An Irresistible Direction:

A Prophetic word by Clare Johnson

Recently God began to encourage me regarding my concern of missing or not seeing a new direction that He has for me through an analogy He gave me about our sense of smell.

Like many others spiritually I’ve been in an extended time of transition, but God continues to encourage me that the time is near for my eyes to see in the natural what I know He has promised, along with a new direction. However, I’ve had concerns about missing the new path and direction because I have not yet seen with clarity some of what this new “place” will look like.

 He wanted me to not be so concerned about not knowing or seeing the new path because He’s going to make it so obvious. I felt led to share because I believe there are many others who don’t yet have clarity for the new season and direction.

He gave me the picture of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. What happens when we bake cookies? The whole kitchen is filled with their aroma: because it smells so good the aroma whets our appetite and we want to eat them!

In the same way, God will direct us in this new season by our sense of “smell” and our desires. He’s going to bring things that draw us because they “smell” so good! There will be new directions and opportunities that will draw us towards them because they will stir up an excitement in us. We will go the new direction because we are so drawn to it!

We won’t doubt these new directions because they will perfectly fit long awaited desires that have been in our hearts. When we step into these new opportunities, we will have such a sense of satisfaction and longing fulfilled that it will confirm that this is indeed His direction for us. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life (Prov. 13:12”).

These new places of ministry and opportunity will bring a peace deep within and a great sense of joy and purpose because we are walking in that which He created us to do.

We don’t have to be concerned about missing God’s direction because the amazing smell will make it irresistible!

The Hardest Place

Don’t give up,

Don’t give in,

When it’s God’s will you’re walking in.

Do what’s hard,

Do what’s new,

Take the challenge in front of you.

Keep pressing on,

Keep pressing in,

To move forward from where you’ve been.

Push through obstacles,

Through the past regrets,

Through all those things you can’t forget.

Though the tunnel dark, and light dim,

Continue hoping, trusting Him.

In His timing He’ll light the way,

Fulfill His promise all the way.

One future day we will perceive,

The graces given and received,

As we trudged along that hard road,

Prepared us for the future load.

The greatest gifts can be wrapped in,

The hardest place we’re walking in~Clare Johnson

Assurance From the Place of Prayer

The Lord gave me something I would like to share. As I was reading this verse, ”Jesus left the upper room with His disciples and, as was His habit, went to the Mount of Olives (specifically the Garden of Gethsemane), His place of secret prayer” (TPT version), the Holy Spirit highlighted some things.

After this Jesus prays, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not my will, but yours be done”. The above takes place right before Judas betrays Jesus and He is “arrested”.

The scriptures tell us that He was then tortured, tried, crucified, and resurrected from the dead. What looked like a plan straight from Hell to kill Jesus became God’s greatest triumph. The enemy thought he was accomplishing a great feat when Jesus was crucified on the cross, but it was actually God’s greatest triumph; His death brought about the greatest victory in human history: the forgiveness for our sin.

Jesus’ arrest, the first of the string of events that was meant by his enemies to end Jesus life, happened where He was known to come habitually for His time of prayer. The circumstances that followed, as evil and difficult as they were, accomplished God’s plans.

When we are in the habit of meeting with God in a time of prayer, we can find comfort in the knowledge that God sifts through every single detail and circumstance of our lives through His hands and allows only that which He knows will accomplish His best in our lives.

Part of how God uses our trials is to prepare us to minister to others in the future. When imprisoned, Paul wrote Phil 1:2, “But I want you to know brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel”. The word translated “furtherance” in the Greek means progress, profit, advancement, and to strike forward.

The Mount of Olives was known for its many olive trees and Gethsemane in the Hebrew, “gat shemanim”, means “oil press”. God will use the “Gethsemane” times we walk through to increase our oil (developed for the benefit of others) and to press it out of us.

God is never the author of evil, temptation, or sickness; He is a master at using what the enemy meant for our evil and downfall and using it to accomplish His purposes.

Whatever it is that you’re facing that looks like a plan from hell, know that God is never surprised and that you can trust Him that He knows what He’s doing.

Close to Birthing

God gave me a dream that He would like me to share. If you know God has had you in an extended time of preparation and waiting for things that will be released in His timing, I believe this word is for you.

First I ‘ll share the dream. I’m walking to a house, but in the dream I don’t know why I’m going there. The next scene, I’m in the house and in a doctor’s appointment. He tells me I’m eight or nine months pregnant. That’s news to me! I look down and my stomach is huge with pregnancy. In the dream I’m thinking, “I may have to pull back on some things in order to properly care for this child”.

I walk out of the appointment, now very conscious of my large pregnant belly. I see lots of people I know and no one notices or comments anything to me about this sudden difference in being pregnant. I’m thinking what’s wrong with everybody? I’m so puzzled. Can’t they see this huge baby I’m carrying? The dream ends.

What God wants you to know…. We’re about to birth things that WE didn’t even know we were pregnant with. Just like the people I knew that couldn’t see I was pregnant, God has purposefully hidden us and what will come forth during this time of pregnancy as He has carefully developed, matured, and prepared what He will birth through us. What God has been growing inside of us will birth and be visibly seen in the proper time and people will say, “Whoa! Where did that come from? I had no idea those gifts and talents were inside her/him!”

Note that in the dream, I realized I needed to give my time and focus to prepare to care for that baby. In the same way, we may need to prepare for what we know is coming whatever that may look like for you. Learning a new skill? Refining one you already have?

Sometimes when someone has been in this place of transition for a long while it can be very trying, even if we don’t consciously realize it! In the dream I didn’t know I was going to the doctor (in the natural if someone goes to the doctor they are seeking help for something wrong). In my waking life at this time I didn’t feel like I was necessarily having a hard time in any way.

 But I think there must have been a question in my heart God saw when I did not, “Lord, what is going on with my life? Why am I not producing the fruit for You that I know You intend for me? Why do feel “stuck” like there’s no movement or momentum, like I’m not getting anywhere?”

I believe God wants to encourage us that if we have given Him our “yes” to His plans for us that He’s been preparing us and to trust His process. The process and the pregnancy are only for a season; they will not last forever. Use this time to draw near to God, allowing Him to work all He pleases in the waiting. We are closer to birthing than we think.

“Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” (Isaiah 66:9)  

For the Thirsty Soul

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When my soul I lay at His feet
My empty cup He makes replete
Though words unspoken, yet He sees
That which has brought me to my knees

He bids my head  lay on His heart
That refreshment, He may impart
He has compassion so I seek
To gain His strength when I am weak

Changed perspective He desires
Seeing with Him, brings us higher
Like looking through a looking glass
Our narrowed focus brings us past
Weights and burdens that brought us here
Past anxiety, guilt, and fear
These serve to bring us to His throne
That love and  fullness may be known.

At this place, the divine exchange
The negative, for heavens change
His work is wrought in our hearts
My soul to bring him is my part.

When you’re tired and so weary
Find your view is dark and dreary
Cast your soul at your Saviors feet
Who loves to make your cup replete.

Clare Johnson 2020

The Master Chess Player and the Great Reveal

I want to encourage you if you feel overwhelmed, helpless, or discouraged by the events surrounding the recent election in the U.S.A. Circumstances may appear bleak, however God is still on the throne and in control. Like a Master Chess Player He sees and knows every move that will be played and has already planned every counter move. He’s never lost a game.

There are parallels between what we see happening now and what took place in the book of Esther that may encourage us.

Hamen held the place in office where he was second in authority next to the king. God who sees all, knew the heart and character of Hamen beyond what he presented to the public. Those familiar with the story of Esther, know that Hamen was a man who cared not for the welfare of the land and people, but was motivated by self promotion caring only for his reputation that he would be held in high esteem as the people were made to bow down to him.

Hamen manipulated the king with half-truths to agree with him to implement a plan to have all the Jews killed. He had the ignorance and audacity to think that he could plan such evil to annihilate the Jews without anyone confronting and revealing his evil intentions. “With the arrogant boastfulness of those to whom goodness has no meaning, they suppose they will escape the stern judgment of the all-seeing God (Esther 8:4)”.

Though the king didn’t see the real Hamen, nothing is hidden from God. God sees every man’s heart and what happens behind closed doors. When unjust and evil plans are wrought and may even seem to be coming to fruition, God isn’t done yet and He will have the last word.

But one may ask, why did God allow the circumstances with Hamen to get to that place to begin with? In His sovereignty why allow Hamen to be positioned in this place of authority knowing his heart and character?

After the Jews received the devastating news that all of them were appointed to die I imagine that the news stirred up an awakening in their hearts to cry out to God for His intervention. There was prayer and fasting, a great turning to the Lord.

One reason I believe God allowed these circumstances, was He knew that they would catapult his people back to the place of seeking Him once again. It was an awakening. God used the evil this man was planning to shake His people that they would return to Him with their whole heart. God also wanted to demonstrate to His people His ability to turn the plans of the enemy on his own head.

I believe God is using the circumstances in the USA to awaken His people and to demonstrate His ability to turn the tables on the head of the unrighteous who schemed evil plans behind closed doors. It will be the great reveal; we will see people removed from positions of authority as they’re true character is exposed and their deeds exposed.

Quite a way back, the Lord had given me four words; the changing of the guards. I pondered what He meant by this and I finally came to understand that He would remove people who were not being honorable in their current positions and replace them with His choice of leaders in their place.

We see this principle in the book of Esther when Queen Vashti is removed and Esther takes her place and again after Hamen’s exposure and death when Mordecai was given Hamen’s previous position as second in authority next to the king.

To be clear, this is not about a particular political party. This is about each leader’s heart and deeds, “A person may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart (Proverbs 21:2)”.

When the righteous cry out to Him, He hears and He will answer. Just as He heard the cries of the Jews in the story of Esther, He has heard the cries of His people to intervene and He is faithful to answer. We must trust who we know God to be; that He is good, faithful, and well able to accomplish His plan in these circumstances our country faces; For He is the Master Chess Player.

The Master Chess Player-©2019ClareJohnson

When circumstances, shake all around, your familiar world comes crashing down,
Your hopes and dreams now tears in the sand, be assured,  God has a plan.

 He’s the master chess player, His strategies are perfect can’t be beat. He’s the master chess player, the sovereign king who’s never known defeat.

He’s the master chess player, He never makes mistakes, He’s the master chess player, His master plan always leads to checkmate

Ominous clouds appear, looming in, veil your sight from seeing him, though this storm planned for my demise, I’ll trust in God beyond my eyes.

He knows the end from the beginning, works behind the scenes, sets the stage of world events to uncover wicked schemes.

The Unanswered Prayer

“So when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two more days (John 11:6)”

Imagine you’re one of Jesus’ disciples. You’re with Him everywhere He goes as He heals and brings deliverance to the multitudes around Him. You’re there when Jesus gets word from the sisters of Lazarus, “Lord, the one you love is sick”.

He says, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified in it.” At this verbal statement, I’m sure the disciples were expecting Jesus to immediately leave to help Lazarus.

The scripture continues, “Now, Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days”.

During that two days, I can imagine the confusion going on inside the disciples when they see the lack of response from Jesus regarding this situation, especially because they knew of the special relationship that He shared with the sisters and Lazarus. Maybe they judged Him as being indifferent as He seemed to ignore the request to come. What is wrong with Jesus? Why isn’t He rushing to help Lazarus and honor the request of his sisters?

There is no mention in scripture of a conversation where the disciples ask Jesus why He’s not going, or that Jesus tells them He’s decided to stay where they are for two more days.  I imagine this may have been quite a struggle for them in their minds and hearts as they may have concluded that He wasn’t going to go.

Perhaps this was a purposeful opportunity for the disciples to discover whether they would continue to believe and trust in Jesus’ character that He had already revealed or begin to entertain doubts in their hearts and minds, questioning the love, goodness and wisdom of God in each and every situation.

After two days, Jesus finally says, “Let us go back to Judea. Lazarus is dead, and for your sake, I’m glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him”. He purposefully did not go there and waited until death came and there no human help remained. We see that His seeming delay was actually a set up so that the disciples and others would see a demonstration of the miracle working works of God.

When they get there, Lazarus has been dead in the tomb for four days. Jesus raises him from the dead. Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, saw what Jesus did and so believed in Him.

We can see the wisdom in Jesus’ waiting. All involved not only saw Lazarus raised from the dead, but they were eyewitnesses to the power of God over death and got a firsthand experience of God’s deep love, care, and compassion.

This is just one of many examples in scripture when we can see that the delays of God in regards to answering our prayers, are always for our good so that God may give us His best, and will be so much more than we could ask or imagine.

When silence or delay happens in your life, be reminded that it’s God’s opportunity to refine your faith as great gold.

Will you trust in His unchanging character? He is love, He is good, and He only wants your best, so He waits.

“When the Lord is to lead a soul to great faith, He for a time, leaves his prayer unanswered” ~Springs in the Valley Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

New Book Announcement!

I’m so excited to share that I’ve published my first book, a children’s Christmas book (ages 4 -13), The First Noel A Tale of Friendship, along with my coauthor Nicole Thomas!

The journey of how this book came to be is interesting…… on to discover the full story.

But first, here’s the synopsis:

What happens when a friendship develops between the daughter of a rich Wiseman and a common shepherd girl? 

This Christmas poem weaves the heartwarming fictional journey of an unlikely friendship into the traditional Biblical account of Jesus’ birth and tells how the arrival of the Savior challenges the heart of one girl to choose love over the acceptable social norm of her day, in a culture marked by rigid distinctions between social classes. Through this story, children will  learn  to value diversity, acceptance, and love of others regardless of their social status.

Based on a ballet production, whimsical drawings will captivate readers and bring a charming twist to a classic Christmas story. Parents and children alike will love the lessons on friendship received through this delightful tale.

Nicole (my coauthor) is the owner and artistic director of Dunamix Dance Project, a Christian dance studio in Temecula, Ca. She is also my Ballet teacher. God gave her a dream about this story and she asked me to write the story for a dance production.

As I prayed over the skeleton of the story, God began to show me that it was to be written as a narrative poem. He gave me one line, “She saw her in the marketplace with tattered clothes and dirt on face”. With each section of the story, God was faithful to provide the necessary syllables and the words to rhyme.

It was a beautiful, impactful, dance production. Afterwards, I got the idea to make it a children’s book and to years later, our book baby was born!

Our talented illustrator, Sierra Ghironzi, created the illustrations from actual photos of the dancers taken during the production. I love how the pictures demonstrate real Ballet technique!

I think this would be a great gift for any special girl in your life, especially if she loves dance!

Click the link below to purchase or find out more.

Available in hardcover 11.02 x 0.25 x 8.5 inches softcover 11.00″ x 8.5″ and softcover 8.25″ x 0.09″ x 6″, in addition to The First Noel coloring Book!

The Widow and the Window of Opportunity

God waits so He can give you the best.

In the days of the prophet Elijah, there was a famine in the land.

There was a widow whose provision had dwindled down to a handful of flour and a bit of oil in a jar. Seeing no hope for a change in her circumstances, she concluded that all hope was lost and thus was about to prepare her last meal for herself and her son after which she believed certain would come. Her mindset was filled with gloomy and dark anticipations.

But God had His eye on her and was taking care of her, even though she didn’t perceive it.

He seemingly had waited until she was stripped of all hope down to her very last help in the natural, her last meal. God in His love, instructed Elijah to find this specific widow and in so doing gave her a window of hope, an opportunity to exercise faith that if she did as the prophet asked she would live.

Elijah asks the widow for some bread. She informs him, she has no bread, but a handful of flour and a bit of oil which she will bake as the last meal for herself and her son and then die.

Elijah responds, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. Just make me a little bread from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and your son. For the Lord says, “The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jar of oil be empty until the day that the Lord sends rain again on the face of the earth.”

Then God did the miracle in her life as she put feet to her faith and followed the prophet’s instructions; God multiplied the flour and oil. “The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, in accordance with the word of the Lord through Elijah.”

God gave this widow a greater gift than just providing food for her in the natural. He could have fed her without Elijah, but she would have missed out on the demonstration of God’s love and care towards her and missed experiencing the joy, wonder, and miracle of God’s provision. God waited so He could give her the best.

Oh, tender and true was the chastening sore, in wisdom, that taught and tried, till the soul that He sought was trusting in Him, and none on earth beside” ~ Author unknown

When thoughts attempt to persuade you that everything in your life is gloomy and dark with no anticipation of hope for the future: When you have prayed and waited and trusted God sometimes for years, and yet circumstances seem unwilling to shift and remain unchanged: Remember and be encouraged, trust in His goodness and faithfulness; GOD WAITS SO HE CAN GIVE YOU THE BEST.

The Artist’s Kiss

Oh, to see Your beauty among forest trees,

On a shaded path to bend my knees;

Oh, how my heart longs for this,

To encounter You in nature’s bliss.

For You, I’ll dance while here alone,

In wooded glory, close to Your throne.

Your whispers flow on the breath of the breeze

While thin places echo Heaven’s decrees.

I’ll laugh with joy as I bask in the river,

Where living streams flow and ripples do quiver.

I’ll listen to its rushing tale;

Its tune takes me behind the veil.

A myriad chatter of songbirds trill,

Their music majestic through air still.

The skies above a splendid view,

Through peaks of trees, a perfect hue.

On canvas painted, creation’s story,

Vibrant life there revealing Your glory.

To meet with You in nature’s bliss

Is to receive the artist’s kiss.

Copyright 2020 Clare Johnson