It felt like it came out of nowhere. I suddenly heard His voice resonate inside my spirit with perfect clarity. He said, "In June, your church will experience a financial breakthrough." I was filled with expectancy at the news. We were about three years past the 2007-2008 recession, but were still recovering as a church and getting our financial confidence back. June came, but instead of a financial breakthrough it seemed like we went in reverse! It ended up being a difficult summer financially. That breakthrough did finally arrive, but not until the fall of that year. What happened? Did I miss the voice of God?
The Bible describes some purposes for prophetic words. Prophetic words comfort and build us up in a revelatory way (1 Cor. 14:3). Prophetic words can unveil our hidden desires as well as reveal our future (Acts 11:28, 1 Cor. 14:24-25). A prophetic word is also a sure weapon when experiencing spiritual warfare. The apostle Paul instructed his spiritual son Timothy to wage war and "fight well" using his personal prophecies (1 Tim. 1:18).
Paul said that because he understood what was really behind Timothy's conflicts. Demons had been sent to oppose him and hinder his spiritual assignment using human beings to carry out their wishes. Spiritual problems need spiritual weapons and Timothy needed to use his prophetic words to overcome and stand strong.
Prophetic words act as sharp swords in the spirit realm when we speak them out boldly and with authority (Heb. 4:12, Mark 11:23). They will cut through anything that stands in the way spiritually and cause the natural realm to reorganize. The Lord had spoken specifically to me about our finances, even telling me the month of breakthrough in order to hedge us from a well-timed satanic attack.
I've learned to not be shocked when a prophetic word is the exact opposite of our present experience as God confidently calls things that are not as though they were (Rom. 4:17). An "eater" had come to devour us, but the Spirit of God had come with a well-timed word strong enough to force a turnaround.
What's Eating You?
The Holy Spirit has been raising a phrase in my heart over and over again. He's been speaking that ancient riddle to me, "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet" (Judg. 14:14). In addition, He's been speaking to me about divine turnarounds.
The riddle, "Out of the eater..." in Judges 14:14, was the riddle posed by Samson to his Philistine wedding attendants and crafted from his personal experience. Samson had been traveling by the vineyards of Timnah when suddenly a young lion came out ROARING in an attempt to devour him. Just as suddenly, the Spirit of God fell upon Samson in superhuman strength and he tore the lion apart! By the Spirit of God, he destroyed what had tried to destroy him.
After some time, Samson traveled that path again and found the lion's carcass. The carcass was now host to a swarm of bees with more than enough honey to satisfy Samson and to feed his parents. What had tried to eat him was now feeding him and feeding his family too!
We've all encountered an "eater" before, but "eaters" have triumphed in our lives far too many times. The "eater" has eaten our close relationships, our finances, our health and our confidence, having picked too many of us clean with barely anything left over!
The Christian life, however, is all about overcoming. The Bible describes how we will overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11). We are also given a powerful promise to rule nations if we overcome and follow Christ well (Rev. 2:26). If we have such promises, there has to be a way in God to consistently overcome the things that have come to "eat" us.
The Spirit of God Came Upon Him
Peter warns us by saying, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). We know what it means to be sober, and to be vigilant means we "carefully notice problems or signs of danger (Webster's)." In other words, be a man or woman of God that is so alert and so well prepared that you become hard for Satan to devour in the first place.
Samson appeared to have lived a prepared life up until that point. And when the "eater" came, the Holy Spirit fell upon Samson with a breakthrough anointing. By the Spirit of God, he tore the lion apart. We can expect the Holy Spirit to do the same for us. He will fall upon us with new strength and we will finally deal a spiritual deathblow to our devourers.
Surprised by His Sweetness
When Samson returned to Timnah, he detoured off the road to inspect the lion's carcass. Here I believe Samson was waking up to his God-assignment and needing to reflect on what had happened. Instead of bones and a few bits of flesh, Samson found honey inside the carcass and ate his fill of sweetness. To the Israelite, honey was a promise of future blessing and later it became a symbol announcing a sweet year to come. Either way, the eater was now the feeder signaling the pattern of conflict and turnarounds that would follow Samson until his death.
In addition to the phrase, "Out of the eater..." I've also been hearing a word about "sweetness." The Holy Spirit is announcing that we too will be surprised by the Lord's sweetness this coming year. In a (Jewish) year that began with prophecies of disaster and economic downturn, we can instead expect His sweetness to be expressed in divine turnarounds by the power of the Holy Spirit. It's going to be a sweet year.
Do You Have an Orphan or Poverty Spirit (Mentality)?
"... but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits" (Dan. 11:32, NKJV)
Samson grew up with loyal and devoted parents. He was their only son and consecrated to the Lord as a Nazirite from birth. Samson also knew from the youngest age what he was born to do. Although he struggled with his passions, his foundations kept him on course to protect and begin rescuing Israel from the evil Philistines.
Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church in Redding, California once said, "We need to know who we are and whose we are!" This again is about our foundations, namely knowing the heart and nature of our God and knowing what we were born to do. As I mentioned earlier, this Jewish year started off with the wet blanket of foreboding prophecies. Understand that because of the Blood of Jesus, God is not angry with us and neither is He holding our sins against us (2 Cor. 5:9). We are commanded to be reconcilers to Christ and these types of prophecies do not accomplish that.
Regardless, there were two spirits (mentalities) exposed in the American church during September's rumors of economic crisis "in the name of God." They were the orphan mentality and the poverty mentality. These mentalities almost empowered an "eater" in the guise of the prophetic. A scared church becomes a withholding church, which binds the gospel from being preached. When you know that you know He is your Dad, you can't believe for one minute that He would not provide generously for you!
When you know why you were born such as Samson did, you can't stomach messages that appear to take away your future.
Kingdom Finances for the Harvest
"The eater," says the Spirit, "will now become the feeder."
The Holy Spirit is reintroducing the message of kingdom prosperity to the body of Christ. The purpose is to finance the end-time harvest.
My prayer is that we would be healed of the orphan and poverty mentalities and no longer fear economic crisis. There is no lack in the kingdom of God.
My other prayer is that greed and excess mentalities won't choke out a real Biblical truth and that this would go in the direction the Holy Spirit intends it to go. Our Father desires to be generous to us so He can be generous through us to see His work finished in the earth.
Reprinted from The Elijah List. Jennifer Eivaz is an Executive Pastor at Harvest Christian Center in Turlock, CA. Send an email to Jennifer at [email protected]
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