DSM has been blessed with a wonderful, hard-working, and loyal team. Ceci and I are going to do a staff retreat with them, then she and I will take a much-needed vacation. I have asked some of my close friends and associates - many being regular contributors to the Give Him 15 posts - to fill in during this time. You will recognize most of the names; and I’ve thrown in one or two whom perhaps you haven’t heard from. You’re going to love the insights from all of them - this will be a wonderful smorgasbord! Enjoy!
Sing Yourself a Prophecy - Kelsey Bohlender
I want to talk about our heart’s cry to hear from God, and how sometimes, that word is already written somewhere in our history. Recently, my husband Randy had a dream where he was sitting in a prophetic meeting, weeping because he was so hungry to hear from God. He literally woke up from the dream and moved to the recliner where he fell asleep and dreamed it again. I think we can all relate to that hunger at some level.
The truth is, we don’t always get a prophetic word when we want it. Sometimes, the Word of the Lord lingers in our past, and comes alive again when we pull it into the moment. Sometimes we have to sing a song of remembrance to direct our hearts to stand steady, like Moses and Miriam did in the book of Exodus.
In Exodus 14, God’s people are in a bad spot, hedged in by the Red Sea and the Egyptian army coming to annihilate them. Moses declared that if they stood firm, they would see the salvation of the Lord, and that the Egyptians they saw today would never be seen again.
He was right. God split the sea, the Hebrew people walked through on dry land, and the water swallowed up the pursuing army…but the story was far from over. They wouldn’t face this enemy again, but the future was full of other obstacles. In light of God’s powerful deliverance - the desert road before them, and the questions already bubbling of “what next, Moses” - he chose a curious path of leadership. He didn’t make an inspiring speech, he didn’t call a town hall meeting to discuss options. He chose to sing...about what God had done, what He was doing, and what He was about to do.
Perhaps his voice was a little shaky at first, like ours is when we start to sing, but you can almost hear it growing stronger as he recounts what had just happened.
The Song of Moses – from Exodus 15:
“I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!”
As he recounted God’s faithful deliverance, his voice turned from remembering to worshiping:
“Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
Having established what He had done in the past and honoring who He was in the present, Moses found himself prophesying about days to come:
“In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength, You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. The nations will hear and tremble…”
What brilliant strategy, to sing! Although we love music, my husband, Randy, and I are not particularly musical. Even so, there have been times in seeking the Lord where in lieu of a prophetic word or specific divine direction, we have sung ourselves into the prophetic, and those songs have become the declaration that showed us what God was about to do.
Years ago, Randy felt called to go to an event called “Burning Man” as a prophetic witness. “Burning Man” is an eclectic arts festival in the remote desert of Black Rock City, Nevada. For over 20 years, up to 80,000 people have gathered on a dry lake-bed for a week each summer, where they create art and celebrate debauchery beyond the reach of the law, all centered around a 70-foot tall effigy of a man built out of wood. At the end of the week, they light the Burning Man on fire, throw much of their art into the flames, and spend the night dancing around the man. Randy says it’s basically a church picnic if you replace the potato salad and lemonade with acid-laced brownies and vodka.
We had never done ministry in this sort of context, and we were a little nervous. Nervous enough to know we needed to hear from God. Nervous enough to fast.
We were not experienced in fasting, but we were hungrier for God than we were for food, so we jumped in, fasting for forty days and meeting regularly with others to pray and ask, “Have you heard anything from the Lord?”
I wish I could tell you we heard from Him immediately, but I’ll be honest - we didn’t. Even so, we weren’t discouraged. If He wasn’t ready to talk, we were - and we told Him of how He had faithfully moved in the past.
Around the 30th day of the fast, the Lord began to speak to us. It was faint at first, and we listened closely. We started getting a vision for what could happen in the desert and we heard a word - rain.
Randy and four of his friends loaded an RV with 5,000 bottles of water to give away, and I gathered a small group to pray for the team. Having sensed the word “rain,” we asked a lady who worshipped the Lord with interpretive dance, to help us create a dance that would glorify God for His provision of rain. Miriam and the Israelite ladies danced after the Red Sea crossing, thanking God for victory; we felt led to do it in advance. Our dancing worshipper jumped on it and before you knew it, we were praying and worshipping with the dance nightly, asking the Lord to send rain in the desert. Even WE thought we were a little crazy, but sensed the pleasure of the Lord on it.
Randy disappeared into the desert, beyond cell coverage, and for days we worshipped and danced before the Lord, praying for rain, not really sure what was happening. In the desert, Randy and his team were finding great favor. People were very open, not only to receiving a free bottle of water, but also to prayer, hearing about the love of Jesus.
The team also prophesied a lot about rain. They had t-shirts printed with a raindrop encircling the Burning Man logo and referred to it as Soaking Man. People laughed.
At the end of the week, Randy called me from his cell phone having just gotten a signal. He excitedly told of all that God had done in the desert. Then his voice cracked and he said, “It’s...it’s raining.”
I about dropped the phone as I shouted back, “What?!”
He said, “It’s raining. We are driving south and a huge rainstorm has rolled in. It’s raining in the desert!”
They drove through the night across the United States and by late the next day headlines read, “Thousands leave Burning Man early because of the rain.”
That weekend, September 2, 2000, we traveled to Washington, DC for an event, TheCall DC. I brought my little crew of dancing ladies and the night before the event we thought, “We should worship with our dance and ask God to send rain again!” We found an empty hotel ballroom and there, in the nation’s capital, we danced and worshiped and celebrated the rain that had sprung from His word to us, believing for the rain of revival to burst forth on our nation.
Maybe that’s why it was especially sweet the next day, with 400,000 people on The Mall in DC, as the last worship leader began to play, a soft rain started to fall. It was like God added His own amen to our prophetic journey.
In the midst of seeming darkness encroaching on our land, the word of the Lord is “SING!” Recount His faithfulness. Birthed in revival, America’s founding was sandwiched between the first and second great awakenings. Remember His miraculous deeds. A great outpouring of His Spirit in Topeka, Kansas in 1901 led to the Azusa Street Revival, then decades later healing revivals and stadiums being filled. It is not too late for revival in America. It is not too late for rain in the seeming desert. We might be at a Red Sea moment, but let’s turn from staring at the enemy, look to the sea, engage our faith, and sing of the Promised Land ahead!
If you’re hungry to hear from the Lord, follow the example of Moses and Miriam. Declare what He has done until history unfolds into praise, and when praise breaks out, the word of the Lord will follow and you’ll find yourself prophesying.
Pray with me:
Father, You are the God who parts the Red Sea, and the God who sends rain in the desert. You empowered Moses with a song for the generations to remember Your power and Your greatness. You have spoken through the stories of our lives and You continue to write those stories today. We join our voices and sing the song of Your faithful deliverance. When we don’t hear a clear word, we will sing one – the Lord is great and greatly to be praised, He is good and His mercy endures forever! In Christ name we pray, amen.
We decree You will bring rain to the desert places and America shall be saved!
Today’s post was contributed by Kelsey Bohlender, Executive Director of Zoe’s House Adoption Agency. You can find out more about Kelsey here.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.