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Posts in Destiny
Building a Prophetic Culture
 
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Have you ever received prayer and the person started to share about the very things on your mind or the dreams in your heart? Or have you ever received ‘impressions’ about someone’s emotional state or situation as you pray for them? Perhaps, you’ve also had dreams that ended up actually happening in real life. Well, these are some examples of the prophetic.


I believe that the prophetic is not complicated. It’s so simple that even children can move in it! I have activated children as young as 6 years old to do so. When I teach them about the prophetic, I love using the analogy of a postman. The job of a postman is to deliver the letter that he/she has received from the post office to the recipient. Prophecy works in the same way. Our role is to receive words or messages from God and deliver them to people.

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God’s heart for humanity is relationship, and relationship-building requires communication. God wants to communicate with us! One of the main elements in the prophetic is recognising God’s voice. Without hearing His voice first, we cannot receive any message. There’s a difference between learning to ‘hear’ His voice and ‘recognising’ His voice. The ability to hear His voice is already within us. Our job then is to recognise it, just as a newborn learns to recognise the different sounds they hear around them. 


“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:15

The prophetic is birthed from a place of intimacy with God. Growing in it is about cultivating this friendship. When we pursue His heart, we get to hear His heartbeat for humanity. It is through intimacy that the prophetic can be released with His love.

God does not want to just receive you as children into His kingdom and ignore you by not giving you the ability to hear His voice. God is a good and tender loving Father who loves to speak to His children. We have the privilege to hear His voice daily because of His love. 

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“But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” 
1 Cor 14:3

The heart of prophecy is to reveal God’s heart to the person in front of you. It is not about calling down judgement, or a doom and gloom message. The essence of a prophetic word should be edifying, encouraging, and comforting for the people receiving it. The heart of the message must be filled with God’s love and hope. A prophetic word is an encouraging word that always has the element of God’s restoration and redemption in people‘s lives. Encouraging words build people up, while negative words tear people down. 

“He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.”
1 Cor 14:4

Paul said that when we release prophetic words, the church is being built up. A strong church is not defined by its physical size but rather, it is made up of strong people. When we prophesy over our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are building them up with God’s destiny for them. When a prophetic culture is established, the fruit is an encouraging atmosphere—one where people encounter God’s love through prophetic words. 

Learning to hear from God is a lifelong journey. The truth is that we do make mistakes and hear wrongly along the way. But the main thing is seeking to maintain a heart of purity as we grow in hearing His voice, admitting our mistakes, and moving on. We should not stop prophesying just because we have made some mistakes along the way. A toddler does not stop learning to walk just because he has fallen down a few times. 

The primary goal of the prophetic is not about operating in a gift as much as it is about knowing God’s heart. Growing in this gift is actually growing in hearing His voice on a daily basis. Before you can hear a message (for others), you have to first identify and discern the voice of God in your life. 

He speaks to us all differently. Sometimes, it could be a specific verse from the Bible. Other times, we may get an impression, a vision, or a voice in our spirit. He can also speak to us through dreams. If you can hear God’s voice for yourself, you can most certainly hear God’s voice for others. Don’t disqualify yourself from being used by God to release the message of love that He has for the people around you. Everyone can prophesy!

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Ps Clement Sim, one of AG’s guest writers, graduated from the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM, Bethel Church) in Redding, California, and is currently a pastor at Soakability Church, Singapore.

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What Does a Culture of Honour Look Like?
 
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“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”
- Romans 12:10

A Culture of Honour: The Atmosphere of the Greenhouse

Here at Awaken Generation, we often talk about the ‘Greenhouse’ - it is heaven’s ecosystem; the values of the Kingdom that we, as a community of believers, choose to live by that causes us to flourish.

The culture of honour to a person is what soil is to a seed. It is the cornerstone of kingdom culture and a foundational ingredient in the greenhouse that causes every living thing to flourish.  We hear this phrase a lot, but what does it mean?

Simply put, the culture of honour is being able to relate to people according to what God thinks about them.

When we as a Body live with a culture of honour, people will flourish in their God-given destinies and assignments. We are, in a sense, honouring God’s original intention when He created each of us.

A culture of honour sees David as a King and a man after God’s own heart, even though he was a mere shepherd boy, the ‘runt’ of the family, a murderer, and adulterer. A culture of honour sees Gideon as a mighty man of valour called to triumph over his enemies, even though he was hiding out in fear at the threshing floor. A culture of honour sees Joseph as a saviour and a blessing to his family, even though he was sold into slavery by his own brothers. A culture of honour sees Abraham and Sarah as the father and mother of nations, even though they were old in age and had not borne any children. 

These great men and women of God, just like us, have made many mistakes - but to honour God’s original idea was to see them for who they were created to be.

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Humility & Honour

You may be wondering, “What about the many who don’t deserve it? The ones who aren’t honourable at all?”

Honour isn’t based on a person’s character,  whether or not they deserve it. Honour is based on our character - whether we have the humility to give it. In other words, we don’t give honour because someone is honourable, we give honour because WE are honourable.

It is a choice we make to honour others because we understand that everyone was created in the image of God and that each was born with a beautiful purpose in the kingdom to fulfil.  

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How to start building a culture of honour practically

Building a culture of honour may sound daunting, depending on your existing culture, but it’s not complex. Start with the simple act of encouragement and affirmation. This prophetic gift is the framework that edifies the Church.

Encouragement is to a person what helium is to a balloon. Words of encouragement are needed constantly because our thoughts are bombarded with criticism and negativity. All of us need the constant flow of encouragement from the family of Christ to remind us of who we are in Him.

Let’s learn to be generous with our words. Words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 says that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” The words we confess out loud express the beliefs with which we have chosen to partner; speaking it aloud is an expression of agreement with an idea - be it godly or evil. And where there is agreement, there is power and authority.

Let us always remember to champion people, not to remind others of their flaws and mistakes but to affirm & call out their God-given identity in Christ - as we do, we will see the people of God flourish into all God had destined for them since the beginning of time. 

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Why Israel?
 

AG’s story of being grafted into God’s greater storyline

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“Did you know that Israel is one of the most unreached people groups of the earth?” We were having lunch with Samuel Whitefield (IHOPKC and OneKing Ministries) and I remember this question and fact confounding the predispositions in my mind and piercing my heart all at the same time. ‘But isn’t this the place where Jesus walked? Surely there should be many followers of Jesus? But aren’t there so many Christian pilgrims who go there every year? Do you mean Israel, God’s own people, do not have the gospel?’ The disparity between my assumptions and reality was much too confronting to simply forget. 


To be honest, Israel - or the Middle East - was not a location that had remotely crossed my mind as a region Awaken Generation would have a role to play in. But sometimes, God grafts us into a storyline much greater than what we could dream or imagine for ourselves. Being invited to understand the redemptive story of God reconciling His family in the nations (including Israel) back to Him has astounded and provoked me greatly in my worship of Him as King Jesus. 


The reason why as believers we should have an interest in Israel is simply because the Father does. He is a promise-keeper, and the promises that He made to Abraham and the Israelites still stands today and will be fulfilled according to His righteousness. It is absolutely stunning that as gentiles in the nations, we have a role in seeing Israel receive Jesus as her salvation. 

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The Story of Obed-Edom 

Two days before the AG team made our way to Israel, we gathered for our usual Monday devotions. We did not expect the Lord to crash into our meeting the way He did. As His presence gripped our hearts, the word that was released was ‘Obed-Edom’ (2 Samuel 6). We began to study the story of a gentile who hosted the ark of the covenant at his home till his whole household prospered - it was this man’s profound revelation in hosting the presence of God that provoked King David to bring the ark of the covenant back to the heart of Jerusalem and ultimately set up a worship ministry that consisted of singers and musicians ministering to the presence of God. What was most interesting was the fact that Obed-Edom, as a gentile, was assigned and appointed to be a part of the worship ministry in Israel - what a privilege and honour! We believe this a beautiful prophetic picture of the role the gentile nations have in provoking Israel to yearn for its rightful inheritance in King Jesus.

One of the highlights of our trip was actually spending some time at Obed-Edom’s house! It is currently a church that is looked after by a company of nuns from the Philippines.

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Dor Haba Worship Camp 

It’s easy to feel removed from the conflict that is rife in the Middle East, especially when we are halfway around the world. So to be right in the land itself with young people of Jewish, Arab, and Palestinian backgrounds all in one camp, being able to teach on worship and help them unlock the song of the Lord in Hebrew and Arabic was such an eye-opener. I believe prayer and intercession is so powerful and needed over this nation, but there’s something so exceedingly special about being able to have real conversations and form real friendships with the people of the land. 

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We realise that there may never be a political solution for peace, but yet it is only through Jesus that reconciliation can happen and there can be true peace (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). We had the privilege of witnessing this on the last day of worship camp. The tension between the two people groups were very real, you could see it carried by the kids who have learnt hostility, hurt, and offense from the generations before them. But on the last day as we invited the kids from Bethlehem to be prayed over, the presence of Jesus filled the room, and great weeping, forgiveness, and reconciliation took place as the nations gathered to pray, prophesy, and call out destiny in them.

It was such a beautiful picture of God’s heart for the nations, that His heart is really for family - for every tribe and tongue to be adopted back into the family of God. I love that none of us miss out on this, not one; we are all welcome to the family of God. 

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Worship Night in Jerusalem 

The picture above is why I so believe in the power of worship in hosting the presence of God and bringing forth salvation. This is Kelly - she is Jewish and was born and grew up in Jerusalem. Kelly encountered the love and presence of Yeshua last year at the worship night in Jerusalem and subsequently went on a journey in discovering the Holy Spirit and giving her life to Him! At this year’s worship night, she testified of how the Holy Spirit completely changed and transformed her life and prayed in Hebrew over her nation. To see her dance and worship with lifted hands in adoration of Jesus filled my heart with immense praise and thanksgiving to a God who would use the gentiles of the earth to bless Israel with the gospel of salvation. 

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I leave you with words from Psalm 122, a chorus that we sang so often over Jerusalem. We pray that the Lord will grip your heart with the beautiful redemptive story our Father is writing over the nations and over Israel - will you respond to His invitation? 

“We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, 
Peace be in your walls and security in your towers, 
For my companion’s sake, 
We say peace be to you…”

(spontaneous chorus by Jaye Thomas) 

For more resources to understand God’s heart for Israel, click here to check out: ‘It Must Be Finished’ and ‘Israel and the Great Commission’ by Samuel Whitefield.

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Isaiah’s Prediction of Singers from the East
 

By Samuel Whitefield

Isaiah 24 contains a stunning prediction: God is going to use singers to sustain His people and proclaim his glory in the most difficult hour of history. Furthermore, this prophecy gives significant insight into what God is doing in Southeast Asia.

There are three main themes in Isaiah 24 we need to be familiar with:

  1. The prediction of end-time songs

  2. The subject of end-time songs

  3. The mission of end-time songs

The Prediction of End-Time Songs

Isaiah predicted the earth would pass through an incredibly difficult period of time before the return of Jesus:

"The earth mourns and withers; the world languishes and withers; the highest people of the earth languish… The mirth of the tambourines is stilled, the noise of the jubilant has ceased, the mirth of the lyre is stilled. No more do they drink wine with singing; strong drink is bitter to those who drink it." (Isaiah 24:4, 8–9 ESV)

Isaiah’s prediction of this period of time was poetic but solemn. He said the earth would “languish.” The trouble will be so severe singing and celebration will stop. Even the “highest people”—the most powerful people—will be unable to escape this trouble. This period of time will feel like the crushing of olives during the olive harvest:

"For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done." (Isaiah 24:13 ESV)

The first thirteen verses of Isaiah’s prophecy are filled with trouble and despair. However, the prophecy makes a sudden and surprising shift in verse 14:

"They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the west. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One…" (Isaiah 24:14-16 ESV)

Isaiah revealed there will be a company of singers releasing songs when all other songs have failed. This is not just a single worship ministry—this is the end-time church singing of the beauty of God in a time when all other songs have failed.

There will be a number of ways the end-time church gives a witness to the gospel but Isaiah specifically predicted songs.

The Subject of End-Time Songs

Isaiah also described the subject of these songs:

"They lift up their voices, they sing for joy…" (Isaiah 24:14 ESV)

The church is going to lift up their voices—which means sing loudly—because of joy. When the earth passes through the darkest hour of history there will be a people who will sing for joy in anticipation of God’s glorious deliverance.

They will be unable to restrain their songs about the majesty of the Lord:

"They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west." (Isaiah 24:14 ESV)

This is a profound promise. The end-time church is going to experience the majesty of the Lord to such a degree it cannot be silent even though circumstances will seem dark. This is also a profound instruction. It reveals the content of end-time songs which gives direction to our song writing. End-time songs will be about the majesty of the Lord.

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The Mission of End-Time Songs

When we think of missions we tend to think of many things, but Isaiah included songs as part of the mission of the church. When we compare verse 14, which we just looked at, to verse 15 we see a profound shift:

"They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the west. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel." (Isaiah 24:14–15 ESV)

Isaiah shifted his language from a prediction to a command. Isaiah not only predicted there would be end-time songs (verse 14) he commanded us to begin to sing those songs (verse 15). We are used to reading prophecy in a passive way as a record of predictions, but we should seek to obey Isaiah’s command just as we obey the Great Commission or any other biblical command.

Isaiah’s command means singers are a missional objective for the church. 

Because these songs are so important, Isaiah specifically commanded the east to sing which raises a question: where in the east was he speaking to?

"Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD…" (Isaiah 24:15 ESV)

The answer is found in verse 16: “From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One…" (Isaiah 24:15-16 ESV)

Isaiah heard the songs of the east coming from the “ends of the earth.” That phrase means as far away as you can imagine. Isaiah was a prophet of Israel which means east Asia was as far to the east as Isaiah could imagine. Not only did Isaiah predict these songs, he said he heard songs coming from the very ends of the earth. These end-time songs are so precious to the Lord He allowed Isaiah to hear them nearly 3,000 years ago. 

Imagine how Isaiah heard the songs of Singapore in Chinese, Malay, English, Tamil, and other languages.

Isaiah’s stunning prophecy helps us better grasp the significance of the assignment the Lord has given to us. We live in the most musical generation in history and for the first time in history singers are taking their place across Asia to release these songs.

The Lord is preparing the way for the prophecy to be fulfilled because it is time for the singers in the east to “lift up their voices” and “sing for joy.”

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Cultivating the Heart of a Worshipper
 
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“I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He trims so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. The branch cannot itself produce fruit, unless it abides on the vine. Likewise, you cannot produce fruit unless you abide in Me.” – John 15

God is looking for a garden. One that is bursting with fruit of many kinds, one whose weeds have been tended to, and whose leaves do not wither throughout the seasons. God is looking at the garden of our hearts.  A garden in which He can take delight in and enjoy.

Fruit is a natural produce of a healthy tree. One that is firmly rooted in the soil sustained by minerals and nutrients of the earth, one that is exposed to the sustaining grace of sunlight, and one that has daily access to the life-giving properties of water. You see, in the kingdom, if our hearts are the garden, then the soil, water, and sunlight are the presence of God and His Word in our lives. Just as a tree does not have to strive to produce fruit, we simply need to ‘abide’ in the right conditions for us to flourish.

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 As worshippers, we flourish in our God-given destiny and in the gifts of the Holy Spirit when we learn to expose ourselves to the very source that will cause us to grow and become like Him. We do not ‘fast track’ fruit by our own efforts, we simply surrender our beings unto a very, very good God and the growth will naturally happen.

The key to the presence of God is to worship. To be able to worship God is His gift to His sons and daughters. It is this very act of worship - the laying down of our wants and rights, surrendering to His will and offering up a sacrifice of praise - that cultivates the garden of our hearts. It keeps us on the path to becoming more and more like Him – this is the reason why we live, breathe, and exist on this earth. We fulfill our purpose when we know the Father, become like Him, and represent Him to a world that so desperately needs Him.

 
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