follow me

“Follow Me!”

For years, the Lord has been speaking to me in military terminology. I will never forget the first time He called me to the mission field. I was on a shuttle heading to the airport. I was leaving my family and wasn’t sure when I would return. Although this was a domestic assignment (in the US.), I sensed and knew that I was on a strategic mission for the Lord, and I simply had no idea when I would see my family again. That Christmas was the first and only year that I have been away from my family during the holidays. I remember crying like a baby on that shuttle to the airport. I seriously wept. For the first time, I felt like a Soldier in the Army of God. In those moments, I could actually relate to missionaries around the world and those who spend their lives in military service to protect our freedom. It was revelatory. It was heart-wrenching. It was eye-opening. And I became very aware of what this life in Christ would look like for me.

For the majority of my Christian journey over the past nine years, the Lord has spoken to me about the Infantry more than any other division of the military. “Boot Camp” has been a theme throughout my writing and ministry, as has the Infantry motto, “Follow Me.” I had those two words tattooed on my wrist before I ever knew it was the motto for the U.S. Army Infantry. The reason I chose those words to permanently ink on myself was because of the Scriptures that mention it, particularly Matthew 4:19, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” There are others as well:

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'” – Matthew 16:24

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” – John 10:27

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” – Psalm 23:6

So it was a bonus – and a point of humor between me and Jehovah Sneaky – when I discovered that I now also had the U.S. Army Infantry Motto forever etched on the temple of the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. my body).

Why am I sharing this with you?

Over the past year or two, the Lord has been speaking to me about getting off of the ground and into the air. You see, both are necessary for the United States Military to be most effective and efficient. Approaching the battlefield as Infantrymen (Boots on the Ground) and as Pilots (Aerial Perspective) is critical to understanding the bigger picture God wants to reveal to His people as we PREPARE for the return of Jesus Christ. Yes, I said it. We are not simply “waiting” for His return. We are commanded to OCCUPY until He comes (Luke 19:13). Another version says, “Engage in business until I come.” Part of engaging in the business of the Lord is being active in His Army.

Do you know your role in the Army of God? Are you a Foot Soldier? A Fighter Pilot? A General? Perhaps you are a Nurse or Administrator. When I think about what is required to keep the United States Military operating on a moment-by-moment basis, it blows my mind. Tremendous unity and excellent communication are paramount to success. Sounds a bit like the Body of Christ to me. Sounds like the Army of God.

 

2015

Community – Come, Unity!

Not unlike the military, 2015 will bring with it tremendous unity and excellent communication within the Body of Christ if, and only if, we allow ourselves to be strategically positioned for His purposes. This will become possible as people are shifted, moved, and placed in perfect ALIGNMENT with the will of God, and it requires ACTIVE PARTICIPATION from each of us. When God speaks, we must listen and obey. Remember, we are receiving downloads, instructions, and strategy from the Commander-in-Chief of Heaven’s Armies. He is the One who sees and knows all. His vision is unerring, and His scope is infinite. He sees the end before the beginning, and He knows how to implement a plan of action that will cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2). As in the image above, cohesive cooperation will be required to make 2015 a success. This is not about you … it is not about me … it is all about US. It is about submitting to the proper authorities God has placed in our lives in order to get us where we need to go. It is about receiving instructions and following them with excellence. It is not about perfection or selfish motives, rather about learning to thrive as part of a team and operating well under pressure. This is 2015.

 

Purging – Pruning – Preparing

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I have shared this before, but over the years I have learned that my life is actually the embodiment of the prophetic words God releases through me. For the past week, I have been purging, pruning, and preparing for what God has called me to do next. An assignment is on the horizon, and it was clearly important for me to get the OLD out of the way so I could make room for the NEW that lies ahead. I have lived very simply for the past few years, basically minimizing my belongings to what I can fit into half of a bedroom. As a result of many moves over the past several years, however, my possessions have been scattered and stored in four different places throughout AL, GA, and CA. The Lord made it clear that I was to retrieve all of those belongings and allow Him to show me what can move into the next season with me, while donating or discarding the rest. It has been quite an adventure, to say the least.

Let me speak to that for a moment before I move on. Some of you are stuck. You cannot move forward in your calling because you have too much STUFF attached to your identity. Hang with me as I “unpack” this please. God wants your identity to be found in Him alone. His plans for you are GOOD. Physical, emotional, and mental baggage must be consolidated and eliminated in this season if you want to step into something NEW with freedom and expectation. There are some people, places, and things that need to be purged and pruned from your life. You cannot move forward if you are dragging the past behind you.

The last time I did a complete overhaul of my life was in 2006. I gave almost everything I owned away, moving from a 3,000 square foot home into a studio apartment. It was liberating! Now, I am simplifying even more. As in the military, when God says, “GO,” we must be ready! There will be no time to “get it together” when the trumpet sounds. Are you hearing me??

Consolidation and Elimination

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What do you need to consolidate and/or eliminate in your life? How can you simplify and prepare for an unexpected assignment, as the Lord leads? When we become too attached to “things” and “locations,” we limit what God can do in and through us. The disciples had to be willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice and follow Jesus. Think about this with me …

Four Fishermen Called as Disciples – Matthew 4:18-22

18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them,22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

The key word in that passage of Scripture is “immediately.” Ask yourself this question, “If Jesus called me to leave everything and follow Him, would I do it immediately?” Would I be able to make that transition without too much struggle, strife, or heartache? Or would it be a royal pain for me to begin to purge, prune, and prepare after I hear His call?

Beloved, 2015 will be a year of CALLING. I hear Jesus calling you BY NAME even as I type this. I see Soldiers standing at attention, rising and ready to step onto the battlefield at any moment. I see Pilots suiting up for flight. Then I also see those who are so trapped and suffocated by circumstances, material things, and familiarity that they cannot move quickly enough to be actively engaged as they are needed. Instead, they will be caught scrambling and confused as the trumpet sounds loudly in the background. A warning is being released: “GET READY TO GO!!! BE READY TO FOLLOW. STAY READY FOR THE MISSION.”

“Come Home”

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God is calling people home in 2015. “Home” will mean something different to each person who reads and receives this word. For some, He will call you home to your family – your hometown – the place where your biological and familial roots are. Others will be called to “RETURN HOME” to your spiritual home base, where you have the strongest community and grow closest to the Lord. I also see the Father calling the prodigals home in 2015 by the masses! Many who have strayed from His perfect love will return to Him this year – not just as a formality, but in true and right relationship with their Heavenly Father. Glory to God in the Highest! Lastly, God will also call some to their heavenly home this year and although it will seem unexpected to those who are left to grieve the loss, this is His will. Certain people must go home to Him so others can receive their mantles and anointings in a greater portion. In each of these circumstances and scenarios, the love of the FATHER will be revealed in new and beautiful ways. “Home” can be a painful place for many, but God wants to heal hearts and restore lives in 2015 as He prepares people to be sent out from their Home Base to do His work in greater measure. Get where you fit, Beloved. Ask Him if and how this applies to you. Ask Him where your “HOME” is. Then obey and trust His perfect leadership, in Jesus’ Name.

Listen to these songs:

“Home” by Chris Daughtry

“Come on Home” by Brady Toops

Click below to listen to “Come Home” by Kimberly and Alberto Rivera

 

“GONE WINCHESTER”

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I have known for a few months that I would be moving in January, but I did not know exactly when or where. As with each move I make in the will of God, I wait, trust, pray, and fret (keeping it all the way real). The fretting is temporary and is typically overcome by radical faith, but the blessing and curse of the prophetic gift is that I often know things well in advance of their actual occurrence. In His infinite wisdom, God knows that this gift will keep me pressed into Him through intercession as the fruit of patience is manifested and His perfect plans unfold. [Not always easy, but ALWAYS worth it.] So I am moving in January – on to my next mission/assignment. Interestingly (and as is commonly the case), all of this purging, pruning, and preparing over the past week began BY FAITH before I had absolute confirmation of the destination. Oh, how I love this mysterious, wonder-working God I serve.

Each time I move by faith, the Lord gives me the exact date I will be moving, and the address is always crazy prophetic. For example, I currently live on St. Louis Street in Los Angeles. When I moved there, the Lord told me that it was the Gateway to the West. That particular move for me opened up many opportunities to enter that land with the authority and favor of God. It has truly been a gateway. My next move will take place on January 18th, as confirmed by the Lord in early December. I recently learned that I will be moving to “Winchester Court.” Immediately, I knew there was significance in the name and thus began my prophetic journey to discover what the Lord had to say about my new season.

Within seconds, I had answers to my questions. And this is where the primary message for this 2015 word comes into play …

Again, in keeping with the military theme, here is what I learned >> A fighter pilot who runs out of ammunition will say he has “gone Winchester,” which means that he needs to return to base and restock his guns.

Now pause right there.

Friends, this is a year-long message.

There are many leaders in the Body of Christ – Fighter Pilotsthose who are skilled and trained to fight from a higher vantage point – who have run out of ammunition!!! This is so important! These pilots have been faithful in service and strong in battle. Their lack of ammo is not because they were not well-prepared, nor is it because they are weak or incapable. Simply stated, they can only carry so much ammunition. When they run out, they endanger themselves by being in enemy territory without proper weaponry. This is when they must “RETURN TO BASE AND RESTOCK THE GUNS.”

This is HUGE. Fighter Pilots, you know who you are. This is speaking to your spirit right now. Whether your assignment is in the marketplace, the mission field, the entertainment industry, the home front, or anywhere else God has called you, when you run out of ammo, you better be announcing “GONE WINCHESTER” and head back to base to restock! I pray that this is speaking to your spirit right now and not to your natural mind in Jesus’ Name. “Base” is the place where you get refueled. It is the place where you are safe from harm and rest easily in the care of others. Base is the place where your ammunition lives – your spiritual and emotional ammunition. It is the place where you come to life and get revived in the presence of God. It is the very place where you go to get prepared for your next mission. Do you know where that is, Mighty Warrior? Is it your hometown? Is it a strong community of faith-based believers? Is it a specific geographic location? I encourage you to be very prayerful about this during the first few days of this year. Please do not attempt to remain in the heat of the battle without proper ammunition. You will wear yourself out trying to dodge the fiery arrows of the enemy out of season. Are you with me?

I hear the Lord saying, “IT IS TIME TO RESTOCK THE GUNS!” This is the resounding voice of your Commander-in-Chief speaking to your new season. “IT IS TIME TO RETURN TO BASE.” In that place, you will be built up, equipped, rested, and established for your new assignment. And when your Commander releases you to fly again, you will be stronger and more ready than ever before. The enemy will not stand a chance against your newly restocked vehicle of warfare. Do you understand how important this is to your calling in 2015?!

 A few other prophetic unctions for the year:

  • This will be a Joel 2 Year.” Read that chapter and allow the Lord to speak to you personally about what it means for you and your journey this year. You may also consider joining us for a 21 day fast in February. Read more here.
  • This will be known as the “Year of Pursuit” for many reasons. The Bridegroom is pursuing His Bride!!! The lost will be found. The longings will be fulfilled. The prayers will be answered. Hallelujah! Jesus is King!
  • This will also be a “Year of Meat.”  Our Abba Father is calling us deeper in prayer, fasting, worship, and study of His Word. Those who respond and obey will receive understanding, revelation, and impartation (i.e. “meat”). Then He will release His Army to teach, preach, write, and create with an anointing that can only be birthed from the secret place.
  • The number TWO will be highlighted in 2015 for various reasons. I will allow the Lord to elaborate on that as He sees fit.
  • February will be a big month. I see surprises for God’s children in February. I see hearts and doves and confetti. I have great expectation for the SECOND month of the year.

The power of God will only be revealed through intimacy with God.

 

My prayer for you this year is that intimacy with God will be your greatest pursuit and desire, in Jesus’ Name.

I pray that this word would carry you through the year with hope and expectation but also with a sobriety about who God is and what He is doing in the earth.

Blessings, Peace, Love, and Abundance in Christ!

Let it all be for Your glory, Abba!

Amen.