Raindrops of Encouragement
…on earth as it is in heaven. Mathew 6:10
Most people either love the rain or hate it. Whatever your preference, we need rain to grow food for the trees and the flowers to bloom and to nourish our bodies. As spring begins, rain makes me feel hopeful about what is growing and being brought forth that I can’t see yet. Bottom line: we need rain. It’s essential to life. The Creator is genius at giving life, sustaining life, and saving lives.
We lived in Australia for 8 years, and when you live in a “sunburnt country”, you better believe rain is important. When we arrived, the country had been experiencing drought for over 40 years resulting in bushfires, water restrictions, and a heightened awareness of water levels. When it would rain we would all celebrate. At the same time, we arrived to our new church community to realize they had also been experiencing an extended spiritual drought. They were parched. We arrived with an expectation of leading a vibrant, growing community, only to discover the people were tired, hurt, and very discouraged. They weren’t up for what was in our hearts.
So, we asked God, “What do we do?”
He said, “I brought you here to release prophecy.”
Prophecy is about strengthening, comforting, and encouraging. Prophecy is when God brings a word or picture from our future to encourage us in our present circumstances. We knew whatever growth would happen, would be a result of the encouragement and strengthening of God’s words over His people and church. He wanted us to call down the rain of encouragement. Encouragement is essential to growth and with proper encouragement, an oasis forms in the driest desert of circumstances.
We began asking God to rain on what we couldn’t see and we reminded people who God said they were and the promises over their lives. We spoke encouragement into those places. Encouragement is the mother tongue of the Holy Spirit, it’s fertilizer for what God is growing in us.Discouragement is the mother tongue of the enemy, and it chokes the life out of what God wants to do in you and through you.
Here’s the deal. We’re all atmosphere carriers. Like clouds. When we arrive on the scene we bring an atmosphere with us. I can either rain love, encouragement, and grace,nourishing and encouraging growth,or I can rain negativity, discouragement, and disappointment, pouring salt on the soil of people’s hearts. I get to choose what I engage in and what I release. What pours out of me is a result of which atmosphere I chose to engage with.
We could have chosen to stand underneath the ominous cloud that was hovering over our new church, but we new that wasn’t God’s heart for us or His church. So we released a new cloud. It began with a few raindrops of encouragement and just a few sat and sought shelter under the encouragement cloud. But as they sat there, we taught them to release words of encouragement, and the cloud expanded quickly. Encouragement shifted the atmosphere and the culture until our people, our church, quickly became known as the prophetic church in the region and in our denomination.
It all started by believing God’s atmosphere is in us and supersedes earthly atmospheres.
Jesus tells us in John 17:21, “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The atmosphere of the Kingdom of heaven is within us and we can release it wherever we go. We rain encouragement, love, kindness, mercy, joy, peace, and goodness, and it pushes back the kingdom of darkness. God has placed that in us so that we might shift the atmosphere of this world and bring the atmosphere of heaven to earth. This is how heaven invades earth. This is how we cooperate with the Lords prayer, “may it be on earth, as it is in heaven.”
You are a rain cloud of encouragement. May He rain down on you to be released through you. If your water levels are low, get around some people who can encourage you. And if you know people whose water levels are low, release raindrops of encouragement to them.