Just Like the Last Two Years?
Leading up to 2022, and even now, I have felt such anticipation about this year. People have asked me one question in a myriad of different ways, but the question is essentially: "Is this year going to go well or will it be like the last two years?"
After sitting with the Lord and letting the dreams, visions, and conversations marinate, let me answer this question by simply saying: This year, God's heart is to see the Church rise as the mighty Bride she is called to be. We have the authority and we are the rudder of the ship.
Distraction, divisions, and sneaky games have cost us our power and effectiveness, and bowing to culture and the media's lies has silenced our voices...but no more. I pray this doesn't just give you information for you to add to your '2022 word repertoire,' but that it's a word which encourages you, shakes you to your bones, ignites your spirit, and sends you running into the year with a courageous and undignified roar of righteous vengeance.
Prophets in Hiding
"But if I say, 'I will not mention His word or speak any more in His name,' His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot." (Jeremiah 20:9)
Before I get into the main word I have to highlight this: For the last few years, many voices have gone into hiding. For many, it was during the initial lockdown of 2020 when the enemy started spinning his web, taking many off course into prophetic diversions and down rabbit holes designed to silence them. Then the greatest assault of stifling came a year ago during the inauguration, when the Church and media chased the prophets into hiding.
The domino effect from that has been more catastrophic than we realize. Where is the word of the Lord if the prophets don't prophesy?
"The lion has roared – who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken – who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:8)
We have been in what has felt like a global holding pattern as the nations inevitably face the results of a Church stuck in the mud of warfare, religion, and cultural pressure, while fighting the fires of the enemy's side-show games instead of the real battle at hand. But that is all about the change.
Storm-Tossed & Tired
"O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires." (Isaiah 54:11)
Yes, we have been in the storm. We have all felt the relentless winds of the storm, the pressure, the constant lies, and mind games of the enemy in the last two years as the enemy has tried to break us on all fronts. He has blown in strange, unexpected problems (in addition to the butterfly effect of the global crisis we have all felt) in an attempt to subtly wear us down and cause us to forget WHO WE ARE.
But while, at times, it may have seemed like the enemy succeeded, the Holy Spirit has faithfully taken us into "Elijah in the cave" moments and reminded us of who are. We are at a global moment, right now, where God is dangling the keys of authority, sonship, and access to the Church, saying, "It's time to get back up and break out of this confined space!"
"I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." (Isaiah 22:22)
Empty Buckets & Fresh Infilling
As I was praying into 2022, I was drawn to this image of an empty bucket God kept showing me, and knew, right away, that this bucket represented the season of endless storms, the 'emptying,' and the reset we have been through in the last 2 years. The bucket represented a season of extreme 'emptying out' in preparation for something new to fill that same space.
At the wedding feast at Cana, they had to reach empty before the miracle of turning water into wine could happen. In 2021, we saw the bottom of that bucket corporately and personally. Many of you felt yourselves at rock bottom, like there was nowhere further down to go. Many of you found yourselves spiritually, emotionally, and physically spent, like you were waiting for a collapse to take place, but God preserved you because something was coming that you didn't see. You even said, "I feel like I don't have much left," and this couldn't be more true, because you have been living on the manna of a revelation and encounter that has sustained you throughout that season, but now it's time to step into something new. (Photo via Unsplash)
Maybe you have entered into 2022 still staring at the bottom of that old bucket, but don't be fooled; there is an infilling coming that is so powerful, it is going to fill you up again and cause you to overflow. You will look back at the year that depleted you and realize it was the year that made the way for you to walk into such an outpouring of the Spirit, both personally and through to the world around you.
Breaking the Curses, Slander & Ending the Gag Order
Because 2021 was such a year of private battles and chatter, God has been working hard to get you healed of the bites and the stings. He has been trying to "unstick" you where the enemy slimed you, stunted you and derailed you. This was a year where you felt like your hair was cut and you lost yourself, caught up in endless distractions and battles; but now it's time to leave that place. 2021 was a year of restriction and spiritual bullying; it felt like everything you said came under scrutiny and criticism. It was a year of constant muzzling and suppression of the mighty voice that God was awakening.
If you haven't already shaken off the 'snake' into the fire as Paul did, shake off the fear of man and the witchcraft of the critics. If you have been silenced in the last year, today you need to break off the muzzle and curses sent your way. What came to harm you will NOT KILL YOU OR YOUR DESTINY! No, it will not! Shake it off! Shake off the betrayal. Shake off the poison! I command the muzzle over your voice to break off and the gag order to end NOW, in Jesus' name! Right now, God is cleaning off the slime that was hurled at you.
Anticipating a Second Wind
A few days after that, I was in worship when I suddenly heard the Lord say, "Tell them to prophesy! The answer is in their mouths! The future is in their mouths! Speak what I am doing, not what you see in the natural! For many have stopped prophesying and the word must [go] out! Prophesy, My Bride. Prophesy!"
Straight away after this, it was like I was feeling and sensing the hearts of so many Believers around the world who just felt disillusioned and faith-tired. Maybe, even reading this, you felt a sting of it. I get it, I really do. But God is about to give us a second wind where we have felt empty and discouraged from the last two years of standing without results...yet.
Your bucket has been empty. Your belly has not felt like it has had rivers flowing from it, but soon it will. Maybe you've been through the storm and it has left you [feeling] flat. Maybe you have contended and done everything you could do but you have been severely discouraged, not seeing breakthrough or any advancement at all. But the second wind is coming...and it's not going to be some "light change," but a major life interruption that shifts EVERYTHING inside you and around you.
A People with a Storm in Their Mouths
What the Lord said next shocked me. He said, "You are a people with a storm in your mouths!" At first I honestly had no clue what He was saying. "A storm? Aren't storms from the enemy?" I thought. Then I found this Scripture: "Behold, the storm of the Lord has gone forth in wrath, even a whirling tempest; it will swirl down on the head of the wicked" (Jeremiah 23:19).
God is the creator of storms like He is the one who, in Isaiah 54, creates a destroyer to destroy the enemy's plans! You can't beat that! "But what's a storm in a mouth mean, Lord?" I asked. Then I was led to a very familiar passage in Ezekiel (37:4-13):
"Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones and say to them, "Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord."'
"So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
"Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live."' So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.
"Then he said to me: 'Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, "Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off." Therefore prophesy and say to them: "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, My people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put My Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord."'"
What can we discover here? The word of the Lord is the storm in our mouths! It's the Spirit of God moving upon us and through our prophecies which releases the resurrection power of God into the earth that COUNTERACTS the storms of the enemy! (Photo via Pixabay)
You have a storm in your mouth! Have you forgotten it?
We have seen the storms of the enemy but I believe we have entered a time where God is revealing His power and glory that will outdo the storms we have seen in the past few years. Do I think the enemy will keep sending his storms in 2022? Absolutely, but it's time for us to know who we are and that we aren't helpless to change the things we see. It's time for the Church to determine the weather instead of always being the cleanup crew after a tornado rolls in. We are the head, not the tail, right?
The Year the Bride Speaks Up
"He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver." (Isaiah 49:2)
Just before Christmas, I was in worship when I saw a glimpse of the scene where Esther approaches the king in Esther 5: "'What is it, Queen Esther?' the king asked her. 'Whatever you want, even to half the kingdom, will be given to you'" (Esther 5:3).
Just as Esther went through the long season of refining and purification to prepare her for her divine appointment, now it's time for you to come before the King and lift your voice. We have seen evil after evil and demonic agenda after agenda. Now it's time to see Haman hung on his gallows and justice done. This is an hour where the Church can't be silent. This is a moment where we can't hide in fear for our lives but need to boldly come before the throne of grace and walk in the authority we have been given. This is a year for the BRIDE to SPEAK UP!
This will be a year where you rise above the storm and become the storm. This will be a year of breaking out of confinement, limitations, and seeing the end of the gag order. This will be a year to prophesy, worship, and be voices of truth!
We are in the year of double doors opened by the keys of authority which we have been given (Isaiah 22:22). We are in the year of the keys of David being revealed to the Church, and a year where we use them. We can't hide out or lay down in defeat anymore. It's time to shake our keys and open the doors the enemy thought he locked from our reach.
Even right now God is breaking loose the muzzle on your voice in a new way. You think you have seen how God can use you but you haven't seen anything yet. The whole painful process you have been through hasn't been wasted; watch as God places a strong conviction and anointing upon you to speak the heart of God into this time of history.
Voices of Truth Arise!
Voices of truth need to arise! We must prophesy!
• I prophesy: you have been anointed to demolish strongholds with your words and evict principalities!
• I prophesy: this is a year where we will see Haman hung by his own noose as we prophesy and worship.
• I prophesy: this will be a year where the Church shines like never before.
• I prophesy: this will be a year of the resurgence of the Davidic worshipers and the releasing of songs of revival that have been held back in the last two years.
• I prophesy: this will be a year where our sound will shake cities and nations, and the earth will know we are here and the King of kings is with us.
• I prophesy: this will be a year where the demons that were bothering you in 2021 will not be able to stand being around you because of the ferocity of your decrees.
• I prophesy: this will be a year of the fresh utterance as fresh coals are placed on our tongues by the Lord.
• I prophesy: this will be a year of the power and glory returning to the Church in a way we have not seen!
• I prophesy: this will be a year of righteous and bold lions being released into contentious situations on the earth.
• I prophesy: this is a year that changes the very trajectory of history as we know it.
For the glory of Jesus alone, be His voice.
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Nate Johnston¬†is a prophetic voice 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 school "Everyday Revivalists," he leads people from the basics of the Gospel through to being sent and released into their mission field, as well as championing and raising up emerging prophetic voices around the world. His burning cry and desire is to see the Body of Christ become a beacon for the lost by raising up a generation that walks in the love and power of God, representing Him well. Nate and his wife Christy have three daughters, Charlotte, Sophie, and Ava and live in Redding California.
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