Through multiple encounters in prayer this week, the Lord has been highlighting Acts 16, speaking to me about “prison breaks” and breakthroughs coming for the Body of Christ.
Those who have felt “locked up” in impossible situations for so long are about to see supernatural breakthroughs as the Lord Himself unlocks prison doors on your behalf, bringing you out into new places of freedom!
A NEW 'JESUS REVOLUTION!'
This is what the Lord says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work will be rewarded," declares the Lord, "and (your children) will return from the land of the enemy." ~ Jeremiah 31:16-17, NASB
In this Jewish month of Tevet, I believe the Lord is challenging His Beloved not just to grow up, but to give up! He is looking for those whose hearts are fully surrendered, or given up, to Him.
God's desire for your wholeheartedness is not selfish. In fact, it is your best form of protection. Your choice can be a matter of life and death.
As a Christian, the war you fight against a satanic enemy is a war over your heart. All other wars are rooted in this foundational battle over the dominion and territory of the heart. (See James 4:1-4.) God wants you to win this war. Yet in order to win the war, you must humble yourself and surrender to God. To fail to surrender is to become God's enemy.
The Lord once said to me: “A surrendered heart is all I need. No matter what you are going through, your surrender to Me is the key to victory. You may not have all the answers; you may not even see the way ahead of you, but a simple surrendering of yourself once again is the yieldedness that will allow Me to move you forward.”
Two weeks ago the Lord asked me to call a dear friend, a watchman/intercessor I highly respect, to deliver a very simple challenge: "Just Jesus."
Those two words, the Lord said, were an invitation for my friend to close the doors temporarily on all external sources of "noise" or information-gathering in order to recalibrate the ears to just one sound: the voice of God.
I knew this would not be easy; turning off phones, news, YouTube, and even the Kingdom sounds of other prophetic voices is a daunting task today! Yet I saw the Lord sitting patiently and quietly nearby, waiting - as any good guest might - for His Brides' full attention.
A VISION OF BURNING REVIVAL FIRES
In 2010 my husband and I had an angelic encounter in which the Lord revealed a progressive sequence of events that would take place in coming years. Although I have only spoken once publicly about this encounter, the Lord compelled me to share a few of the highlights with you again today.
FRIENDSHIP WITH THE KING
He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, will have the King as his friend.
The current Hebrew month of “Elul” is such a beautiful time to celebrate the nearness of our King!
As I’ve meditated on this traditional Jewish time of preparation leading up to the “Days of Awe,” the Lord has drawn me back into the story of Ruth and Boaz. Within this ancient text are keys for how we must partner with our heavenly “Boaz” - King Jesus - today.
You may remember that like Christ, Boaz returns to his field at harvest time to check on his servants and reapers. Like Christ, he probably wonders: “Will I find faithfulness in my land? Will my fields be well tended and my full harvest come in?” (Luke 18:8)
What Boaz finds becomes the seed for an incredible story of redemption and new beginnings. Ruth is the eighth book of the Bible. While it is set in the time of the Judges, Ruth’s story has unique applications for us now.
In a time of economic and political instability as well as spiritual decline, a man named Elimilech (meaning “My God is King”), encounters a famine in Bethlehem. Yet instead of remaining in the Promised Land, he moves his wife (Naomi) and their two sons to Moab, a nation hostile to Israel. This is no easy, local move: Moab is at best 1800 miles from Bethlehem; roughly a month's journey on foot.
Whether motivated by fear or faulty human reasoning, Elimilech runs from a problem instead of facing it. His decision proves to be fatal: Elimilech’s two sons marry Moabite women (Ruth and Orpah) and eventually all three men die, leaving three widows destitute in a foreign country.
Naomi sums up the experience this way: “I left full (with a husband and two sons), but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi (“pleasantness”), since the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:21)
Naomi and Elimilech's story is a picture of a curse in action.
After these deaths, Naomi hears that God has actually been taking care of His people in Judah, giving them food in a time of famine. It would have been better to trust God than to run from the problems!
Think about it: in the space of just ten years in Moab, Naomi loses not one but three intimate family members. She is abandoned by one of her daughters-in-law and winds up penniless except for an unredeemed piece of land in Bethlehem. To reclaim her inheritance, Naomi and Ruth must begin a long journey back home.
How does this apply today?
The journey symbolizes an urgent “return” to God that many people need to make right now, lest we, too, encounter worse situations in dire times.
God’s mercy is still available even to unbelievers - the “Ruths” among us - who are hungry for the Lord and His Word. But wholehearted return is often a long journey through death, grief, bitterness of soul, facing the fears, and encountering spiritual famine or impoverishment.
The journey is hard, but it is meant to restore.
Throughout the journey, Ruth remains a faithful, comforting companion to Naomi, even pledging her life to the God of Israel. The meaning of Ruth’s name is “Compassionate Friend.”
Like New Testament Cornelius, Ruth’s hard work during the harvest season, her bold loyalty, and her generous devotion are noticed by others. They earn her, in the end, a fruitful place in the lineage of Jesus. Ruth’s son becomes David’s grandfather.
Returning to God always carries a blessing with it, and Ruth’s story illustrates just how wonderful the blessings of friendship with the Lord can be.
From Boaz’s first words in Ruth 2:4, we see a Christ-like figure who speaks blessings over his people. He cares for the condition of his workers, not just his crops.
As this symbolic “King” returns to his field, Boaz hears of Ruth’s faithfulness and submission while she exercises the biblical right of the poor to glean at the edges of his field.
When Jesus returns to the field of this world once again, will He find your faithfulness, too?
Like the servants with the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Ruth has used any skills or strength she possesses to labor from dawn to dusk for her food. As a result, Boaz blesses her with more.
Ruth is “promoted” from gleaning to reaping as Boaz commands his reapers to undo their work, pulling stalks of grain from bundles already gathered. She is promoted again when she moves from doing the work of reaping to bearing fruit herself.
Boaz’s interactions with Ruth release 12 blessings:
This is what Jesus does for His friends. While it’s easy to see the connections between Boaz and Christ in these twelve blessings, I believe that Ruth's story also holds significant prophetic weight for us in our current season.
Just as Boaz blessed Ruth with protection and provision, so God will protect and provide for those families who remain in or return to Him at this hour, even in times of famine. Whether this lack is experienced naturally or spiritually, the Lord intends to satisfy those who come to Him with bread from His table (Isaiah 55).
Christ teaches in Matthew 13 that the reapers are the angels. There is a powerful partnership with angelic reapers available to all believers at this time. Where you have labored tirelessly like Ruth, there is promotion and acceleration available to you as you lean in to the supernatural help God is providing through His Spirit. Ask the Lord for these ministering and reaping angels to bring supernatural help as you labor for your harvest!
We are in a time of “winnowing,” where wheat is clearly being separated from the chaff. Yet for Ruth and for believers today, the time of winnowing can become the time of promotion! It is at the threshing floor that Ruth receives her greatest reward: the promise of a covering and full redemption by her soon-to-be bridegroom.
Notice that Ruth had to walk in a precarious place of integrity and trust throughout her difficult journey. While she grieved, she retained honor for her elders; worked tirelessly for little pay while obeying the laws of the land; had the boldness to approach her “redeemer” undercover, in the darkness of night; and found courage to invite Boaz to partner with her.
Deep trust and strong faith are necessary components for relationships that work in difficult situations. Steps of bold faith - not running from hard times - will lead you into God's current places of provision.
It is through this tiny “community” of three faithful people - two of them extremely broken but yielded to God - that healing, restoration, and the continuation of a family line are preserved. It is through these three faithful people - Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz - that healing and restoration are made possible for the world as the generational line of Christ is continued! (Matthew 18:19-20.)
Faithful, intimate alignment with God in today's “winnowing” season is a key to receiving the fullness of your inheritance! God is waiting for you to ask Him for your full inheritance in prayer. Alignment with others who share a similar commitment to excellence and integrity is essential to your survival!
THE "KING IN THE FIELD" SEEKS FRIENDS
Proverbs 22:11 describes the type of person who has the King as his friend. It is someone whose heart, like Ruth’s, is pure, and who celebrates purity of heart in others. It is someone whose words, like Boaz’s, are governed by the law of kindness, even in times of deep loss, hardship, or alienation.
When the “King is in your field,” as He is in this beautiful story of Ruth, you’ll see a shift from poverty to blessing. Widowhood to marriage. Bitterness to joy. Gleaning to reaping. Scraps to sheaves. Famine to harvest. Isolation to friendship. Barrenness to fruitfulness. Vulnerability to protection. Alienation to covenant!
My prayer for you today contains words from the book of Ruth:
Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a Redeemer!
May His Name become famous through you. May He be the One who restores your life and sustains you in old age as you devote yourself to serving Him faithfully; in season and out of season.
May you never be afraid to stand your ground when famine or loss strikes. May you have the courage to always return to God, even if your soul must journey from very far away.
May you receive the fullness of your own inheritance in Christ as you seek to remain intimately within the protection of His covering. May you find refuge under His outstretched wings. Amen.
Early in the morning on 8.13.22, the Lord drew me into an encounter with Him. I heard Him say: “The scepter of wickedness will not remain over the land of the righteous.” (Psalm 125:3.)
I was immediately shown a vision of a “scepter of wickedness.” It resembled a rough, brown branch or wooden staff, much like a walking stick. Carved into it were words like “slavery;” “debt;” “fear;” “poverty;” “borrower;” “bribery;” “money;” and “interest.”
All the words on this scepter spoke specifically of economic oppression that was being inflicted worldwide through ungodly leaders.
The Lord then highlighted three Scriptures.
The first was 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
In context, 1 Timothy 6 warns believers about false teachers, greed and covetousness along with the need for us to guard the “deposits” of faith and contentment we have made for eternity.
The second scripture was Matthew 19:21. Here, Jesus responds to a rich young ruler’s question, saying: “If you want to be perfect (mature; complete), go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
The third scripture was from Matthew 6:24: “You cannot serve God and mammon.”
A VISION FOR GOD'S EAGLES
In a series of encounters over the past week, the Lord has been speaking to me of His “Eagles”: those believers and warriors who have taken the time to rest deeply in the Lord, heal, listen, and prepare themselves for the future.
These Eagles are trained to soar! Like great birds perched on the Master Falconer’s arm, they are awaiting His signal and ready to be released.
I believe there will be a time very soon when these Eagles are corporately released. They will know by the Spirit what they are to do, both individually and in collaboration with each other. Their visionary leadership and heightened perspective in stormy times will be a great asset to the Body of Christ!
I hear the Lord saying to the weary: “I am your Lifeline and your Rescuer!”
In a vision this week, I saw the Lord Jesus holding a thick rope which extended from heaven to earth. His desire was to rescue His people by drawing them up higher with Him in the Spirit.
The ones who took hold of the Lord to ascend in this way were deposited on a cloud in the heavens. All around them was darkness. I heard the Lord say that He was a “Lifeline” and a “Rescuer.”
When I asked the Lord about the cloud, which was very high above earth and surrounded by a vast space, He spoke into my ears a verse from Psalm 18:19: “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
HOW TO FIND PEACE IN TIMES OF TRAUMA
Times of stress can make us feel as though we have been thrown overboard, tossed from the safety and comfort of our ships into a tumultuous sea. Traumatic events - whether injuries, losses, wars, or relational fractures - shock our systems like a plunge into cold water, momentarily destabilizing us. All we can do, it seems, is watch as waves and wind batter and shatter the only sources of security we have ever known!
We are living in a time of unprecedented trauma, when storms of epic proportions are being unleashed against our world. It’s a time of compounded trauma: each event triggers another. Stress is emerging like bands of a storm, wanting to draw us into the very center of its turmoil.
King David expressed so well how this feels. He wrote: “For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.” (2 Samuel 22:5-6)
It is important for the Bride of Christ to remember that her security is in Christ alone, not in things she might hold dear. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Although it may seem like the Lord Himself has cut your lifeline and detached you from the safety of any “ship” you have relied on in the past, I believe this SEVERING from the old is what’s necessary for a stronger TETHERING to your empowered, new-creation life!
Christ in you is the hope of glory! I hear the Spirit saying: “We have this hope as an anchor for our souls.”
ARE YOU READY FOR GOD TO VISIT?
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.”
This week, I was working my way through a checklist as I prepared to welcome family and friends home for the holidays.
As I went to sleep one night, I marveled at how quickly my list seemed to have been completed; there were only one or two items left for me to take care of. I was delighted to find myself two full days ahead of my own schedule!
Then, early this morning, I was overtaken by the Fear of the Lord as I sat quietly with Him. As God's unmistakable Presence enveloped me I heard the Him say “The Master of the House is coming to visit His Vineyard.”
WATCH AND PRAY! GOD IS POSITIONING YOU TO RELEASE THE LIGHT OF HIS GLORY AROUND THE WORLD
For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
~2 Corinthians 4:6
Early in the morning on November 14, 2021, I was worshiping Jesus, inviting Him to share His heart. He began speaking to me about “The watch of the Lord.”
Intercessors often describe the “watch of the Lord” as an all-night prayer meeting; watching and praying for Israel; or perhaps being “watchful” against the enemy. All are essential!
Yet at this particular time, I felt a strong desire in Christ’s heart for us to remember to WATCH HIM.
In September of this year, at the close of Rosh Hashanah, I had an encounter with the Lord Jesus in what seemed to be the throne room of heaven. The focus of the encounter was on specific sons and daughters who had felt pressured by the enemy to step away from their God-given callings or divine destinies.
For a variety of reasons, these chosen ones had adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude concerning God's current Kingdom plans. I saw that the Lord wanted to reignite faith and boldness in these disillusioned leaders. He is breaking off demonic hindrances of apathy and reluctance, encouraging them to fulfill their destiny in His amazing Kingdom plan!
COMFORT FOR THE SUFFERING
On 7.27.21 I had a vision of the Lord Jesus, followed by two encounters in the Spirit which the Lord asked me to describe to you exactly. Please know that it is not my desire to call attention to the encounters themselves, but to the messages contained within.
I saw the Lord comforting those who were suffering from trauma.
We are living in increasingly difficult times, and as trials increase, the manifest Presence of the Lord is also increasing to release grace and peace to His people!
I believe the Lord wants to impart hope and healing to those who face trauma and opposition for His Name, and I am praying that these words will impress you as deeply as I was impressed when I heard them.
At the end of this post you will find a recorded prayer you can use to receive ministry yourself or share with a friend. (Click here for audio podcast or scroll down for YouTube podcast)
The Master Waits for Love!
In this new era, I hear the Lord issuing an age-old call to His Body to return to our First Love:
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” (Revelation 2:2-4)
The Sentinel and the Scroll
Today the Lord reminded me of an encounter I had with Him during a prayer retreat on April 11, 2021, asking me to share it with you. The encounter illustrates what happens behind the scenes through an ongoing cycle of prayer and communication in the Spirit. I believe Father wants to encourage the Body of Christ with a visual understanding of what is happening in the Spirit as we pray.
HONORING THE INTERCESSORS
The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts we consider less honorable, we treat with greater honor.
1 Corinthians 12:23
"I WILL FEED YOU ON THE MOUNTAINS"
There is a place at the top of the mountains in Switzerland where one can stand and see nothing but pure, untouched beauty. Heaven’s sun kisses earth’s snowy peaks with brilliant light until they radiate whiteness. The air is crisp and clean. Every cell in your body comes alive with invigorating breaths.
It is a steep climb to reach the top, which in winter is only accessible by lift or helicopter, but from this place where three nations intersect, one can ski down a southern slope into Italy or a western one into France. The villages seem like storybook pictures below, so tiny and peaceful from a heightened vantage point!
THE WHITE-HOT PASSION OF THE LORD
A few weeks ago, the Lord asked me to set aside some time for Him, as I do several times a year, for a prayer retreat. Several days became a week, then two, of deeper encounters with Him, and I am now in the third week of intensely seeking His heart.
I have never felt more of an urgency in the Spirit, especially for our nation and the world, and I know many of you are feeling the same desire to draw close to the Lord in repentance and prayer. I believe our prayers can change even the worst outcomes predicted by man!
During the course of these weeks with the Lord, I was awakened one morning at 2 am. I often go downstairs in the early hours of the morning to worship, read, or pray, but on this morning I was led to go and share communion with Him with no Bible or notebook, just heart to heart.
I feel strongly impressed to share with you what happened during this time because I believe it is an urgent call for all of us as His Body.
In the past few months, I have been blessed to have several encounters with the Lord in which He revealed Himself to me chiefly as the Shepherd. In modern-day terms we might say he manifested Himself as a Pastor, or perhaps as a very wise and dear Companion.
Whatever the terminology, I was reminded more than once of the scripture in 1 Peter 2:25 which reads: "You were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." I have been thoroughly captured by the gentleness, patience, and love I have seen as He manifested Himself to me this way!
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Throughout history, God has looked for people who were either curious enough or sensitive enough to turn aside from their daily routines and spend time with Him.
Just as the Lord longs for us to turn to Him, so He also draws near to us when we do so, revealing Himself in greater measure.
Abraham showed hospitality to strangers and entertained angels. Moses turned aside to see a burning bush and encountered God. Joshua, Samuel, Daniel, Anna, Zaccheus, Mary, and so many others made quality decisions to seek God, and were rewarded for pressing in.
Their reward? To hear God's voice and to know Him personally.
For the past week or so, the Lord has brought me repeatedly into an unusual story: the story of Hosea.
As I've prayed through this “minor” prophet’s book, I have been so captured by the Lord’s heart for His Bride in this hour! Please allow me to share what I believe He is saying today, and join me in praying Hosea’s prayers at the end of this post.
"Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."
Last night as I meditated on Jesus our Intercessor, I entered into a deep place of prayer. I interceded for various people as Holy Spirit led me. As I did so, I suddenly became aware of the Lord’s unmistakable Presence in the room.
Because prayer is a work done mostly in secret, it is rare for an intercessor to immediately know whether his prayers are effective. It is rarer still for someone to realize they are being prayed for, since humility constrains us from boasting about our praying!
Yet from time to time, we do hear of amazing answers to prayer and have the joy of knowing that there is indeed power released when we pray. In the midst of a very difficult week, God allowed both me and my pastor to see the power of prayer.
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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.