There is nothing predictable about prophetic exhortation, warning or admonition – prophets throughout history are poets, painters, story-tellers, dancers and can seem to be troublemakers!
If we likened the life of the church (and indeed society)to an artist’s paint-strewn canvas, it is full of colour, texture, vibrancy and the prophet’s job is to look into all the distractions that the Church sees and see the purpose of God, His redirections, encouragement and His warnings. Sometimes, stark warnings.
There is nothing predictable about what God is doing. Jeremiah is told to go and look at the potter’s wheel, see the work in progress. It starts as one thing, finishes surprisingly as another. Amos is asked to look at a basket of fruit and as he looks God reveals some bad news for Israel.
His omnipotence means He can do what He says He will do.
Time and time again, God speaks to His people, reveals Himself. As the people of God, we walk not by sight but by faith, but our eyes are wide open.
“In these last days”, says the mysterious writer in his sermon to the persecuted Church, “God has revealed Himself in Christ. (Hebrews 1:1) Previously, at various times and in astonishing ways, God spoke through the prophets, but now God was speaking directly through His Son. You would expect it all to end there as if the painting was complete, framed, exhibited – but in the darkness of a world with all it’s heartache, frustration, pain and discouragement, God lights up the sky with revelation. The prophetic ministry still speaks.
The Lion has roared, who can but prophesy?
The prophetic chit-chat has become a roar of transforming, challenging, glorious revelation; Christ Himself is the message booming from every heart in the Church. The message can be stifled, but encouragingly, renewal and revival breaks the gagging orders and amplifies the voice of those who have been intimidated to keep themselves whispering. The Holy Spirit evokes boldness in the heart of the believer, and boldness has a voice!
Expect God to speak to you. It may be in a way that you never imagined or expected. In the same way that you might tilt your head to hear a faint voice, you need to incline yourself to hear, see or know God’s voice and leading. Don’t exasperate your own heart – don’t hold back in your pursuit of hearing the inaudible, seeing the unseeable! Look and see! It wasn’t until Moses chose to look further at the bush that was on fire but not being burned that God spoke to him.
Don’t despise prophecy. Let the fire of God rage in your heart in response to what He says to you. It will transform lives. Don’t tire of sermons, poems & essays that speak of God’s staggering provision, and His promise of a breakthrough in the face of adversity. His omnipotence means He can do what He says He will do.
God is doing more than you think. Take a closer look.