It is good to be aware of what prophetic watchmen are saying about these times. However, we must each learn to hear the voice of the Living Christ for ourselves. The Christ that we serve is the same One who walked among the golden lampstands in the book of Revelation, giving encouragment and correction to those He loves. He is still living and active in us, waiting for us to step aside from our busy lives to hear clearly from Him. Sometimes, He will give us the encouragement and strength we need to carry on. Other times, He will give us the harsh words or rebuke that our soul deeply needs. Both kinds of prophetic insight are designed to cause us to mature and grow. In order to reach spiritual maturity as children of God, we must learn to embrace the rebuke of the Lord just as much as we embrace His divine favor. This is why the Psalmist said:
"Let a righteous man strike me--that is a kindness; let him rebuke me--that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it..." (Psalm 141:5 NIV) We will be blessed to the extent that we receive the Lord's rebuke and recognize that His chastisement is actually a form of supreme love. However, if "our head refuses" to accept His rebuke, we will remain immature and infantile in our relationship with Him.
We are each His handiwork. Encouraging words are an aspect of "adding to" His work in us. We receive new infusions of life, love, light, and peace as we drink in the Spirit of the Lord. In contrast, words of rebuke lead us to a different aspect of the Master Sculptor's work, which is a process of subtraction.
When we properly respond to His rebuke through repentance and obedience, we allow the master sculptor to conform us to His image by removing the hindrances from our lives: This is a work of subtraction that removes the dross and makes us holy. For this reason, we should actually seek to "judge ourselves" and actively search out what needs to be removed from our lives, so that we can look more like Him more quickly (See 1 Corinthians 11:31).
Everything that God does (or allows) is for a greater goal and purpose which we often cannot see at the time it is unfolding. When the times of shaking come, keep your eyes on the prize. For even the worst "birth pangs" that Jesus prophesied, such as earthquakes, famine, and war are merely signs that the Kingdom of God is being "birthed" on the earth to a much greater degree (see Matthew 24) For this reason, we can actually rejoice when shaking comes because it signals a time of rising glory. Words for 2015, 2016, and 2017
For the last two years, the Lord has repeated made it clear to me that 2017 will be a "golden year" when the glory of the Lord is poured out beyond what we dreamed was possible and remarkable doors of opportunity are opened. This will be a year of unprecedented acceleration for the Kingdom of God in the earth, especially in the Americas and Europe. It will be a year to establish new ministries, acquire new property, and advance on every level. Every time I see 2017, I see remarkable doors opened, made of solid gold. This will be the year that the King of Glory inhabits His Body again because it will be the year that we actually open the door for Him to come in (see Psalm 24). When He "comes in the door" we open, He will teach us how to rule and reign from a place of communion with Him (see Revelation 3:20-21).
2015-2016 are designed to prepare us for these unprecedented opportunities by removing the hindrances that stand in our way. It is wise to prepare both spiritually and in practical ways for the shaking of the next 15 months. The economic shaking that has already started to unfold is only one kind of shaking--expect other kinds of shaking to begin in February and continue through March and April of 2016, including significant earthquakes and volcanoes. This will be like when the Israelites were surrounded by plagues and told to make bricks without straw. It will be harder to do things and we will see judgements around us. However, just like the Exodus, the Lord is allowing these things for the ultimate purpose of showing Himself strong and crushing Pharoah's power.
Expect a quick turnaround towards the end of 2016, as the Lord begins to raise up His army and His architects. They will receive marching orders and blueprints for unprecedented victories that will begin at the end of 2016 and continually increase through all of 2017. The central aspect of these marching orders and blueprints will be the key of David from Isaiah 22:22, which will open up every door (also see Revelation 3:7-13). As we learn to use the authority we have been given and apply it to worship, intercession, evangelism, and prophetic declaration, we will begin to see the kind of outpouring and harvest that many have dreamed about and prophesied for centuriues.
I believe that the reason the Lord has given me these promises for 2017 now is because some people will need to see the "light at the end of the tunnel" as they move through the next 15 months. I generally do not give words that are this specific, but I felt prompted to share these things for your benefit. I welcome your feedback, questions, and comments either on my blog or on facebook.
Many blessings, Michael
For further reflection: Matthew 24, Haggai 2:6-9, Isaiah 60, Exodus
Words of rebuke lead us to a different aspect of the Master Sculptor's work, which is a process of subtraction.
For the last two years, the Lord has repeated made it clear to me that 2017 will be a "golden year" when the glory of the Lord is poured out beyond what we dreamed was possible and remarkable doors of opportunity are opened.