You can tell the depth of profound intimacy that a prophet has with Jesus, by taking a look at the way that they approach the subject of getting their timing right with prophetic words, messages and revelation.
It is written that God reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets – and for the most part, when it comes to retelling those mysteries, secrets and disclosures of heaven the prophets of old got their timing right, down to the nanosecond.
One lesson that is not up on the blackboard of the Shiloh School of prophecy is timing. Comedians are taught that the secret of their success in getting the best laughs is timing. If you have it then success is yours! Prophecy is so similar in that single one sense – the timing is something that is often ‘intuitively felt’, it is not something that you can learn in a single lesson from a book or a DVD.
Good preachers and communicators know that one element of timing that can be easily embraced is pause. The best story-tellers know how dramatic and essential pause can be, and in the greatest narrative ever, God paused at the Cross and the shuddering drama of Calvary shook time and eternity.
Most, if not all prophets have struggled with the issue of timing. Is God showing me something for now, another day, another time or just for me to know? How many days, weeks, months or years should I hold on to what God has spoken without telling another soul? And is the reason that prophets tell another prophet they have something for counsel as to when to share it, because deep down they want others to know that they too are hearing God?
It is a difficult question and lots of legalistic responses will make the insecure feel a lot better!
Personally I think my opening remark carries the kernel of the truth of the matter. Intimacy with Christ will give us a fair degree of understanding about the timing of a matter. The Old Testament prophets gave no hints or teaching about the timing of their utterances – but they were moved by the Spirit as the Spirit gave them revelation. They knew the right timing for what they had because they were in dynamic relationship with God. They were seeing, feeling and knowing things and instinctively knew when and where to share them as God’s Spirit moved upon them.
Today people feel that God will be angry with them and not give them more words if they do not readily dump everything they have in one huge pile, on the day they receive it! Slight bit of humour there, but I hope you can see what I am saying.
It would be far better often if prophetic people learned to wait on what God was showing them, asking for clarity, praying for favour, opportunity and the right timing for them to minister. Such an act would prove the depths to which the prophetic person took the responsibility of the prophetic ‘burden’. It would also help give them time to minister truly out of grace and not with a religious, legalistic spirit that controls and has no real fruit.
God’s timing is always perfect, it is never at the last minute because whatever the deadline God can extend it!
How do you know when is the right time to share what God has shown you? Ask him – and be ready to wait for the answer.
Even if it is a long time, God will probably tell you something else in the meantime!