Movement – the prophetic word of God for 2023 and 5783

The following is an expanded version of the prophetic word previously shared for the new year we have entered. For your prayerful consideration with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

When considering what is going to happen in the next year or so (5783/2023) I sense that God has been speaking about several things, but the word that best sums it all up is…’MOVEMENT’. The season has come for new things, and particularly movement, as the Spirit of God moves as He wishes, including in surprising ways.

I am not alone, others overseas and here nationally, have also been speaking this out. The word ‘Move’ coming through the Global Prophetic Alliance, and even the head of the Wesley Mission!

Movement will characterise the year ahead, people moving, in church, outside of church, across the body of Christ, as the Spirit leads. People compelled to move to meet and minister to another in God’s creative ways, for He is not to be contained inside the four walls of what many call church.

In addition, the Lord will through His servants, chase (move) after the poor to bless them with the riches of heaven. As they say, ‘the camels are coming’. Referring to the Biblical promise of riches from afar. This is season where there is a grace to see the poor blessed by the rich.

Throughout the world movement will be seen, great numbers of people compelled to move. Borders open, doors swing wide, the time has come. Seeking safety, or fleeing control and destruction; Others pursuing blessing, and the desire to start a new. The forces of movement will be like water, wind, and fire. Unpredictable, or predictable, sudden or slow, consuming, and life giving, but without denial. In amongst all this, those who trust in God and His leading, will find refuge, and a place of blessing. The peace will come, but beyond understanding, peace like a river. A great time of realignment is about to unfold for individuals, families, people groups, nations, and empires. The forces of the Holy Spirit are reordering according to the blueprints of God. Resistance is futile.

Some will try to manipulate this season for their own purposes, but God will deal with them. (See. Isaiah 17:12-14). However, do not fear the movement that is coming, for in time God will bring peace. (Psalm 65:5-11).

Natural forces will mimic this sense of movement. Watch, and pray, for the great forces of earth, wind, fire, and water, will reveal this season. Fault lines, coastal areas, rivers, seas, open plains, and treed mountain ranges will all know these forces. But, in the Lord, refuge is found, and His houses of refuge will open their doors.

However, above all, I think the Lord is saying for 2023 (and the Hebrew year 5783) marks the season where we will be seeing new moves of the Holy Spirit. But first, when I use the expression, ‘the move of the Holy Spirit’, what images or thoughts come to mind? What is your experience? Where do you generally associate that occurring? Was it something you predicted?

Perhaps it brings of memories of those various movements we have seen in the church, e.g. Word of faith, Holiness (aka Brownville), Toronto Blessing, Pentecostal outpouring in the early 1900s, Charismatic movement of the 70’s, Jesus movement of the 60-70s, Evangelism movement of the 50s, the more recent Presence of God movement, and so on..

Remember our reading from Joel (2:28-32) “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.”

When you consider the prophetic word’s issued through the Prophet Joel, you can but wonder what people at that time thought that would look like! What was their frame of reference…or expectation.

Their religious text reminders that when the Spirit moved it was generally associated with the prophets of old like Moses or Elijah or Samuel or Isaiah. In the past there was usually one or two, or maybe a few, solitary guys, somewhat scary, walking around pronouncing ‘thus says the Lord’, and some had mighty signs that followed them, e.g., seas parting or fire falling from heaven, while others did the occasional odd prophetic symbols/action.

So, when this word is fulfilled as Jesus send forth this promised Holy Spirit outpouring at Pentecost, some 850-900 years after this word was spoken, it is interesting to see what happened.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language… So, they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.” (Acts 2:2-6, 12-13)

Just prior to Jesus revealing Himself on earth His cousin (John the Baptist) was reminding them the Christ would baptise them in the Spirit, and Jesus also told them this was about to happen as they waited in Jerusalem..but I am guessing they still had no real idea what that meant.

From one room with some people, the scene that unfolded caused chaos in the city, with belief, and unbelief. Those of faith seemed to go with the flow…probably as they seemed to continue to hold fast to their faith and relationship with Christ (and had learnt to cope with the unexpected), but many others rejected this move claiming only they were drunk! It is hardly surprising that people simply could not grasp or handle what was occurring, for their mindsets (generally established by their beliefs, and experience) could not imagine a world where a whole heap of people were now doing what only a few hairy old men, and the occasional woman, did in the Old Testament, and now they were even speaking in different languages, and wind and fire is in the mix.

And yet, the Bible makes it clear, that we are truly unable to really grasp what the Holy Spirit will do, and where.

As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything. (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

As a boy from the country, growing up on a dairy farm, I can completely relate to the desire for predictability. During milking season, twice a day, the cows were brought in, and years of consistent milking rewarded behaviour, meant the cows would often make their own way to the dairy, and follow the same old tracks…making life so much easier, and predictable. But there were always a few renegades or stragglers, who did not feel the need to follow the herd! These were the most cunning of animals, the clever cows who didn’t toe the line, made life more difficult, and certainly gave the dogs work.

The thing is the Holy Spirit is not like most of those predictable cows, routinely turning up in the same way, same place, and the same time simply because it suits us. In short, the Holy Spirit is not a cow!

And perhaps He is also asking us to be willing to move out of the herd mentality that characterises so much of society today.

Many symbols are used to represent the Spirit of the Lord, such as wind, fire, and water. And as they move, so will He. Like a river, in some places and people, He moves like deep currents, with hearts strangely warmed. In others, like a babbling brook, or splashing waves, with laughter, joy, and a swell of the gifts and signs of the Spirit. In others (people and places), we will see strong eddies drawing people deeper into God and His purposes, and into deeper fellowship with each other. Like the fire we will see consuming passions in some, and other cleansed of many things. And like the wind…sometimes stillness, other times the rush and movement that seem unpredictable, as even people move on. Different ways in the one movement.

These forces of God, though, undeniable, are requiring movement and change.

The gifts, the fruit, and power of the Spirit will move in different ways in the same place, or different places. No longer some uniform ‘move’ of God, rather He chooses to change it up, revealing His ever dynamic nature, requiring us to trust in God, rather than what we can predict.

Signs here, prophecy there, witnessing here, overflows of mercy and love in our midst, revelations and insights there, gold dust or diamonds there, inspirational leadership here, beautiful sacrifice there, silence one moment and worship the next, and generous hospitality and giving, the dead raised and the sick healed, as God reveals the full rainbow of His ways…and potentially all in the same church service, home, business, or person. It might seem unpredictable, but it is exciting, as the Spirit of God is moves in power.

How many here from the Pentecostal or old traditional churches can relate to the idea of people going to church on a Sunday, and just hanging out for God to move in the service like he did in the ‘good ol’ days’? When He did it seemed to follow a familiar pattern for a season, but I think God is just a little more creative than that and is (will) be showing us so.

Interestingly, when you read the Bible from front to back, you see so many ways the Spirit moves, but often we miss many of them, perhaps because we stay with what we have experienced, or feel safe in, or we just cannot believe it. In terms of the Holy Spirit moving through a person, Christ is the benchmark, as He is both filled with the fullness of the Spirit[1], and He rested upon Him, and according to the Apostle John there are not enough books to capture all that He did by the Holy Spirit. But He says to go and be like Him, knowing as we believe in Him, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and can do likewise.

And the fact is that many, if not most, of the amazing things Jesus did by the power of the Holy Spirit, were outside what was then the ‘church’, the synagogues or the temple. Sure, He did do many things in those places, but it was actually on the roads, in the fields and streets, on the hills, in homes, and by the wells, where the Holy Spirit moved through Him to touch the lives of those around Him…rather than only expecting the Spirit to move on a Sunday (at church).

Our challenge is to be both open to God moving in different ways in our midst, to perhaps repent of our mindsets of that we think that looks like, believing all things are possible, and yet to be wise and also discern what is from the Lord, as opposed to our own thinking, the worlds persuasive ways, or Satan’s tricks. Letting go of the past, we have to be brave enough to MOVE as the Spirit desires to do so….around us and through us body, soul (mind, will, and emotions) and spirit. Accepting when God moves it can look very different. Perhaps giving ourselves permission to be free to move by faith into the promptings of God know matter how different and surprising they may be.

We also need to not be put off by those who would seem to reject the Holy Spirit’s move through and around you. Rather consider yourself to be in good company.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18,19)

When Jesus uttered those famous words, confirming the prophecy of Isaiah 61, that He was the Messiah, the Anointed One, initially those hearing seems astounded and in awe, but within moments they wanted to throw Him to His death. But by His Spirit He was able to walk right through them and away. As the Teacher is, so will we be. People, even friends and family, will reject the move of the Spirit, but God will always honour it.

Personally, I also find it important to remember that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit…and thus Sovereign overall. He is God, and we are not god of Him…thinking we can use Him to suit our needs. He’s the boss of us, not we the boss of Him! But He will do the will of our loving Father in Heaven, and that is what we need to trust.

We hear people say, if only the Spirit would come like a rushing wind, a flowing river…but are we really willing to go with it, and even in to the deep. Do we understand that when it comes, we need to submit to the move, and know are not in control.

To finish, this move of the Spirit will also bring revival.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” (Ezekiel 37:9)

For those with dry and weary bones refreshing is coming. Some internal and external works of God have been reordering our lives according to His blueprints. We find ourselves being reconnected with God in parts of our lives that perhaps have fallen away or grown weary. Renewed by Him we are given a fresh heart for the things of the Lord and each other. And God will breathe into our new lives. This process has been necessary for renewal. After all, one way to get a new (wine)skin is to let the old die! From this place of dry bones, revival can occur as the prophetic voice of God declares life.

The year that we are in, and has just been, has been about building and restoring the house, next year is about moving out of a place of restoration. Sons and daughter arise, and move into your places, moving out in the power of the Holy Spirit as He leads. It is not time to resist this, as standing against such wind will only tire you, and can cause you to break. Rather, we are to go with the flow of the Spirit, for in its movement you will find your destiny, and a wellspring of life.

[1] Eph. 3:14-20; John 1:16; Luke 4:1; John 14:15-17; 3:34; Eph. 1:3; 1 John 3:2; Col. 2:9,10; Rev. 3:20

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