Looking Out My Window: Prophetic Pondering’s – Unfolding Years
“He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything will be brought together and summed up in Him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth” (Ephesians 1:9-10 – The Message).
Now more than ever we need to realize God has a plan. His plan is more than just a plan to “prosper us and give us hope for the future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Yes, the promise from Jeremiah is part of His plan, but there is much more to the plan than just quoting a Scripture verse over people. We can declare until we’re blue in the face that “He has a plan for us”. But the Lord is starting to stir in my spirit that it is time to discover the difference between declaring a word, and decreeing a word.
More Than A Pop-Off Prophetic Word
Around mid-2015 I found myself with a prophetic word burning deep in my heart one Sunday morning. Convinced the word was specifically for this particular Sunday, I pestered – yes I’m using the word pestered – our Lead Pastor about it. I knew the word had to be released that day! Then, just before walking into the main sanctuary, the Pastor said to me; “I’m not interested in just another pop-off prophetic word.” This started me on a journey of not only seeking God on what He was saying, but I also started asking other Pastors and leaders about what I now call pop-off prophetic words. Much to my surprise, I discovered others feel the same way about the prophetic.
Somewhere along the line we’ve lost God’s intended plan for the prophetic. Instead of building up, guiding and encouraging believers, many prophetic words these days are either condemning, controlling, or simply wishy-washy Jesus loves you type words. Of course there are exceptions coming from the likes of Bishop Bill Hamon, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs and others in similar streams. But, for the most part, I sense God saying He is tiring of much of what we call the prophetic these days.
Prophetic words are meant to guide God’s people in the direction they should go. Pop-off words are usually for one particular point in time. What I started hearing from Pastors and leaders revolved around the fact that too many times these pop-off words are disjointed. Instead of raising up a company of prophets with insight and revelation from God as to how to move forward, we’ve raised up a company of prophetic people who know how to deliver feel-good words in the middle of a service. I had one Pastor tell me he cringes when someone wants to bring a word. After the word comes, he’s the one trying to figure out how it connects with the body. Some went as far as to say they are simply tired of the Jesus loves you words, or words of condemnation.
If we believe God has a long-range plan, we must move into a season where we start seeing how prophetic words build on one another.
Pop-off words bring little to no practical application. They simply come, people cheer, and then forget what was said. As we move from the day of the pop-off prophetic word, we will once again discover it is the church’s responsibility – and I might add the Prophets responsibility – to not only walk out the word, but also teach believers how to walk out the word.
A View To The Future
From the 2015 word from our Lead Pastor, I now see how God builds on His word from year to year. At the end of 2016 while waiting on the Lord for His word for 2017 He actually unfolded a five-year calendar in front of me. I clearly saw pages of a calendar unfolding as I sensed the Lord saying; “My people need to stop with the pop-off words as they are nothing more than tear off sheets before Me”. I then saw piles and piles of paper with months and years written on top of them. Instead of working the word, as Paul encouraged Timothy to do, the monthly and yearly words were discarded and laying on the ground. Crumpled up and tossed aside like yesterdays news.
Paul tells us God set it all out before us in a long-range plan. The NIV translates Ephesians 1:9-10, “He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ”.
History reveals a progressive restoration through revelation and understanding of Scriptural truths. Paul’s prayer to the Ephesian church is key in seeking God for His plans as we see the years unfolding before us. Paul prays, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:17-19). Eugene Peterson translates the same passage in The Message saying, “I ask God to make you intelligent and discerning”.
It’s one thing to have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Church history is full of people with wisdom and revelation. However, we also need a raised level of discernment in order to know how to move forward in what He’s revealing about the days ahead.