Have you felt muzzled this year? We all stepped into 2020 hearing prophetic words about "The Roaring 20s" and how this is the era of the decree. However, soon into the new year, what was an expectant belief to those who had already been in hiding long enough quickly turned into more frustration, isolation, and an overwhelming agenda to silence the rising voices. I felt it.
It was clear the enemy was counteracting what God was birthing. Instead of megaphones we were wearing face masks, and instead of being in church services and gatherings, raising our voices in worship, we were in lockdown in our homes. We saw confusion hit the prophetic movement, extreme polarity in views and opinions, and what was meant to be one collective voice became a scattered sound in the darkness. The enemy is doing anything and everything he can to stop the voice of the Bride from being heard, but nothing has changed God's heart...you and I were born for this moment.
So this has been in my spirit all year. What you are about to read isn't just a prophetic word but it's a letter from my heart to those genuinely struggling right now in a time where they know God is raising them up as a voice to speak His heart. I want to release what I believe will help give language and permission to those who are in that tension, feeling silenced, controlled, or in hiding because of the time we live in and the overwhelming pressure to fit in and not stand out or offend. This is for you.
Extreme Polarity, Confusion & Mayhem = THE PERFECT MOMENT
So I need to be real, 'cause I've been in this wrestle too. Not just now, but many times in my walk with God – especially since stepping into ministry. There are times that we don't even realize it but subtly we can start to pay more attention to the fear of man than the fear of the Lord.
When quarantine began, social media became inundated with church services and people doing a billion online conferences and Facebook Lives, but for me...I retreated. I wasn't being rebellious, I swear. My friend Aaron always says, "If the world goes one way, I'll change direction and go the other," which is kinda true, but this wasn't like that. My spirit man felt attacked. The prophetic movement was in division with one camp prophesying grace and mercy and the other judgment and doom. "New breed" voices started to rise up with unknown faces stepping into the light, but it was soon squashed by those pandering to the religious spirit that was saying we were in a "holy hush" season and needed to be purified and silent.
Let me just say that a "reset" season isn't the same as being silent, and being purified and refined does not always mean being dormant. It means we are in a posture of deep surrender and recalibration, but this doesn't always mean being silent and going into hiding. (I know someone in biblical history who liked scaring people into caves and submission, but let's not bring Jezebel into this one just yet.)
The bottom line is many have felt silenced so far in this new era – not empowered. They have felt as though they are under fire, attacked, and confused about how they can be a voice in the time we live in. Many didn't expect to leave the wilderness and be met with a world in crisis and chaos, but isn't that the perfect storm for the prophetic voice? Isn't that the perfect moment and opportunity to be a voice that cuts through the noise?
An Encounter with the Lion
Many years ago, I was in a season where I was really struggling to navigate how to be a voice. It seemed that the more I shared what was on my heart, the more I was told that I shouldn't because I sounded anti-establishment, anti-church, and would only lead people away from God. My struggle was that this was not my heart at all but God had placed a weighty message on my heart that I couldn't ignore; in fact, the more I fought it the more frustrated I would become. But one Sunday, I was in worship sitting at the back of the church feeling frustrated, misunderstood and muzzled, when I had a powerful encounter with the Lord.
I suddenly felt the breath of God over my shoulders, like the Lord was overshadowing me and releasing life and His very breath into my being. Then... the sound came. It was the loudest roar I have heard coming from all directions but, again, it was over me, overshadowing me, roaring over me and into my being. I know now that this was Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, like it is spoken about in Revelation 5:5:
"Then one of the elders said to me, 'Stop weeping. Look! The mighty Lion of Judah's tribe, the root of David – He has conquered! He is the worthy one who can open the scroll and its seven seals.'" (Photo via Piqsels)
It was an awakening for me in many ways because I felt so much of the fear of man lift off me where it had previously been choking the life out of me. I felt the fear of God at that moment so intensely that I was shaking...a good shaking...like the Lord was shaking all the fear and words off me that had been chaining me. A few days later, I received a message from some people who were previously leaders in my life – who didn't approve of what I was doing and saying – asking me to meet them. I instantly knew that I couldn't meet them because it would only be an ambush. The fear of man I normally would face I didn't. I said no, wiped the dust from my feet, blessed them, moved on, and the rest is history.
The Lion's Roar Through You
I believe, right now, God is awakening your roar and the collective roar of a people called to speak into the darkness; into crisis and chaos. However, without the roar, we will see NO REAL CHANGE. The roar of the Lion of Judah is both the BREATH of God and the SOUND of God. The breath is the empowerment and anointing of the Spirit and the sound is the weapon that both heals and restores, and breaks through and destroys principalities and powers.
That roar is wanting to come through you but it isn't tame. No, like a lion this roar is wild, or like David said, "I will be so much more undignified than this!" (see 2 Samuel 6:22). David understood the wild nature of the Lion of Judah roaring through him. This roar doesn't respond out of duty but out of worship, and because of this, it will never be clean and neat according to man's standards of religious customs/protocols. The roar will always carry an edge that stands out and "pierces through" the atmosphere you are in. That's what the sound of the roar through you does. It's not for show and it's not for gain, but it is the natural response of those who have been so intimate with God that they sound like the one they have been with.
Right now that's where God is calling us to inhabit. Imagine what it would be like if the Church roared in crisis and adversity; in trial, famine, and calamity, instead of responding or reacting to appease the world and watering down the message of the Gospel?
Symptoms of Being Muzzled in a "Roar" Season
I want to share a few of the symptoms that many people have encountered this year:
â€¢ Excessive sensitivity to the fear of man/what people think.
â€¢ Fear of offending or saying the wrong thing/political spirit.
â€¢ Fear of being wrong or not pure enough/religious spirit.
â€¢ Fear of your life, wanting to run and hide/Jezebel spirit.
â€¢ Comparison and insecurity of feeling insignificant.
â€¢ Feeling invisible and unheard.
â€¢ Unrealistic fear and foreboding of the future/no vision or unclear future.
â€¢ Wanting to give up/hard to get out of bed.
â€¢ Demonic dreams and warfare/attack on sleep.
â€¢ Demonic torment and heaviness against the mind.
â€¢ Confusion, scattered mind, mental and creative block.
â€¢ Unable or hard to receive revelation like you used to.
â€¢ Physical attack on your voice/throat.
How You Can Be a Voice in This Season
So I want to give you some keys to help you be a voice in this season and encourage you to roar in a time when the enemy wants you on the sidelines:
â€¢ Spend time with Jesus – the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
â€¢ Make His voice louder than any other voice you hear and begin to let the sound of His voice and what He says become a greater reality than circumstances around you.
â€¢ Let Him pour into you more than you pour out/keep your oil full and avoid running on empty.
â€¢ Learn to be more aware of how loved you are and the fear will have less influence.
â€¢ Rebuke fear, foreboding, anxiety, and depression that tries to come at you.
â€¢ Stop ingesting the lies of the media and being influenced by how culture wants you to think, act, and believe.
â€¢ Ask God for greater discernment and wisdom to be able to see through what you see in the natural/being able to discern the hearts, motives, and intentions of things.
â€¢ Write down and journal what God shows you/keep a record of it. Study it. Let it simmer. Ask for greater clarity and instruction on what you do hear.
â€¢ Decide that you are going to be a voice regardless of how you feel. Emotions and senses undeveloped can lie to you and cause you to move and live according to how you feel over what is.
â€¢ Be responsible for your own destiny. No one can do it for you. No one can fight through the fog but you. You can do this! (Photo via Wallpaper Flare)
â€¢ Take authority over your life and voice. The only permission the enemy has in your life is what you give him by complacency, apathy, or agreement. Decide to stand up and not let him keep robbing you of your greatest commodity.
â€¢ Rebuke the enemy and be proactive with your spiritual armor according to Ephesians 6:10-19.
â€¢ Learn to be more aware of your atmosphere rather than just emotionally reacting to it. Ask God questions daily: "What am I sensing? Why do I feel this way?"
â€¢ Rebuke words, curses, judgment, and witchcraft chatter that comes at you. Isaiah 54:17 is a great defense.
â€¢ Shake off the disapproval of others or those who don't currently value or recognize your ministry or message. Bless them and keep your heart right.
â€¢ Do not be muzzled or suppressed. Don't tolerate Jezebel in any shape, way or form. Don't partner with anything that shuts down the prophetic or is motivated by or uses fear, manipulation or control to operate.
â€¢ Stocktake your alliances, allegiances, alignments, and partnerships. Are you in something that is shutting down your voice?
â€¢ Believe better about yourself. Do you believe in your own voice?
â€¢ Choose not to be popular but INFLUENTIAL.
â€¢ If you have been through previous rejection – and any kind of church wound – and have trauma, get healed. Find some people who can sit with you and walk you through healing.
â€¢ Be a son/daughter. You can't be a voice thinking like an orphan or constantly feeling insignificant. Build yourself up in the Word and begin to see yourself as a mighty, powerful voice.
â€¢ Value people's opinions but don't live by them or make decisions based on anything other than by what the Spirit of God speaks.
â€¢ Live tethered to the future you are speaking into, not the present that struggles to accept what you speak. Soon it will!
â€¢ Be a reformer if it's in you. Just make sure to increase in your love as equally as you swing your hammer.
â€¢ Live from eternity. Realize the afflictions and persecution you face are nothing compared to the glorious inheritance you have in Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:17).
â€¢ Find a prophetic tribe or bunch of undignified misfits that are lovers of God.
â€¢ Realize that without your voice the enemy will put something else in that vacuum. You have a role to fill!
â€¢ Wake up every day knowing that regardless of position, platform, or followers, you have a voice that is powerful and known in the heavenlies. It's a new day to partner with Heaven and see your message impact the earth!
OPEN YOUR MOUTH!
I believe we are in an Amos 3:8 commissioning moment where the Lord is ROARING over His sons and daughters and seeing who will rise up and roar with Him in response.
"The lionÂ has roared – who will not fear? The SovereignÂ LordÂ has spoken – who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:8)
God is raising up a generation who will simply be His mouthpiece to the world. Those who will simply choose to open their mouths and let Him fill them with His heart. He is raising up pure voices that will break the lies and muzzles off a generation called to roar and cut through the noise in the atmosphere. It's time we stopped coddling what needs to be exposed and become the new breed of voices for this new era – no longer the silenced just watching the world guide the rudder to the future, that's our role! So today I am prophesying over you that you would encounter the roar of the Lion of Judah and feel Him breathe life back into your voice in Jesus' name!
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Nate JohnstonÂ is a revivalist and worshiper who has a heart to see sons and daughters unleashed into passionate friendship with God and an effective supernatural lifestyle. Through his ministry "Everyday Revivalists," he teaches on intimacy and hearing God's voice which was birthed from a hunger for authentic, real, and powerful relationship with Jesus. Nate and Christy have two daughters, Charlotte and Sophie, and currently live on the Gold Coast in Australia.
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