What is God up to at this time? (and what does hint.holler have to do with it?)
A few years ago I took myself off for a retreat. In my lounge. This was before Covid had us all confined at home and I'm pretty sure this was before the word 'stay-cation' was coined. I lit the fire, dragged out my notebooks, drank coffee, and completed an online mentoring program. At the time, the purpose was to set aside uninterrupted time to collate my jumble of ideas and the fears that accompanied them by seeking God for clarity and direction. Some heavenly perspective would be good, and I may have hinted that some earthly cash would be too. The goal was to capture all the ideas and possibilities flying in my head and assess what it was God was nudging me to do next. From that consecrated time of listening to God hint.holler was launched. I sent a message to a friend:
"I have been on a personal writing retreat praying and figuring out my next project. I think it’s called ‘hint & holler’ - a blog series on how to hear and act on what the Holy Spirit speaks to us in everyday ways. I don’t know the specific content yet because it’s unlimited ideas but I thought I’d share with you my next brave moment."
A brave moment for each of us
That was a brave moment for me because I was about to take my writing from private to public. The fear of man, fear of failure, imposter syndrome, and an introvert's struggle to tell people about it were real. Yet, God compiled all the hints He had shown me over the years and rephrased them as a holler. Since then, it has been a wild foray into writing content and preparing messages that explore how God speaks to us today. I am not the first, the best, or the most prolific 'content creator' on this topic. I drink gratefully (sometimes greedily) from other people's wells. But, we can all offer God the smallest creative effort on our part, and use our voice and influence to share what He has taught us on our own journeys. Your brave moment will be different from mine, and I want to encourage you to ask, 'how about now'?
> What ideas has God given you that are colliding with fear?
> What crash course in spiritual authority are you experiencing right now?
> What is the next step of faith God is asking of you in order to overcome and walk on with him?
Not only did hint.holler stretch my faith and teaching skills, but it opened up a whole bunch of new life-giving relationships and collaborations. A few years later, I found myself in a season of transition that required leaving behind the comforts of my spiritual 'home' to journey in a God-ordained 'wilderness' (that story is for another time). I embarked on what became an even longer 'retreat' in which I have filled more journals, notebooks, prayers, and coffee cups with both faith and tears as He has prepared me for what comes next. Perhaps you have experienced delays and difficulties, but at the same time, stored up the prophetic words and pictures God has given you. You may have had something brewing for a while and been gathering resources and making connections, but have recently recognised that now is the time. You may, like me, have been asking, what comes next?
What comes next, at this time
What has become clear to me and other prophetic voices is that we are in a new era. We have experienced a seismic shift in the church and God has shaken out the dust and debris ready for a fresh spiritual awakening. There is a deep soul hunger for the Spirit of God to fill each one of us and for our lives to be transformed from within. God is signalling for people to reconnect with him in holy love, and discover how being fully surrendered to him actually means being fully free. He wants to hold our attention and our affection, so we will not be subject to the whiplash from anxiety and discouragement that has assailed his people in recent times.
When Solomon dedicated the freshly minted Temple he acknowledged it was the fulfilment of a past promise God had made. God's faithfulness had brought them through the wandering of the wilderness to a permanent 'spiritual home'. It was the beginning of a new era for the nation of Israel and it would require a steady resolve. Solomon prayed:
"May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors. And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time." (1 Kings 8:57-61, NIV)
I believe we are standing in another 'at this time' moment in history. What comes next, at this time, is something so unique, so different, that all the plans and systems we've had in the past, will become increasingly redundant. Solomon was well aware that, although he had completed his grand design to perfection, no structure or nation (or denomination) would be able to claim to have constrained God within. “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27, ESV).
In an ironic twist, the heavens not only couldn't contain him, but the Son of God deliberately came to earth to dwell amongst us (Galatians 4:4-5). For Christians, Christ now dwells in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17) and we have collectively become God's temple which the Holy Spirit intends to fill (1 Corinthians 3:16). We will witness first-hand God demonstrating to the world that “the Lord is God and that there is no other” (vs60) when we are aligned with him and attuned to what the Spirit of God is doing.
> Is your heart turned to God and desires to walk in obedience to him?
> Do you live each day trusting God hears your prayers and will fulfil your needs?
> Is your heart fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands?
Hearing from God in everyday moments
With this in mind, I want to help God's people and emerging prophetic voices find their feet and know how to walk with faith into the future God has for them. They will be the ones declaring hope and justice, mercy and grace, in the name of the Lord. They will be the ones rebuking despair and releasing joy into hearts again as the Spirit of the Lord speaks through them.
To do this, God's people need to know the voice of God for themselves and remember the Holy Spirit is not an optional extra or an up-sized add-on. He is with us, for us, and lives within us to reveal the glory of Jesus through us. And we can hear from him in everyday moments. Rather than each of us sitting alone in our homes, cars, or workstations trying to figure out what our next step is, I want to encourage us find each other and spur one another on. So for my part, in order to pursue this venture, hint.holler has been refreshed and reset for this new era. Take a look.
I am excited about the new content to come, the new voices to be heard, and the new strategies God is going to give his people to respond to real problems the world is facing. Solomon made this statement that is still true for us today:
"O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart;" (1 Kings 8:23, ESV).
Let’s walk with the Lord and listen to him. If our hearts are sensitive to the Spirit, we will not only receive God’s steadfast love for ourselves, but we will be able to prophesy it over others. God is like no other, and it just may be that, at this time, He is doing something we have never seen before.
Cheering you on,
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