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BY THE AHAVA CANAL—Have you ever had a “Jacob experience?” Where you didn’t really realize where you were until waking up from a dream?

This just happened to me this morning. And suddenly life makes sense.

Okay we’re not really by the Ahava Canal. This sacred geography is in ancient Babylon, a land known today as Iraq. The prophet Ezra began his fast there before a great journey from exile to the Promised Land. We emphasized this “Ezra fast” for safety and protection on our journey in postings last week.

Though not by the Ahava Canal, we are actually sleeping on the banks of a canal—though it took an angelic encounter in a dream to actually realize this. Jolene and I were invited by our friends Martin and Cindy Frankena to spend a few days with them at a beach house. Which, it turns out, is on a bayside canal. Perhaps because of the incredible spiritual intensity recently in Washington DC, I came here a little bit dull spiritually. It wasn’t something my mind could identify, but my spirit has literally been heavy and grieving over the condition of our Capitol city.

Which is all the more reason last night’s dream meant so much. Revelation and breakthrough came all at once.

A New Branch is Forming!
Throughout this Line in the Sand project we have written much about the closure of a season, and the beginning of a new journey at this very hour. Ironically, it took an angelic encounter in a breakthrough dream to even realize the significance of God bringing us to a canal to start this season’s journey.

The spiritual among you will remind me that the prophet Daniel grieved throughout his fast. Probably why he wasn’t very interested in food. But when you’re experiencing this deep internal unrest, even by the Holy Spirit, the nuances of spiritual correlations often remain unperceived. Like a mother giving birth, the only cry is for relief! Little else matters.

What did the Lord convey in the dream? A number of things. First I saw three branches which I knew together represented a prayer movement. Two branches were already mature, another was forming. I knew this new branch represented the “Crown and Throne” movement now being birthed. We all have an invitation and a part to play in this.

“Take silver and gold, and make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadok, the high priest. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, behold a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord…” (Zech. 6:11-12).

An Outpouring is Coming!
Also, I saw passages of scripture on a page, almost like a scroll. Every passage except those in the top middle were shaded in blue, so that only the top middle passages were highlighted.

The “passage” in my dream was actually two passages together, from Joel 2:28 and Zechariah. Though neither passage begins with the phrase, “in that day,” on the scroll I clearly perceived the phrase, “in that day.”

“It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions (Joel 2:28).

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him as a man mourns for an only son… (Zechariah 12:10).

The clear emphasis of both passages is that GOD WILL POUR OUT HIS SPIRIT. Joel conveys that this will occur in response to deep repentance by God’s people. Joel emphasized how this outpouring will release prophetic encounters.

Zechariah conveys that this will occur “in that day” where God arises to save Jerusalem from nations gathered against her.

Friends, I know by the Spirit that this is imminent. A fresh outpouring of God’s Spirit is now at hand! Just as water makes plants grow, so this outpouring will nourish every branch who desires it in the body of Christ! Zechariah emphasized how this outpouring will release perception of the Pierced One, and empower us both in power and in prayer.

A Time to Focus
The Lord highlighted other things as well in the dream, but I want to share only one more aspect for now. After seeing the Branch and the passages on the outpouring of God’s Spirit, I found myself in a Bible camp with lots of young adults. Prophetic statesman James Goll was teaching in another building pretty far away. But he thundered loudly a particular sentence, which was carried on the wind. A loud crash immediately followed. I later found out from a student that James had brought a statue to give as a gift, and the piercing sound of his own voice actually shattered the statue!

Perhaps this is a season where statues will be shattered as God resounds His breakthrough with our own voices.

In the dream, I heard all this while trying to use an auto-focus camera to take a picture of scripture passages. My guess is that they were the very passages highlighted by the Lord in the dream. I wanted to make sure I “captured them” and didn’t lose them, so I tried to photograph them for a reference point. But my camera never stayed in focus long enough for me to actually get a sharp image!

I knew in the dream God was convicting me of a recently-formed habit. Though recently I have cracked open my Bible to read and review, I have not taken near the time necessary to allow His word to penetrate the depths of my heart. In photo terms, I’ve been much more like a drive-by tourist with an iPhone than Ansel Adams with a view camera.

Maybe this describes your “abiding time” with God’s word as well. A quick snapshot is not going to penetrate the surface to reveal the depth of meaning He intends to give you as His gift. You might end up with a massive stream of snapshots proving you were there. But in this new journey, God wants “there” to be experienced and appreciated.

Friend, in this new journey, it’s time to focus! Get the camera of your life off of autofocus, and begin to concentrate again on the majesty the Lord has set before you. Take His word to heart! And at a heart level, lets capture what He is conveying.

“But who has stood in the council fo the Lord, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?” (Jer. 23:20)

Words to embrace as this breakthrough journey begins by the Ahava Canal… all I can say is, Thank You Lord!