Merry Christmas! I am reflecting back on 2020 today, realizing that despite all that has happened, God has been very much on the move! He has expanded the ministry of His Inscriptions this year in three essential ways: through partnership, publishing, and prayer.
I hear the Lord saying: “These are as the days of Noah.”
Like Reagan before him, President Trump has used the words “drain the swamp” as a catchphrase for how he will combat corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy. Yet in the Spirit, I see that what is happening today could be better described as a flooding.
In a vision last week, I saw springs of the deep being opened up and water rising all across the earth. This great surge of water had the effect of flushing out evil in the government and in every sphere. I heard the Lord say:
“This exposing (of evil on the earth) is a flushing out of the “swamps” by waters from My deep storehouses; people do not perceive this as glory, but I tell you it is the pure springs of glory pouring forth from beneath that are causing evil to be exposed in this day.
"The rains will now also begin to fall in great torrents like you have never seen; think of the outpourings in Toronto and Brownsville, but MULTIPLIED in their force and effect.”
The powerful outpouring I saw in the Spirit was not in one place alone, but covered the earth in its scope and dimensions. I heard the Lord say: “You have no idea HOW BIG I AM and how I long for a total immersion of My people in My Presence! Joy will be magnified as those who are rescued find great purpose and peace in this hour.”
Today, July 27, 2020, marks exactly 7 months and 7 days since the tangible glory of God stepped into my home.
As some of you know, at the Lord's request I have spent the past three weeks on an extended prayer retreat. Never before have I been so "deep" with Him, and never have I been more sure of one thing: God is on the move! A NEW MOVE!
Like you, I have spent the past few months wondering: what do I do next? It is easy to prophesy a "new move of the Spirit," but what, really, does that look like? How does it happen practically?
Most of us do not have extended time to sit with the Lord and wait like "Mary" when life demands that we fulfill some very "Martha-type" roles. Yet as I've pressed into the Father's heart for understanding, He has revealed some keys that I believe will be helpful to anyone who is hungry to see God's glory manifest around the world.
Unlocking a new move begins with a man named Peter.
At the beginning of this week, my husband departed on a three-day business trip to Maine. Immediately as he stepped out the door, another powerful Presence stepped in and filled my home. The spiritual atmosphere around me shifted and the glory of God suddenly became manifest and tangible. I must say that I was not seeking this!
I was sitting at my dining room table studying the Word when the Spirit of God entered. The air around me seemed to come alive with His glory. Then a deep stillness settled around me like a blanket, and I retreated to my bedroom to seek Him.
In September 2019, I set aside some time for an extended prayer retreat.
As I asked the Lord for His heart concerning the coming New Year 2020 / Jewish Year 5780, I saw a woman in travail, about to give birth: she had nurtured the seed that was growing and expanding within her, and now the time of birth had come! As she opened her mouth she was compelled to cry out in travail.
I heard the Lord say: “That cry will be the sign of new life coming forth in a new era. So great and passionate will be the shout that the world will focus on the cry; yet the lovers of God will see the baby that emerges, fully equipped, from the womb of the woman.
For My Bride is full of godly seed and recognizes that her time has come. Shall I bring a baby to the point of birth and not give delivery? (Isaiah 66:9)
You will see the fruits of your labor as you make declarations in the Spirit, decreeing the new things I have prepared for My Kingdom!
And they are beautiful things! The ministries birthed in this season will be as varied as the warriors themselves. DIVERSITY will be a theme in My Kingdom, yet not diversity for diversity’s sake! No, the differences among people and ministries will only highlight My beauty and My diversity.
For one will say, ‘I did not know God looked like that!’ And another, ‘I did not know God could do that!’ And the world will wonder that a God who seems in such opposition to them could actually be so much like them in some ways, welcoming what is unusual and celebrating diversity!
In this midst of this diversity will be a unity so strong, even those who have labored for unity will be amazed. You will not have to strive for unity, with all the discomforts of laying aside personal agendas and dreams, in order to connect to those unlike you. No; instead, an innate unity in the Spirit will break out and be birthed in this hour. It will be unusual and unforced.
The new “children” born of the Spirit will not see black and white, male and female or any other differences; they will operate in ONE Spirit. It will not be their common interests in the flesh but their unity in the Spirit that will sustain them. Like those who built the tower of Babel, these newly-birthed ministries will walk in a higher purpose with clearer communication, accomplishing My will for this time.
SPECIFIC "NEW ERA" MINISTRIES WILL BE BIRTHED
One new ministry will see the horrors of Hollywood as a challenge to take on, leaving the masters of deception dumbfounded with their godly emphasis on signs and wonders. What they release by My Spirit will be completely irreproducible and the cameras will turn from the fake to the real as these unstoppable ones “wow” their audiences. They will not do this for fame or money but for the glory of God! I will release a power in that arena that is unknown to man, and unable to be duplicated as it was in Moses’ time.
While the world focuses on media and television, I am releasing books by the thousands around the world, a “sleight of hand” which, when realized, will cause a stir. Publishing will be seen as more potent than producing, and the expansion of My Word around the globe will surprise those who thought the printed word was dead! When technology fails these printed words will have power AND position, having been secretly deposited in places around the world while no one was watching.
Healing ministries will multiply as believers tap into the power of this Word: ‘I am Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals you!’ No longer will I allow the enemy to have the upper hand in destroying My saints, but I will come to their aid with Spirit-infused “rhema” words that will set the captives free.
Large-scale, mass healings will begin to take place THIS YEAR. Those called will wave their hands over auditoriums and see healing manifest throughout. Buckets of healing oil will be poured out by the angels over mass gatherings of people who desire only to worship Me.
YOUTH WILL BE EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ACCELERATED, AUTHENTIC MINISTRIES
With these healings will come a release of faith, miracles, and more healings. Young people will be so touched by the power of My Spirit that they will surrender their lives on the spot to follow Me in these accelerated ministries of unity! They will form partnerships with each other at the speed of the Spirit: quickly merging together to accomplish the next wave of revival that is on My agenda. Moving in the Spirit will not be foreign to them because they have been born and brought up in such a mode. The struggle that those who went before them endured will not be present for these youths, for they will be willing to accept at face value what I release, without question. Why? Because they will know it is real. AUTHENTICITY will win their hearts, and I am an authentic and honorable friend to them!
Faith is rising up in the hearts of prophets and intercessors because the time is near for these things to come to pass. What you have dreamed will now become a reality! Be ready to assist in the laboring, birthing, and early nurturing of this era. It is “all hands on deck!” You are on the cusp of this anointing and the role of the prophets will be as midwives (or doulas) in the Spirit. Those with prophetic gifts will both recognize and identify that which is being birthed at this time.
As new ministries are launched, the prophets will declare: “It’s a boy! It’s a girl!” They will NAME these newly-birthed ministries. For My church is returning to her place of dominion and authority and the prophets and intercessors will have a role in defining and naming these new things.
Look to the prophets for the definitions and descriptions of what you do not yet recognize, for they will “call it as they see it,” relying upon My Holy Spirit to define holy things. Those who listen to the prophets will build with the prophets; those who ignore or misname My cherished ones will suffer the consequences.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO BIRTH THESE NEW THINGS:
TRUST - You will need to trust in Me and in each other.
A TOWEL / A SERVANT’S HEART To cleanse and deliver new ministries, you will need a love that sees beyond the messiness.
A PLACE OF RIGHT ALIGNMENT - Safe places will be needed to position these new “babies” as they are coming to life. Right positioning and placement will come as you make the appropriate apostolic connections.
HONOR - Cultivate a healthy respect for the new life that is coming forth!”
THIS IS A SEASON TO VALUE MY BRIDE!
In this new era and new season I will shift the Body of Christ out of a place of despair and distress, into a season of joy and great value. For I would again reveal to My Bride the value I place upon her: her love, her devotion, and her sacrifice (See Song of Songs Chapter 4).
In previous seasons, My Bride was undervalued by man; the coming season will be an era of great glory, marked by a display of My favor upon My beloved one!
I will destroy the lies of the enemy about the condition of My Bride with the words of My mouth. My words will always take precedence! Every word of the Bridegroom from Song of Songs will become a declaration of love and an explosion of empowerment over you!
Make ready your garments! Make yourself ready as a bride adorns herself for her husband, for so you will adorn yourself for Me! Let the love-truths of My Word demolish the hateful lies that your brothers and your enemy have spoken over you.
Arise, My Beloved, and come into the full understanding of who you are and what you mean to Me! No more will I allow prior hurts to define you. No more will you speak of yourself as ‘dark’ or ‘damaged.’ For you will HEAR, and some will hear for the first time, the depth of My loving call to you, the sound of My voice and even the sound of My whispers!
My whispers in the night will shatter invisible barriers with which the enemy has encircled you. You will no longer ‘hide behind the lattice,’ visible yet invisible, but will be released to come and follow after Me! All that has held you back in previous seasons is gone; a new day has come. ARISE, My love, and come away!”*
(To read the expanded word for the Bride of Christ, please click here. To listen the YouTube podcast, click here.)
THE LORD'S DECREE FOR 2020
“What you see, decree! What you decree you will see! Those who can boldly take their places beside Me in the throne room of glory will have the privilege of seeing what they decree in the Spirit come to pass on the earth. I want to co-labor with you to establish righteousness on earth and this will require you to boldly take your authority IN ME and use it for good!
Your place of prayer is your place of battle, and you have the privilege of sitting with the greatest General who ever lived, to see and receive My strategies for this hour. As you decree them I will carry them out, for I have myriad troops at My disposal. The battle belongs to the Lord, but the secret strategies belong to the prophets.”
We need prophets and prayer warriors more than ever this year! We need the overcoming declarations they are making in their prayer rooms to reverberate and resound across the earth. This is a year to stop fighting with natural methods and instead, use our intimate access to God’s Throne to employ His mighty warriors, the heavenly hosts!
We need those who can step into their secret place with God and do damage to the enemy. Now is the time and this is the year to do so!
*In meditating on the Song of Songs, notice that the Shulamite Bride is at first so very aware of her “darkness,” and of her failure to tend her own vineyard. Although she is in love with her Bridegroom, she is very conscious of her sins and flaws, refusing to arise with Him as a joint heir and partner in His work.
What changes? The loving Words of the Bridegroom move her from a place of reluctance to a place of obedience, increasing her joy!
In this new season, we will hear the words of our heavenly Bridegroom saying, “You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you!” The love-declarations of Jesus in this hour will set the Bride free!
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com. Special thanks to His Inscriptions reader and artist Elizabeth Cartier for the beautiful background artwork in this post's images!
Deborah Perkins is a seasoned prophetic writer, teacher, and Christian leader with more than 35 years of ministry experience across denominations. At God's request in 2013, she founded His Inscriptions, an online ministry devoted to helping people worldwide “Discover Life-Giving Communication with God.” Through her website, inspired teaching and a weekly blog, Deborah offers discipleship to those who want to grow their relationship with God. Deborah currently lives in New England with her hubby, 3 sons, one cat and a coop full of chickens. Learn more about Deborah or order her books on her Amazon author page.
“Only 14 percent of young adults (ages 18-35) say they attend church because someone in their worship community cares deeply about them.”
What are you doing to reach the next generation?
Take a look around your church or small group fellowship. How many of your regular attendees are from the “next generation” following you? 10%? 20%? 50% or more?
If you see a healthy crop of young believers growing and being discipled in your church, congratulations. You’re a rarity!
As research shows, the majority of young people in our culture are suffering from serious neglect. Notably, they don’t feel anyone in church “cares deeply” for them. (Barna, 2019)
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.
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.
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!
"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?
Jesus is on a rescue mission to our nation and to the next generation!
Beginning at 9pm tonight (Thursday September 27th, 2018) a powerful movement of prayer and intercession will be launched in ALL 50 STATES and on 100 COLLEGE CAMPUSES around America.
Our goal: to bring the Presence of Jesus into every state in our nation, and to impact this generation to bring in a billion-soul harvest.
I want to personally invite you to find the location nearest your home (see below), and join us for an hour, a day, or the entire weekend.
Never before has our nation needed God so desperately, and never before (to my knowledge) has every state in our nation joined in unity to seek God simultaneously through prayer and praise. This is an historic moment you don't want to miss!
Who is invited: anyone, anywhere in the US
What: 50 hours (3 days) of continuous, 24/7 worship to exalt Jesus and pray for revival in our nation, our children, our government, our churches and our homes.
When: September 27th (Thursday, 9pm) through September 29th (Saturday, until 11pm)
Where: Every State capital in our nation (see list of locations below) and 100 college campuses
Why: 2 Chronicles 7:14
What does it mean to you to serve God?
For most Christians, serving God is a joyful expression of our translation from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. We exchange bad habits for good ones, spend time in Bible studies instead of bars, and invest our talents into churches, ministries, and good causes throughout the world. We hope that our investments will yield eternal rewards. Some time later, though, we may wonder, is this all there is to Christianity? Just meeting the needs of my church?
Most Christians realize early on that it takes a mixture of both prayer and action to fulfill the Great Commission. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Good works alone won’t fulfill God’s purposes any more than they’ll get you into heaven. (They aren’t rooted in the leading of the Holy Spirit.) And isolated prayers won’t accomplish everything, since someone must still put food on the table for the hungry!
It takes a partnership between the two: a “syncing” of Mary’s God-infused stillness with Martha’s active sense of mission. Only when we begin to balance the two do we really start fulfilling the Great Commission. One look at Isaiah 58:6-9 seals this truth. (Hover your cursor over scriptures in every post to read them.)
What are you building?
How are you using your talents to further the Kingdom of God?
Have you started something for God, only to not finish it for some reason? What got in the way?
If you’re like me, you’ve had lots of wonderful ideas of things you’d like to do for God, maybe even done a number of them. But for many people, your spiritual to-do list looks more like a hoped-for “bucket list” than a resume of accomplishments. Even when God tells us what should be on our lists, we sometimes fail to persevere and finish the tasks. Why is that?
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Isaiah 1:17, NIV
Roughly 6 months ago, I had lunch with a dear friend, a writer, who is also a member of the His Inscriptions community. As we talked, she asked if I knew of any local ministries that rescued women from human trafficking. She wanted to invest personally in freeing women from this type of captivity.
I didn't at the time, and I promised to pray that God would connect her to a ministry in the near future.
“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter in law. “He has not stopped showing His goodness to the living and the dead.”
~Ruth 2:20, NIV
What is the best thing God has ever done for you? Apart from your salvation, when in your life have you been most aware of the goodness of God?
It's here! Deborah's new Bible Study, How to Inherit Your Spiritual Promises: 5 Steps to Success, is now available on Amazon.com in Kindle and print formats. Click here to order!
At 24 years old, I embarked – alone - on a journey to Africa. Feeling frustrated with corporate America, I longed to dedicate myself to a more altruistic cause, especially one that benefited the Kingdom of God. Because I spoke fluent French, I chose to go to Niamey, the capital of Niger, to serve with a team of teachers and evangelists through Sudan Interior Missions. It was a life-changing decision, one that would launch me into full-time ministry when I returned.
I have been a missionary both at home and abroad. I have traveled to dangerous inner-city ghettos and dusty, dirty African compounds. I have sung songs with poor children in the streets of Mexico and built houses for the homeless in the streets of New Haven. In all my travels, I found that there was only one thing I needed.
In the eyes of God, a leader is a servant. We know that Jesus places a high value on servanthood and teaches His disciples to do the same: "Whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:26-28, NKJV).
A servant, by definition, is one who waits on his master. Attentiveness to the master's commands produces an effective, treasured servant who is entrusted with more responsibility and becomes a leader in his own right. It is primarily our listening, not our busyness, that makes us good servants. When we have first understood what our master needs, we will do a better job meeting that need.
Society honors leaders who "step up" to the proverbial plate and take authority. We admire, respect, and follow such people. Our busyness becomes a badge of identity and self-importance.
Yet God demands that His leaders "step down," often into a place of obscurity, where the tasks are menial and the recognition is scarce. I know several mature leaders who began their "ministry" cleaning toilets! They graduated to helping people get "cleaned up" later. God's model of servanthood is designed to help us avoid the idolatry of leadership: the allure of titles as well as the worship of leaders themselves. It is servanthood cradled in humility.
Why does God do this? Doesn't He need good, strong leaders today, who will take charge of things and champion the Kingdom cause in a world filled with corruption?
Yes, He does. He longs for mature leaders - servants - to go and impact the world for Christ, just as your pastor probably longs for someone to lead a small group or set up the chairs on Sundays. God longs for those He can trust with greater things: those who have been faithful over little things and graduated to weightier matters. The catch is that He also longs for us to recognize one simple truth that many of us miss: HE is the leader!
Are You a Slave to Man or a Servant to God?
After years of "service" in the Christian church, God had to adjust my understanding of whom I was actually serving. It's easy to be caught up in the needs and demands of a growing church body: lead a small group, serve coffee and donuts on a Sunday, join the parking team, or minister to people at the altar. The needs never end; they only increase as a church grows. And this is a good thing, because it provides opportunity for believers to exercise their faith and grow in the grace of servanthood.
But somewhere along the line, God calls us to examine our hearts. Have we become a slave to man or a servant to God?
Here's what the Lord spoke to me concerning leadership:
"A leader, in My eyes, is a servant. Yet the focus of servanthood is different (from the world's). Would you rather be a slave to man or a servant to Me? If you serve Me, I will lead you to help others. But if you serve man, you will only burn out - and quickly! I will offend your sense of what should be done in order to show you that what you do is to be done for Me alone. All other types of "servanthood" are nothing more than idolatry - the idolatry of self or others."
In other words, a good leader leads by listening.
Leadership that magnifies itself or its own mission overmuch causes people to stumble. If we are truly serving Christ in the way He intended, we will place His requests above those of man - even those that may come from our leaders. We will recognize Jesus as our Lord, and see that leaders, too, should be working in subjection to Christ's authority, direction, and mission. Christ is the head, not man. Every man - even the pastor - is part of a Body, receiving orders from the Head.
Lest it sound like I am against Christian service, I am not. Yet there is a distinction between doing something because it "needs" to be done and doing something because the Lord has asked you to do it. Many of us blindly accept requests to serve without checking first to see if that is what the Lord wants us to do, and as a result, we have a growing body of Christian workers, missionaries, and pastors who are burnt out and exhausted. They have focused their eyes on something or someone other than Christ.
We must be willing to trust that the Head knows what the Body needs to do, in what order, and by whom. We must also be willing to let things go undone when He does not call us to do them. Either He will raise up someone else to do the task, or the task is not a priority to Him at this point.
The only way to know what we should be doing is to listen to our Master, and sadly, many leaders are not listening. Studies of Christian leaders in the US have found that 80% of pastors spend fewer than 15 minutes a day in prayer.* A true servant is one who waits on his Master first, not as an afterthought.
The God Who Sees
Besides the idolatry of leadership and the constant needs presented by the church, there is another reason why we are so quick to jump onto the "service" bandwagon: pride. Jesus cautions us in Matthew 6: "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven." (Matthew 6:1, NKJV).
Joining the prayer group seems like a good thing until it becomes evident that someone is hoping to be "heard for their many words." (Matthew 6:7; notice Christ's emphasis on "being heard" as opposed to "seeking" or "listening"). Serving with the goal of being recognized by man is never a good idea.
In fact, the entire chapter of Matthew 6 addresses the issue of being seen by men, a form of pride. If men are the ones we are pleasing, we have missed the essence of Jesus' lesson on service. Service should flow out of our quiet times with God, with a clear sense of purpose and mission, and a balance to how much we are taking on - balance that can be provided only by God Himself.
If I had my way, I would serve relentlessly. I thrive on service, and I love to accomplish things - especially when I know those things benefit God's Kingdom. Many of us are wired this way. We get excited about "doing" things for God instead of finding out what God needs to be done! It is all the more important, then, for us to be sure that we stay in contact with the Head of our Body, who will keep us from doing too much and burning out.
In God's eyes, tasks are never as important as people. He sees whether we are responding to our pride, to man's expectations, or to Him alone. When our priorities are not in order, He will hold us back from the task in order to preserve His people. No matter how pressing the need, our reward only comes from serving His way. A secure leader can serve without need of recognition because he knows that God sees what is done for Him, even in secret.
Leading by listening is the most effective way we can become a servant. Serving man will cause us to burn out quickly. We need to stay in the flow of the Holy Spirit. When we listen first, we allow God to place us exactly where He wants us, doing what He wants done. This is not an easy lesson, since it requires that ministers and laymen alike make listening to God a priority. But leaders who listen will have the greatest impact on their generation.
c. Deborah Perkins/HisInscriptions.com. *Source: US National Prayer Council.
Deborah Perkins is passionate about connecting people with God. She writes about knowing God and hearing His voice at HisInscriptions.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or contact her directly here.
One of the benefits of walking with Jesus through this life is that we gain the advantage of perspective. My husband likes to picture it this way: imagine that you are walking along the “timeline” of life: a horizontal line with both a starting and ending point. The starting point would be Genesis and the ending point, of course, is the end of time, as pictured in Revelation.
God, however, lives outside of time. He is the Creator of it, yet is not bound by it. Picture God as residing somewhere above our imaginary timeline, seated on His throne, and able to see both beginning and end at once because of His “omniscient” position.
When we connect with God as believers, our spirits are no longer bound by time or distance because of the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit within us. God steps into our world through the Spirit who now dwells within us. The distance between us and God has been eradicated, and God now walks with us. He enters time.
Yet we also have the ability to ascend, in the Spirit, to a place that is outside of time. The Bible says that in Christ, we, too, are “seated in heavenly places,” and from this new position, we gain God’s perspective. (See Ephesians 2:6). It might be likened to the view the astronauts have when they soar into space and see the earth from afar.
Suddenly, we can see the “big picture.” The puzzle of life now has shape, definition, and form. We see how it all fits together, how it really looks.
A Prophetic Example
Seeing the big picture, however, has both blessings and pitfalls. In this highly connected digital age, it is easier than ever to see the big picture. And on a personal level, our newly-acquired perspective sometimes confuses us.
Suddenly, we are overwhelmed by the needs we see – the gaps in the “ministry” puzzle which so obviously need to be filled. There is no way that one believer can meet all the demands of the worthy ministries we come into contact with. Where are the laborers, we ask? Should I be stepping in to fill this gap? Many pieces of the puzzle seem to be lost or missing. Leaders, especially, can be tempted to yield frantically to the search for missing pieces in a valiant attempt to complete the puzzle.
Just as God expands our vision prophetically to release strategies for Kingdom growth, so the enemy tries to stretch us to capacity as we seek to fill ministry needs we are not called to fill. Whether at a local or a national level, we are forced to see that there are gaps (still!), and also that we cannot possibly fill them ourselves.
Fortunately, this is a good place for us to land. Our new perspective shows us both the greatness of the mission task and our utter inability to fulfill it alone. The solution, as always, is to do things God’s way: to ask Him for His strategies, so that others might be enabled to find their places in the big picture, too.
A jigsaw puzzle must be completed piece by piece, in a certain order, before the placement of certain sections will be revealed. Without connecting preliminary pieces, it will not be known how others are to fit in. Only God can show us what’s next and where we belong.
Many of us have prayed, “Lord, show me where I fit in. Show me which piece of the puzzle I am. Should I be in this section, or that one? Am I at the top or the bottom? Where are the pieces I should be connecting to?”
I prayed a similar prayer not too long ago. Faced with mounting pressure from ministry needs and gaps I could see in the divine puzzle, I felt confused. There were simply too many needs for me to fill - needs I could fill and had even been prepared for – in other words, too many viable options. Like a puzzle piece suspended over a work in progress, I couldn’t see where I should fit at the time. God’s answer surprised me.
“Despite how you may feel,” He said, “you have already been placed within my Kingdom puzzle. I have divinely ordained the place where you live and the Body you are a part of. Based upon your true colors and your personal design, you have been set into a section of My puzzle where you can snugly connect with others around you. You have only to reach out and explore those connections. Like interlocking tabs and slots, you are made to work with those around you, holding larger sections of the puzzle together. Start where you are locally and your reach will extend globally.”
It can be tempting to try to “fit in” somewhere that we don’t belong – somewhere He has not created us to be. Even more so when the gaps seem overwhelming and the needs pressing. By all means, meet the needs you can meet. Reach those within your reach. But don’t allow the enemy to use the perspective you gain to pull you out of your God-given position in His overall plan.
What, then, of all the gaps in ministry? Jesus recognized them, too. Even as a man like us, walking our timeline, He saw the big picture. The fields are white for harvest, He said. Pray for laborers to be sent out. (See John 4:35; Luke 10:2).
Perspective should be met with prayer. When we pray, the hand of God moves ever more swiftly to scoop up the next pieces of the puzzle, setting them carefully into place. The gaps will close, and the image will be clear. The picture we are completing is the image of His glory. And the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. (See Habakkuk 2:14).
c.DeborahPerkins / His Inscriptions
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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.