“We are like common clay jars that carry a glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.”
Never is it more clear that we are “treasures in jars of clay” than when the pressure is on!
Our desire to love dissipates as we are squeezed, it seems, almost unmercifully, and what spills out of us is not love or power at all but hatred, judgment, anger, or fear.
“Lord, I can’t take this anymore! I am so stressed. People don’t understand. I simply can’t continue doing life this way.”
This complaint was mine recently, as life itself seemed to strangle and choke me. Pressure and disappointments from family, a lack of time for the things I most needed to do, some boundary issues that needed confronting, and - for good measure - several troubling issues with our house all conspired to crush me.
The funny part? That was the week the Lord whispered to me: “Write about love.”
For a moment, I wondered if God had missed something. Perhaps He was slipping as eternity wore on? Because at that point in time, my attitude was far from loving!
I had a powerful dream a few nights ago. I will share portions of the dream with you here, but the most notable aspect of it was that when I woke up I heard the Spirit clearly say these words: “The church as you know it is disappearing!”
Immediately I was reminded of the Scriptures. In Matthew 24, Jesus’s disciples are admiring the beautiful Jewish temple: its courts, structures, and architecture. Jesus turns to them and says: “Take a good look at all these things, for I’m telling you, there will not be one stone left upon another. It will all be leveled!” (Matthew 24:2, TPT)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
I am writing to you this week from about 35,000 feet - roughly 7 miles up - in the air.
Two of my children and I are returning from a visit to North Carolina with my sister and her family. My younger boys have never flown before, and one of the most wonderful parts of our journey is showing them what it is like to soar above the clouds, in a place where bright daylight is radiant no matter what the weather below. We took off in a fog; we now soar in a luminescent sky with pillow-like clouds that beg us to somehow step out and walk upon them!
The contrast is amazing. My boys have loved every minute of their flights to and fro, with the change in perspective they bring. To be "above and not beneath" (Deuteronomy 28:13) is a blessing indeed, and it started with a simple choice to shift our focus.
"I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." -Matthew 16:19, NASB
Following is a word I received in prayer just two nights ago. I believe it will be a great encouragement to you as well! God is releasing great revelation to His people: prophetic keys that unlock vision, hearts, and even storehouses, all for Kingdom purposes! Don't miss your appointments with God, which have the potential to unlock so much for so many. Enter His gates with expectation, believing that He is ALWAYS speaking good things to those who will listen!
Press in! Press in! For the time is short and the Kingdom’s agenda still long before the coming of the Lord!
Those who linger behind will miss the joy of receiving My new assignments for age-old plans! There are still many people I wish to reach, and you must know the ones I am calling you to in this hour. Every person has a task, every believer a work to do to fulfill My hope in the nations worldwide. I can use you! I can use you as you are; only come to Me to hear and learn. Let Me touch your lips, and fill your mouths with good and mighty things!
Let My Spirit open you up in this hour to receive from Me and give to others. Without an internal opening up of your heart, there will be no external reach to the nations. Only what I will give you will have the weight and substance necessary to unlock the difficult “puzzles” of men’s hearts.
LAST CALL! There are still some spaces available in this summer's E3 Prophetic Roundtable Group! If you or someone you know would like to grow your prayer life and learn how to hear from God more accurately, I invite you to take advantage of the upcoming "E3" mentoring course.
"E3" - which summarizes the biblical mandate in 1 Corinthians 14 to "Encourage, Exhort and Edify" others, is focused on developing your prayer life and challenging you to move forward in the prophetic gifts - something every believer is called to do! Even if you've never had the opportunity to function prophetically, this series of teachings will help you see how God can use you to bless people in your sphere of influence as you share meaningful and personal words from His heart. You don't need to be a prophet to prophesy! You can develop the art of listening prayer and hear from God directly yourself. (See John 10:27)
This small group setting is ideal for those who want deeper teaching on this topic but also desire a place where they can ask questions and be mentored in their individual gifts!
We will be meeting Tuesdays from July 22 - August 27th, during the day, sometime between 10 and 2pm. (Exact time TBD by participants). Easy to join in via the Zoom app (download from Google Play to your phone or computer), so you can participate from wherever you are.
Here's what a former participant said about the E3 course: "This course came at the right time. I was in need of guidance, mentoring, teaching and encouragement. I received all of that! I am encouraged to step out and take a risk in the giftings the Lord has given me. I appreciated the detailed information, steps of action, and personal examples of what that looked like."
Interested? Register Now to secure a spot, or contact me first with any questions! Information on how to call in to each session will be provided once you are registered.
As I sat down to write and pray this morning, the Spirit of God impressed upon my heart to turn the pages of Paul’s letter to the Colossians into a prayer. With several translations of Colossians in front of me, I began meditating on the powerful words about Christ’s preeminence, transforming them, paragraph by paragraph, into personal prayers. I realized then just how rich God’s Word is when we pray it as promises over ourselves!
Never are we closer to praying the will of God than when we are praying the Word of God! The Spirit and the Word work together as we pray, making our divine inheritance manifest as we speak God’s Word back into His heart.
To pray the Word of God is to agree with what God has already said He will do, setting in motion spiritual blessings that have been seen throughout history and can be activated once again by faith.
Space limits me to sharing just the first section of my prayers from Colossians with you today. If you would like to order the complete booklet of "Pray Colossians!" please click below to purchase in our store.
May this heartfelt “prayer paraphrase” of Paul's first-century letter to the Colossians reveal more to you about your inheritance in Christ and build your confidence to begin praying the will of God over your life!
Not many Christians will admit to being angry with God. It seems unholy somehow, against the "rules" of Christianity that we have been taught. After all, if God is no longer angry with us, then what right do we have to be angry with Him?
Yet simmering beneath the surface, even the best believers have some level of anger towards God, anger they often won't admit even to themselves. Why? Because most of us, no matter how holy, deal with unmet expectations.
One of the greatest breakthroughs in how we understand God can also lead us to one of the greatest difficulties: God is a person! We can have a wonderful, personal relationship with God, yet that very same truth can become a stumbling block to us when we transfer natural human expectations over onto Him and forget He is also divine.
As I listened to the Lord last night, I felt His heart of compassion and I believe strongly that He asked me to simply pray for you today. Prophetic words are wonderful, teaching and devotionals help us grow, but there is nothing like the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit in prayer!
There is no distance in the Spirit (see Colossians 2:5; 1 Cor 5:3a). God is omnipresent and unlimited in His ability to reach anyone, anytime, anywhere. As I pray in the Spirit for you, and you agree with me, I believe I am effectively standing beside you, IN HIM. Our unity with the Savior means we are never alone!
Please join me in agreeing for these very biblical promises and blessings to take place in your life today! Read them out loud over yourself; insert your name if you'd like to make them more personal. They represent God's heart for you!
Living a godly life is actually quite simple: In every situation where you honor God, He honors you in return. One choice made for God, in the midst of many other potential choices, can mean the difference between a victory or a defeat in your personal battles!
So many of us long for more of God. More love, more intimacy, more security. I do, and I have talked to some of you who desire the same thing. The Holy Spirit is drawing us into a deeper relationship with a Father who SO loves His children!
At the same time, the enemy is launching wide-scale attacks to challenge that love. He’s presenting more options than ever to keep us from entering the secret place of God’s Presence, where we are renewed.
As I contemplated this, I heard the Lord emphasize one single truth: the power to fully comprehend God’s love begins with a life of consecration!
Far from a religious ritual, and beyond the obvious biblical requirement for priesthood, the Lord’s heart is to communicate how simple and how powerful our consecration to Him really is in our quest for more of Him. Take a moment to listen to His heart; to understand how HE sees consecration and the blessing it can be for you.
Evil roots bear bad fruit.
Have you ever said to someone:
“Well, that’s just the way I am.”
“I’ve tried to overcome ______ (fill in the blank), but I’ve never been successful.”
“It’s part of my personality; I’m a _________” (insert label here).
“I guess some things never change.”
Or has your spouse, parent, or close friend ever said to you:
“You always do this….”
“I wish you would stop ______.” (Fill in the blank)
“Can’t you see that you’re the problem here?”
I believe most of us have said or heard at least one of these statements in our lifetimes. I certainly have!
Typically, comments like these stem from issues we or others have noticed about ourselves that don’t represent our best selves. You know what I mean: the nagging wife. The controlling husband. The angry child. The fearful friend.
Ask any one of us why we do what we do and we’ll say, “It’s because _______ (name a situation or offender) made me do it. I was bullied as a child, so I never became who I wanted to be. My mother was always angry. My husband doesn’t help me around the house unless I nag him. You get the picture!
Evil roots bear bad fruit, and while it’s easy for people to spot the bad fruit (and want to throw you out like a rotten tomato for it!), it’s not so easy to deal with the roots.
Instead of thinking we are bound to bear bad fruit in some areas, we can take a more comprehensive approach to prayer and work with the Lord to destroy evil roots and establish righteousness.
Most Christian leaders I know, including myself, have a desire to see the Kingdom of God expand. Some want to grow their churches, some want to send missionaries to the field, some evangelize the lost and heal the wounded, and some pray for revival.
Each of us has a part to play, and every one of us will have a different vision. At the moment, I am called to write, while you might be called to share Jesus in your workplace. God invites ALL of us to help build His Kingdom, yet we ALL need to invite God into our processes first to see His Kingdom expand!
If you’re longing to bear more fruit for the Kingdom of God, these words the Lord shared with me recently will encourage you.
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.
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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.