The Prophetic Journey, Thriving Calling, Thriving Church, Thriving Faith, Thriving Identity, Thriving Relationships

The Story of the Old Grape Branch… “Understanding God’s heart in the process… author unknown

Once upon a time, there was an Old Grape Branch. He had been growing in the vineyard for a very long time and his fruit was the biggest and sweetest fruit around! People came from far and wide to taste his fruit.

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The Young Branch beside him looked up to him and said, “I want to be just like you when I grow up. What can I do to have fruit as big and sweet as yours?”

The Old Branch said, “Be willing.”

The Young Branch thought, “That’s strange…be willing?”

Bridal Prophets, The Prophetic Journey, Thriving Relationships

Are You Marrying or Married to a Prophetic Person? by Amy Meyer

download (3)Hi there, do you think you might have a hunch you married a prophetic person? Did you know this when you were dating? It’s so important to know and understand the spiritual gifts your mate has and operates, this will save you from a lot of misunderstands, heartbreak and quarrels.  I’ve heard it said, “Where there is no understanding, abuse is inevitable.” How will you know what they need, or understand what those gifts require of them? Here’s an example of one man who soon found out he married a prophetic woman:

  “I always saw “Godly marriages.” It was nothing new. I saw strong men that were loved, respected, and supported by their wives. And the husbands adored and protected their wives and families. These were the examples that I saw and wanted to pattern my marriage after.

 “From what I could tell, the husbands understood their wives and the wives spoke the same language as their husbands. I had no idea what that process looked like, but it’s safe to say that each marriage had its own specific journey. So, on January 2, 2009, I began my journey with my wife and there were some things for me to learn . . .

Little did I know I was marrying a woman that operated strongly in the prophetic realm. To be quite honest, she was growing in her awareness of that as well. There were times that she would hear from the Lord and she would admonish me to change an action or bring to my attention she was aware of a situation and I thought she was being controlling or a know it all.

“My misinterpretation was a big point of contention in our marriage. It wasn’t until a couple of years into the marriage that I began to seek an understanding of my wife’s gift.

“What I realized is that many marriage forums aim at being equally yoked and like-minded; however, rarely have I heard of any valiant efforts to understand each other’s gifts and strengths spiritually as well as naturally. So in an effort to pay it forward, here’s what I learned from being married to a prophetic person:

The gift of prophecy/office of the prophet carries a heavy burden.

There are times when the prophetic individual experiences correction for others and the prophet doesn’t want to be perceived as judgmental; they battle with saying what they see because they don’t want to offend.

Prophetic individuals are super-sensitive to the supernatural realm.

It is important to understand as it relates to environments and relationship building, that a  prophetic individual’s ability to exist in certain environments may seem limited.  It’s because of the things that they are discerning in the spirit realm that may be off.

Prophetic individuals pray ALOT!

I mention this because it seemed kind of odd to me that my wife would start randomly praying while driving in the car or while in a movie theater. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not a weirdo that walks around praying obtusely in public, but I’ve noticed that with her and others, their prayer life is quite robust!

A prophetic individual’s tone and presence is often very strong.

When they speak, it’s with the full weight and glory of the Lord. (Let that sink in for a minute.) Because they have been in the presence of God so much during prayer, they carry His countenance on them tremendously.

Prophetic individuals are very watchful and perceptive, often picking up on things that are uncommon and overlooked.

My wife will see the cause of something before the outcome is even revealed.

“I highlight just a few elements of prophetic people to help someone that is married to a person with these gifts. The burden of that gift is heavy and the spouse must understand that reality and do everything possible to undergird them in love, truth, prayer, and intimacy. When I started to understand these things, it put my wife at ease and lifted tension from our marriage.

“Do everything possible to understand your spouse’s gifts. Accept them without judgment or opinion and help your spouse to develop them. The gifts that they have are for your family and God’s kingdom! – Kalan Law

Don’t you love that! Tensions lifted when understanding was gained. God designed us with different functions and different calls. Allow me to help you detect further whether you’re married to a prophet or prophetic person. I gathered a few characteristics out of John Eckhart’s book “Prophets Arise.” It’s one of the best books I’ve come across depicting and describing the characteristics of a prophet. Here are a few he mentions:

“- Prophets are unique. No matter how hard they try, they’re different.

– They’re the first ones to sense something is missing, something is wrong, we’re off track.

– They’re the first ones to see when pride, ego, and vanity, replace humility.

– Prophets see the gorilla in the room…and wonder why no one else sees it? Then the first thing the devil tells them is,” You’re crazy!!” And the first thing folks tell them is, “You’re crazy!! Ain’t nobody else seeing that! You just need to chill. Take a chill pill and relax.” So then you start wondering, ok, maybe I AM crazy… The moment you try to get rid of this thing, it just keeps gnawing at cha! That’s a good thing!”

 

If you’re marrying a prophet, you’re marrying a watchman!  Most of the time they are on high alert, even if they keep it to themselves. Be prepared to live on the straight and narrow, “under the radar” so to speak.  If you plan on getting away with things, watch out, they will and can detect it and will soon be confronting you at the doorsteps of your heart.  All this is done in love and protection of course and will make you a better person and believer for it.  So, try not to overreact but see it as a safety device built into them, to protect and treasure the relationship you have together.

 

Yes, sometimes they can come across harsh in their delivery, which is why the Lord gives extra attention and training to the prophets, to help round out their rough edges in these areas with grace. You see, prophets live from a black and white screen and can detect the color gray from a mile away! When they see gray, their alarms go off, notifying them of an oncoming threat or alteration. They’re watchmen, remember. But they soon learn through wisdom that not everything is a threat, and to temper and balance out the fight or flight mentality in them. God is working with them to make their approach more palatable to the receiver. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about watering things down here. Think of it like wine. The more wine ages and matures, the more potent and effective it becomes. It becomes less bitter tasting and its texture smooths out. Again, it’s all in your approach, which is huge for a marriage. Prophetic people must be willing to adjust their approach without fearing they will lose their potency.

 

Prophets hate to candy coat things! They want to emphasize the truth and that’s why they come across so strong. But, to the receiver, and you as the spouse, it’s easy to get defensive. You can feel like you must swing to the other side of the pendulum and compensate in your response for their “lack of love”. In turn, however, this can make them feel like you don’t believe they are loving. It’s an easy trap of misunderstanding for you to assume that they are bitter and write off what they are saying as “just them.” But here’s the thing, what they are sharing with you, IS coming from a loving place, most of the time. Their perspective is protection, so there are not so many feelings in that moment. Prophets, in general, are very sensitive people, they must be, but when it comes to a threat or concern, they dial in and go after the root! They’re on a mission, like a bloodhound trailing a scent, alerting the crew with a trumpeting voice! You may have thought they’ve lost their mind, but they are zeroing in, dear Watson, like a detective on the hunt, like a pointer focused on the bullseye, alerting you to take the shot!

 

Here’s a simple example, say for instance you are both driving in a car. Let’s say this car represents ministry or a family household. Prophets are often quick to notice when suddenly the flashing engine light comes on, on the dash! You may be driving and caught up in a conversation with someone in the back seat in that moment and write off their reaction as fault finding or over exaggerating. Prophets can feel the intensity of a situation more than the average person. You may continue to ignore them and soon be interrupted in your conversation by them! Again, they will draw your attention to the flashing light on the dashboard, stating that if you keep going along like this something tragic is going to happen! They then challenge you to commit to do something about it, like soon and hold you to it.  Watchmen, remember! They are pointing out a probable issue, trying to protect you and everyone in the car.

 

Now, if you have more of a pastoral bent, your focus would be towards people and their feelings and how the conversation got interrupted so abruptly. You would have had a hard time understanding your spouse’s approach and misread their urgency.  Your attention is so focused on the needs and feelings of the people, that you missed seeing the flashing light on the dashboard. As you read this I’m sure you can relate and notice the frustrations on both sides. Is either of them wrong? No. But one without the other will cause a fatal collision. That’s why we all need each other, understanding how we were designed and where we fit in. You are assets to one another if you can honor each other’s point of view and come together on the issues.  Do your best to stay away from the “I’m right and you’re wrong” game.  You can both be 100% right but 100% wrong in your approach, delivery, and single-mindedness.

 

Prophets come in all kinds varieties, but more times than not, you can spot them according to their similar traits. God is refining us all, to work together, to prefer one another and ultimately reflect His nature and love. We want people to taste and see that He is good and that includes our mates. So lean in and receive God’s direction and promptings from your loving spouses and come together as a team.

 

Just as Kalan, advised in the article above, do all you can to get understanding and gain knowledge, so that the two of you won’t have to perish in your misunderstanding. You both love each other, right?! Now it’s time to broaden your perspective and receive the full benefits that each one brings.

  

I know I just touched on a few things here regarding being married to a prophetic person. I would love to hear your feedback, stories, and observations.  I will consider writing more about this as well. I hope this encouraged you and brought more clarity into your relationship.

 

Big Blessings! -Amy 

Thriving Five Fold Ministry

HOW TO GIVE LIKE A CHRISTIAN… by Jonathan Welton

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Well, I have finally put more thought into what modern “offerings” should look like.

The main passages about giving in the New Testament surround the fact that the Corinthians and the Macedonians were giving an offering to help the Christians in Jerusalem. It is regarding this that Paul writes the longest sections about offerings in the New Testament. (See 1 Cor. 9:1-18, 16:1-4, 2 Cor. 8:1-9:15)

There are a LOT of interesting things in these passages of Scripture and I encourage you to give these sections a read. For example, Paul uses the Macedonian’s generosity as a spur to urge the Corinthians to give more! (See 2 Cor. 8:7-9)

 

Ultimately, if I were to boil down what I believe is clear from the New Testament it is this:

  • Tithing, which is the Ancient Israelite Tax Code, does not apply to the NC believer.
  • NC Ministers should be paid well; Paul was the exception, as he chose not to be paid.
  • Apostles can give firm directions about setting aside a portion of your income for ministry purposes.

 

This third point is the one that probably seems the oddest. But take a look at what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 16:

“Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” – 1 Corinthians 16:1-2

I am against the idea of trying to apply Bible verses about the Ancient Israelite Tax Code to the New Covenant Believer. Yet if a five-fold leader were to direct his flock to set aside a certain portion of their weekly income to give once a week for kingdom ministry purposes, I would find this precedent in the Apostle Paul’s example to us. I would call this “Receiving an offering,” it’s kinda like what happens in churches every Sunday, minus the verses being taken out of context.

Ministers are to be paid in normal circumstances. The Apostle Paul being a tentmaker was actually an exception.

“Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.” – Galatians 6:6
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” – 1 Timothy 5:17-18
“Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” – 1 Corinthians 9:7-14

 

To summarize Paul’s statement: The government pays the soldier, the land feeds the vineyard keeper, the sheep feed the shepherd, the farm feeds the ox, the temple and altar feeds the temple workers. So also the kingdom worker should be fed by those they minister too. 

I urge you to examine your finances with the Spirit and to set aside a portion of your income to give weekly to Kingdom ministry. Start with the local five-fold minister that you receive from weekly. Then expand from there. It is good and healthy to do so.

“But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” – 2 Corinthians 8:7
The Dream Voyage, The Prophetic Journey

Ebbs & Flows Of The Anointing/ Journey… by Graham Cooke