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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Letter from Jesus

My Beloved Child,

How it pleases me to see Your desire to spend time with Me. My heart is pleased that you do not only want My gifts, what I can do for you, but that you desire Me. That You desire relationship with Me above the blessings and gifts that I give. I am even more pleased that you do not want to stay in shallow waters, but you want to venture deep, deep into the depths of My Spirit. You desire to seek My face. You desire close, face to face communion. How I long for that. Nothing gives Me greater pleasure than when My children come to Me, just because they love Me, and not just for what I can do for them.

I see Your frustrations, I see your battles, ask for My help and I will give you wisdom. I will show you how to overcome. Knowing Me has never been this important. Before it was a luxury, now it is essential for My children to know Me. You do not get to know Me, by working for Me. I don't reveal my intimate secrets to servants. I reveal My intimate secrets to my friends, those who love Me, those who care about My feelings, who share My heart and My burdens. How I long to have friends. I did not die to receive slaves who work for me, I died to open the way for intimate friendship. It satisfies My longing heart when you draw close to Me in intimacy, and in return I satisfy your heart. You have places in your heart that can only be satisfied by Me. Don't run from Me, but run to Me. My arms are wide open.

Seeking my face, will make you a holy habitation of My presence. You cannot spend time with the King of Kings and leave My presence without a deposit of My presence. How I desire a people who will not only walk in power, but who walk in holiness and integrity "...live in Me, and I will live in you."(John 15:4 LB) I will take you to that place where My desires will become more important to you than your own desires. I know the road is hard at times, it is not easy to die to self, but to be inhabited by God Most High, there is no greater glory, no greater satisfaction, but who would have thought that you attain that by coming close, sitting in My presence, beholding My beauty, seeking My face. It is not attainable by working hard for Me. My ways are not your ways. Col 1:27 "And this is the secret: that Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory."

Love,
Your friend,
Jesus

P/s: Received this wonderful letter from a prophetic-class email subscription and posted with the permission of the sender.

Friday, April 24, 2009

God loves me unconditionally

In my mind, I have 2 reflections which I wanted to post today. I started typing but I just felt that I could not continue so I left the draft. Somehow there's no flow when I tried typing even though it is clear in my mind what I wanted to share.

Now I guess I know why. The Holy Spirit brought to remembrance a revelation I received at the beginning of last week. When I was spending my quiet time with the Lord last Monday, I began to give thanks to Him and express my appreciation for what He has done in my life thus far. As I recounted how the Lord has led me and kept me, I began to reflect on how great is His love for me. And it felt good to know that God loves me. But then, at the same time I felt a check within me. When I meditated upon His love for me, there was a mixture of a sense of gratefulness and a sense of "self-worthiness". This seemed strange (at first).

As I continued to quieten myself, it became more apparent to me. This impure way of thinking in my mind has been residing inside me quite a while. Almost every instance when I reflect on His love for me in the past, at the back of my mind, unknowingly I would think that "God must have loved me because of some right things I've done" or "God must have loved me because He likes certain part of my character or nature". In short, it was like, something about me or what I've done that caused God to love me.

Then, in the most gentlest manner, the Holy Spirit impressed in my heart that God loves me unconditionally. It was repeated a few times in my heart, God loves me unconditionally, God loves me unconditionally...

It's the most simplest revelation but it is a powerful revelation. All these years as a Christian, I've heard more than thousands of time about God's agape love, i.e. that His love is without condition. In fact, I have even taught and shared about this subject in the past. Knowing it in my mind and mentally assenting to a truth does not mean that I have fully received the truth. Wow, it's such a liberating truth! God loves me UNCONDITIONALLY all the time.

There may be times when due to fatigue or laziness, I would have skipped my normal set times with the Lord. If I do not guard my heart, a little accusation of condemnation would creep in quietly. Though uninvited, this sense of condemnation would continue to build up if I entertain it and it would then turn to guilt. This would be damaging. It would then alter the basis of my relationship and communion with God. I draw near to Him for greater intimacy because of love. I long for Him and I hunger for Him because He first loved me. My basis of drawing near to Him and spending time in His presence is not to get rid of my guilt or condemnation. It is not and should never be on the basis of duty or some kind of legalistic requirement. That's why the revelation that God loves me unconditionally is so liberating!

When I feel weak or far from the Him, my sould need not fret. The source of Unconditional Love is not far. It's right inside me. I just need to locate the river of Love inside me and flow in the river of His love. The peace will return and worship will rise up within me again. Let us soak in His unconditional love each moment of every day because our Beautiful Saviour loves us unconditionally.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Keep my feet from slipping

One of the many meanings of the verb "slip" is to slide suddenly or involuntarily; to lose one's foothold, as on a smooth surface.

Yesterday, I experienced an unusual way of hearing God speak. Some may argue that we can only hear God through a certain fixed ways but I believe that God can speak to us in many ways. Coming back to what happened yesterday. I actually "slipped" twice when I was walking to the restroom in the office. I looked at the floor when I slipped on each separate occasion and noticed that it was not wet. This is at the corridor outside the restroom, so it is very unlikely to be wet. But I did not pay much attention to it as I was very focused on my mission to do what I needed to do in the restroom :) Then, after work, when I walked towards my car in the car park, I accidentally slipped as I stepped onto something. This time, I really get the message. Well, I don't believe in coincidences. If this happens three times in a single day, God must be trying to get my attention.

I believe God must be gently warning me not to "slip" in my walk with Him. I went back and searched the Scriptures and found a list of promises of God's faithfulness to keep me from slipping. (verses listed below). In 1 Cor 10:12, the Apostle Paul warned that, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

Later, I found comfort after reading Psalm 73. Here, the psalmist confessed, "my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped." (v2) The reason was because he has lost his focus on God when he began to look at how the wicked prospered (vv3 - 12). He began to reason that there's no point for him to keep himself separated and holy before God (vv13 -16). But he received fresh understanding when he drew near to God and regretted his warped thinking (vv17 -22). His attitude began to change and he made beautiful declarations of dependance and trust in the Lord God (vv23-28).

It is a beautiful psalm which I do identify with the psalmist when I begin to look around and conclude that it is futile to seek Him and walk with Him. In my short-sightedness, I cannot see the fruit of my walk with God whereas those who do not seek Him continue to prosper in their wickedness. But, this is not true because God is a good God and a just God. He will make known His goodness to me if my heart is pure (v1). Oh, how important it is to have a pure heart (Matt 5:8).

I thank God for reminding me of His goodness and to maintain a pure heart that my feet will not slip. How great is the love of God to hold us and lift us up as the psalmist cried out in Psalm 94:18, "If I say, my foot slips, Your love O Lord will hold me up".

Further promises from God's Word
2 Samuel 22:37/Psalm 18:36 (NKJV)
You enlarged my path under me; So my feet did not slip.

Psalm 17:5 (NKJV)
Uphold my steps in Your paths,That my footsteps may not slip.

Psalm 26:1 (NKJV)
Vindicate me, O LORD,For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip.

Psalm 37:31 (NIV)
The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.

Psalm 66:9 (NIV)
He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.

Psalm 121:3 (NIV)
He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spiritual senses of hearing and smell

Yesterday, my wife recounted that she was awokened by the beautiful sound of cascading waterfall on the piano. There's no piano in my rented house, actually. We only have a small keyboard and my daughter couldn't play the keyboard yet. And we have never heard any of our neighbours practicing piano. So, we concluded and believed that her spiritual ears were opened to hear the heavenly music.

Shortly after, she wanted to get up from the bed to look for the source of the music but she was too tired to do so and as she was still lying down on the bed, she began to smell a strong incense smell filling the room. She interpreted the phenomenon as an indication of God's presence in our house. This was not the first time she discerned the smell of incense. In fact, about 2 months ago, she told me that she could smell the smell of incense all over me on one Sunday in church. I do not know what does that mean but I believe that her spiritual sense of smell must have been quickened during such occurences.

Naturally speaking, my wife has a weak sense of smell. She would always 'consult' me, i.e. to smell certain food whether it's still fresh or not. On the other hand, I have a strong sense of smell (natural sense) - which actually explains my love for tasty food :) There was an occassion whereby when we have just arrived home from church and the moment she stepped into our house, she mentioned that there's such a sweet fragrance in the house! I tried using my physical sense of smell but all I could smell was the same old air inside the house :) Later in the afternoon, I began to smell a sweet smelling fragrance and concurred with my wife that indeed it is a "spiritual" smell.

The first time I actually paid attention to the spiritual sense of smell was when I attended Kathie Walters' meeting. I was sitting at the front row in her meeting (there's no distance in the spirit realm, though) and when she smelled honey, I seemed to smell the same thing and sometimes there was this fragrance of fresh apple. Kathie mentioned that different fragrance speaks of different things, i.e. refreshing, enlightenment, etc. In fact, I notice that in the Song of Songs, many kinds of fragrances were mentioned. For example, "..the smell of your breath scented like apples" (Song of Songs 7:9),etc.

Whether one's spiritual senses of hearing and/or smell are quickened or not does not elevate his or her spiritual position. In other words, by being able to tap into the spiritual senses of hearing and smell does not make anyone a more spiritual person than everybody else. At the same time, we are not to run here and there exerting ourselves in our attempt to hear or smell spiritual stuffs. But, I believe that if we are hungry for more of Him and we do not limit what God can do, He will meet us at the level of our hunger.

Jesus is altogether lovely indeed! Oh, there's so much more for us to explore in Him and His Kingdom that deserves our energy and time to seek out. Draw me after You, Lord and let us run together...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spontaneous Songs of the Secret Place

Different people term it differently. Some call it prophetic songs or prophetic worship while others call it singing in the spirit or spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19-20). The first time which I was exposed to the understanding of spontaneous songs was about two years ago when I heard a pastor shared her experiences in this area. She said she would pray (in tongues) for hours and soak herself in the presence of God. At a certain juncture, she would begin to hear melodies in her heart and she would then hum with her mouth what she heard from the inside. Then, words would come and she will sing into a recorder and songs will be composed. In fact, if I remember correctly, she mentioned that she actually "composed" several songs from such experiences. When sharing about her experience, the pastor also sang one of the songs she received from the secret place and amazingly, my heart melted and I know there's a special touch of the Lord upon the song. The song carries an anointing from the secret place.

Since relocating from my hometown to another city, God has led my family to a church where worship is the primary focus and emphasis. We did not know what to expect when we attended the church the first few times but something different was noted during the praise and worship. At different points of the worship service, the worship leader will lead the congregation into singing in the spirit (tongues) and free-flow worship (i.e. not any particular songs). This may be quite a common feature in charismatic/pentecostal churches today which (unfortunately) have become just a form without power. As the volume of worship from the congregation quietens, one of the "back-up" singers would burst into "spontaneous (or prophetic) songs". This could be followed by another "back-up" singer singing prophetically along similar themes (sometimes different) with different melodies. And yes, the wonderful thing is that the anointing of the Lord would be present sometimes when these spontaneous songs were sung. When prophetic worship was bursting forth, the presence of God filled the room, at times.

I could recall that on 3rd March 2008, when I was praying, I began to hear a melody in my heart. I began to hum and put words into the melody, singing unto the Lord. I could remember that day because it was a day set for prayer and fasting (as directed by the pastor of the church we were attending then). It was a beautiful time. Unfortunately, I could not remember the melody nor the song now.

Last night, I was worshipping the Lord while my wife put my daughter to bed. Inside me, there was a hunger to press in into more of God. I began to sing "You deserve the glory" and "Jesus I love you". As I sang and repeated the songs over and over again, it seemed that I wanted to express my worship in a "deeper" way but I could not express it as I could not think of any song that would express my inner feelings then. Shortly after, I began to blurt out, "Jesus, I love you.." in a melody that I heard simultaneously in my heart. Wow, it was just beautiful! It was like I could pour out my heart to God in a simple and short melody. Experience has taught me a lesson. Therefore, when I was singing the short melody, I just grabbed my handphone to record it. I do not want to let this sweet melody slip my memory again :)

I believe that the Lord has graciously allowed me to tap just a little into this spontaneous song of the secret place. It's just so amazing that the Spirit of God helps us as we desire to worship Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing, indeed (John 15:5) There is still a whole depth of spontaneous songs to be tapped into. Spirit-breathed songs and heavenly melodies that touch lives and enrich our worship experience at the same time. O come let us adore Him, Christ the King!