Weekly Wrap Up!

book of the week

images-6The Extreme Future is a book written by Dr James Canton. It’s a challenging but engaging read into the crystal ball of the top trends that are going to be normal in the near and distant future. This book will provoke you to think big picture about the future of planet earth and our role within it. Worth a read!

quote of the week

Fear wants you to run from something that isn’t after you.

Paul Scanlon

news of the week

Netflix Sideshow (Silicon valley) released a document that detailed its company culture which has definitely challenged traditional thinking about work motivation. Low job security, non accrued holiday leave and creativity is the underlying philosophy of the company and its high performance results by high performance teams gives the ‘out of the box’ ideas some credibility. Check out more on http://www.news.com.au

moment of the week

Seeing my kids excited about their first day back at school was a memorable moment.

The Oracle!

The Gift of Prophecy!

I bumped into the prophetic ministry the first time I preached as a teenager. During and after my message, God showed up and revealed himself powerfully through the prophetic word with dramatic results. For me prophecy is very intuitive and for many years, I just had the ignorance and the boldness to share with people what I saw and heard God saying. Since those early days I have grown in my understanding and maturity in operating in the Spirit of prophecy.

Prophecy is a gift, not an award. The Holy Spirit distributes individually as he wills, not as we earn (1 Cor 12:11). The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of our spiritual maturity. The gifts of the Spirit are evidence of God’s grace lavished upon us.

Prophecy is to be earnestly desired. Paul exhorts us, ‘Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy’ (1 Cor 14:1). Anyone who is saved and baptised in the Spirit can receive grace to prophesy.

The purpose of prophecy is to encourage the church. ‘The one who prophesies speaks to people for their edification, encouragement and comfort’ (1 Cor 14:3). Edification means to build up. Exhortation means to call near. Comfort means to cheer up. We’ve got to prophesy the answer, not the problem.

Prophecy is both foretelling and forth telling. Foretelling is to know the future  as in Acts 11:28 when Agabus prophesied a famine before it actually happened. Forth telling is to cause the future as in Ezekiel 37 when the prophet prophesied to the dry bones and a creative miracle took place. Prophecy has power within it to create that which has been declared. A word of knowledge is not the same as a prophecy as it is a revelation of supernatural knowledge about the past, or present or an unknown fact.

Prophecy reveals God’s heart and mind. Prophets are known as God’s friends because God shares his secrets with them. Prophets are associates of God, an active extension of Yahweh himself. Too many people look for a word from God, rather than a relationship. Look for a relationship with God and the word will take care of itself.

3 parts to Prophecy = Revelation is the first part. God’s revelation comes through a variety of ways (dream, vision, words, angels, creation, scripture, tongues, impression). Interpretation is the second part and is often the part that the prophesier won’t always get. The last part is the application, so what? What is the person to do with what they have received.

Revelation 19:10 The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.

The Oracle!


The Calling of a Prophet!

The office of a prophet is a life calling. Most prophets are called at birth or when they are born again (salvation). It is primarily the Lords choosing, not something you seek to become, however if called, you have a responsibility to develop your gift. Some notable prophetic ministries have identified that it can take as long as 14-15 years for a person to develop into a prophet after being called.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men… And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry.” (Eph 4:7, 11)

The five fold ministry is outlined in the above passage and the office of the prophet is one of the ministries that God has established for the governmental leadership of the church. To be a prophet is a calling. To minister in prophecy is a gift. When a person ministers in the gift of prophecy, the gift is the ability to prophesy. The words themselves are the gift. When a person is a prophet, they themselves are the gift. A prophet is a gift to the church.

Apart from a foundation of character, there are actually 3 components to any mature and fruitful ministry. These are:

  1. CallingCalling gives identity. Paul was called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (1 Cor 1:1).
  2. GiftingGifting gives ability. ‘As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God’ (1 Pet 4:10).
  3. AnointingAnointing gives purpose. It was prophesied of Jesus, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners’ (Is 61:1).

The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable but the anointing of the Lord ebbs and flows according to the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit. The calling on your life describes who you are. The anointing of God provides you with your purpose in life and the gifts that God has given to you becomes the ability in which you accomplish his purposes.

The Oracle!

God is with YOU!

Judges 6:12 ‘The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour.’

There will come a day in everyone of our lives when we will face what seems like an insurmountable situation that requires a supernatural breakthrough to get through it. In that  day your breakthrough won’t come about because of a clever strategy or how pretty you are or who your friends are but because of one simple truth, God is with YOU!

All throughout the bible, God came to individuals and reassured them of his abiding presence with them. God said of Joseph, “The Lord is with him and had success everywhere he went.” God said to Moses, “I will be with you and help you deliver my people.” God said to Joshua, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I’ll never leave you, nor forsake you, be strong and courageous.” God said to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour.” There come’s a time when it’s more than what you know or what you have but who is with you.

Fear makes us act like God isn’t with us. Gideon was found in a winepress beating out wheat in fear for his life from the marauding Midianites. Last time I checked a winepress was for treading on the grapes and extracting juice from them. God has hard-wired you up to be fruitful and multiply but the stain and poison of sin has marked us with the twin towers of immaturity and insecurity. This causes us to live by our fears, rather than by faith in God’s promises for our lives. Fear is a fruit of the sinful nature but faith is a fruit of living by the Spirit. The Spirit works into us the maturity and security God longs for us so we can live by faith and not by fear.

God sees you through the filter of his presence. When the angel of the Lord proclaimed to Gideon, ‘The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour’, Gideon was anything but a mighty warrior, he was hiding away in a wine press, fearing for his life. God never looks at you through your weaknesses, he looks at you through the filter of his presence at work in your life. God says, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’ We are so quick to look at what we haven’t got that we forget what we have got. When God is with you, you and God are a majority.

The Oracle!

Don’t Make Snap Decisions!

My personality type loves to make decisions quickly. Once I get the information I tend to move very quickly and not hesitate. However, the bigger the decision the more time you need to process and specifically pray into it. I am amazed at how flippant some people are with making major life decisions at the turn of a dime. It tells me a few things. One, they weren’t that committed to their original course of action in the first place. Two, they really haven’t sufficiently processed all the key issues at hand and three, they haven’t adequately prayed into God’s heart for their situation.

Some decisions in life can be made quite quickly, others need the course of time to be outworked. There’s a big difference between turning a Ferrari performance vehicle around a corner and turning an 18 wheeler mac truck around a corner. One can be done quickly, the other needs to be anticipated and planned for.

At every major juncture of my life I have spent considerable time, praying and gathering the necessary data required to turn the corner into the next season God has been leading me into. There is always more at stake for yourself and others than what most of us give credit for. God is strategic. he’s not flippant, impetuous or anxious. He never makes a decision out of a sense of pressure or impatience. So why should you and I? Keep in mind that what may seem planned and prepared from your perspective may seem quite risky and impetuous from someone else’s perspective. So don’t base all of your processing on the opinions of others. But that doesn’t discount the fact that you need to listen to the advice of others.

I can’t over emphasise the importance of saturating your decision-making in prayer. I have taken out massive chunks of time to spend hours in prayer for weeks, if not months on end before a major decision. Every major decision has been birthed in prayer and sustained by prayer. Because of my commitment to this process I have seen great fruit come out of my decisions. My flesh hasn’t always wanted to slow down and pray it through but my spirit has thanked me for it. There is a lot of wisdom in taking the time to hear God, hear others and your own heart. Prayer is the vital link between heaven and earth and God’s will and your will. Listen, from experience, prayer really works. God really does lead you and great outcomes are a result.

The Oracle!

Your Life is Your Message!

Too often we try to share a message rather than become the message! In a world of competing brands, you are the best brand you could ever get. The Scriptures suggest, ‘our lives are a letter written to the world.’ When people read your life, what do they read?

In the Holy Scriptures, the prophet’s entire lives became God’s message to his people. A prophet was an active extension of Yahweh. Hosea married a prostitute to proclaim a message to Israel about it being a ‘whore’ in their relationship with God. Isaiah walked around barefoot and naked to communicate what was going to happen to Israel if they continued to rebel against God. Prophets didn’t share something external to themselves, they became God’s message and shared their lives with the people and this gave them authority to speak what God wanted his people to hear. As you can imagine, a tough calling to carry at times.

We can share a lot of things with others but we have no authority to speak on something we haven’t first lived out ourselves. What message are you becoming? What authority do you walk in, to share out of? You and I must become the message before we deliver the message. When you and I become the message, the impact of it will be far greater in the lives of people around us.

Embrace what God is doing in your life right now. Don’t try to run ahead and force his hand according to your desire. The Lord is writing his story onto your heart each step of each day. Your spiritual authority is directly connected to your relationship with your Heavenly Father and his power at work in your life.