Wait! Don’t let the post title chase you off.
In prophetic circles, the new year brings a flurry of prophesies from the big-name prophets for the coming year. If we had a prophetic-word generator, you could take the following list of words, add a few prepositions and articles, mix, and voila…instant prophetic word.
- revelation, destiny, possessing, inheritance, dominion, authority, revival,
- anointing, remnant, breakthrough,transfer of wealth, shaking, sifting,
- repentance, fresh wind, new day, new beginnings, a new thing, new wine,
- release, intercession, battles, persecution, strategic, great harvest,
- abundance, increase, jubilee, visitation, glory, open heaven, decree,
- influence, accelerate, floodgates, favor, prosper, the nations, victory
I still believe in the importance of prophecy. We need to hear God speaking to us. Yes, there are probably elements of truth, accuracy, and direction in many of the words we have heard. But there is something about platform prophecy that has become wearily predictable. This phrase from Ezekiel may apply to what prophecy has become in the church.
“…they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace…”
This prophetic message from Andrew Hamilton at Backyard Missionary has been rolling around in my thoughts since I first read it.
You know the drill… ‘I believe there is going to be a mighty work of God in this land… a revival of epic proportions… God is doing a new thing… if my people will humble themselves and pray… blah blah blah…”
I began pondering why we crave this revival experience and I wonder if it because we are too lazy to get off our own butts and get involved with the people in the communities we live in…I wonder if we don’t just want God to do the ‘hard work’ of mission…and then when he has done his thing people will flock to our churches to join us… and become like us… and we won’t have to change one bit…
Revival as I hear it depicted takes the responsibility off us to be salt and light. It’s as if the people pray and send God out on mission, and then complain when he doesn’t get the job done.
We really have to stop this nonsense talk about taking the world for Christ when most of us don’t even know our own next door neighbours. And we need to stop expecting God to do what we are too lazy or afraid to do ourselves.
I don’t say that to discourage you, but I say it because I am tired of the false hopes that get thrust at us from so many directions. So many conferences with answers and plans and models to fix where we are at – and yet so little changes.
Be sure to read the whole thing here.
It is very much like this prophetic word for 2008 I read a month ago by Steve Hill at Harvestnow.
The flood of prophecies for 2008 have begun to come in. They sound remarkably similar to most I have been hearing for the past 15 years! “This is the year of revival! This is the year of His power. This is the year of increase! This is the year of harvest.” You mean it really, really, really is going to happen this time? Since the new year is 2008 we have also begun to hear a lot about 8 being the number of new beginnings. So will this really, really be a new beginning?
The revival to come does not demand obedience now. We can feel all warm and fuzzy about the wonderful word and clap at what God will do while conveniently forgetting that where ever people are simply obeying Jesus they are seeing the Kingdom multiply now.
The gospel of the Kingdom only has power as it is demonstrated and declared outside the four walls of our comfort zones! Much of the fervor of the spiritual warfare movement is simply the avoidance of doing the now work in the fields.
Harvest fields tend to be poor and difficult places. Harvesting is hard work where ever the field! You have to get dirty and involved. Sinners do not give honorariums. Discipleship is about one on one stuff! Jesus sent away the crowds in order to invest himself in the twelve. Revival is not about platforms and performances. It is about relationships, sacrifice and obedience.
Similar thoughts from an article I wrote last year entitled, Why Charismissional?
Although the charismatic church has prided itself in revelation and knowledge of the ways of the Spirit, missional living has not been our practice. To know the Spirit is to understand the missional heart of the Father, but we have not lived as people who have this revelation.
Traditional charismatic expression has little connection or relevance to the outside world. Our use of charismatic gifts has not compelled us to go to those to whom we are called. The deeper we went in our quest for the things of the Spirit, the further removed we became from knowing and relating to those who do not yet know Jesus.
We cannot stay bunkered in our walls praying for revival. How can we accept that mentality when Jesus’ example and command is to go? We have not been given a blueprint for spiritually mapping revival. Our blueprint is to be among those who need to hear the gospel of the kingdom, befriending them and intertwining our lives with theirs. To continue to pray for revival without immersing our lives among the lost is ridiculous.
It’s time to stop looking for the big deal. As Shane Claiborne said, “Get ready, friends…God is preparing us for something really, really-small.”
God is speaking today. He is speaking through the voices of those who say we need to rethink what it means to be the church and what it means to do mission. He is urging the church to remember what it means to be the people of God, sent to love our neighbors and to make disciples. He is not calling us to greatness; He is calling us to be obedient and to be faithful.