Jeremiah 8:7-9 Amplified Bible (AMP)
7 [Even the migratory birds are punctual to their seasons.] Yes, the stork [excelling in the great height of her flight] in the heavens knows her appointed times [of migration], and the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane observe the time of their return. But My people do not know the law of the Lord [which the lower animals instinctively recognize in so far as it applies to them].
8 How can you say, We are wise, and we have the written law of the Lord [and are learned in its language and teachings]? Behold, the truth is, the lying pen of the scribes has made of the law a falsehood (a mere code of ceremonial observances).
I sensed that Papa was saying that it is our responsibility as the Body of Christ to seek Him and know our seasons and the plans He has in His heart. By instinct (by The Spirit and not just the written word), as a part of God’s army, we should know His strategy and His timing. The
THE MIGRATORY BIRDS REPRESENT GOD'S MESSENGERS IN NEED OF REFUGE
Since 2011, this dream has come up many times, but back in December of 2014, while in the Kansas City area with a friend, it was reiterated yet again! This time I felt a very strong confirmation that this was the year I needed to instigate a prophetic journey to respond to Papa’s message. The destination?
These anointed ones will move across the
So, upon our arrival we had a daunting surprise! Julie, one of my beloved interns, and I arrived at the San Juan Capistrano Mission, looking for the yearly arrival of the legendary swallows! We found, to our dismay, that they no longer have an inviting home there, even though there has been such a long and rich heritage of their migration in this place.
THE HOUSE IS UNDER RECONSTRUCTION
During a long process of the mission’s reconstruction, management built man-made homes for the birds, hoping the swallows would accept the new structures as sanctuary for themselves. Unfortunately, the swallows have begun to find other nesting areas to thrive in during their season there. This feels a bit like what we do in Christianity at times. Could it be that we sometimes tear down the natural order of things to build something bigger, or maybe better? Not that there is anything wrong with progress, as long as it’s congruent with God’s plan. It also seems that the mess the swallows brought with them, had been an inconvenience to the surrounding merchants. They were considered by some, to be an annoyance.
We noticed that the crows and other predatory birds had taken squatters rights and were running most of the smaller birds away. We watched and grieved as one little swallow came into the courtyard of the mission only to experience the aggression of a crow. This was beginning to look like a pattern of some things we sometimes witness or experience in far right or radical religious circles.
ARE THE PROPHETS IN THE CHURCH TODAY?
So, I also find myself wondering if they have been hiding out, sitting before The Father, learning in secret from The Spirit? The word does say that The Holy Spirit is our teacher and that He alone can teach us what we need to know. However, I believe that God’s heart is to do so through loving leadership, as well as directly through His communication with us. Without the needed experience of true community, those called of God can find it difficult to manage the use of their gifts, as well as their ethical behavior. They may find that they are not generally accepted in Christianity, and are often judged and labelled as rebels.
Thus, there may be parts of the church, operating without the gift of the prophetic, and the young prophets may not be effectively prepared. This is a travesty! The Word says (Rev. 19:10) that the spirit of prophecy is the clear testimony or witness of Jesus. If that was true when the Bible was written, wouldn't that still be true, today?
It was interesting to me during the mission visit, that there was only the one small swallow that had the gumption to ignore the malicious caws of the crows. Could the crows represent the ultra-religious, who do not believe that the gifts are for today? It was sad really, and at the same time, I sensed such courage in this small bird. This little and seemingly insignificant one seemed not to be phased. He was not honored for his valiant arrival, yet he ignored the quips of the mockers.
I watched that day, as that little swallow eventually took perch upon the erected index finger of a statue of the canonized representative for the mission: a priest who was the historic and celebrated advocate for the small and weak travelers to the mission. What a sweet surprise!!!! The swallow took the platform of the prophetic index finger as depicted by the five-fold ministry!*
1. Thumb - apostle (authority/leadership)
2. Index Finger – prophet (messenger/one who decrees)
3. Middle Finger - evangelist (one who reaches out)
4. Ring Finger - pastor (shepherd/covenant gatherer)
5. Pinkie Finger - teacher (one who speaks/processes what will nourish the hearer).
I sat in awe as the little guy began to voice his passion vehemently. I was amazed that such a tiny creature could have such a strong resolve! He with deep fervor, progressively became louder! It seemed for a moment that he was literally preaching directly to me. He was trying to tell us something very important. We watched as other people began to slowly gather, curious about what we were looking at and what had us so mesmerized.
As the people gathered, I stepped back to see the bigger picture. While he preached his burning message, the people watched, taking photographs as though he were performing for them. Isn’t this the way the gifts of The Spirit are sometimes received? As a novelty or show? The more the small crowd gathered before the little swallow, the more passionate he became! What in the world was this small brave one telling us all? I feared the crowd was not sensitive to his strong attempt, but Julie and I were acutely aware that it was immensely important and we listened intently to his strong effort.
INVITING A NEW PROPHETIC BREED FOR A NEW MOVE OF GOD
Later, as we processed the events of the day, it all became very clear. We knew that the reason we had been sent to the mission was to welcome the migratory birds, which represented the hidden prophetic voices in the earth. Apparently, they do need welcoming, even to have the ability to arrive in their appointed place and time! Clearly, what God requires of us as prophetic leaders in every area of ministry, is that we continually cultivate a safe environment for the inexperienced, but strong to be raised up. It is my experience, that the prophetic needs very particular teaching, training and preparation for the understanding of their gifts. I am seeking Papa even now, for better understanding of what that must look like.
Julie, I and the NIT family knew that this trip was a prophetic act to invite a new prophetic breed for a new move of God, into all the safe places prepared for their installment and launching. As you may know, not every place of spiritual equipping is a safe place for the prophetic. I must remind you though, that God will do nothing without speaking it first to His prophets. This is His declaration to all the ages and generations of mankind. He has promised that He will co-labor to create, with and through His prophets and His prophetic people.
IF WE WELCOME THESE MESSENGERS INTO