Are You a Wild One?
Have you been stranded in the wilderness, figuratively speaking? Dwelling in dehydration, exposed to the discomforts of harsh elements, drained of healthy energy by the rationing of pure sustenance? Enduring aloneness, lacking encouragement, affirmation, or positive feedback? Are you a spiritual outcast? Do you have gifts of the Holy Spirit that have been by-and-large choked by mainstream corporate church and you don’t quite fit in because how the Lord gifted you and/or how you should operate is not supported, stimulated, or even accepted? A believing, faith-filled outcast wondering what the point is and where your purpose rests? Do you live or serve in an environment where you have little emotional joy?
The wilderness experience is often referenced as a time of spiritual dryness. But often it’s in the wilderness that we establish our identity, who we are in God. We exercise our faith. We face our fears. The Lord in his grace provides for us and we end up pressing in to him as our compass. Focusing on him, our guide, to lead us out, where we are stronger, fitter than when we first entered hauling in the messy landscape of our lives (everything but the kitchen sink). We enter weighed down and heavy. But we leave with nothing but Jesus, whose yoke is easy and burden light.
For some, the wilderness season has lasted decades, and you’ve pursued the Lord with your whole heart. But now you’ve made it through, you survived. You’re at the last line of trees before the clearance to move on out. And you’re waiting for his “Go” command, because you’ve grown to know only HIS voice in the wilderness, and you respect it, revere it, trust him implicitly. At the appointed time, you expect to take his promised hand that leads you fearlessly to what he has “out there” for you, the promised land.
The wilderness was a necessary course of training. You learn about the only map that matters, the Word, and that serves as divine navigation. For us, and for others. The wilderness provokes us to speak and share of our experiences.
I am a wild one. I know spiritual wilderness. So when I found a contemporary book calling out to me, I both rejoiced and mentally recapitulated my journeying up to now. I must have dogeared every other page, top and bottom. I know there are leagues of others for who this book was intended and written.
Freedom to exercise gifts of the Spirit, and creative and unusual ideas at last put to use. The hidden, marginalized, voiceless, quieted ones; outcasts on the fringe. The ones who haven’t quite fit into institutionalized church protocols, or have been tamped by the tight structure of its programs, yet have gifts of the Spirit burning to be activated; the ones who wish to seek the will of the Father regardless of what it looks or sounds like to man… This book is for you:
The Wild Ones: Prophetic Survival Guide (The pioneer call of emerging voices from the wilderness to the frontlines)
The chapters, like rites of passage, each finish with “Prophetic Survival Keys” and a “Campfire Prayer” to keep us revving and warm. Ripe for the time, I highly, highly recommend this book! I pray the Lord increases your spiritual territory and magnifies your divine giftings as you read this book. And I pray the Lord multiply blessings to the author, prophet, and worship leader, Nate Johnston, for blessing, confirming, affirming, encouraging, inspiring, and motivating what has felt like the lost and forgotten remnant of Jesus followers. Here we go, into the next great roiling wave of revival, church reformation, and outreach of prophetic voices the world has ever seen. Are you ready, fellow wild one?
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve that purpose for which I sent it.”—Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)
The dark world grew darker, wickedness more rampant and shocking, modesty disappeared, differences of opinions fueled anger turning to hatred and intolerance, gouging a wider divisive gap between “sides.” Pride fed impatience and intolerance. People, even leaders, threw so-called opponents under the bus (blaming someone else for selfish gain or atonement). Sound familiar? Sound like our culture today?
In a vision I had of this world, I witnessed a scene of the unseen unfold. Shadows spiraled violently around people, manipulating their actions. The erratic movement of the shadows turned my stomach. Then, amid turbulent chaos-land, a bright light emitted from a rock like a center-stage platform of immovable stone. A group of people, a number of saints, a remnant, stood on that rock. I realized the holy light came from within those who stood on the rock. Others who were not on the rock had influences clinging on them like black creatures that moved like eels. One at a time, and sometimes in a bobbing cluster, they’d slither up to a saint, getting right into their face, and spew vile words at them, then slither back. Slither up again with revolting insults and character defamation, then shrink back. The oral onslaught continued. But what I noticed was that the saints didn’t react at all, only closed their eyes during the verbal bombarding. They each appeared like an upright impenetrable wall, unaffected, while every insult rolled around each of the remnant and disintegrated to nothingness. And when they opened their eyes, with peaceful countenances, they looked at the ones spewing the ugly, and all that was in their eyes was love—volumes of it! And the love undulated; it moved like a current; it was alive. Unconditional, beautiful, pure, holy love. When the vision ended, I heard the Lord speak one word. That word was “Unoffendable”.
I didn’t want the vision to end, as the flowing love I witnessed enraptured me, but the Ruach HaKodesh prompted me to pray.
The Lord is calling us to a higher standard. Set apart, living holy. Not reactive. Allow him to refine our souls to handle the storms, even, and especially, if the storms are people. Difficult in a pressurized, mixed-up, and angry society, but not impossible. We can look at an offense like we would anything else; temptation, for instance. The Holy Spirit gives us power to overcome, but we also have to make the choice to refrain. “Cease from anger and forsake wrath,” Psalm 37:8. Hold the tongue, close our eyes, maybe even walk away if we need to. If someone hurls an insult or offends and you want to rebut in the worst way, try taking a deep breath, and in the space of counting to three, close your eyes, lifting your heart to him, and say: "Lord, I praise you. You’re making me an overcomer. I choose to be unoffendable, in your name." Because what does the offense matter? The Lord loves you; he has a higher purpose for you. He loves you better than anyone else can or will. That’s all that matters. Aren’t we to strive to be the image of Christ on earth? Let the offense go.
It can start small. For instance, when someone crowds you in traffic then cuts you off and flips you the bird; when a certain coworker gets under your skin and you swear they make jabbing comments with intention, or the waiter got your simple food order wrong not once but twice. Instead of getting peeved, maybe we mutter to ourselves, “Well, that was irritating, but… Lord, bless that person anyway, just bless them.” Prayer has a special way of shedding the unwanted stuff. And then we come to a point of meaning it, instead of holding on to the disagreeable until it builds up inside of us and then explodes in a terrible and messy way. I believe the Lord would want us to let go and be free, not affected, and be at peace, calm, and to love… genuinely love our neighbor, near or far. Because it's significant what we do with what we’ve been given. I want to be like the saints on that rock! Tranquil beauty amid ugly, light in the darkness, and love overcoming anger.
Our Divine Calling
“As a prisoner of the Lord, I plead with you to walk holy, in a way that is suitable to your high rank, given to you in your divine calling. With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny.”
“But don’t let the passion of your emotions lead you to sin! Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not for even a day.”
“And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them. Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.”
Strong and Courageous
Similar to lucid dreaming wherein a person is aware they’re in a dream, can consciously make decisions, or choose responses to events, I also experience lucid slumber. In my recent lucid slumber, there were no dreams, images, impressions, or thoughts, except I knew I was asleep, and I was also aware of the Lord’s presence.
“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.”—Psalm 42:8
It hadn’t always been the Lord in these dreamless pockets, but it’s always him now. And as I soaked in his company, I heard him say, a gentle reminder, “I will never leave you nor forsake you…”
Then I had a dream. I could see eleven missiles launch from a vertical launching system closer than imagined. I could hear the hostile sound of them as they ripped through the air, an ungodly whistle. Fast and furious, they left no time to react. These missiles landed before detonating and didn’t explode upon impact, but were set to within seconds. The missiles landed around me, one even landed almost underneath me, and I nearly tripped over it; in fact, my belly touched its surface, but I recoiled and remained unharmed. I heard instructions from heaven, “Get up and run toward the people.” I then saw that there were crowds of people who were playing outdoor ping-pong, oblivious, laughing and joking as if explosions weren’t beginning to erupt. I ran through the crowds, heralding, “Wake up and take cover; take cover in the Lord! Wake up! Wake up and take cover; take cover in the Lord!”
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. His truth is your shield and armor.”—Psalm 91:4
The dream over, I again lingered in lucid slumber, listening to the Lord’s gentle voice again say, “I will never leave you nor forsake you…”
My eyes opened. It was still night. I lingered over the last words spoken. Found in several places in the Bible, they were first given as a promise to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:6), when Moses passed the torch of responsibility to him to lead the people into the Promised Land. I dwelled on that because I have a heart for people, a heart for God’s promises, and a heart for ministry. I do what I can from where I am, and have served in several types of outreaches in years past. But I know God has something different intended from what I’ve ever seen or done before in terms of revival and sharing God’s redeeming love and hope, and his word, his truth. I also know that I won’t be alone in this outreach. We all need a tribe, a spiritual family, so to speak. A team who gets us, and we get them. Doesn’t have to be large—could be, but doesn’t have to be. We just need fellowship, encouragement, and a joining of hands—a team of likeminded, spirit-filled players. This is something I yearn for, yet is one of the promises I’m waiting on. I have always had a soul-tie with my biological sister. Like the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David. I am to my sister as she is to me. And, gratefully, I don’t know what I’d do without her. But the Lord has shown me there are others with whom he intends to align me. Although I have yet to meet them, I have prayed for them. I started praying in the Spirit for them at that moment, and I saw a vision:
On the deck of a ship, there were four or five piles of ropes. Thick, strong ropes—mooring lines, I suppose—but they were all tangled. The end of each rope whipped heavenward until the entire length of each rope snapped into a straight, taut line. Then the ropes returned to the deck and meticulously coiled into individual, tidy piles; each pile of rope lined up next to the other in the same row. I knew these represented the lives of people, a certain team. The Lord worked out the kinks in each life until they, like the ropes, were prepared or set, ready to be used effectively. This verse he then gave me, loud and clear; not a jolt, rather a warm covering: “And God has made all things new, and reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18 TPT)
I’ve dreamed of ships a lot in my life. In years past, they were never good dreams; they were nightmares. I used to dream of ships going down, and I was trapped, filled with fear and dreaded doom. Now I dream of a ship sailing steadfast, precise, slicing through the water (I can hear the sound it makes, and I smell the sea), propelled by the winds of the Holy Spirit, guided by the giant hand of God. The ship looks like a mere toy in God’s hand, but he cares for the vessel with such attention, such value. And I am unafraid, in fact, I’m filled with joy.
My future is this. It might not materialize like this or how I think, but this is what the Lord has in store: guided by his hand with utmost care, purpose, joy, fellowship, and I trust him; I’m unafraid. This is also the future, metaphorically speaking, of many of you who are reading this. Dare to hope. Do not lose heart. We don’t need to worry about how the whole caboodle, whatever your caboodle might be, is going to come together. The Lord will take care of that—all of it. If he’s shown you something; if he’s promised you something, whatever it is, simple or outrageous and more, it will be.
Content in visionary prayer, I fell back asleep and had another dream. I was in a hospital bed, wearing a hospital gown, propped up. I was healthy and whole and simply waiting for the administration to discharge me. There was another bed right beside mine that was empty of a patient, and already made up tight and tidy. In fact, like the ship lines, there were four or five beds like this in a row. Except a person reclined very relaxed on top of the one right next to mine, propped on an elbow, wearing street clothes and a peaceful smile, patiently waiting. This individual, part of my spiritual family, held a key to my future. A lady from administration came into the room brightly and said, “Okay, Tessa,” and she clapped her hands once; the sharp clap shook the four walls. “You’re free to go!” The key holder hopped up at that moment and took my hand to lead me out. I remember thinking, had it not been for the Lord’s disclosure during the night season, I wouldn’t have known they were real, or the appointed future was real. Words of knowledge had given me seeds of great hope and expectancy.
Your spiritual journey and gifting might look different from mine, or maybe there’s a resemblance or even a connection. Whichever way, if we but seek Jesus, yielding our lives to him, the Lord will be gracious and give us favor and protection, and he will guide us.
“So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!”—Psalm 31:24
*** The Lord had asked me to share what he gives me this week in dreams, visions, intercession, and just soaking-in-the-Spirit time, so I do this in obedience and trust. Shalom shalom ***
Whole Heart Trust
The Lord told me before it began that this week would be pivotal. Whether the importance of the week was something in the spirit or in the natural, I didn’t yet know, but that didn’t matter. Last week, he asked me to push everything aside, some things sacrificially, for four days; tasks, obligations, hobbies—everything. I canceled it all and spent intimate time saturated in the Lord’s sweet presence. So then at the start of this particular week, I had several early morning appointments scheduled and so went to bed early. Fell into a deep sleep when I heard, “Tessa, wake up, wake up!” and felt a gentle invisible hand moving my head to face the clock, which read 11:11. I awoke startled, gasped, heart pounding, bleary eyes blinking as I stared at the significant numbers. Then I fell back into a deep sleep. I heard again, “Wake up! Pay attention…” I again looked at the clock, which read 1:11. When I got up and prepared for the day, I felt an excitement—as excited as the messenger’s voice sounded. And I hummed a random tune, when it dawned on me the lyrics I sang. “These are the final hours. These are the final hours now,” and, “wake, unafraid. A new day, a new time is here…”
I asked the Lord for clarity about the numbers. He told me to stay alert; recognize that he’s at work and moving behind the scenes for an ushering in of promises. I saw (and heard) an arrow, bow having been pulled back, finally released, signaling the launch of all else ordained to follow. “Things will happen quickly,” he said. What once would take ten years to develop will take one under his provision. The transition will be intense, but it’s a shaking necessary to bring alignment into the new. He told me to write down everything he gives me this week and share it. Lose any fear of man's opinions or seeking approval. He asked me if I was ready and willing to let go and share. I said yes.
The next day, my phone buzzed. I picked it up and its face lit up 1:11. Often nudges come in threes for me; that is, if there’s an emphasis on something, I see or experience that something three times. So I stared at the numbers long and hard, also noticing that there were no actual notifications. The phone had vibrated so I could see the display of those specific numbers. I had already surrendered time as an idol in my heart; I’d given God my timetable or idea of when I thought things should happen, thus also relinquishing my frail disappointments. It was an act of trust in him, and understanding that my human-standards timing looked different from his divine timeline. He does things differently, period. And his timing is always perfect… he is always right on time. I had to learn to trust him in that. The Lord often uses clocks and numbers to communicate his agenda. It all belongs to him. Still, I had a big fat question mark about the stirring I was feeling at that moment in the spirit. So here we go.
Right after I set the phone down, my belly swelled and intense pain brought me to my hands and knees. These pains I’d recognized. They were labor contractions—only I wasn’t pregnant! I moaned and rocked and even pushed, crying out, feeling as if I was giving birth. I prayed in the Spirit, and a holy fire consumed me. Here I was praying in a birthing position. I thought of the prophet Elijah, head between his knees, travailing, expecting the coming of heaven’s rains. Holy Spirit whispered to me, the words of Isaiah 66:9, “Shall I bring a baby to the point of birth and not deliver it?” The Lord has promises coming, some maybe even already here. What he says is true. He will leave not one promise unfulfilled. If he begins a thing, he will finish it! It will come to full term and be delivered.
When this session ended, I stood up. My belly reverted. I was spent, though. Physically and spiritually exhausted. I felt as if I had indeed given birth to something big and long-awaited. If you think this story is strange, believe me, it is. Prophetic intercessors sometimes go through symbolic actions, or are asked to do some very odd things. This one for me, though, took the cake. He told me again to write everything down and share it… so, would I? Let go and share what he gives me regardless of what others might think? Oy, a pause, but then, “Yes,” I said. Then I was reminded of the prophet Jeremiah, who was instructed to wear a loincloth the distance of 350 miles, then hide it in a hole in a rock at the Euphrates River, only to retrieve it later (chapter 13). It represented how, like a loincloth cling to a man, we are to cling tightly and humbly to God. It was also a lesson of obedience. What will we do and say yes to, when the Lord asks, as strange as it sometimes sounds and appears?
Feeling so groggy and still spent even into the next day, I took that day also to rest and linger in the Lord’s presence, focusing on him. Really, I think those who are called to the next revival wave of Jehovah are right now required to give up a lot of the busyness of life and just dwell in his presence, sink into a deeper intimacy with him. At one point in the afternoon, I listened to a random worship music playlist, and I was pondering the process of obedience, when a certain song popped up by Kendall Payne. Gah, if her raw-message melodies don’t spring up at the most opportune moments—it’s ridiculous, I love it. A bit of a blubbering child now, I listened to “Trust Me” repeatedly.
He just wants us to want him, to open ourselves up to him, in intimacy, in communion. He longs to be the lover of our souls. That’s all. He’ll take care of every little detail in our lives as we take each step in him. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. It’s not about platforms or programs, titles, positions, formats, or plans anymore. All we do is love Jesus. His yoke is easy, his burden light. Receive his love; allow him to love us. Beginning with a piece of our heart. “Here ya go, Lord. Here’s my brittle piece of strangled muscle—what’s left of it.” And watch. Watch that muscle become whole, vibrant, life-filled, beating with the sound of his glory to the flight of freedom, as you march out of your old places and into the new; from the wilderness to your promised land, a brand spanking new baby placed tenderly in your arms.
P.S. As I finished writing the draft of this post, I picked up my mug for a refill then set it right back down to snap this picture really quick, for my black coffee had left rings in the shape of a heart at the bottom of the cup. How sweet the reminders, even small ones…
Do you long for that word somewhere in your life? Does it quicken your spirit or stir something within you? Is restoration something you need—maybe have needed for a long time?
I’ve heard by various men and women of God, single words given to them in the spirit, summarizing the theme of our year 2023. These words work well together. One precise word might also carry special significance for you or bring affirmation. Words I’ve witnessed so far, on separate occasions, out of the mouths of the righteous: Arise. Build. Grace. Favor. Glory. Completion (which included the explanation that this means both an ending and a beginning).
I also received a theme-word from the Lord for this year. Three times I heard it, so consider it amplified, lol. Restored. This word came to me in the past tense, showing it is something already sealed; a done deal. At least, something on which to expect closure; a promise fulfilled. This specific word also came with a Bible verse.
“As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:12)
Circumstances don’t have to be perfect to be restored. In fact, I don’t believe there is such a thing as “perfect circumstances”, not on earth as we know it right now. We can come close to what we perceive is perfect, but only the fulfillment of Yeshua’s promised return will bring perfection—because only he is perfect. And I don’t think it’s unlikely we walk through a shaking or two this year, to come to our restoration. Because God is always moving and seekers are yearning, and with yearning comes growth, and with growth… well, some pains of stretching.
Though we walk in darkness (for our days are indeed dark), yet our light shines. Inwardly restored, outwardly we are steadfast and exhibiting peace. The Lord told me that despite dark days and growing persecution, his flock will experience the greatest joy and harvest, favor, renewal, and restoration during giant storms. It will be like a supernatural manifestation that will confound observers… True peace, magnified (come what may). Not just our speaking of peace, but living it. To see a harvest of promises unfolding in the dark; hidden treasures revealed in a coming-out-of-the-woodwork type of disclosure; double and triple repayment for our prior troubles. Gifts over losses. Healing. Hard-to-plow ground made soft and pliable for us to freely cultivate the strange work he once prompted, or whispered, now set before us with greater clarity. In fact, I believe this even means for some people, a literal building or restoration of some-thing, a prophetic plan come to pass. For some also, a geographical move this year, to a place where the Lord has something (maybe someone) specifically waiting for you (scattered sheep brought together).
Restored means Jehovah Raah, The Lord our Shepherd, goes ahead of us to prepare the way, and we the sheep know his voice. It’s our complete trust in him, to follow our kindest and best friend and rescuer, our guide and overseer.
It’s important that we don’t look back. Don’t hang onto the past. As humans, we tend to give way too much energy to the transpirations and negative decisions (failed harvests) of the past; victims dwelling on shoddy events of the former days. Enough is enough. Although failed harvests (a necessary evil?) have primed us to grasp and appreciate harvests of the present and future, for “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), accept it for what it is, at whatever age you are, and don’t look back. Let go, shift, forgive (even yourself) if you need to, move forward, setting your face like flint and with mounting integrity, a warrior seeking deeper intimacy in the Refiner’s Fire.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got for 2023. The word is good. God is good. It’s going to be good.
Maybe the Lord spoke to you in this manner, having given you a themed word, or a string of words, too. I’d be interested to hear about it.
is a storyteller, and a transcript editor. She's also a Romans 8:28 kind of Jewish girl ...
RETURN MY HEART