Are You Called to Prophetic Ministry?

Do you have a prophetic calling?  

In The Art of Hearing God, John Paul Jackson talks about the three phases of prophetic development: 

  • Called
  • Trained
  • Commissioned

The first phase is the shortest of the three. The call happens in an instant—but sparks an incredible journey that lasts a lifetime!

There are many ways someone can be called to prophetic ministry. Though different, each way involves some kind of supernatural experience. It could be a prophetic word and impartation, a dream or vision, a visitation, or some manifestation of God’s voice. 

Let’s look at a few examples from Scripture and what they reveal about prophetic callings.

When God Called Samuel 

When Samuel was just a boy, he lived at Shiloh where the tabernacle was located. Technically he was “in ministry,” but the Bible says he “did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” (1 Sam. 3:7).

One night while he was sleeping, he heard a voice calling his name. Three times he jumped up and ran to Eli, thinking the aging high priest needed him. Finally Eli recognized it was God calling the boy, and he told Samuel to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears” (v. 9). 

God “came and stood” there (v. 10), and He gave Samuel a prophetic word about Eli and his sons. That was Samuel’s calling to prophetic ministry.

Here are two things we can learn from this encounter:

  • We don’t have to know the Lord before we’re called, but responding to Him is important. Personally, I think responding to His call brings someone into relationship with Him. 
  • A person’s calling doesn’t necessarily come with the words, “You are called to prophesy.” Sometimes the calling is a significant revelation about someone else.

When God Called Elisha 

Elisha was a successful farmer. At the beginning of his story, he was out in the field working with twelve yoke of oxen—a fleet of tractors in today’s terms! 

He was going about his business when Elijah appeared and threw his coat on him. (We could call it a mantle, but that word is linked with so much Christian superstition that coat is more helpful. A mantle in Elisha’s day was the same thing as a coat today.) 

Elisha left everything and accompanied Elijah as his servant (1 Kings 19:19–21).

Here are two things we can learn from this story:

  • Sometimes the calling to prophetic ministry is not convenient and interrupts our plans. Are we willing to obey God’s call even when it costs us something? Elisha left his job, his family, and his home to pursue God’s call on his life. And not because a huge position waited for him—he started off just as a servant. 
  • The fulfillment of our prophetic call might be on the other side of serving someone with a similar call. This wasn’t the case with Samuel, but we do see it with Elisha.

When God Called Jeremiah

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, 

and before you were born I consecrated you; 

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:4–5)

Jeremiah’s call was significantly different than the others. 

God began talking to him when he was just a boy and told him an interesting detail—that Jeremiah had been called even before his birth. The Bible doesn’t say this specifically, but it isn’t a huge stretch to assume Jeremiah probably grew up hearing God’s voice and having different kinds of prophetic experiences. 

Jeremiah had a direct encounter with God that clarified his calling and hinted at what his ministry would look like. God also told him to expect resistance and that he would minister to other nations.

What do we learn from Jeremiah’s calling? 

  • Some people are called from the womb and grow up “prophetic.” That is, they hear and see things in the spiritual realm even as very young children. 
  • Sometimes the way we’re called gives us clues about God’s plans for us in the future.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind About Prophetic Callings

Many other principles of the prophetic calling can be found in Scripture. If you’re wondering about your own prophetic call, here are a few nuggets of wisdom that hopefully will bring peace to your heart. 

All the stories in Scripture are different, so we don’t need to compare how we were called with how someone else was called. One person hears God’s voice, one gets a word from another prophet, one sees God appear in a physical form—we are all different, and our journeys with God are different.

But each of these biblical stories has something in common: Years passed before the person stepped into their ministry. We can’t doubt our calling just because it’s taking a long time to appear. That’s God’s normal way of doing things. He uses this time to form us into people who can endure the calling long term, without hurting themselves or those around them.

After God calls us, we need to respond to what He’s doing. But that’s a teaching for another time.

If you want to learn more about the calling, training, and commissioning of prophetic people, I highly suggest taking The Art of Hearing God. John Paul Jackson wrote this course from decades of experience so others wouldn’t have to make the same mistakes he did when he was starting out. 

This course will help jumpstart your calling—it certainly jumpstarted mine!

The Five Aspects of Redemption

The work of Christ included five aspects that each accomplished an essential piece of the fullness of redemption. 

The Incarnation

In the incarnation, God took on flesh and, being fully God, became fully man. If He weren’t God, the work would have been incomplete. 

He stepped in and did more than just save humanity; He was the only One who could pull all creationinto the redemption He was seeking.No angel could have redeemed the entirety of creation. A man could have represented humanity—but not the planets and stars, not the ants and the elephants, the minnows and the whales. Only God could identify with all creation to remove the corruption released through sin (Rom. 8).

The Sinless Life

Jesus had to be perfect. If He sinned in any way, He could not have removed sin or the power of death, which comes from sin. 

He lived out the sinless life Adam was intended to live. In everything Jesus did, He carried out the two great commandments: He loved God the Father with all His heart, mind, soul, and strength, and He loved His neighbor as Himself (Matt. 22:36–40). 

In His flesh Jesus fulfilled God’s will while doing only what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). His perfect submission reversed the rebellion of Adam and Eve.

The Innocent Death

A sacrifice had to be made. Blood had to be shed (Heb. 9:22). But not just any blood—perfectblood. 

Death had a right to touch everything corrupted by sin. As soon as death touched perfect flesh—a sinless life—its power was broken and its ultimate end was set in stone. The power of justice unraveled the power of death.

The blood of Jesus paid for the entirety of sin; this means it also paid for the resultsof sin: sickness and disease. Physical sickness, emotional sickness, mental illness— the blood of the Lamb paid for all these things.

The Resurrection

If Jesus had stayed dead, He would have been a nice example of the power of death—that it could even destroy perfection. The ultimate exercise of frustration, His death would have settled hopelessness forever into creation and proven that no matter the depth and level of goodness, there is no ultimate justice. 

But Jesus did not stay dead.

His resurrection proclaimed for all eternity that justice willbe satisfied and that sin, death, and the grave will not have the final answer (1 Cor. 15:55–57).

  • By stepping into death, Jesus purchased the right to redeem those who were dead. 
  • By coming back to life, He purchased the right to give life to whomever He chooses—anyone who identifies with His full work.

The resurrection speaks life into hopeless situations and reminds us that the end is not the end. Even when it is over, it is not over!

The Ascension

After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus sat at the Father’s right hand and received the reward He had purchased with His blood. 

He now reigns through you and me—through all of us who identify with Him and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. He expands His Kingdom (the execution of His will) throughout the earth and is waiting until all things are brought under His rule. Once that occurs, He will submit even Himself to the Father, so the Father may be all in all—for all, through all (1 Cor. 15:28). 

As you read this article, all things are submittedto Christ, but we don’t see all things in subjectionto Him (Heb. 2:8). A battle rages around us, but we live in peace as we keep our eyes on Jesus, our victorious King.

Because we are seated with Jesus in heavenly places, we’re able to grasp that what we see in this realm—even what we’ve been taught and what we’ve experienced—is partial at best and a deception at worst. Only God is truth. Our lives are hidden in Him, and so we think like He thinks; we set our minds on heavenly things (Col. 3:1–4).

What Does This Mean for You? 

If you identify with Jesus’ work and submit yourself to Him and His work, you can access the power inherent within it! 

If you haven’t accessed that power yet, you can start right now. Just proclaim out loud your surrender to Jesus and your need for His redemption and forgiveness. Then allow His Holy Spirit to empower you to live out that surrender for the rest of your life, both now on earth and for eternity in Heaven.

Here’s a beautiful look at how Jesus’ work affects you personally. 

The Incarnation

You can go to Jesus for complete healing (Isa. 53:5).

Whatever illness or infirmity you’re dealing with, whatever your family is dealing with, whatever your friend is dealing with—you can take it to Jesus and fully expect the power of His innocent death to remove it. The shedding of His sacred blood is a promise thatallsin and everything sin brought into creation will unravel and be completely removed.

The Sinless Life

You are “one spirit” with God and a partaker of His divine nature (1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Pet. 1:4).

Because you are one with the Lord, you can tap into the power of the incarnation. In other words, you can access Hispower to love Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. The incarnation also allows you to love your neighbor as yourself. 

Since you are a partaker of His divine nature, you are able to live out His life on the earth, in union with the power of His holiness. 

The Innocent Death

You are completely free from shame (1 John 1:9).

Because Jesus died a sinless death, youget to live a life free of sinand the corruption it brings. When you confess your sins, God is faithful not just to forgive you—but also to wipe you clean of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

This means you can be completely, totally, 100 percent free from shame. You don’t have to pay for your mistakes or even your intentional sins; you can bring them to Jesus, because He has already paid for them.

Shame is often a sign of self-hatred, self-sufficiency, defeatism, and sometimes even pride, because we think we can handle our sins on our own. 

If you’re dealing with shame, surrender it to God. Let Him forgive you, and stop trying to take care of it yourself.  

The Resurrection

You have hope through the power of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:55–57).

No matter what your situation looks like, God can redeem and change it in an instant. Death has no hold over you. Your body may die, but you will live on in an eternal body in God’s presence—a body that looks just like His.

With Jesus, even dead things can come back to life (Ez. 37:1–6).

The Ascension

You are seated in heavenly places (Col. 3:1–4).

You get to walk in the power and authority of God. All authority is His, and He has commissioned you to go into the world and tell people about Him and what He’s done, demonstrating His life with your life—through the way you love others, honor Him, walk in power, and hold on to hope.

As you do these things, the people around you will see Him. They will come to experience His life for themselves, and whole nationswill change (Matt. 28:18–20). Not because you have it all together—but because He promised He would always be with you. 

In my next article, I’ll write about how the five aspects of redemption apply to fivefold ministry.

Keys to Answered Prayer Part 1

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” 

— Matthew 7:7 

Prayer is an essential work of the Christian life. The prayers of believers have shaped history. They’ve sparked revivals, righted injustice, shifted nations, stopped wars, abated storms, redeemed lives and pushed back darkness. Prayer heals bodies, restores marriages, fulfills destinies and births children. 

When we look at the life of Jesus, we find Him constantly stealing away to be with His Father, spending time in prayer. His prayer life was the secret to everything He did. This was so obvious to those who spent their lives with Him that instead of asking Him to teach them to preach, heal the sick or cast out demons—they asked Him how to pray (Luke 11:1).

God has chosen to co-labor with mankind to bring His Kingdom to bear on the earth. The original mandate given to Adam was restored in Christ Jesus. Adam had dominion over the earth, but Jesus told His disciples,

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

— Matthew 28:18–20

Jesus has been given all authority, and He invites us into a relationship where we co-labor with Him through prayer to bring about Kingdom purposes. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

How can we pray as Jesus prayed? This month and next we will look at a few ways we can make our prayers more effective. 

1. Pray with faith.

In Matthew 21:22 Jesus says, “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Those four little words—if you have faith—are essential. Where does faith come from, and how do we get more of it? 

Paul wrote that faith is a gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8). God is the One who gives faith, and real faith isn’t something we work up in our flesh. If we could “create” faith, we would be able to boast about it (Ephesians 2:9), but faith is a gift from God, not a result of our works.

One of the vehicles God uses to implant faith within us is His Word. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). If you want to grow in faith, ask God for it, trusting He will give it to you, and listen to His Word. Meditate on Scripture. Remind yourself of what Christ did through His life, death, resurrection and ascension. Memorize promises like the one that starts this letter—if you ask for something, it will be given to you. If you seek, you will find. 

This area of faith can be a touchy subject because of the abuse some of us have endured through bad teachings. Unfortunately, statements like “Your family member wouldn’t have died if you had faith” or “You would be healed if you had faith” can be heard in certain circles, but bad teaching is never a reason to ignore something God says. Instead, it should be impetus to pursue the truth.

2. Pray in Jesus’ name.

“In that day you will ask nothing of Me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” 

— John 16:23–24

Praying in Jesus’ name is not a formula, nor does it mean ending every prayer with the words “in Jesus’ name.” When Jesus taught us to pray in His name, He meant something profound. 

In the Hebrew culture, someone’s name represented their authority. A person sent in the name of the king, for instance, could accomplish all the king had sent them to do as if the king were doing it. Doing something “in someone’s name” means you’re representing them, using their authority to accomplish what they would accomplish if they were there in person.

Praying in Jesus’ name is an issue of authority as well as identity and character. If someone sent by the king tried to do something that violated the king’s will, the king would not back them up. If the king discovered his representative was using his authority to take advantage of others, that person would lose their authority. Praying in the name of Jesus means you bear His character (Galatians 5:22–23) and are accomplishing His will.

While there is obvious power in speaking the name of Jesus aloud, we should never think of it as a formula. The sons of Sceva learned this lesson quickly when they tried to use Jesus’ name without relationship with Him; they did not possess His character and He hadn’t sent them. “The evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” (See Acts 19:13–16.)

3. Pray from a place of abiding in Him.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” 

— John 15:7

Prayer is an extension of relationship. It is a conversation between friends. When we are living in intimacy with God, we will see more of our prayers answered. That is just the way of it. 

Jesus emphasized that His words need to abide in us. Again, part of developing intimacy with God is meditating on His Word. Reading, studying and meditating on Scripture is a sure way to abide in Him. If you’re interested, you can read more about this topic in my book The Art of Praying the Scriptures: A Fresh Look at Lectio Divina.

Talking about prayer is a passion of my heart. That’s all I have room for in this post, but I’ll continue these points in this blog next month.

John E. Thomas

The House of Saul and The House of David

A Prophetic Look at Leadership in 2020 and Beyond

Over the past year, a friend and I have had some interesting conversations about the house of Saul and the house of David being leadership types. Their story carries a literal meaning, of course—but allegorically speaking, what do these two houses mean to God’s heart and His plans for His people? 

And prophetically speaking—how do these two houses apply to 2020 and beyond?

There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker. (2 Sam. 3:1 ESV)

Let’s start off by taking a look at the house of Saul.

The House of Saul

Chosen by God through the prophet Samuel, Saul was the first king of Israel. He carried an anointing to set Israel free from their enemies and bring about God’s plan for the nation. 

But from the beginning of his story, he dealt with fear—because he was from the tribe of Benjamin that had recently disgraced the rest of the country, because his family didn’t have a place of prominence, because he didn’t have any major accomplishments with which he could prove his worth (1 Sam. 9:21). 

God used Saul despite the man’s insecurities, but eventually a door pushed open and the fear of man gained a foothold in Saul’s heart. He started responding to the people and making them his focus. Beneath the veneer of “being a good leader,” he followed the people away from God instead of leading them toward God. 

The day came when Saul blatantly disobeyed the Lord because he was afraid of what the people thought. He then deceived himself into thinking he committed this breach for God (1 Sam. 15:10–31). Proud of his victory, he set up a monument for himself (v. 12) and made a pretense of worship (v. 15). 

When confronted with his sin, he seemed to repent, but his obvious true concern was making himself look good in Samuel’s eyes. He begged Samuel to honor him in front of the people so they would continue to think well of him.

What the House of Saul Looks Like Today

At its core, the house of Saul is led by fear but calls it good leadership. These leaders allow the people to direct them, and they call this unity or keeping the peace, when they’re actually muzzling God. They let Him out only when the display of His power highlights how anointed they are. 

Unfortunately, those who think according to the house of Saul have deceived themselves into believing they’re doing God’s will. When they’re shown the error of their hearts, they “repent” in secret but go out and do the same things again.

The House of David

At the beginning of his story, David was out worshiping in the fields. He wasn’t looking for a position, and he didn’t care what people thought about him—he wanted to spend time with God and serve Him faithfully. His integrity compelled him to protect the sheep left in his care even at the risk of his own life, and he saw God’s power back him up (1 Sam. 17:28–37).

His life of worship grew to the point where people wanted to be around him because of the anointing. Even Saul desired his company because only when David played the harp (that is, when he worshiped) did Saul feel at peace. Saul’s son Jonathan loved David and wanted to partner with him to defeat Israel’s enemies. People gathered to this man because he’d set his heart on God.

Seven times Scripture says, “David inquired of the Lord.” When he ran into difficult situations, he didn’t ask what the people wanted—he inquired of the Lord. When he needed to make a decision, when he was in trouble, when he required wisdom, before he made advances or took important steps—again and again David employed a simple strategy: He inquired of the Lord.

Like Saul, David ruled for forty years. Though he made mistakes along the way, he always returned to his starting point: a deep desire for the presence of the Lord.

What the House of David Looks Like Today

Leaders of the house of David lay aside everything to pursue God’s presence. They look to Him for vision and strategy and don’t rely solely on human counsel. 

They’ve built a history of seeing God move in small things and in big things, and their hope is in Him, not in their ability to lead. When faced with increasing unrest, threats, and angry crowds, they don’t bow to the pressure of popular opinion but inquire of the Lord and do whatever He says.

A Changing of the Guard

I believe the Lord has shown me we’re in a season of testing. The leaders of churches and nations are being tested to see if they will give their allegiance to the Spirit of the fear of the Lord or to the spirit of the fear of man. 

The house of Saul will bow to the fear of man and limit God in order to keep the people, but the house of David will fear God and obey His voice no matter what the people say.

This battle has escalated in the Western world until we can see signs of it everywhere, especially in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Sweden. I believe this season of testing will determine the next season. If we bow to the fear of man, we will miss the incredible outpouring of God’s Spirit that waits right at the door.

How This Applies to You

With everything in me, I exhort you to choose the fear of the Lord.

  1. Ask God for the grace to choose Him over man. 
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where the gospel has become religious humanism in your thinking and to set you free from this prevailing power. 
  3. Beseech God to reveal and remove every stronghold that would push you toward the wrong path. 

As you do these things, prepare your heart for the fire of His presence that approaches.

When the fear of the Lord is given space in our lives and hearts, a new passion will arise in worship and miracles will “just happen.” People outside the church will have encounters with Jesus that compel them to seek an answer, and they will wander into our gatherings looking for those answers. An increasing purity will attract a generation of men and women who are willing to devote their lives to a righteous cause. 

The next ten years will see an increase in missionaries being sent out, as well as a new church-planting movement—a move intended for the house of David. If the house of Saul touches it, those leaders will end up being removed, just as Saul was.

I am excited about the house of David I can see rising up in people’s hearts. May it multiply and transform churches and nations around the world! May the victorious King be seen in the lives of worshipers who inquire of Him and do astounding exploits to set His people free from the oppression of the enemy.

Good News of Great Joy

Good News of Great Joy blog graphic
by John E. Thomas

Several years ago, Dawna and I visited a church plant near our home. It was the church’s first Sunday service, and we wanted to check them out. 

The pastor spoke on Jesus being a man acquainted with sorrows—and then went on to explain how the Son of God was always miserable, never smiled, and suffered His whole earthly existence. 

I was shocked! What had happened in this man’s life that all he could see when he looked at Jesus was grief? Dawna and I have prayed for him over the years because of the way his words impacted our hearts. 

That may seem like an extreme example, but unfortunately it isn’t unusual. Because of the messages we’ve displayed to the world, many people think Christianity is a religion that isn’t allowed to have fun. Holiness is considered a “killjoy,” and if people enjoy something too much, it must be sinful! “Sinfully delicious,” as the expression goes.

But that is not the truth about our faith.

The Epic Joy of God

Religion can take something beautiful and turn it into rote and familiarity. It can twist portions of the precious story of Jesus until we end up missing a key piece—JOY.

Luke 2:10–12 is a famous passage in the Christmas story:

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (ESV)

Joy for all people. The Oxford Dictionary defines joy as “feelings of great pleasure and happiness.” 

When you think of Christianity, is that what you think of? 

God Created Mankind for Pleasure

We were created to live in a perfect world where everything brought pleasure. Beauty filled creation, and the food was fabulous. God brought man and woman together in a garden and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply.” And this command was not a hardship for them; the very act that fulfilled it was something extremely pleasurable. 

God didn’t intend for His children to have a boring, dry existence. He intended us for JOY, and Jesus came to restore that joy.

After the fall, mankind began to search for joy in the wrong things—in selfish pursuits and sinful activities. As our desires grew corrupted, we plummeted into small desires and lost sight of the higher senses God designed us to pursue. 

In his book The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis succinctly describes the narrowness of human thought:

It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

You’re Invited into Joy

This Christmas, remember the angelic invitation to step into joy. Jesus has arrived on the scene, His work is complete, and the story He’s telling is “good news of great joy that will be for all people.” 

Enjoy your family, good food, laughs around a cozy fire—but most of all, enjoy Him. Remember He is the source of it all. He created these things for your enjoyment, and He created you to be able to enjoy them. 

Turn your joy into worship, and find His presence in the midst of your celebrations. Merry Christmas!

Setting Your Heart

by Chariti Kupiec

Streams Staff 

One day while I was taking The Art of Hearing God, Daniel 10:12 grabbed me and wouldn’t let go:

Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. (NKJV)

That phrase “set your heart” just leaped out at me. Those three words. I kept thinking about what it means to set your heart on understanding and to humble yourself before God. 

This verse is filled with prophetic possibilities, but the most intriguing thing to me is how the setting of Daniel’s heart led to his being heard by God. An angelic visitation ensued—something I long for and repeatedly ask for. I want the supernatural ways of God to become more and more natural to me, and I consistently go before Him and ask for dreams, visions, and angelic visitations as other means of encountering Him.

I’ve come to realize Daniel 10:12 offers a big clue about the things of the Spirit and how they operate.

If we desire more of Him, if we deeply long for His Spirit to come and play with us, we need to commit to the setting of our hearts. 

What Does “Setting Our Hearts” Actually Mean?

The Hebrew word for “set” means to make, apply, appoint, commit, or charge. It’s an active verb—meaning the subject is doing the action (versus having it done to them). 

In other words, setting our hearts is an act of the mind and will—it doesn’t just passively happen. Setting our hearts means we choose to commit to knowing Him. 

What does this sacred decision look like on a daily basis? 

1. Setting Our Hearts Means Committing to God Our Full Exaltation and Worship

Exalt the Lord our God,  And worship at His footstool— He is holy. (Ps. 99:5)

Worship is reverent devotion to God expressed in many different ways. 

In the New Testament church, we often see it as prayer; praise; reading, studying, and teaching of the Word; and a manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit. (Numerous examples can be found in Acts, 1 Corinthians, and James). 

Whatever the “activity” of worship, it is singularly focused to the only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and a tethering of our hearts to Him.  

The Need for Purity of Worship

Part of setting our hearts means staying pure in our devotion and worship. The human heart can so easily stray to the things of this world, leaning away from the Savior without realizing it. 

The Hayford Bible Handbook boldly states it this way:

Today believers must understand the vicious nature of idolatry and the potential bondage inherent in submission to the spirit of the world. Besides material objects such as houses, land, and cars, idols can be people, popular heroes, or those whom we love. Objects of worship can even include things like fame, reputation, hobbies, pride, and deeds done in the name of the Lord.

Yet even here, God graciously reveals the truth to us and allows space for repentance. 

His crazy love and grace enable our devotion to rise up from a place of great joy and adoration. He not only saves us—but He draws us back to Himself over and over. 

2. Setting Our Hearts Means Loving God and Other People

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

 (Matt. 22:36–40)

Love God, love others. 

Recently my husband and I started cultivating a good friendship with a couple we love, so we spend a lot of time with them. We don’t always go deep in conversation—actually, most of the time we’re just having fun, but we’re sowing into one another intentionally. 

Why? Because we understand that if we’re going to build the kind of relationship that is authentic, genuine, and intimate at the level where we can be transparent and encourage and challenge one another—it requires time. 

Building such a relationship with the Lord is similar because He’s the Creator of community. 

As we set our hearts on the Lord, I don’t believe we can ever leave off the second part about loving others because it’s such a reflection of our loving relationship with Him. Loving others is a natural byproduct of being loved by Him and loving Him in return. 

Love Is Familiar and Intimate

In Exodus 33 a pillar of cloud stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. He spoke to Moses “face to face as a man speaks to his friend” (v. 11), and finally in verse 18 Moses had one burning desire: 

Please, show me Your glory.

I don’t think any other point in Scripture captures so well the level of intimacy that’s possible with the Lord. That’s what I want with Him. When we set our hearts on the Lord, deeper intimacy with Him becomes our internal cry: “Yes, Lord! Come and be with me like that.”

Known and Being Known

But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him (1 Cor. 8:3). 

Loving God is a knowing and being known far beyond meeting with Him once or twice a week in a church service. Loving God is a personal relationship with Him that requires time. To get to know His heart, we need to spend time in the Word, prayer, worship, and fellowship with Him. 

It is true we love because He first loved us—but it’s also true that love is a choice that comes through action. 

Most of us are familiar with the description of love in 1 Corinthians, but have you ever sat down and really pondered 1 Peter 4:8–10? 

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Do you see the cycle? We really do love because He first loved us!

3. Setting Our Hearts Means Having a Desire for What He Desires

For me, one of the most profound stories in all Scripture occurs in 1 Kings 3 when God shows up in a dream and says to Solomon, “Ask! What shall I give you?” 

Solomon talks about his responsibility to steward God’s people and then makes his request in verse 9: 

Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?

Something happens when we want HIM more than His stuff. John Paul says in The Art of Hearing God:

A good growth experience is a flowing in our relationship with God, a deeper intimacy with Him; and the result will be that our spirit will be attuned to hear from Him.

The very thing we want is to hear from God! To hear from Him, we have to know Him. Simple sentence, profound meaning. The desire to really, intimately know who God is—His character, attributes, heart, and thoughts—becomes the burning drive of our hearts. 

And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. (1 Kings 4:29)

Heart in the original context means inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding. Desiring God literally changes those things inside us. That is the maturing and growth process at work—as we mature and grow in Him, we overcome our character flaws and open our “hearing ears” to hear Him even more. 

I am baffled by those who don’t believe in now-time miracles, because the result of setting our hearts is nothing short of miraculous. It requires an in filling of the Holy Spirit, something completely outside our control, but He is faithful when we ask Him to do that work in us. 

He creates, He calls us to Him, He saves, He calls us to Him more deeply, and then He enables us to say yes to that calling. 

He is good—and worthy of the setting of our hearts.

Limitless – Minnesota

  • May 29-31, 2020
  • Burnsville, Minnesota 
  • Charity Bowman Webb
  • Register

Limitless – Massachusetts

  • May 21-23, 2020
  • Natick, Massachusetts 
  • Charity Bowman Webb
  • Register

Limitless – Lewisville TX

  • February 27-29, 2020
  • Lewisville, Texas
  • Charity Bowman Webb
  • Register

Limitless – Lubbock TX

  • February 20-22, 2020
  • Lubbock, Texas
  • Charity Bowman Webb
  • Register

Graphic Design Assistant/Project Manager

Streams Ministries exists to help restore the awe of God to the earth. We believe that every individual, church, ministry, business, and nation has a specific purpose and we exist to help them discover and fulfill that purpose by hearing what God has and does say to them, and to encourage them to respond fully to that message while expecting God to do what only He can do.


This part-time position (25-30 hours per week) is responsible for providing support to the Creative Director. Position includes working on a variety of graphic design projects such as content creation for social and digital platforms, e-mail campaigns, and branded material, while also assisting in project management. The ideal candidate thrives within a creative, fast paced environment. Must be able to quickly adapt to change and is able to keep the success and forward movement of the ministry as the ultimate top priority.


  • Produce effective print and digital designs for the creative team
  • Design web assets for (ex. Banners, infographics, pop-ups)
  • Concept and design independently and manage multiple projects concurrently
  • Take responsibility for projects from conceptualization to completion, conduct research, and keep up with current trends, while delivering precise, error-free work
  • Contribute to brainstorming, concepting, and troubleshooting throughout the creative process
  • Manage projects to ensure jobs are completed and delivered on time
  • Provide visibility and communication to team members on blocking issues that need to be resolved


  • Proven skills in the latest Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop)
  • Strong understanding of visual elements (layout, type, and fonts) and the ability to conform to the Streams style standards
  • Must be detail-oriented, resourceful, organized, and able to meet deadlines
  • Highly collaborative with exceptional work ethic, must work well in a small, fast-paced environment, and must be able to take direction
  • While graphic design skills are required, it is important to consider that this is not exclusively a design position. Maintaining ongoing communication and project management comprise approximately 30-40% of the job

Graphic Design Assistant / Project Manager

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We are looking for Interns!

Looking for an opportunity to serve AND learn? Become an Intern at Streams Ministries! We are looking for an individual local to the DFW metroplex who is fun, energetic, organized and has a HUGE heart for our ministry with a desire to jump in and serve where needed. You will be loved and impacted for a lifetime so it’s a win/win!


  • Live within the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
  • Desire to learn new things 
  • Self-motivated, confident, positive, and solutions oriented
  • Accuracy and attention to detail required
  • Team-oriented with the ability to work collaboratively across all levels of the organization

Questions? E-mail Chariti Kupiec here.

To apply for an Intern position, please fill out the following form and click SUBMIT when complete.

Intern Application

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