I spent the first fifty years of my life attending church. During my Independent Fundamentalist Baptist days, I attended or led four church services a week, plus revivals, mission conferences, Bible conferences, and sundry other meetings. Over the years, I have heard fellow church members speak in tongues, audibly praise Jesus, fart, belch, snore, or say AMEN (for the fart)! 🙂 One of the more annoying sounds I heard in church was the high-pitched sound made by improperly adjusted hearing aids. This whistle can be quite annoying, especially when the person wearing the hearing aids can’t hear it. Not once did I mistake this sound for the presence of God in our midst.
Yesterday, CHARISMA News, the official record for all things Charismatic, published an article by Sara Whitten titled Year of the Whistle. Whitten’s bio states she is an:
author, speaker, equipper and founder of Arrows of Zion Ministry. She and her husband are pastors for the youth at Impact Christian Fellowship in Kerrville, Texas. Sara is a prophetic writer that has been featured on Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, Charisma and more. She hosts Hear God Everyday on Charisma Podcast Network, a podcast with tools to help amplify the voice of God amidst the noise of everyday life. Sara also co-founded One Spark International, an organization that sponsors Bible-based training and education in unreached and restricted nations in order to see the gospel reach all people groups. She is also an active part of groups that train and invest in professionals wanting to use their business or marketplace skills to transform unreached nations for the kingdom.
Last Sunday, Witten was attending church when she “heard” the Christian God:
As I was worshipping at church last Sunday, the presence of the Lord felt heavy in the room. I felt the Lord whisper, “Blow! I am breathing now.” I pursed my lips and exhaled. To my shock, from somewhere else in the room came a loud whistle. For a moment, I even stopped to make sure it wasn’t me.
Throughout the rest of the worship set, even over the loud music, an intermittent whistle would sound. God said, “This will be known as the year of the Lord’s whistle.” The word “whistle,” as we know it today, actually is derived from an old Norse word “hvīsla” meaning “to whisper.”
I cannot hear the word “whisper” without thinking of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He was hunkering in a cave, waiting to meet the Lord. First, a wind that literally shattered rock whipped through the mountains. Then the earth quaked. Then a raging fire broke out. Through all of these, Elijah waited.
Then came a whisper and, at the sound of a whisper, Elijah came out. In America, amidst the spiritual ripping winds, earthquakes and fires, God is about to release a “whisper” to call the Elijahs out. This year, the new level of warfare that has kept people in their caves is going to usher out a group of Elijahs that have been in the hidden place, waiting for the word of the Lord.
A new level of knowing His voice and returning with a passion to His written Word is going to break out like a whistle.
In a rapid movement of God, there is going to be a “pushing past” obstructions and a spiritual opening. God is summoning and decreeing, and He is “blowing the whistle” on the enemy. Enough is enough. As I turned to the Scriptures for references to whistling, I was stunned. Zechariah 10:8 (NIV) reads, “I will signal (whistle) for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them: they will be as numerous as before.”
This verse occurs amidst a chapter that is a resounding call to prayer. Their world, at the time, was riddled with confusion as people worshipped idols, wanted to choose their own truth and morality and squandered their potential at fruitfulness. In response, God said, while crying out in prayer, that He would answer them, give them back the governing authority they had lost, help them overcome their enemies and restore peace and faith in their own country.
As this same thing happens in our world today, God’s promises are the same. Isaiah 5:26 also mentions whistling, saying, “He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come swiftly and speedily!” This verse is somewhat unsettling. The people in this passage were “wise in their own eyes,” not wanting to listen to the Lord but thinking their own way was best.
Just as mayhem ensued and the Lord whistled to the nations, God then raised up Isaiah to be a source of clarity and for his own people. Just as with Elijah, the calamity came with a new prophetic release. Psalm 9:2-7 also speaks of whistling and reads in the Message translation: “I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God. The day my enemies turned tail and ran, they stumbled on you and fell on their faces. You took over and set everything right; when I needed you, you were there, taking charge. You blow the whistle on godless nations; you throw dirty players out of the game, wipe their names right off the roster. Enemies disappear from the sidelines, their reputation trashed, their names erased from the halls of fame. God holds the high center, he sees and sets the world’s mess right.”
We see in this passage both a whistle for joy and a whistle of justice. With one whistle, injustices that have been allowed to continue are called out and taken down. As I prayed into this year, I see a year of shaking as “whistles” are blown to bring justice where there has been neglect for the Lord. I also see a year of “whistles” awakening and quickly moving people out of places of hiddenness or immobility and into new, individual roles, as they prophetically carry the voice of the Lord into all sectors of society.
In this next year, God is pouring the oil of anointing and healing on the mountains of society. Media, government, family, entertainment, ministry, education and business are going to receive anointing and healing where the thief has beaten and stripped them. Just as in 1 Kings 19, don’t fear when the “wind rips through the mountains,” the earth quakes or fires rage. Wait for the whistle. Then listen for the prophetic whisper of the Lord.
Throughout the worship service, Witten heard a “whistle,” even when the band was banging out the latest “Jesus is your Boyfriend” praise and worship song. Witten immediately assumed the “whistle” she heard was God speaking to her. Not feedback from the church’s AV equipment. Not from a hearing aid. Not from the HVAC system. Nope, G-o-d. The creator of the universe took time out from his sovereign rule of the universe to intermittently whistle to a woman with “supernatural” hearing.
Witten provided no evidence for her claim. All she would need to do is provide a recording from the church service. Of course, Witten will likely say that God was “whistling” to her alone, not the congregation, so no such evidence exists. Of course not . . .
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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