Elevate Your Voice: Part One

Intro Video:

Time is running out. We see it and even feel it deep in our bones. That means it’s time to figure out how to make ourselves heard in a way where people will listen. Once our eyes are opened and we see the darkness rising in this world and our nearness to Jesus’ return for His bride, finding our voices to share with others is a necessary exercise that will require us to hurdle every obstacle in our paths, including ourselves. One place we will camp is to view the reasons we’re tempted to remain in silent fear. I realize that if we don’t hurdle these obstacles, we each will never likely find our voice.

In my own journey of sharing what I know, I’ve found the number one hurdle to overcome has been fear, an enemy with many faces and facets. Fear is one of the most common reasons for silence since our reasons to fear are many. A few we will cover in this session are:

  • Fear of rejection and pushing people away
  • Fear of being ridiculed and considered crazy or stupid
  • Fear that you don’t know enough to explain

The not-so-surprising news of the day is: All of the above will happen at some time or another if you are speaking out. If you will accept that certainty, then you can better prepare your heart for its eventuality and be determined to tell anyway. I have and still do face each one of the above fear-based reasons to stay silent, yet here I am doing what I do, telling anyone who will listen that Jesus’ return is merely a whisper away. I’m also doing my best to warn of the rise of what Revelation 13 tells us will mark the time of the tribulation. Some listen. Most don’t.

I often did it wrong in those early months after Covid began, so my advice below will be based on early losses and my most-recent wins. A win to me is when someone will at least agree to hear me out and then look for themselves at what’s going on and not take my word for it. A win for me is also my step of obedience in telling, not their reaction. My success is in my obedience. I’m only responsible for learning the facts and telling what I know, the watchman’s call (Ezekiel 33). That’s the end of the road for me. Then, it’s time for them to join the journey we are all on to decide what to do with what they know.

Before we get started addressing various fears that may be keeping you silent, let’s kick off on a more positive note: There is strength in numbers. When you factor in the element of togetherness, you view speaking up in an entirely different light. When you find friends, family, and neighbors who see what you see, fears are alleviated to a great extent as you know you’re not in this alone. Check out the verse below.

 “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18:10)

Find your people

When you find like-minded people, specifically believers in Jesus, it will give you strength to speak up in a surprisingly effective way. It’s good, too, to have these people in your life and to have conversations with them as you learn together. When you talk to each other and grapple over all that you’re seeing and learning, your confidence, comfort, and capability in expressing your thoughts will grow. If all you know stays internalized in your head, it very well may not flow fluently from your mouth when you do need to speak, says the voice of experience here.

If you watched the supplemental video within the Embrace Your Design session, then you met Kimmie, my favorite “people.” She’s now a Faith Forward Press (my publishing company) team member, my new best friend, and sister. Our relationship was established and blossomed because of our world’s chaos. Because she did see what I saw and because most in my life didn’t, God gave her to me as a gift. Since then, she’s been a sounding board and source of sanity when I felt crazy along the way. We have shared videos and articles and then discussed them. We’ve learned together and grown together in our ability to tell what we now know. We even practice on each other in advance of a tough conversation ahead. We are there for one another and accept each other when rejected by others who don’t want to hear what we have to say. It’s happened before and will likely continue to happen to us. What’s changed about us is that, while fear still surfaces for us both, it now has an ever-lessening grip than before.

I can’t recommend enough finding your person and people. Jesus knew the power of the partner. In many places in God’s Word, we read of the importance of believers linking arms.

 “Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.” (Luke 10:1)

“And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

 “…not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

This concept of finding your people and gaining strength in numbers is vital to embrace in the early stages of preparing to tell. If you don’t have anyone locally, you can find online, like-minded believers. There’s something about others seeing what you see and knowing what you know that brings comfort. Just last night I was on the Rapture Forum on the Rapture Ready site. I haven’t been there in a while, but I did notice how I walked away from reading many forum conversations with a sense of comradery. I can see others are out there seeing what I’m seeing, doing what I’m doing, and saying what I’m saying. Give it a try if you find yourself standing alone in your family and group of friends.

One final positive note before we move into the topic of fear: You don’t have to tell all you know. You’ll find it a mistake if you do spew it all at once: the rapture, the one-world government and religion and economy forming, artificial intelligence, technology for the mark, the coming financial collapse, and supply chain issues. (Whew! That’s pure craziness seeing it all in writing.) The reason I know you don’t tell all of this in one conversation is because I’ve done it, vomited everything I knew to wide-eyed friends. Trust me; don’t do that. What you need to do is learn a few conversation starters based on your audience, something we will discuss in Part Two. Then you build up to more over time.

Now that we have two reasons to fear less, having our people and knowing we don’t have to tell it all, let’s look fear right in the face and find our way past it.

Fear of rejection and pushing people away

Because I’m such an isolationist, you would think rejection wouldn’t bother me as much. In many ways it doesn’t, but we all have an internal desire to be liked and accepted. God calls us to be in fellowship with other believers, so when we feel cast out it stings. If you attend a church where most don’t see what you do, where we are on God’s kingdom calendar, then for you to stand alone will take monumental, even supernatural courage. If you didn’t have the Spirit of God as a believer in Jesus, then I would concede that you don’t stand a chance. Thing is, we as believers do have the power that raised Jesus from the grave within us, so as He was enabled to do His mission here, we can be empowered to do ours if we’re willing. Since we know He was rejected, we can’t be surprised when we are rejected too. He warned us we would be.

 “He came to his own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.”
(John 1:11)

 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”
(Luke 10:16)

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”
(John 15:18)

Jesus spoke truth no matter the rejection and consequences He knew He would face, consequences that were well beyond what we will ever face in our stiff-necked churches. This sounds like platitudes and church-speak, but truly, He will provide the courage we need when we need to speak up. I can’t tell you the number of conversations I’ve dreaded in advance, only to arrive at them and find myself speaking truth in a bold way no matter the undercurrent of rejection I’ve felt.

There are some things we do from a place of love that are sacrificial on our parts. We suspect what the outcome will be, yet we love the person enough to take on the pain of loving them well. The idea of the kinsman redeemer comes to mind. It cost the kinsman something to help out a brother. It will cost us as well. We know Jesus was our New Testament model of this Old Testament principle. We can talk all we want about being like Jesus in loving others, but if there’s zero willingness to sacrifice our own hearts for the life and safety of others, then we may need to revisit our capacity to love. Love sacrifices. Sometimes that sacrifice is found in rejection by the people we care about.

Hopefully, you will find ways to express and share what you know in a way where rejection isn’t the immediate outcome. Your goal should be to build a bridge you can cross over with time. Remember, just because you fear the worst doesn’t mean the worst will happen. Some people will surprise you and listen. You will find others whose eyes will widen as they tell you they see what you see. Not everyone will flat out reject what you’re saying. Many are looking at this world with a sense of knowing something is terribly wrong. Until you open conversations you just can’t know for sure, but if you’re willing to take the risk, you just might add to your people.

Something I’ve come to realize lately is this: When I assume the worst of someone, that they won’t listen, I’m not doubting them. I’m doubting what Jesus can do in them. What if, over time and with more happening in the world, the seed I plant grows into broader understanding for someone who seemed to reject what I told them? I’m just a seed planter. I need to allow the Lord to be the Seed Grower. And I need to allow Jesus to be the Comforter that He is to me when rejection is the outcome of a conversation.

Fear of being ridiculed and considered crazy or stupid

Being called stupid strikes a nerve for me. I’ve actually had a close family member laugh at me and belittle me and ask, “You mean you think you’re smarter than Dr. Fauci?” I can’t remember my exact response to his question, but I held my own in the moment. Still, the comment stung since a major issue that the enemy has used to deter me over the years has been my lack of education. I never felt “smart enough” by the world’s standards even when I knew on the inside that I was naturally bright. That’s not boastful. That’s me knowing that God has given me the ability to learn and comprehend things that have no basis in formal education or training. That’s called being naturally bright by the Spirit, Him illuminating my understanding.

Because I have become a student of God’s Word over the years, the Spirit has had room to expand my abilities far beyond what I learned through my early education. That’s all you need, the Author of the Bible to teach you and grow your natural abilities and understanding. You need to follow responsible Bible prophecy teachers and preachers. Many I watch are listed under the Last Days Study tab on the Daybreak.Team website. I don’t mean “prophets,” those who claim to be hearing from God. Those guys scare me. Since Covid struck, I have heard some off-the-wall comments by some off-the-wall people. Stick to pastors and teachers who are looking at our current world through the lens of Scripture alone. Sure, it’s fine to hear those trusted teachers’ perspectives and how they see things playing out, but their plumbline must be God’s prophetic Word. I steer clear of those who share what they think they’ve heard from God about election outcomes and such. I’m not saying people don’t hear from Him, but I know it’s safest to stick to the Word of God as our source of what’s to come.

There’s safety in sticking to what Biblical prophecies say. When we do, we’re not stating our opinion; we’re only sharing what God has already said will happen. In doing that, our rock to stand on if others do ridicule us is the eternal Rock, Jesus. I know when I speak the truth of God’s Word it will not return void. Even if they do not believe me and try to make me feel ridiculous, I know better. I know Whose side I’m on and Who’s on my side.

“The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)

I wish I could say I’m not an I-told-you-so person, but I think deep down I am even when I don’t verbalize it. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I will since it may be something that will help you. I know there will come a day when we’re all raptured and standing before Jesus. The stunned believers who’ve been dismissive to me here will finally be forced to believe. I’ll be perfected then, so I’m sure it won’t even cross my perfected mind to say I told you so. But for now, at least I do know I’m right. They can belittle and ridicule me here, but someday the Lord will show them as fact what we tried to help them to see.

I need to know that more than anything, that I’m right. That’s not at all said from the position of pride. I have to KNOW what I believe is true, that I’m right and not following false teaching, something there’s plenty of out there. I spent much of 2020 and 2021 reading and studying and confirming what I believe. Without that I wouldn’t be able to stand my ground with hurtful people. Once you know that you know that the end is near, then it’s easier to feel sympathy for others who don’t see what’s coming. This is a great segue into our next fear.

Fear that you don’t know enough to explain

It nearly drove me crazy early on, that sense of knowing and seeing all that was happening, yet living with the fear that I didn’t know enough to explain. I didn’t. When it came to all the prophetic verses and terminology, I understood what I was hearing and reading but didn’t have the fundamentals down enough to feel as if I could explain them. I’m not saying I’m great at it now, but I have basic talking points down and can share what I do know and offer to send teaching links to anyone who is willing to listen to more. I finally concluded that a witness can only tell what they’ve seen. Without doing my own investigation, I didn’t have enough information to share with others.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to learn and study and find out the truth of what is going on, even if only at a broad level. That’s why I’ve provided so many links for you under the Investigate tab and then updated links under the Week in Review tab. When we present information clearly and without outlandish generalizations, our audience will be more apt to listen. The truth of prophecy sounds odd enough to us as seasoned believers. Imagine what it sounds like to believers who’ve never been taught prophecy and how it will be received by the lost. Know and present facts. People can’t argue with that. Well, they can and will, but at least you’ll have truth on your side whether they listen or not. When you send them links on topics such as the World Economic Forum and Agenda 2030, you’ve given them facts, a true conspiracy and not conspiracy theories. If they choose to bury their heads, then only time and increasingly worsening world events will have to make them face reality.

Fortunately for me in those early days, I did have deep faith and belief in the truth of a pretribulation rapture, so that was a good place to start. Where is your starting place? Do you have that deep belief that Jesus will come for His bride prior to the beginning of the tribulation? If not, that may be your place to begin. In order to solidify your belief in the rapture, I suggest you visit the Rapture page to learn more from knowledgeable, reputable sources such as Pastors JD Farag, Tom Hughes, David Jeremiah, Dr. David Reagan and others.

Ultimately, until you know more, this area of fear will understandably hinder you. The more you learn and the more you talk these topics out with others, the more courage you’ll find to speak up and out. Remember, all you need to do is learn how to open conversations with people and encourage them to watch what you’ve watched and read what you’ve read. If your lane isn’t teaching on Biblical prophecy, then leave it to the pros who do have that gift and calling. I can’t express the freedom I’ve found in sticking to my own lane. You will find the same freedom. Just learn some and share some and leave what you don’t know up to the Lord and the pros to help others see.

Your assignment prior to Part Two of Elevate Your Voice is to investigate what’s happening in this world and learn facts you can share that prove last-days prophecies are being fulfilled. Helpful resources are provided under the Investigate and Week in Review tabs. And study more on the Rapture if your belief is shaky.

Also, as you’re learning, take some time to address through time spent in prayer the fears I mentioned above. Which ones are most keeping you silent? Get started on finding your people. A reminder the Lord has repeatedly whispered into my heart since long before Covid is, “Time is of the essence.” It is. You don’t have time to waste on fear. Hurdle it. Get informed. Get to speaking.

In Part Two, we will look at the how-tos and how-not-tos of elevating your voice. Trust me, I’ve done plenty of the how-not-tos. I hope to give you some tips and suggestions to help you find and utilize your unique-to-you voice.

I am blessed to join your journey.
Lisa

Elevate Your Voice: Part One is part of the How Do I Share What I Know series.

Accept Your Role: This Just Got Real (Session One if you missed it.)
Embrace Your Design: It’s Okay to Be You (Session Two if you missed it.)
**All site versions have been updated to include the RaptureReady.com article.

Embrace Your Design: It’s Okay to be You

Intro Video:

Do you have what it takes to slay a giant?

“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”
1 Samuel 16:7

Even before David stepped up to take on Goliath’s challenge, he was anointed by Samuel at God’s behest to someday be king. We see from the verse above that David already had a God-sized heart. What a great reminder that our heart for Him is a determining factor for God’s use of us, even those of us who feel smallest in position and stature. I’m glad I went back and read this prequal to David’s encounter with the giant. A later verse in the story of David’s anointing stands out as an explanation for something I’ve been considering recently: What was so different about David that he would walk onto the scene, with no recorded-in-Scripture hesitation, and ask the bold question of what would be done for the man who would kill the Philistine. Clearly, I hadn’t read David’s anointing scene recently.

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward.”
1 Samuel 16:13

Question answered by the verses above: David had a heart for God and was walking in the Spirit. We, as believers, have the Spirit of the living God within us, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11). Because we do have the Spirit, we can step without hesitation into our assigned role and do massive harm to the giant of rising evil in our midst. Remember, for every person we wake and warn, damage to the dark kingdom is the outcome. All matter: the masses, the many, and the few. And all are reached by the different gifts given to different believers.

Yet there most stand, maybe even you, filled with more hesitation than bravery. It happens to us all. Once we learn what’s going on and how close we are to the rapture, we each ask ourselves the same questions: What is my role and how can I help? Recently, I’ve had to narrow in on my own role. I wrote Daybreak during 2021 to help explain the rapture and warn of the rising darkness. That was certainly an assignment from God, but I wouldn’t consider it as my one defining role. I know what my role isn’t. There are knowledgeable, trustworthy, truth-tellers out there, pastors and teachers who keep us apprised of what’s going on in the world and how it can all be filtered through the lens of Scripture. I’ve shared many of their resources on my Daybreak.Team site for others to learn more, but I know I’m not to step over into their lane and begin mimicking them. That just isn’t my role.

It’s only been recently that the Lord has clarified my role and simplified my mission. It’s not a surprising one since it’s most always been my heart: I’m a discipler; I feed sheep. That’s what I do even when my methods through fiction are different than the norm. It took me years to embrace my God-given design as His unique means of using me. Because I have learned to use the gifts God has given me, it wasn’t a far stretch for me to use them here at the end, through fiction.

Now, alongside my fiction writing, the Lord is guiding my discipler’s heart to help others define their roles based on their own unique designs. Since this has been a hard-fought-for battle in my own journey of life and ministry, I have to give it to Him, that He sure prepared me in advance to write about this topic. I’ve likely spent more time fighting my design than embracing it. Many of us do.

“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker–an earthenware vessel among the vessel of the earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’…”
Isaiah 45:9

It’s time to stop fighting your design and instead work with the One who uniquely formed you to serve in a unique-to-you way. I feel like I’m handing you a piece of chocolate cake as I deliver my next news: It’s okay–more than okay–to be who you are and do what you do, the increasingly sanctified version of you, of course. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent most of your church experience comparing yourselves with others and, more often than not, coming up short. “They,” whoever they are, are more gifted or better qualified in the ways that matter.

I don’t doubt that’s one of the enemy’s greatest tactics in keeping believers still and quiet. We don’t serve or talk because we greatly underestimate our valuable place in the kingdom and our value to the King. As it was said of David, the man who would someday become ruler over Israel, hopefully you and I can be called a man or woman after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Will you take this next statement and intentionally draw it into your belief system? Whether you do or don’t have a heart for Him now, believer, just because of who you are, Jesus has a heart for you and will help you grow your heart for Him.

Here’s a personal example of me undervaluing my role in the kingdom: I’m a major talker, like, I almost literally can’t be quiet. In my early years of learning and trying to walk steadily with Jesus, I would leave small groups or Sunday school classes berating myself each week, reminding talkative Lisa that she needed to learn to shut up and that no one wanted to hear what she had to say. That wasn’t just my own voice trying to stifle my passion and enthusiasm; that was the whisper of the enemy, hellbent (Can I say that word?) on silencing me before I could ever get started discipling and building up believers. That’s exactly how he operates. It took a pastor’s wife inviting me to speak at a conference to help me see me differently. She said, “People listen to you.” I sure hadn’t noticed that.

I’m sure you’ve experienced the same defeating voice. He tells you you’re not smart enough or well-versed enough in the Bible to talk to people about Jesus. He belittles your area of service and your area of giftedness. Like for me, the idea of fiction writing seemed equal to me offering cotton candy to a soul in need of meat. What the Lord eventually showed me was that He made me “me” with purpose and has gifted me in such a way that I’m able to tuck even the deepest of concepts into the pages of a fiction story in a way that will sweeten the taste and create a yearning for more.

It’s the same with you: He made you “you” with purpose. The Potter knew exactly what kind of pot you needed to be to carry Living Water to the thirsty in your community. Right now, in today’s world, a thirsting-to-death people have no idea of what’s coming. Since most pastors are silent, how will the lost and found know if we, the awakened sheep, don’t sound the wake-up call? This role we’re being thrust into is frightening, but don’t panic just yet. Our next session will offer a little help for you to find your own voice and how to use it. For now, in this portion of our series, you will do some internal and external investigating.

To get your mind going, I’ll list a few examples below of how people are shaped uniquely and perfectly for their own role. None are wrong. In fact, they are all right when God uses the real and true us–the one He designed us perfectly to be–to serve in His kingdom. I was reminded this morning through song lyrics that what we call our or my design is more accurately to be called His design. He’s the Designer and Crafter of who you are and who I am. When I stopped fighting and surrendered to His design for me, I became the truest version of myself, something I know has pleased Him over the years. On a more selfish note, I was given permission to do what I love, what brings me the most joy. Isn’t that proof of His heart for me, that He would create me and gift me in a way that He would eventually call me to serve?

Maybe you love to host gatherings at your home. It’s nothing for you to invite a dozen people over and make food. This is no exaggeration here: The idea of cooking a large or even small meal for a gathering is one of the most stressful thoughts for me. No kidding, I would rather talk in front of a thousand people than to figure out what to feed ten. What if, however, you use your gift and partner with someone like me, someone with a different skill set? You host the gathering and allow someone else to speak.

Maybe your spiritual gift is to play golf. (I know that’s not really a thing.) On the golf course, you can build relationships that will allow for you to speak into their lives over time. On a good day, that’ll give you eighteen holes to warn someone of what’s coming, even if you only start with the basics like the failing economy and the break-down in the supply chain.

If you enjoy getting together with friends over coffee, extend individual invitations and tell what you know. Unfurl it slowly and over time. We who do see the signs of our times need to draw others in and help to wake them slowly to our final series of daybreaks before that final Sonset of the rapture.

A word of encouragement here: Don’t panic thinking He will call you to get up on a stage and shout about all these last-days happenings. Well, unless that’s how he’s using you now. Then you can panic just a little. Yes, if you have a sizeable platform where you can reach people, it is very likely He will call you to use that platform. He has blessed you with abundance for such a time as this. But if you’re now a baby rocker, then God will more likely use you to whisper softly into the hearts of the families of your little ones by opening conversations.

Allow yourself, through prayer, to not only look at your current giftings but also at your history and circumstances. Look for common themes of how and where you’ve served, especially those areas that brought you joy rather than those areas where you’ve served out of need or obligation. Many of us twenty-percenters, those who serve the eighty, have had to step up into roles when someone else wouldn’t. We have abilities to serve outside our area of giftedness, but just because we can doesn’t mean we should. I’ve learned a lot about who I am and how God designed me by serving in areas where I’m not actually gifted. No one told me early in my walk with the Lord that I didn’t have to say yes to every opportunity. So I did. Ugh! You probably have too.

Here’s a personal example of the can versus the should. I didn’t understand this about myself until the last few years, but I’m a major introvert. I just happen to have extrovert abilities that allow me to never meet a stranger and work a room when needed. What I’ve come to learn over the years is that I can hop on a stage and talk about Jesus until someone drags me off, but smaller interactions drain me. Oddly enough, I love people so much that I spend my days, even my waking hours in the middle of the night, doing all I can to pour into them and help lead them closer to Jesus. Just don’t make me people in person. I’m my most energetic when left alone to study and write. The quarantine happened in 2020, and I kept telling people I had been training for this my whole life. While other people were climbing the walls and longing for human interactions, I never missed being out and about. One lingering result of that scared-of-each-other season, grocery pick-up and delivery, is this hibernating writer’s way to not people indefinitely.

So what did God do? He designed me to love and need the solitude it takes for written words to pour onto a page. Otherwise, I would be out amidst the clamoring of the world and not hear what He has to say to me to say to you. It’s more than okay to be me; it’s expected. I don’t know what your design is, but you can and must figure it out. Whatever it is, it will suit you and energize you when you do it. Can you even fathom a God who would love you enough to call you to serve in a way that might bring you joy? Can you imagine that your joy in embracing your design would bring Him joy and satisfaction? If the Potter creates a pot and that pot is used as He had planned, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the Potter would rejoice in that? We must–absolutely must–get the notion out of our head that the least desirable area of service is where God must want us to serve. Do we all have mundane tasks that go along with our joyful gifts? Yes. But can we serve and find joy where we’re gifted? We better.

No matter your size, no matter your station, you have a role to play, maybe more than one. David was a shepherd, who, through his shepherding years fed and protected his sheep. Once sent to the frontline for what he thought was feeding his brothers, he ended up answering a call he likely never expected, using skills he had developed over time, a thought that leads to: Don’t get stuck where you think you belong or where you’ve always been. The Potter is well known for dousing the clay with water and reshaping it as needed for His new-season purpose. My own role has shifted in a way that still perfectly suits me. I’m the same me just using different skills He has led me to learn over the years up until now. Fishermen became fishers of men. They were still them; it was just that their mission shifted. They began to confidently tell of Who they had been with. Now, we need to confidently tell about Who we know is coming.

Check out my interview with Daybreak team member Kim Lazenby as she recounts her own journey of embracing her design to step into her current role. Apologies for the formatting and black lines around the video.

Takeaway:

Before you begin your internal and external investigation, take the time to read Acts 4:13. With your own abilities in mind, remember that your proximity to Jesus makes all the difference in how you use your God-given gifts. Though they were uneducated and untrained men, Peter and John were able to speak with confidence because they had been with Jesus. If you’re not one who has a quiet time each day, in prayer and in the Word, then you must start. If ever there was a time to get to know the One who knows you and your design, it’s now. In order to answer your own unique calling for such a time as this, you have to meet with the Father who oversees this kingdom family business. He knows your role and longs to see you step into it.

Your rising up will look different than others around you. That’s more than okay; that’s the point.
Learn to ask in prayer and explore within and without questions like:

  • How am I wired, and what is my God-given, Spirit-driven personality?
  • Am I an introvert or extrovert?
  • Are my skills more geared toward written, online outreach or in-person communications?
  • How has God used me in the past?
  • What fuels my passions and stirs my heart?
  • What experiences have I gained over the years that make me uniquely qualified for service?

When looking back, you may recall a long-ago-dreamed dream of what you had hoped to accomplish for the kingdom. In that season and since then, you may have faced nothing but closed doors. Is it possible that your dreams have been valid all along and God inspired? Maybe you happened to arrive at the door a minute or ten too early. I’ve been exactly there, in front of a door I was certain was supposed to be open. I’m only now learning to stand still at a closed door and not jiggle the handle. Implicit trust and years of walking with a faithful Savior have taught me it’s wise to accept His no or no for now. Timing is everything. I also know that there are times when perseverance whispers and tells me to stand at that door and knock without giving up. What if this is your dream-come-true season? The point is, don’t discount old dreams. They could possibly be a clue to your role in our final hours here on earth. They have been for me.

Now, use your past experiences and longings and your innate design to narrow in on how God has intentionally shaped you for your role. Who are you really and what can you offer? “Nothing” isn’t ever an answer. We all have an offering to lay before the feet of the King, none any lesser than others, just different.

Here are some “From Kim” thoughts for you to take along on your next-days journey. They are great conversation starters you can open with the Lord, ones that give Him praise and encourage you along the way.

– You, My Designer, love me and know me perfectly, so I can trust Your plans for me in these last days. Your plans for me are not just good, but perfect.

– As I do what You created me to do, I find true peace.

– You’re the One who gave me these gifts to be used for Your glory, Your purposes.

– My design is good, perfect in fact for me.

– When I’m doing what You created me to do, it pleases You.

– As I’m doing what You’ve called me to do, I feel You stretching me, pulling me at times, yet I can trust this shaping-into-my-role process. I can rest in Your hands that never let me go. I don’t need to be afraid.

– Because You love me, You actually allow me to enjoy that which You’ve created me to do for You.

– Nothing in my life is wasted in Your hands. Everything I’ve been through, the good, the bad, and the ugly, You have used to shape me.

– You determine my design, not any man, so I offer it back to You alone, regardless of what anyone thinks or says.

– My design isn’t bad or less than.

– It’s not only okay to be the me You created me to be, it’s good, and it pleases You, my Father. I don’t need to try and be anyone else.

My closing prayer for you is taken from Colossians 1:9-12, quite possibly the longest one sentence in Scripture.

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”

Note that final phrase: “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share…” You are qualified–I am qualified–because He is the one doing the qualifying. Let’s trust that and embrace our unique-to-us-designs.

Final thoughts: Bear in mind that this investigation is a continuing process and will take time. Yet, you can’t wait for final conclusions before you get started. We do what we can when we can. Then we hone our skills and refine our roles along the way. When we know a little, we share a little. When we know more, we share more. Share what you can as you can. I hope your next step will be to read Elevate Your Voice Parts One and Two when they’re available, the final two installments of the Prepare for Your Role series.

Blessings,
Lisa

Embrace Your Design is part of the How Do I Share What I Know series.

Accept Your Role: This Just Got Real (Session One if you missed it.)
**All site versions have been updated to include the RaptureReady.com article.

Accept Your Role: This Just Got Real

This post is the kick off to the How Do I Share What I Know Series. If you haven’t read Enter Mission, I encourage you to begin there as it will set the stage for the series. If you enjoy what you read, share it with others.

Begin with the video and follow up with the written material below.

In the summer of 2020, movies often came to mind, blockbusters like Terminator and Transformers. Who could have known when we watched those movies all those years ago that we would someday be thrown into a similar plotline? Characters in movies such as those are usually going along, just living their daily lives, when suddenly something life-altering happens that forces them to choose fight or flight. They usually begin with flight, trusting the instinct to run from the villain. Any good movie, however, brings us a main character who ultimately decides to turn and fight back. After a series of defeats, the pattern goes, a hero emerges, and a battle of good versus evil begins. There are usually lesser characters introduced throughout the story who choose flight, and we don’t tend to see much of them anymore.

Which are you? Will you accept the starring role of a lifetime, one written exclusively for you?

In the Enter (My) Mission article here on the Rapture Ready site, David was our primary example, an unlikely hero who stepped onto the scene and into a new role in a way that seemed coincidental. We know better than that. In preparation to someday call him to be a soldier, God had trained David up as a shepherd to defend his sheep against predators. When faced with his giant, David chose fight over flight. The same can’t be said of the seasoned soldiers who refused to stand against Goliath.

Most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, want to run. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered selling our house in the ’burbs and buying a cabin way out in the hills of Tennessee. I still wouldn’t mind it. What I do know about me now is that even if we did hightail it out of town, I would still serve in the battle. Other than me being totally censored or losing electricity to be online, I don’t plan on shutting up. If anything, I plan to grow louder.

In our present day, we each look at the world unfolding around us, the rising of an evil Goliath system, and must decide whether to fight or take flight. Ironically, there’s nowhere to hide from this, but believers all around us are burying their heads, trying to pretend life is some sort of normal. The fact that you’re here encourages me and tells me you’re not a shut-up believer either. Throughout this series, I hope to challenge and encourage and help you find ways to grow louder with me.

Back to an ever-vocal David. An interesting contrast to his personality has always intrigued me. His heart in the Psalms demonstrates such capacity for love, yet his conquests in battle depict him as a fierce soldier. Notice, after his transition from shepherd to soldier, David’s writings testify that he maintained his tender heart for His Shepherd and for the people. There’s a lesson in that for us now. What will be required of us will be a dual role of shepherd and soldier, a tender heart of an involved shepherd with the battle-ready arms of a soldier. The church is lacking both. What must motivate us in both areas is love: love for Jesus and love for people. Love doesn’t remain silent. Love doesn’t run. Love protects the flock.

If you’ve read Daybreak, you may remember Wyatt’s indictment, how silent shepherds are starving the sheep. That was a phrase that burdened my heart for many months before I even knew I would write the story. If your pastor is preaching and teaching about the last days, then consider yourself truly blessed and make it a point to commend and encourage him. In most churches, pastors aren’t saying a word. They aren’t teaching on Daniel or Revelation or any of the prophecies concerning our world today. If that’s your pastor, then you have a real challenge ahead of you. If he isn’t speaking truth, then several possibilities might explain it.

Today’s silent pastor may not believe in the pre-trib rapture. He may think the rapture will come mid or post tribulation. Even still, with any of the three views, he should be declaring the arrival of the season. Another possibility is that he may be intimidated by trying to unpack the complexities of the prophetic books. This quote is from an article at Lamb & Lion Ministries, a terrific source on all things rapture and end-times related. You can read the article in its entirety by clicking the link below.

“Some argue that it is just too complex: ‘You have to have a doctorate in hermeneutics to understand it.” That, of course, is not true. What you must have is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, a conviction that prophecy can be understood, and a willingness to study it.’ The Abuse of Prophecy – Dr. David R. Reagan

Many shepherds are silent at the will of the people. We’re told in 2 Timothy 4:3, that the time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but instead, as the NASB translation says it, will want “to have their ears tickled.” Pastors are scared: scared of people opposing them, scared of people leaving, scared of creating rifts among people so varied in beliefs about the rapture and tribulation. Fear silences the truth and leaves the people in blissful ignorance of the last-days world around them. Most believers are dining on pre-2020 messages rather than a diet filled with urgency and warning.

We must rise from amongst the flock, those of us with a heart for our Shepherd and His sheep, and offer truth when our pastors ignore the signs of the season and leave the people unaware of the coming rescue for the saved and the tribulation for the lost. A verse in Jeremiah expresses imagery that should spur us on. “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). This verse is directed to a someday-repentant Israel, but we can catch a glimpse of God’s desire for His people in our day as well. The weak and blind sheep among us need direction. Those of us whose eyes and understanding have been opened through the Spirit and the prophetic Word can pick up the staff of a shepherd and come alongside our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We can guide and encourage and help them to prepare.

This all sounds heroic and noble like David, doesn’t it? Yet, the actual walking out of us as laypeople shepherding the sheep won’t come without its challenges. That’s why you must prepare to step into your role and not just start screaming from the rooftops. You will need to learn how to present your case well. It’ll be a process, something you learn how to do over time. Your unique voice will emerge.

For now, you can be certain that most won’t want to listen to what you tell them; our verse in 2 Timothy prepares us for that. And those who humor you enough to listen won’t likely believe you right away. Not only will the material you present them seem absurd, but the fact that their own pastors aren’t speaking of the end times will only add another layer to their disbelief of what you’re saying. In their minds they will be thinking, if this were important, my pastor would be telling us. That’s the double harm done by our silent shepherds. First, they leave the people unaware and unequipped. And second, they set the stage for disbelief when a sheep under their care does hear the truth. When a sheep trusts his shepherd’s voice, a competing voice will likely drive the sheep away. I can’t express it enough; we have our work cut out for us.

Even with the stage set for a difficult, and at times impossible task ahead of us, we still must accept our role as shepherds after God’s own heart. I say must, but in actuality, to accept our role is an act of our own free will. God gives us a choice. Jesus’ words, “Follow Me,” were an invitation and not a demand. Love pleads with us to follow Him to where the sleeping sheep lie. We must wake the found as much as we warn the lost, else they sleep on. See the exponential possibilities in that: On our own and in our particular realm of friends and family, we can only reach so many lost. But the more found we wake, the greater the army grows as the awakened believers spread the warning to the lost people in their lives.

In the waking and the warning, we will have to expect that some, possibly most, will ignore and even belittle us for our message. Still, love speaks, knowing we will someday (soon, I hope) stand before the Lord Jesus having answered the call to shepherd His blinded and dozing sheep. We, too, will have answered the watchman’s duty to warn of disaster coming as recorded in Ezekiel 33.

So what can we hang onto to keep us encouraged and engaged? We know the script, how this thing ends and who wins at the end of the day. There’s a reason the enemy does his best to keep pastors silent and people afraid to read and study prophecy for themselves.

“The bottom line is that Satan does not want anyone to read and understand Bible prophecy because it clearly reveals his ultimate defeat at the time of the triumphal return of Jesus. The message of Bible prophecy is “Believers win in the end!” That is a message that Satan does not want anyone to know.” The Abuse of Prophecy – Dr. David R. Reagan

Say it aloud: “Believers win in the end!” We win because Jesus has already won.

In keeping with our movie theme, I recently heard a pastor say that after omicron and a newly detected deltacron, he’s just waiting for Megatron (the evil leader of the Decepticons from Transformers) to appear. Seriously, this is truly like living on a movie set. Like it or not, you’re in the movie. You’ll be the hero or an extra who has a building fall on him in the background. Either way, you’re playing a role. Might as well go out with guns blazing.

Takeaway:

Let’s conclude with David. Read 1 Samuel 17: 1-30. I can encourage you and challenge you, but only time in the presence of the Lord and in His Word can empower you to accept your challenge, so don’t skip reading the passage even if it’s a familiar one.

In the NASB translation, there is a header above Chapter 17: Goliath’s Challenge. What the army of Israel was facing then is exactly where we are now as believers, standing on a mountain, a challenge placed before us. We hear the taunts of a dark, spiritual Goliath from across the valley. Many around us, those whom we have respected and relied upon for teaching and leading us in Christian ministry, are not only silent about the days we are living in, but they are also suggesting we concede and become servants of the enemy rather than take a stand. Life-long Christians who’ve read the Book don’t see. But you do.

In verses five through seven, we find a parallel between our giant and Goliath, a soldier arrayed in battle attire so impressive that three full verses are used to describe it. By all accounts and based on the enemy before them, there was no hope for the Israelite army. What soldier could stand against such a warrior? We ask the same question today. Our enemy has been masterfully and strategically formulating his last-days plan over centuries. Evil rising tells us there is no hope other than for us to duck for cover and wait in silence for the coming of our Lord, our rescue.

Then a young shepherd leaves his flock to bring nourishment to his brothers. (That could be a topic in itself.) Upon his arrival and discovering Goliath’s challenge against the army, David asks two questions in verse 26: What will be done for the one who kills the giant, and who is this Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?

Spend time with the Lord of Hosts, a term by the way that is used 235 times in the Bible and literally means Lord of armies, and ask those two questions of Him. I have pondered them today myself and will continue to in the days ahead. Here’s my earliest conclusions:

1) What will be done for the one who kills the giant and takes away the reproach from Israel?

The offered prize was the hand of Saul’s daughter and a wedding in the victor’s future. Ours doesn’t differ too greatly. When we accept the challenge and take our stand, no matter the outcome, we will someday soon–very soon–attend the wedding of all weddings and stand before our Groom knowing we went all in and held nothing back. That’s my plan: Go all in, get increasingly louder, and go out in a blaze of glory.

2) Who is this Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?

We know from Scripture that no matter our best efforts prior to the rapture, it will appear our giant has won for a seven-year period called the tribulation. But we also know that after the glorious wedding supper of the Lamb, that we will come back with Him and watch as Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, will be the ultimate and forever Victor. That reminds me that I can’t and won’t count out the living God, not now, not ever. I will serve as I’m able. I will slay and win smaller victories through the power of the Spirit. While I’m still here, I will be available and willing for the Restrainer to do as much restraining as He can through me. All that’s required of me is to be willing to step into my role. I pray this Accept Your Role session encourages you to do the same.

What’s Next:

In this section we have focused on our unexpected role as shepherd in place of those who’ve forfeited theirs. In future installments, we will explore elements of both the shepherd and soldier’s training and assignments. No matter your age, no matter your stage, you as a shepherd and a soldier have a place amidst the flock and on the battlefield. Your unique design and voice are exactly what God has shaped you to be for such a time as this. The enemy will tell you otherwise. How about we stop listening to him?

Accept Your Role is part of the How Do I Share What I Know series.
**All site versions have been updated to include the RaptureReady.com article.

If you haven’t yet, you can check out the latest videos I’ve added to the site by going to the This Week in Review page. New material that I find informative will be provided here, so if you’ve already been through the Investigate tab, then you can read/watch new articles and videos without having to scour through the existing links.

Newly Added Links and Articles