I’m not a prophet by spiritual office. Teacher is my heavenly assignment and I’m gifted accordingly. Yet the Bible exhorts every believer to desire to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1) and, as it happens, in recent years, around this time, I’ve found the Spirit of Truth speaking to me about the year ahead. After all, Jesus said one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to show us things to come. (John 16:13)
Most of what I usually see/hear/sense relates personally–to me and my household. Some of it relates to the church I pastor, The Cup & Table Co., as a community of believers. And occasionally I get preparatory glimpses for the Body of Christ as a whole, our nation, and the world.
What follows is what I’m getting for for myself and like-hearted believers:
We need a revelation of “authority.”
I’m not just talking about our authority in Jesus Christ, although that is a part of it. My sense is that we don’t understand authority at all. That we’re living in an age in which the spirit of the age is chaos and rebellion and individualism and autonomous willfulness. (I’m increasingly convinced that we can’t walk in spiritual authority while rejecting the truth about authority in general.)
Yes, we need to understand the authority “in heaven and on earth” that Jesus achieved through His victory (Matt. 28:18). But before we can understand that, we need to understand how God views authority in general.
Authority is related to order. And order is the antidote to chaos. God loves order. The opening lines of the book of Genesis reveal an earth that is utterly chaotic, and the spirit of God hovering, brooding, fluttering over the chaos in preparation for God speaking and bringing order.
I’ve always sensed there was great significance in the words uttered by the messenger of of the Roman centurion in the 7th chapter of Luke:
. . . but just say the word, and my servant shall be healed.For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under myself; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Now when Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him . . .Luke 7:9b-11a)
(The Greek word translated “authority” there is exousia. It appears 93 times in the New Testament, usually rendered “authority” but sometimes as “power.”)
A life in the Roman army had given that centurion a deeply ingrained understanding of rank, chain-of-command, and of territorial rule. That’s something a lot of believers today know very little about.
Zoom out to 50,000 feet over the scriptures and you’ll see a picture emerge that reveals God’s ways involving hierarchy and delegated authority.
Any people (like the Church in America) whose banner is, “No one is going to tell me what I can and can’t do,” will not . . . indeed cannot . . . effectivelly wield the authority that is ours in the resurrected, glorified, exalted Christ. We need what that centurion had.
I personally need to know more about how authority works in the invisible realm. I suspect we all do. Here’s good news. “If any one of you lacks wisdom, let them ask confidently . . . and God will freely give.” The Holy Spirit’s assignment is to lead us into all truth. That, as we’ve been seeing recently, inescapably involves exposing lies we’re believing.
We have not because we ask not. Let’s ask for a revelation of spiritual authority and how it impacts systems of natural authority.
The centurion was utterly confident that all Jesus needed to do was “say the word.” That is, “give the command.” “Give voice to the decree.”
As we get a clearer, fuller picture of how authority is structured and works, we’ll better know how and when to partner with God by giving voice to the commands that cause His will to be done here on earth, just as it is routinely done in the unseen realm. What, how, and when are a big deal. We generally just reflexively fire off prayers without thought or insight or perception. (See the teaching on Seeing and Decreeing)
The Spirit of Jesus doesn’t give us insight into what’s coming just so we can say, “I knew that would happen.” We get glimpses for two reasons, so we can (1) Prepare, and so we can (2) Pray. With that in mind . . .
The believers in China and Russia need our intercession. The dictatorial leaders of both nations (Putin and Xi) are approaching the end of the line. There are ancient demonic spirits that have animated dictators through the millennia. The same unseen actors that animated the kings of Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, Rome, the Seleucid Greeks of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Abbasid Caliphate, Genghis Khan’s Mongols, Stalin’s Soviets, and Hitler’s Nazis . . . stand behind our current crop of despots.
The arc of those who yield themselves to those powers is always the same. Initial empowerment and success featuring brutality and cruelty; leading to madness and fatal mistakes. We’re entering the madness and mistakes phase for both leaders.
As the Spirit leads us, let’s be ready and willing to intercede for our brothers sisters in difficult circumstances around the planet. One side benefit . . .
Glimpsing what other believers are enduring will put our situations as American believers into perspective. Perspective is valuable. Perspective is vital.
Grace and Truth
The election turmoil and pandemic disruptions resulted in a thin veil of deception falling over the eyes of large sections of the evangelical world, including many spiritual leaders. It is a veil that doesn’t blind but does distort the way they “see.”
The fruit of this “veil” . . . the evidence of its presence . . . was and is anger, bitterness, resentment, and despair. (It should go without saying that these fruits are never appropriate for sons and daughters of a reigning King who is in the middle of riding to victory over His enemies.)
I see that “veil” beginning to dissolve now. We need to contend for that dissolving to continue and accelerate. The truth is our friend. The biblical definition of truth is not “knowledge” or “information” but “reality” in other words, “what’s really real” in contrast to that which merely appears to be real.
These words of Jesus to His disciples hold a key piece of God’s word to us for 2023:
“There is so much more I would like to say to you, but it’s more than you can grasp at this moment. But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, he will unveil the reality of every truth. He won’t speak on his own, but only what he hears from the Father, and he will reveal prophetically to you what is to come. He will glorify me on the earth, for he will receive from me what is mine and reveal it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father belongs to me—that’s why I say that the Divine Encourager will receive what is mine and reveal it to you.John 16:12-15 TPT