Shift: “to change the place, position, or direction of: MOVE.” (Merriam-Webster.com)
In several recent dreams of mine, the Lord has been showing me a shift has occurred. In the first dream I was part of a larger gathering with multiple leaders present. A certain man had taken center stage and been speaking for perhaps half an hour. At that point, from my seat towards the front, I stood up and took control of the meeting, saying, “I think the Lord wants us to shift the focus of this meeting towards families and towards prayer.” Remarkably, almost seamlessly and with great smoothness, that’s exactly what happened. People began to move in unity into highly anointed levels of corporate prayer—especially prayer for families.
But here’s what’s funny. I didn’t actually remember the dream at that time and certainly hadn’t caught its significance. So the Lord gave me another dream. In this one, my husband reminded me of the events that had happened in the earlier dream—how I’d taken control of the meeting and redirected its focus. He said, “Remember how the Lord spoke through you at that meeting and said, ‘There’s been a shift away from some sort of a one-person-showman-type thing, and a shift towards families and towards prayer?'”
Within the second dream, I began to remember the first and said, “Oh yeah, I remember now! I guess I did kind of redirect the meeting. It may have seemed bold but I just couldn’t help myself—I sensed the Lord moving us strongly in that direction.” My husband responded, “That’s okay. If you hadn’t spoken up like you did, I was about to do the same thing myself.”
Several things stood out to me from these dreams. The first is the Lord’s sense of humor—that He reminded me in a dream I’d had a dream! The second is that I don’t think the dreams had anything to do with my husband or myself personally. From our years in ministry, one thing we’ve learned is it’s best not to take ourselves too seriously, and my sense is we were simply representative of something much larger happening within the Body of Christ. It is my belief the Lord is releasing a Body-wide awareness that will bring an emphasis on the restoration of families and increased corporate prayer. It will be the Holy Spirit Himself, not any one person or ministry, who orchestrates this change in direction or movement.
Perhaps Jeremiah the prophet said it best (Jeremiah 31:33-34 NKJV; see also John 16:13):
“…I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them…”
Occupation and Family Mantles
The Lord’s also been speaking to me about increase through a rebirth of family mantles. Again, through a series of dreams, He showed me faithful men and women who have been hard at work for the Kingdom and whose efforts have been largely unrecognized and under-appreciated. The setting for each of these dreams was within family structures.
For several weeks now, my attention has been drawn to Luke 19 and the parable of the minas. If you recall, the nobleman called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas, and said to them (v. 13 KJV), “Occupy till I come.” This phrase may bring to mind the military usage of this word, as when an army controls a certain population, and while this has some merit, this is not the actual literal meaning here.
The Greek word for “occupy” in this verse (see Strong’s Concordance) means: “do business; trading, exchanging (leveraging) one thing for another to make a legitimate gain; (figuratively) ‘to bear much fruit,’ i.e. the opposite of being fruitless because of refusing to make trades by ‘playing it safe.'” In other words, we do not occupy the Kingdom by playing it safe; occupation involves both risk and effort, as we use the gifts and talents the Lord’s given us to increase His Kingdom.
Remember the servant who did not “occupy,” but who hid his mina and didn’t even earn interest with it? About this servant the master said (v. 24, 26 NKJV), “…’Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas…For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.'”
Friends, the Lord has shown me there is a renewal happening with family mantles right now. Those who have been faithful stewards will receive more. Each one of us ought to ask the Lord whether we have been faithfully stewarding our family mantle(s); and if we are not, it can be like tough love—it might be something we need to hear, not want to hear.
If your heart’s desire is faithful stewardship but you sense you need to make an adjustment, simply receive His correction as a loving Father, which yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. I am so thankful the Lord loves us enough to correct us as dear sons and daughters! (See Hebrews 12:5-11.)
Greater Responsibility—Greater Authority in Prayer
As noted, occupation involves faithfulness, effort and fruitfulness—things not always appreciated or recognized by men, but always rewarded by God. In the parable mentioned, the faithful servant had already been given more before he also received what was taken from someone else. Verses 16-17 NKJV (emphasis mine) read: “Then came the first [servant], saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.'”
When I woke from the series of dreams about family mantles, I heard the Lord say to His faithful stewards, “Good job. As with the good servant, I am increasing your boundaries today—I am expanding your territory. Be prepared—I am enlarging your territory. You will have greater responsibility, and greater authority in prayer!”
Friends, my sense is that it is the renewal of family mantles that will be the force that fuels this shift towards family restoration and increased authority in prayer!