Are you Ready? Preparing for 2021.

I’ve been hearing many words and prophetic insights into this time of pandemic in 2020, and I’ve been thinking about how we were/are to use the extra time most of us have received due to unemployment, working at home, and being quarantined. This blog is designed to share some of my resources and to help you find your own resources to thrive in the end of this year through 2021.

As we’ve said many times over the years (quoting the Bible and especially in the last few blogs), God works all things for our good (Rom 8:28), He’s in control, and He has a plan. Since this time in our lives factors into his overall plan, please understand that God is probably looking for humanity to do multiple things as a result of this pandemic. One, quite obviously, is to bring people to Him for salvation. It’s simply a fact of life that difficult times often provide the only impetus for people to make big changes to their lives. This can be one of those times. 

A second thing, which seems equally obvious to me, is to re-direct people who say they are “Christians” – but who are not behaving like true followers of Jesus – back to Him and to rebuke those “Christians” leading people astray. In short, and for whatever reason, there’s a certain amount of pre-judgment separation of goats from sheep going on in the church, with broad swaths of followers of Jesus being illuminated and identified as goats (that is, not true Christians). Not to put it too simply, but don’t be a goat because it has eternal consequences. Matt. 25:31-46.

A third thing that I think God wants us to do is just to press into Him. Over the last several months, I’ve heard and felt the Lord telling us to use any extra time we have to press in so as to truly know Him. Only by truly knowing God can we effectively clean our hearts and souls of the sins and ugliness of rebellion, hate, unforgiveness, bigotry, racism, judging, and bitterness so as to better position ourselves to clearly see the deception and lies of the enemy.

In fact, this is roughly how I’ve been spending the entirety of my pandemic experience. Early on in my work-from-home/quarantine time frame, I developed an insatiable desire for the manna of God’s Word and Presence.  Through that study, God has revealed many new gifts to me and directed me to various supernatural trainings to understand their use and purpose for furthering the Kingdom. I felt in my Spirit (and have also had verbal confirmation from others) that God is on an acceleration plan to reveal, train, and move people into new Spiritual giftings.  He’s lining up his earthly, spiritual warriors to shine the light of Truth on the lies and deceptions of His enemies and to set people free from the oppression of worldly bondage and, ultimately, eternity without Him.

Moreover, He’s calling up His children to new and higher responsibilities and tasks!  Don’t ask yourself if you’re ready because you’ll probably never feel completely “ready” for the kind of wisdom you’ll gain. Just take the leap of faith and say “Here am I, Father, not my will but your will be done.  Use me to bless and bring your people to you.”  I admit that it’s a bit scary to think of our Heavenly Father – the creator of the Universe – having a discreet plan to use us for His work here on earth, but isn’t that one of the fundamental pillars of our Christian faith?  Understand that no matter how unworthy or fearful we might feel, our Lord is right beside us all the way.  In fact, He loves to use us in our weaknesses and our faults because He knows we will lean on Him to help show us the way. 

In sum, the extra time given to us in 2020 should be used to bring us to a new level capable of handling whatever may come next, standing firm and strong like a tree planted by the river and not swayed by the world. And what’s coming next is 2021.

My Pastor, Phil Smith of Colorado Christian Fellowship, began this year with a message that we would see significant “shaking” in the world and in the church. Needless to say, he was right. Shaking is a way to get people’s attention, and it’s also a way to separate one element from another. Ever since then, our little church has been routinely weathering the difficulties with an enormous amount of comfort that God is most definitely in control. But the shaking isn’t over, and it appears it may last – indeed, it may intensify – as we move into 2021. Realize that this is a different message than you may get at other churches. Other churches seek only to move back into their buildings, run their services the only way they know how, and collect their mortgage or building fund. Their message is one of praying that the whole thing will end, resulting in a swift return to normalcy, and toward some sort broad Christian political revival that will apparently happen without forcing the church itself to examine its own practices.

My pastor and I simply don’t believe it will happen that way, and so we need to get ready for possibly an even more trying year in 2021. The clock is ticking, and we only have about two months left. But there’s still time to develop a plan to press into God so that you can handle whatever comes next with tranquility, and to use it as a tool for reaching and helping others. The key is to start getting ready now. There’s no more time to wait. 

So, my plea to you is to put away the flesh of politics. Put away the notions and tendencies of the natural world. Get ready to hunker down and study, opening your spiritual gifts and stepping into the real person God intends for you to be. No more unwholesome television. No more games or time objectively wasted on social media. And no more “religious” activities that turn you away from the relationship God intended for your life.  God is doing a new thing, and you need to be able to see it and fully participate in it. Isaiah 43:19.

My husband continues to do a lot of Christian apologetic and philosophy of religion study, and one day I’m sure he’ll share his resources. In the meantime, here are a few of the resources I’ve been using to learn, grow, and feast on the Truth during 2020.

  1. Sunday sermons online for Colorado Christian Fellowship (CCF) at https://ccfyourhome.org/view-page1/  Sunday church is at 8:30 am MST but is a recorded message so you can watch at your leisure or re-watch at will.
  • My pastor and his wife, Phil and Sylvia Smith, also do a weekly “coffee time” every Wednesday at 8 a.m. MST on the Colorado Christian Fellowship Facebook page. It’s like a family bible study (that only lasts about an hour), and it’s meaty and fun! Here’s a link to past recordings: https://ccfyourhome.org/apostle-phil-and-sister-sylvia-coffee-time/ 
  • I have also taken a few free classes (Revelation and Names of God) at Dallas Theological Seminary and here is that link https://courses.dts.edu/.  The have many free courses that allow you to work at your own pace.
  • CCF also has wonderful online classes for developing the 5-fold ministries (Apostle, Pastor, Prophet, Teacher, and Evangelist) as well as many other classes for spiritual development.  These are offered through Colorado Vocational Training School (CVTS).  Here is the link to see what they are offering.  https://www.cvtsonline.org/  I am taking several classes right now (Exegesis, Your True Spiritual Identity, Revelation) and they are great and very inexpensive and sometimes free.  There are also really great seminars offered throughout the year.
  • I have also been taking some online classes from Patricia King and reading books specifically for my giftings. 
  • I like to follow, Rabbi Schneider (Discovering the Jewish Jesus) as I am always interested in the Jewish teachings, festivals and aspects of walk with the Lord.  After all, Jesus was/is Jewish!  Here’s his site: https://discoveringthejewishjesus.com/.
  • I also follow Joseph Prince for his digging into the Word while working in the Hebrew and Greek and speaking to operation of the belief for our spiritual gifts.  I especially love his messages on healing through communion! Here’s his site: https://www.josephprince.org/.
  1. Finally, I’ve been journaling my prayers and making a gratitude list every day as well as logging and prayerfully interpreting my dreams and visions, using the daily devotional by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn called, “The Book of Mysteries,” which is about mysteries of the Bible.  By the way, if you want some really good prophetic books on events of and surrounding 911, and other mysteries of this time we live in, check out his other books like “The Harbinger.”  I’ve also been reading a ton of books on dreams and visions, revelations, and prophecy.  Don’t be overwhelmed, I work a full-time job and am using the extra 3 hours per day that I have now since I am not commuting downtown to my office.  It’s possible for you, too. Just start feeding your spirit and your mind good things!

Warning:  We’re always called to test the spirits (1 John 4:1) and we need to be ever careful in guarding our hearts and spirits to be sure we are learning from people with correct theology, who are speaking Truth and striving to be obedient to our Lord.  I have become much more discerning and watchful of who is speaking into to me, and frankly I’ve been surprised at how many false prophets seem to be operating at this time. Occasionally, I also see people claiming someone or other to be a “false prophet,” but with no evidence whatsoever. So do watch what you consume.

Remember that our bodies take in the words and spirit of those we allow to teach or speak into us.  Personally, I simply reject listening to anyone acting in rebellion to God or rules, anyone mixing money/politics into their words, or anyone in which my spirit feels a hesitation. If I find that I’m listening and learning from someone who I later discern not to be in alignment with God, I stop immediately, repent for following a false teacher and ask the Lord to remove any religious or polluted teachings from my spirit.  I admit that I’m not perfect. Like all of us, I’m just a work in process. Nevertheless, I find with such a wide array of teachers out there, I’m able to get confirmation of Truth.

If you have specific questions on what I’m studying I would be happy to share more.  Just get started if you are not already pressing in! But remember that wherever you are in your scriptural study, there is always more to learn.  Join us on our Arming The Saints Facebook page and/or my personal page at Denise Burrows as I share links to CCF Coffee Time and Sermons and other things from the people above.

May God abundantly bless you all!

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