God’s Perfect Love

This morning I was contemplating about God, and specifically about how He loves all of His creation.  I was suddenly struck by how unrestrained love requires vulnerability, and in this case, God’s vulnerability.  We never think of God as being vulnerable.  How can an omnipotent God ever be vulnerable?  Answer: by choice.

If this doesn’t blow your mind, then consider how much God has suffered when He was betrayed by those He loves: first by the devil, who was Heaven’s worship leader.  Then by mankind when Adam disobeyed.  Then by every person that has ever lived since then when we also disobeyed.  That made it necessary for a vulnerably loving God to send His son, Jesus to live out a vulnerably loving life and to die as a result of the betrayal of one of His most intimate companions.  It wasn’t the nails that held Him to the cross, it was love.

God chose to make Himself vulnerable to all of His creation by loving us with unrestrained, complete abandon.  God is good!

Saying Goodbye is Hard, so Hard!

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I lost a dear friend recently.  Everyone who knew him loved his goofy smile.  He made friends wherever he went.  I miss him daily.  He was there when I prayed.  He was there when I went to sleep.  He was there when I woke up.  He traveled everywhere with me.  He has his own album on my Facebook page.  Yes, I lost my little friend and traveling companion, Prayer Bear.

I flew into Newark last Wednesday, and got off the plane.  Prayer Bear stayed on the plane and flew off into the setting sun for parts unknown.  He was always ready for an adventure, but I never thought he would go off on his own like that.  Perhaps he has found another traveling companion, someone closer to his own age.

Wherever you are, Prayer Bear, I know you are lighting up the place with your sweet, goofy smile.  I’ll never forget you!

Overwhelmed by God’s Amazing Love

This weekend I had ten guests coming to stay, and since Sally is also staying with me at the moment, I knew that it would be best if we got out of the house.  I do have a big apartment (by Milanese standards, it is very big indeed, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large living room), but twelve would be a very full house—more than I really want to be a part of.  So when I got an email announcing a prophetic mentoring day by a prophet in England, I knew that we should go.  Sally had several boxes to send to her mother in England, but the cost to ship them was very high.  So we decided to pack them into her car and drive to England.

Sally has been feeling drawn to the prophetic for some time now, and the Lord has been speaking to my spirit not to be satisfied with living an ordinary life by the same rules and restrictions that the world’s people live.  So when I told Sally about this prophetic conference, she immediately said that she wanted to go.  Although Sally has never made such an epic car journey (eleven hours from Milan to the ferry port in Calais), she boldly decided to go for it.

Of course, we prayed before even loading the car, and felt like the Lord was sending His angels to accompany us all along the way.  Indeed, we had great weather for most of the drive, practically no traffic, and the Channel crossing was smooth and uneventful.

At the conference, we met a friend who had been praying for Sally, but had never met her before.  The conference was largely about prophetic training, which was wonderful.  If the local churches were teaching this, then the prophet wouldn’t have to hold these mentoring days.  But most prophets learn by trial and error, or worse, never step out in faith to prophesy for fear of not getting it right.  In addition, there is the problem of the Western mindset that says that if we can’t experience it through our five physical senses, or reason it out with our rational mind, then it isn’t real, and we can dismiss it.  So the spirit world is completely out of the picture, leaving people vulnerable to demonic demonstrations of power, while the church people have no supernatural power to demonstrate at all.  No wonder people are flocking to Tarot card readers, psychics, clairvoyants, and the rest!

But God did give us supernatural powers and also something that the demons don’t have: the authority to use these powers.  Plus, although a psychic may get things as much as 75 percent right, most do no better than 50 percent.  Why?  Because only God knows the future.  The devil has been around a long time, observing mankind from the beginning.  But he has only the past and speculation to go on.  He’s a good guesser, but God never has to guess.

So at the registration table, we received our name tags and a sheet titled “Guidelines for Handling Personal Prophecy.”  And the number one item was: Record, read, and meditate on your personal prophecies.  Immediately I thought about the prophecy given to me way back in 1976 (see The Prophecy Fulfilled at Last!).  It hadn’t made any sense to me at the time, and it had been typed out for me onto now yellowed paper, but somehow it had stayed among my possessions through all the years and ten moves (including three international moves).  I hadn’t understood it because it was referring to my present ministry.  Interestingly, when I went hunting for that prophecy some months later, I couldn’t find it.  I don’t know what has happened to it, but it was in my possession long enough for me to finally understand what had been written in it.  So recording prophecies makes perfect sense to me.  There were other instructions about waiting on the Lord and so forth.

Then she had us seek a partner to prophesy to.  For me, this was easy because the Lord had already been talking to my spirit about the woman sitting directly in front of me.  So when she turned around, we paired up.  What the Lord had spoken to me about her was about her hands.  He called her hands beautiful (and indeed they were!).  He said that He intends to work miraculous healing through those hands, and I saw broken bones coming together and even missing body parts regenerating.  I also saw her surrounded by children.  Later she told me that she was starting a children’s rescue home.

She said, “Tell me your name again,” and she scrutinized my name tag.  I said, “Alisa.”  She said, “That means joy.”  She knew that because a prophet had recently told her that God says He has named her Alisa, meaning joy.  She had heard my name right the first time, she had just been very surprised by it.  Now, I ask you, what are the chances that in a room of about 150 people, I would pair up with someone that God had just given my same name?  So with that, she continued:

I see you as a strong wall, like a city wall.  The word that comes to mind is bulwark.  And there is a moat surrounding your wall.  And there is jasmine growing on the wall.  You are also the jasmine, which grows wild, and you’re growing all over the wall, giving it a sweet scent.  You are wild and smell sweet like the presence of the Holy Spirit.  You lend your strength and sweetness and joy to others without losing any, yourself.  You pour yourself out for others, but remain full, yourself.

Another couple of prophets told me:

She: God has set you to be one to pull up, like Jeremiah, to pull up, to root out, and to rebuild.  You will be challenging quite a lot about what people believe back in Italy.  I don’t know if you live in Italy, but it’s like you’re going to be there to challenge the norm, what’s been laid down.  And dare I say it?  You’ll challenge the Vatican on certain beliefs.  And you’re going to be there to help people come out of that stronghold of religion, and bring people into relationship with God.  And it’s going to be your testimony, as you tell people about what God in Jesus has done for you, and others will be drawn.  It’s almost like you’re like the woman at the well, where you had such a radical experience with Christ that you’re going to go out and say, look, this is what happened in my life.  And people in the Catholic world there’s a spirit influence, and I believe it’s your hometown.  And people are going to look at you and say, “I want what Alisa’s got.  I’m going to church every Sunday, and the priest is speaking, but I want what she’s got.  I want that water of life.  I don’t want to be thirsty again.”  That is what God is going to be using you for.  To break down, you’re called to the mountain of religion, to break down, to break the bonds, and to lead people out into freedom from the Catholic world.

He: The Lord says, I’ve brought you out of darkness, I’ve put My light into you, I’ve put My Word into you, I’ve put My strength into you, I’ve put My Spirit into you.  And as you go forth, you’re going to speak My Word with boldness.  And you’re going to see signs, wonders, and miracles as you speak My Word.  You’ll see people’s lives change.  This will also bring persecution, so you also need to use the Spirit, use the shield of faith, use the helmet of salvation.  You need to be aware that the enemy will try to knock you down.  It’s not an easy thing for you.  You have tasted some of those things.  You’ve tasted that persecution.  You’ve tasted deceit and betrayal.  Jesus was betrayed.  But know that God is for you, and not against you.  He will never leave you or forsake you.  You will see things happen.  You’re going to see things happen.  You’re going to see things happen in your own life, more and more.  Because what God has done for you, He’s going to do for other people because His love is for you.  He is for you, and not against you.  And even right now.  Even the desires of your heart, you think how are you going to do it?  “You aren’t going to do it on your own, you going to do it with Me,” says the Lord.  “I’m going to equip you, and I’ve been equipping you.”  In all the things and trials you’ve been through, He’s been equipping you.  He’s been changing this, He’s been changing this more and more and more.  And I sense the Spirit of God saying, “As you yield more and more to Me, you’re going to see those things more.”

She: I get the sense that you’re like one of them in the Acts of the Apostles, you’re going to go ahead and turn the place upside down.  You’re a changer.  You’re a changer.  You’re a world-changer in that spirit.  You are there to put people’s beliefs upside down.  You’re going to offend them.  But Jesus was offensive, the rock of the offense.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Like in Jeremiah, what he said offended people, but God wants you to be bold.  And you’re going to be a person that speaks the truth, and sometimes that is not going to be a nice thing that people want to hear, but it’s something that you’ve got to say.  But you are His mouthpiece.  Set your face like flint, and don’t be fearful.

Then the main prophet, who had organized the conference, picked me out of the crowd, having never seen or spoken to me, she said:

What is your name?  Alisa, the Spirit of the Lord says Daughter, I have been taking you on a relational journey.  You came to a place of emptiness, and there was the lack of connections.  There was even an area where I protected you, but I let you begin to start feeling the loneliness, and I began to let you start feeling the heartache.  Not as a way of hurting you, but as a wake-up call.  This was a time to reconnect with life, and to reconnect with people.  I’ve been taking you on a journey of learning to trust again.  And I’ve been taking you into places where the heart has the ability to be vulnerable, and there’s even the possibility of love again.  This is a healthy place where I have you.  Daughter, I speak into that which was empty, and that which was capped-off.  I call forth now Life.  I call forth Family.  I call forth Relationships.  Just like the scattered bones came together, I am taking scattered things that I might bring substance within the midst of you.

Now, with all this, I had little chance to find out how Sally was faring.  So as we enjoyed a dinner of fish and chips at a local pub, I learned that Sally had gotten at least as much as I had from the conference and the prophecies.

To me, the saddest thing in the world is when people are told by their church that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and the gifts and call of God are irrevocable.  How much clearer can it be?  We were meant to walk in the supernatural gifting and empowerment of God.  It’s how Jesus and the Apostles shared the Good News with the lost.  I believe it’s how we should also be sharing the same Good News—the same way!  God is good!