Intro from Johnny and Elizabeth Enlow:
Scott and Michelle Flora, founders of Ekballo Marketplace Intercessors, are a vital part of our team for strategic Kingdom impact. We can't imagine standing as we have on the front lines without their faithful partnership through intercession and prophetic insight given at key times. What originally drew us to them was their heart to bring their passion for prayer, and the authority they've gained over the years within the house of prayer movement, to serve those on the front lines of the seven mountains of society.
Scott and Michelle, along with their team of mature intercessors, collaborate with businesses and teams by providing dedicated prayer support, prophetic encouragement, and clarity. In essence, they seek God through prayer to discern what the Spirit is saying in order to bring Christ-centered transformation to the business world, as well as ministry organizations like ours, Restore7. As marketplace intercessors, they assist leaders and businesses in becoming powerful change agents for the Kingdom of God.
We are excited to endorse Scott as a prophetic voice to our generation. Additionally, if you're seeking to advance the Kingdom through your business or organization, we highly recommend you learn more about how Ekballo can help you become even more effective. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Johnny and Elizabeth Enlow
Co-Founders of Restore7
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Over a week ago, I began to ask the Lord what He wanted to tell me about the coming year. I felt the Lord say to me, "2023 is the year of the Shepherd. I am going to reveal to you Yeshua, the Shepherd. And based on this encounter, I'm going to reveal to you how I am forming a shepherd's heart in you.
Behold the Shepherd
"You become what you behold. Behold the Shepherd. I am raising you up as a shepherd, and I am raising up many shepherds who are after My heart. This next year of 2023 will be a year of emphasizing Psalm 23 for you and many others. You will gain an intimate knowledge of the Lord as your Shepherd. You will grow into a John chapter 10 'My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me' mantle. You will hear My voice more clearly than in previous seasons and learn to follow in My ways.
"I am releasing a new and unfolding revelation of relational wholeness in you that the relationships around you, and the heart-to-heart connections with others, will be a major key in how I am leading your heart into wholeness with My own heart. The point of 2023 is oneness – oneness with Me and oneness with your closest relationships."
He said to me, "Behold the Shepherd." I have just recently discovered something new about ancient Middle Eastern shepherds. They didn't use gates as we know gates. Shepherds would sleep in the openings of the rock wall enclosures; the shepherds would be the gate. So, when Jesus said in John 10:9 that He was the gate, He was saying that He was standing between us and anyone or anything that would try to enter.
I also know that the part in Psalm 23:5 which says, "You anoint my head with oil," was a practice of shepherds with their sheep. The oil would keep flies from laying their eggs in the soft tissue of the sheep's ears and nose, because if this were to happen, the eggs would hatch and the little larvae would embed themselves under the skin of the sheep's soft tissue, highly irritating the sheep. This could drive the sheep to attempt to dislodge them by ramming their heads into anything hard and stationary. Without intervention, these crazed sheep would eventually kill themselves trying to achieve some level of relief.
If the flies were to gain access and the larvae hatch, shepherds would have to carefully and painfully cut out the larvae from the soft tissue. We have seen this playing out in culture. We have to slow down and allow the Good Shepherd to come near to us to care for the infested tissue so that we will stop beating our heads against the wall. It's not working and it's doing immeasurable damage. (Photo via Unsplash)
Jesus is going to be revealed as the Shepherd, and as such, He is imparting a revelation of His heart to be conformed to the image of the Son with His shepherding heart. We are all being invited to encounter Jesus as the Shepherd, learning to lead and care for others the way He does; standing in the breach for others and serving others in the place of heart surgeons; helping our friends experience new levels of freedom and breakthrough.
There are some people who find that caring for others' hearts comes easier for them than for others, but not one person is being excused from learning to shepherd like Jesus.
The Year of the Shepherd – An Invitation to the Quiet, Green Pastures
In 2023, the Spirit will invite many to the quiet, green pastures of interior stillness, where the triune Godhead will anoint our heads with oil, deal with the deeply embedded seeds of dysfunction and root out what does not belong. The Shepherd will compassionately and tenderly care for the wounded places of our hearts so that we will not kill ourselves trying to do it ourselves.
There is an invitation from Heaven to draw near to Abba in vulnerability and honesty, and to trust Him as the Shepherd to deal with our heart wounds. He is going to accomplish this mostly through relationships with others. Yes, Jesus Himself will show up in what I like to call "power encounters," touching our hearts and lives, and healing those broken areas that cause us to beat our heads in. But I believe He is mostly going to use friendships and mentoring relationships to bring healing experiences to our hearts, lives and relationships.
Goodness and mercy are the currency of Heaven. 2023 will be a year of emphasizing Psalm 23. Through relational connections and unexpected friendships, the Holy Spirit will begin leading us all to understand more about how important and how good God is through experiencing friendships that are full of grace and mercy. This is going to go both ways. We will have many and varied opportunities to extend grace and mercy to others and pull them from the pit of accusation and self-destructive behaviors. This will allow us all to be vulnerable and honest with others.
It will be up to us to communicate where we are and allow others to speak life. This, in turn, will allow all of us to deal kindly and compassionately with others, as the Lord is using us to quiet the soul chatter and bring healing to others. Humility will be key, both in the giving and receiving of this grace-filled speech to each other. Yeshua is going to show up and show off in our friendships, especially in and through our marriages. One of His favorite things to do is manifest Himself through forgiveness, grace and mercy extended in times that we think are the least likely.
The year of the Shepherd will be majorly manifested in and through our marriages. We are going to see Yeshua as the Shepherd exemplified in relationships between husbands and wives. There will be times in marriages when the easiest thing to do is to walk away, lash out or react. We will all get the opportunity to be Yeshua the Shepherd to our spouses in those uncomfortable times of relational tension. We are also going to experience Yeshua as the Shepherd embodied by our spouses.
In this new year of 2023, the Holy Spirit is going to set a banqueting table in the presence of our enemies. Our enemies are the principalities and authorities in the heavenly realms that are in rebellion to God, just as The Passion Translation says: "Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms..." (Ephesians 6:12). (Photo via Raw Pixel)
Paul, the "shepherd," gives us the best advice about what to do in the midst of relational difficulty in 2 Corinthians 10. It's to long to quote here. However, I encourage you to go and read it in several different translations, including The Passion Translation. What I believe that you will walk away with is the Father's invitation to stay in the difficult conversation, to stay in the place of love and not waver in displaying love.
The manifestation of Yeshua as the Shepherd means that we can be free from self-protection because we trust that the Great Shepherd will protect, heal and redeem any relational brokenness. Experiencing Yeshua as the Shepherd means that we can live free from self-promotion because we trust that the Great Shepherd will place us where He wants us, we will have what we need when we need it, and we will know what we need to know when we need to know it.
A prophetic word is nothing more than a prophetic possibility. We have to apprehend that which has apprehended us. "...[W]hile we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). It is not because of our performance or value that Yeshua did all this for us. It is exactly the opposite. Yeshua's actions and ministry to us was, and is, because of our great value and the place we hold in His heart. Our marriages, families, children, friends and spiritual families are worth it. Yeshua said so.
The Pure in Heart Will See God
This word has applications for every area of our lives and experiences – in our homes, at work, at the store, in coffee shops, at the parks, during entertainment, while driving in traffic and construction zones, etc. Everywhere Abba sends us, we will have the opportunity to display and surrender to Yeshua the Shepherd.
What will be the result? Well, I believe that as we display and surrender to this shepherding aspect of the Father's heart through us to others, and from others to us, we will see the Holy Spirit open our hearts and minds in profound ways. The pure in heart will see, hear and experience God in unprecedented ways. We will begin to experience the love, acceptance, approval, satisfaction and significance of our place in the Kingdom in ways unfathomable.
I am accepting the invitation to draw close to the Shepherd so that He can remove anything that hinders love and do a deep work in me, and so that I can display the Shepherd to others. My heart's cry for 2023 is, "Lord, I want to be one with You. I want my relationships – especially with my wife and family – to go deeper and become more fulfilling than ever before. And more than anything, Lord, I want more of You...more life, more power – more of You in my life!
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Ekballo Marketplace Intercessors
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Scott and Michelle Flora are the founders and creators of Ekballo Marketplace Intercession. They have given over 12 years as missionaries to establishing and sustaining the place of extravagant worship-fueled intercession in houses of prayer and local churches. Along with their daughter Miriam, they currently live in Kansas City, where they give leadership to Ekballo Marketplace Intercession (EMI) and spend their time in the Global Prayer Room at the International House of Prayer. They are passionate about raising up families to encounter Jesus together and establish a family altar of worship within their home that overflows into every other area of their lives and ministry. Scott and Michelle's passionate desire is to serve the Body of Christ in building a relational and functional bridge for marketplace leaders and intercessors, placing dedicated prayer teams around marketplace messengers that can support the work of Kingdom expansion around the world that glorifies God.
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