"From the sons of Issachar, those having understanding of times and what Israel should do" (1 Chr. 12:32).
Things are currently moving at a fast speed. Realignment is occurring in people's lives much like chiropractic adjustments. Tender, comforting moments of being massaged and then a sudden, "Crack! Pop!" People are either experiencing things getting put back into place in their lives or an infusion of fresh energy and motivation to actually move into something new. Strategic assignments are being given.
Cindy Jacobs, as the leader of the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (of which I am a founding member), recently released a detailed word calling this the Year of the Breakthrough. I couldn't agree more! I, too, have been proclaiming that this is a Year of the Breakthrough.
In fact, the Holy Spirit is selecting ambassadors of hope. They will carry the Micah 2:13 breaker anointing and are being commissioned with the power of declaration to shift spiritual climates and atmospheres over entire regions. It is time for hope solutions to come forth in answer to the years of global intercession. The heavenly bowls are being filled with the prayers of the saints, and with angelic assistance, they are being tipped over into the earth realm again.
"What goes up must come down!" I can see it and even feel it as I compose this right now. Years of prayers will suddenly be answered.
Personal Prophetic Encounter
I have experienced a surge of authority come upon my own life with a fresh desire to prophesy. I have been moving in a prophetic gift for 45 years and could be considered a father or even a grandfather in the global prayer and prophetic movements. But at this point in time I am being renewed in my own spirit to speak life into movements, structures, networks, culture, governments and other entities.
In a recent God Encounters Ministries staff prayer time, I was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit's anointing and found myself declaring, "The lion is roaring! Listen to the sound of the lion roaring into the earth. The earth is shaking. The foundations of the deep are being broken open, and underground streams will suddenly appear as fresh fountains spewing forth the waters of life upon dry ground. New reformers are being called and sent forth at this 500-year demarcation of the beginning of the Great Reformation, and they are being anointed to change the equilibrium of the church and the very shape of nations."
This prophetic prayer experience has so consumed me that even now I begin to weep when I start talking about it. (In a future article, I will take some time to write more about what this declaration means and might potentially look like.) But for now, I simply want to declare, "Let the lion roar."
The Need for the Gift of Discerning of Spirits
I am more expectant concerning sudden change right now than at any time in my entire life. But with these seismic shifts and changes comes the need for a higher level of discernment. In the coming days, the gift of discerning of spirits is going to be one of the most valued and needed gifts.
The gift of discerning of spirits ("distinguishing of spirits" in some translations; see 1 Corinthians 12:10, NASB, NIV) operates a bit like a spiritual Geiger counter in detecting a source that is not apparent to the natural senses, but nevertheless is present and is exerting some form of influence. The gift provides perception into the spirit world—which includes the Holy Spirit, both good and evil angelic spirits, and individual human spirits. It gives supernatural insight into the realm of spirits.
It can sometimes be hard to tell where supernatural activity originates because not all of it comes from the Holy Spirit. Only someone who can penetrate more deeply with spiritual eyes can tell the difference between supernatural activity from the Holy Spirit and from elsewhere.
The gift of discerning of spirits is the God-given ability or enablement to recognize the identity (and very often the personality and condition) of the spirits, which are behind different manifestations or activities. The dividing line between a human and divine operation may be obscure to some believers, but one with the faculty of spiritual discernment sees a clear separation.
Individuals who are gifted with this supernatural gift of perception can perceive "the motivating spirit behind certain words or deeds." To discern means to distinguish, to differentiate, or to perceive, and people exercise the gift of discernment in different ways.
Having said all of that, let me clearly state once again, the gift of discerning of spirits is going to be one of the most valued and needed gifts in the coming days as sudden changes occur. (See my book Releasing Spiritual Gifts Today for more on this subject.)
The Time of Suddenlies
Malachi 3:1 states, ""I will send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, He is coming,' says the LORD of hosts."
The Spirit of Elijah is among us clearing and preparing the way of the Lord, removing obstacles and hindrances out of the way. But He (the Lord Himself) is "coming to us before He comes for us." The lion is roaring. An unprecedented outpouring is upon us. The time of a great harvest is here. Mature tried and tested believers are being given fresh assignments and commissions.
We are on the verge of a church quake. The equilibrium of the church and thus how the world perceives us will shift swiftly. As His manifested presence increases, healing and miracles will occur in the midst of our corporate times of extravagant worship.
In January, when ministering at the annual HIM Prophetic Conference on the West Coast, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me in a dream. I heard, "We have had purpose driven lives. We now have presence-motivated people, but what we need is values-anchored believers!" I had never heard this phrase before, and I have been chewing on this ever since. (In another article, I hope to unpack more understanding on this word soon.)
It is a significant "Time of the Suddenlies." Suddenly, He will visit His people. Suddenly, the stock market will rise to unprecedented highs. Suddenly, blueprints and strategies will be released. Suddenly, scientific breakthroughs will occur and new approaches to the healing of cancer and HIV will be discovered. Suddenly, reconciliations will occur between family members.
We must properly discern the times and the seasons. We must learn when to sit, when to take a stand and when to run. In these turbulent times, He will guide His children and we will know what to do and with whom to do it.
Dr. James Goll is the founder of Encounters Network, Prayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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