Friday, March 14, 2014

Carol Kelley: Now Is the Time To Claim God's Promises!

It's Time!

Recently, I had two dreams about claiming God's prophetic promises. In the first, four wristwatches were in a dish with some other jewelry, set atop a night stand. I awoke, immediately fell back asleep, and had a second dream. In it I saw a newspaper headline that read, "Redeem."

I awoke from the second dream, asked the Lord what He was seeking to communicate to me, and pondered several of the symbols represented in this pair of dreams:

• Jewelry – something precious; gifts from God.
• Clocks in dreams and visions represent time, so a wristwatch symbolizes the present time.
• Four – reigning; God's Kingdom, God's creation.
• Five (the total number of wristwatches, including the one I was wearing) – grace, redemption.
• Night stand – God's promises will stand, even when all is dark and daylight seems a long way off.
• Newspaper – prophecy.

This is the interpretation that He showed me:

God has valuable, precious gifts for every Believer. Some we are already aware of, while others await our discovery. Now is the time to reign with Christ and live in His Kingdom, not just in the future in Heaven. God has redeemed us through His grace; His promises will stand. He will help us redeem and make the most of our NOW time (see Ephesians 5:16). Now is the time to claim His prophetic promises! (Photo via Stock.xchange by skingolf)

Here are some Biblical references about God's words:

• Psalm 119:130 – "The unfolding of Your words gives light...[and] understanding..."
• Psalm 119:140 – "Your word (promise) is very pure..."
• Isaiah 40:8 – "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
• Isaiah 55:11 – "So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."
• Luke 1:20, 30 – God's words WILL be fulfilled in their proper time. His favor and approval lessens our fear.
• 2 Timothy 3:16 – "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness..."

How Can You Know If A Prophetic Word Is Really From God?

You may be wondering, "How can I know if a prophetic word is really from God?" This is an excellent question. When my husband Dave and I teach others about prophecy, we use numerous Scriptures, especially 1 Corinthians 14:3 – "One who prophesies speaks...for edification and exhortation and consolation," and 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 – "Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good." There is nothing wrong with testing prophetic words that are spoken to you; in fact, it is a wise practice.

Testing a word does not mean that you are questioning the Lord or the person who prophesied it, but that you are seeking confirmation. "Does not the ear test words...?"(Job 12:11). (Photo via Stock.xchange by 13dede)

• Does a word meet the test of 1 Corinthians 14:3 – edification, exhortation, and comfort? Prophecies should never be used as a vehicle for controlling or condemning others. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). God's words bring us hope. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord, 'plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope'" (Jeremiah 29:11).

• Does a prophetic word given to you line up with the truth of God as expressed in His written Word, the Bible? The Lord will not contradict Himself. "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19).

• Does a prophetic word bear witness with your own spirit, or does something about it seem "off"? "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God..." (1 John 4:1). In the New Testament model of prophecy God primarily uses prophetic words to confirm what you're already hearing from Him. He doesn't expect you to make a major life change on the basis of one word prophesied to you. Even in the Old Testament the Lord confirmed His words. Abraham (see Genesis 15 & 17), Moses (see Exodus 3-4), and Gideon (see Judges 6-7) all received multiple confirmations from God.

• Does a prophetic word exalt or glorify an individual or group, or does it exalt and glorify Jesus Christ by helping propel others forward in their walk with God? Encouragement, exhortation, and comfort (see 1 Corinthians 14:3) are key elements in prophecy. Reject words that are manipulative. God desires for us to walk in confidence, avoiding both condemnation and conceit."For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

Use these various tests to confirm if a word is from the Lord. If so, then CLAIM it, DECLARE it, BELIEVE it, and REST in His truth and faithfulness (see Lamentations 3:22-23; I Thessalonians 5:24). God's words WILL be fulfilled at the proper time (see Luke 1:20)!

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3

How To Claim And Wait Patiently In Rest For the Lord's Promises

Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will do it...Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently (or longingly) for Him...Psalm 37:5, 7

Resting may sometimes seem counterproductive. We can become distracted by "much service," like Martha, during the times Jesus wants us to rest in His presence and listen to Him (see Luke 10:38-42). Yes, it's important to confirm and follow God's directions to us, while also realizing it's up to Him to fulfill His words; we can't make them happen through our own effort or striving. God's grace and His acceptance of us enable us to rest in Him. And when we rest, it's often easier to hear from the Lord. When Elisha rested, he received a God-inspired idea and further direction for ministry (see 2 Kings 4:8-17).

Last summer I had a dream about studying a five-word phrase in the Bible. But the location of this phrase did not appear in the dream. I awoke and asked the Lord where to read, and heard,"Exodus 5." (Keep in mind that five prophetically represents God's grace. Here were two fives – Exodus chapter 5, and a five-word phrase.)

Exodus 5 is the account of Moses and Aaron going to Pharaoh, and declaring that God said to release His people from bondage (see verse 1). Pharaoh was unimpressed, saying, "Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, I will not let Israel go" (verse 2). Then Pharaoh added, "Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labors!" (verse 4).

He accused the Israelites of being lazy (see verses 8, 17), and gave the people an added burden of labor (see verses 9-19). The elders of Israel blamed Moses and Aaron for this injustice (see verses 20-21). Moses in turn complained to God (see verses 22-23). In Exodus 6, the Lord spoke again to Moses, reassuring him He was responsive to Israel's suffering and would keep His promise (see verse 5) to redeem them (see verse 6).(Photo via Wikimedia Commons by Benjamin West)

The Lord drew me to Exodus 5:3. There I found the five-word phrase to study – Moses and Aaron said to Pharaoh, "God...has met with us."

• God – the Holy One, the King of all, the Creator of the universe.
• Has – God really did speak to Moses and Aaron; they were not imagining it.
• Met – The Lord met individually with both Moses (see Exodus 3; 4:1-17, 19-23) and Aaron (see Exodus 4:27), to communicate with them. God could have overwhelmed Moses and forced him to obey, but He chose to dialogue and give Moses grace.
• With – Jesus is our Emmanuel, God With Us (see Matthew 1:21-23; Isaiah7:14).
• Us – God confirmed his words and plans not only to Moses, but also to Jethro, Moses' father-in-law (see Exodus 4:18); Aaron (see Exodus 4:27-28); the elders of Israel (see Exodus 3:16-18, 4:29-30); and the people (see Exodus 3:15, 4:30-31).

After I pondered these five words, the Lord communicated to me: "I will come through in My time! I want you to be released and freed from your heavy labors. Satan and others may accuse you of being lazy, but I compel you to rest!"

Jesus invites us to come to Him and rest from our striving, our working to exhaustion (see Matthew 11:28-30). By His sacrifice and provision for our sin, we are freed from the law of sin and death (see Romans 8:2). He came to set us free (see John 8:32, 36) that we might have abundant life in Him (see John 10:10).

When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (see Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:12; Luke 4:1), He walked in obedience to the Father. He fasted for forty days, and became hungry (see Matthew 4:2; Luke 4:2). Satan tempted Jesus to make bread (see Matthew 4:3, Mark1:13; Luke 4:3); though hungry, Jesus did not sin. When God led Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness, His children complained and doubted Him. Still, he showed them grace and fed them "bread" (manna) every day (see Exodus 16:12-29, 35). Even after Israel habitually sinned and rebelled against God (see Numbers 13-14), He continued to feed and provide for them during forty years of desert wanderings (see Deuteronomy 8:2-4).

Jesus is our Bread of Life (see John 6:35, 48, 51), the provision for our need. He said that we don't live by bread alone, but by every word coming from God (see Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3). The Law came through Moses, but grace and truth through Jesus Christ (see John 1:17).

So now is the time to claim God's promises to you!

In His grace,

Carol Kelley

Carol Kelley and her husband Dave are prophetic ministers, teaching prophecy classes and mentoring younger prophets. Their passion is to help others hear and recognize God's voice, and walk in His grace. Carol, a prophet, musician, teacher, and composer, has music published with Hal Leonard Corporation and Alfred Music Publishing. A sixth-generation Oregonian, she has a heart to intercede for Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, as well as cities and nations. Dave moves in an apostolic and prophetic anointing to help God's people become empowered as conduits of financial blessing. He has 38 years of financial experience working in Christian organizations, currently as Chief Financial Officer at New Hope Christian College in Eugene, Oregon.

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