choleric, a leader, a judge, a mystic and - help me Jesus - a "Beaver!"
What are you?
More importantly, who does God say you are? How does God define you?
Here is what I believe God is saying to us today: “I want to develop personality in you - not YOURS but MINE!”
God knows who we are. He knows what labels we’ve been given. He’ll even use our strengths and weaknesses for His glory. Yet ultimately, He wants to infuse us with HIMSELF, filling us with His Divine Personality.
Growth - both spiritual and natural - happens in the context of family. It is intimacy that brings healing, and accountability that promotes maturity.
Romans 8 says we are all children of God, adopted into the household of God and part of a spiritual "first family." Amazingly, God's family is - like some of ours - a blended family, and God understands the unique challenges we face as we grow up into His image and learn to love each other along the way!
While we will always be the children of a loving Father, our goal is maturity in God. God wants us to become mothers and fathers in the faith, just as He is! The way we do that is through our relationships with family.
Today, listen in as I share both prophetic words and experiences that will encourage you as you grow to maturity in God. Click here to listen to the Podcast on Youtube. For a written version of the prophetic words I share in this video, click below:
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An unusual thing happened the other day. The Senior Pastor of my church called me, out of the blue, to say hello. No agenda. No problems. No church business to discuss. Just a “Hello, how are you” kind of call.
That call was a HUGE blessing in my day!
Most leaders I know are pretty busy people. Heck, I am, too! When I hung up the phone after our call, I sat for a moment wondering: when is the last time a leader called me and didn’t need something? Wanted to just connect, for the sake of the relationship, not the “mission” or the shared purpose, whatever that may be?
Apart from a handful of very dear friends I know in leadership, I couldn’t remember. Leaders who lead with love are a rare and special breed.
Author and speaker Graham Cooke says that when your mountain doesn’t move, perhaps it’s because you are meant to learn something from it. I agree, and here’s how I’d say it: Sometimes mountains need to be mastered before they can be moved.
Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Corinthians 5:7-8, NIV
How fitting that this year, Passover begins at sundown on Good Friday. The biblical feast that celebrates our deliverance from bondage in Egypt is forever entwined with the death and resurrection of Christ, our sacrificial lamb! Hallelujah!
I am so glad that God brought us together as one family, bound by the love of our Savior and elder brother, Jesus Christ. There is no greater family and no better blessing!
Whether you are celebrating a Seder or an Easter dinner this week, I pray that you will focus on the wonderful truth of who Jesus is. Because Christ became the Passover Lamb, He has brought us deliverance from every curse and every affliction known to man. We may not see the full manifestation of our deliverance yet, but we are being changed daily into His image each time we encounter the Risen Christ!
I am praying for every reader of our His Inscriptions community, that you will be full of joy and aware of Christ's abiding presence in your heart this week. You are loved by Jesus and by me!
P.S. - Want to meditate more deeply on the significance of Christ's sacrifice? Read Charles Spurgeon's powerful sermon, "Christ our Passover," here.
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com
“There is a time for everything,” the Preacher of Ecclesiastes writes, yet one of the hardest lessons to learn is to watch and wait for God’s perfect timing! This week, as I listened to the Lord in the still of the night, I heard Him speak about timing, and the times we are living in. His insights helped me immensely, and I pray they will be a blessing to you as well. Here is what I heard Him say...
For the past few weeks, the Lord has been bringing to my mind a vision as I’ve reflected on prayer. The scene is so unlikely to ever happen in the natural that it is almost humorous! Yet the Lord is impressing on me that this scenario happens daily in the lives of many believers, and spiritually, it can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Today I’d like to share this vision with you because I believe it identifies a particular problem we face in prayer and gives us a strategy for greater victory. This vision could be the one major reason why Christians are defeated on the battlefield, and I don’t want you to be a casualty!
As I listened to the Lord this week, I heard God saying that He is cultivating in His people an ability to work through the noise and distractions of battle right now. It is so easy to be distracted by the sights and sounds of spiritual war! The battlefield can be a painful, ugly place, and not an easy road.
For those of you who feel like you are in the middle of a battlefield today, I hear the Lord saying,
“I am calling My people to take a higher view of their territory, looking up from those wounded and slain who are past help and returning wholeheartedly to their true mission, which is to make Me known. Do not be surprised by the torments of the enemy! Learn to live and thrive in the midst of his noise, for I will create an oasis of peace for you if you look only to Me.
“Ten thousand will fall at your right hand” - you will see My miracles here on the battlefield more clearly than in any other place of your life, and praise Me for My goodness! Your praise will then become a gateway to greater victories overall, as others around you join in your song. I will set ambushes against the one who destroys when you repeatedly surrender to Me on your battlefield. Don’t look around you, but look UP to the heavens and see My salvation. My mercy is always at hand. Only believe and you will see My goodness!"
Standing with you for your victories!
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His Counselor?
- Romans 11:33
I am sitting by the sea today, as so many times our Savior must have done. It is chilly and windy during this off-season; more suited to snowboarders than sunbathers. Yet the sea still glistens, its waves crashing to the shore as they have done for countless seasons before.
How vast an expanse is the ocean, mighty enough to unleash powerful destruction, yet faithfully contained within its God-ordained boundaries. The sounds of water, the song of birds, the beauty of creation - all of the sea's peaceful rhythms soothe and comfort me.
As I watch, I remember that the very first city Jesus ministered to after His trial in the wilderness and rejection at home was Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee, a city whose name means “Village of Comfort.”
Here among the fishermen is where Christ would find His first disciples. Here Jesus would walk on water, calm the storm, and feed the multitudes. Here, I am reminded again that faithfulness leads to revival.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
There’s a catchy song being sung in our churches today called “Let Revival Come” (“Revive Me”) by Kevin Jones and Joshua Sherman. (You can listen to it here). It is the product of a generation that is seeking revival on a large scale. Not just ministries but entire movements of people are now gathering together to pray (like The Send gathering in Orlando in February this year), asking God to send revival.
This in itself is amazing. In my lifetime, I have not seen such unity and focus all across the Body of Christ, and it inspires me! Unity carries the promise of God’s blessing (Psalm 133). Prayer almost always precedes revival. Yet we must be careful to avoid the flawed theology which believes revival is something only God does. The truth is, we have a part to play.
In the next few posts, I will be focusing on three spiritual roadblocks that can hinder your revival. These three are not the only barriers to revival, but they are things I felt the Lord wanted to us to focus on here at His Inscriptions. The first barrier? Unforgiveness.
2019 has been dubbed by several prominent Christian leaders as “A Year to Plow.” To plow the spiritual soil of our hearts is an essential precursor to revival*, and many people, including myself, believe we are on the brink of revival in this nation. We must both plow and sow in order to reap a harvest!
Around the world today, people are dealing with unprecedented levels of stress. Never before have we had such widespread fear, anxiety, and even terror. In response to this, I believe the Lord wants to release not just the grace to deal with stress, but strategies to overcome it. Keep reading for a prophetic word on this subject, and a prayer strategy you can use to eradicate stress from your life altogether!
There are some Bible stories that are so powerful, they have the ability to change your entire perception of who God is and how He feels about you. For me, one such story is found in Luke 24.
In the midst of great grief, turmoil, and confusion, two disciples encountered the Wonderful Counselor and were forever changed. In places of pain and confusion myself, I reread this story and see such beauty in it. Take a walk with me along the Emmaus Road to see how brokenness is turned to beauty.
Today, I want to share with you the third (and final) portion of the Prophetic Word for 2019. This part focuses on the coming harvest and the desire God has for us to use our gifts to build the Kingdom of God. Sharing your gift matters! I pray that this portion of the word for this year will inspire you to collaborate with God and see His promises come to pass in your world!
Remember, prophecy is an invitation to partner with God to bring His life-giving Kingdom to earth. Without your participation, that task would be impossible! God has chosen to include you in His harvesting process, to use the unique gifts and talents He gave you, and to give you great joy as you see Him move. Listen carefully to what He's promising here - and even more closely to what He's asking from you.
Happy New Year! This week I am continuing to release a Prophetic Word for 2019. I believe that this lengthier word will be easier to "digest" in smaller portions than as a whole. For those who prefer a "multi-course meal," click here to read the complete word for 2019!
Today's portion - part 2 - concerns both strategy and spiritual government for the coming year. Just as Israel moved with the pillar of cloud and fire, which stood between them and their Egyptian enemies, it will be important to stay close to the Lord and move with Him to experience His rest and protection!
As we begin this New Year, I am delighted to release this Prophetic Word for 2019. Because it is lengthier than previous words, touching on family, government, spiritual life and Kingdom building, I will release this word in three segments on the blog over the next three weeks. Those who wish to read the Prophetic Word in full may do so using the link from my prophecies page on the website: www.HisInscriptions.com/prophecies.
Blessings to each of my readers as you enter in to the new things God has for you!
On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, followers of Jesus were gathered together in Jerusalem to pray. They had no idea what to expect; they only knew what Jesus had told them: “Wait until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
That first church prayer meeting resulted in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit so great that it enabled every person present to hear, see, and experience personally the power of God! That day alone, 3,000 people were saved.
Our tendency as modern-day believers is to leave the Pentecost story in the history books. After all, we think, God was just beginning to establish His church; He had to do something amazing like that!
Too many years of powerful encounters and answers to prayer have convinced me: that kind of thinking is nothing more than a cop-out. God’s power is alive and well, and the only reason we don’t see more of it is that we don’t pray for it!
My life has been powerfully impacted by prayer. The prayers I pray and the prayers others pray for me bear amazing fruit. There are countless stories I could share of God’s faithfulness to answer prayer, but I want to remind you, instead, of God’s stories.
How familiar and comforting are these words from the prophet Isaiah!
I have been quoting this verse all week, praying it over myself as I battled sickness that overtook my son and me. Weary and decidedly un-energetic, I knew I needed God’s strength!
Then a dear friend called me and said he had been quoting that same verse this week, as he was in severe pain and could not walk. It is a wonderful promise to those who love the Lord. The Bible promises renewal, not just in our minds, but in our physical bodies!
When I woke up this morning, however, it was as though the Holy Spirit were urging me to dig a little deeper. “Those words in Isaiah are not reactionary,” he said, “but preemptive.” Isaiah does not envision only a battle-weary tribe of godly people, clawing their way desperately back into God’s renewing presence! (Although historically, that is what happened.)
No, in fact, Isaiah’s words also envision a victorious people, whose “waiting upon the Lord” connects them daily to a God who is “Everlasting;” who never grows faint or weary Himself (verse 28).
In other words, we are not just the weary who hope to run again; we are runners with the potential to not grow weary in the first place!
Why? Because we pray.
Strength In the Waiting
We may begin in weakness, but our time with God enables us to persevere. Our waiting on God precedes our running and precludes our weariness. All our strength is predicated on waiting!
Waiting on God may seem like a slow start to your day when you see those java-loaded, caffeine-energized sprinters heading out the gate, leaving you in the dust of their wake! But the quiet peace and renewed energy you gain from those first moments alone with God will cause you to keep running when the golden hours come, overtaking those who have long since dropped in exhaustion by the wayside.
Not only that - but if you do fall - when you are wearied beyond belief and think God has forgotten you, Isaiah reminds: “His understanding is unsearchable.” (40:28) Compassion, not condemnation, is extended to you like a firm and sturdy hand, lifting you back to your feet.
No matter how you look at these verses - whether preemptive or redemptive - they carry tremendous hope. Either God will sustain us as we run because we waited on Him and received our sustaining strategy; or He will come to us and assist us when we fall. There is no situation in which you could find yourself where God cannot renew or restore you.
For this reason, Isaiah says, “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God? Do you not know? (Hebrew yada, to know intimately) Have you not heard? He is your EVERLASTING God!”
In case you missed the irony of this verse, Jacob and Israel are the same person! (Genesis 32:27-28). Jacob represents our fallen nature, the soul that cries out in desperation to God. Israel, however, is the victor who emerges after that struggle, the one who learns to run his race successfully in the strength of the Lord. No matter how you feel today, or whom you most identify with, God is still your God!
Wait a Minute!
God has said that this is the year of “recompense.” (Isaiah 35:4) Do you believe He is renewing and restoring all things to you, both physically and emotionally? Do you rely on Him to help you walk - even run - through situations that made you stumble before? Are you believing Him for the prophetic strategies and insights that come from having divine perspective - the eyes of an eagle soaring above? Most importantly, is your life and are all your movements founded on the directions you receive as you wait upon the Lord?
For Isaiah, prayer precedes our daily walks and runs for a reason. Waiting on the Lord is preemptive. It protects us from the burnout and weariness that others experience in their eagerness to run ahead. Prayer is also redemptive when we run ahead of Him ourselves. We could ask for no greater God than this, whose compassion never fails and whose strength towards us is undying!
Teach us, Lord, to wait!
As I meditated on what to write to you this week, the Lord impressed on me that I should release the full prophetic word He gave me just before Thanksgiving. I shared some of the key thoughts from that word in last week's Thanksgiving post, but as I reread the word this afternoon I felt it needed to be shared in full. The focus of His message was this:
God's desire is to continually refresh you on your journey!
As I spontaneously worshiped the Lord this morning I noticed that every song that came to mind seemed to center on the Name of Jesus. I simply couldn't stop singing about His Name! It was as if the Holy Spirit were gently reminding me: It's the Name that frees you. It's the Name that delivers you. It's the Name that heals you. It's the Name that sustains you. Every time you call on My Name, I answer!
The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry.
I hear the Lord saying: “At present, you are more like a water spigot than a fountain. You are connected to your Source and can access My power, but you enjoy the ability to turn on or off the water at your own good pleasure. I would rather you be a fountain flowing continuously, not a spigot flowing sporadically. For this, you will need to yield full control to Me.”
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. ~Mark 1:35
In a world where there are so many different kinds of prayer and meditation, what is the right way to pray? Should we pray the Lord’s Prayer? Do we pray alone, or with a priest? Do we need rosary beads, or a tallit? Can we pray effectively at home, or does prayer work better in church?
What does the Bible really say about prayer? And how can we be sure that our prayers will be answered? Read Deborah's newest post, published by LivingBetter50 magazine, right here.
"Without a vision, the people perish..." Proverbs 29:18
I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but there was a time when I got stuck. Really stuck.
A complex situation, one which had bothered me for some time, gathered its strength, reared its ugly head, and reminded me that no, I had not yet found a way to “overcome.” I did not know the answer, even after hours of searching my Bible, wondering “What would Jesus do?” I was not moving forward or making any real progress in this particular area.
In fact, if anything, the situation was becoming worse. My frustration level soared. My first response to the situation, which used to be tolerance, morphed into anger. It was as if this one situation, stirred up by some malevolent demon, finally depleted me of any remaining strength or willpower I possessed and convinced me that no, this was not worth my effort any more. I simply could not resolve it, especially since other people were involved.
Have you ever felt this way?
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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.