Over the weekend, I shared encouragement with the local church that I am part of.
Just a few words of reflection…
Just a few words of reflection…
During worship I referenced the remarkable vision of Ezekiel that begins his ministry where he describes the glory of heaven and the wheels within wheels (the ophanim) accompanied by astonishing views of the heavens. Ezekiel was overwhelmed by the glory of God.
As famous as Ezekiel’s vision was, a prophet called Nahum had previously expressed his vision, and right at the offset of declaring it, makes reference to God’s greatness by proclaiming, “and the clouds are the dust of His feet.”
The immense vision of the greatness of God reveals that the vast display of the clouds you see above you in the sky today are not to be likened to anything, but merely as the dust of his feet. It is a great, encouraging image. God is greater than we could ever imagine. You too would wax lyrical if you stopped by and looked in depth at Nahum 1:3.
On reflection, I rambled on far too long and possibly as long as I could as I offered this small insight, perhaps caught up in my vision of God’s greatness, sovereignty, and providence. It’s incredibly easy to be captured by something that inspires your heart, even more so as you begin to voice aloud what you see, think or discern. For me, I’m having to learn as I get older to be brief and to the point and that not everything I say is interesting! Thankfully, I am tolerated with extraordinary patience and grace!
As I drove to work this morning, I pondered the events of the weekend and then on my input on a cold Sunday morning in our very large building. I didn’t exactly cringe, but knowing the manifest presence of God did not suddenly descend on the meeting like a thick cloud made me consciously retreat internally. Every so often, the things I desire to share are not as awesome as I think they are. It’s good to nudge ourselves that often it’s not always just a matter of being faithful and sharing everything (almost at your discretion). Prophets can get their timing wrong, and also the message, (Agabus?) especially when they speak into the obvious. Selah! Maybe you can relate. One thing for sure, when the prophetic ministry is on point there is a profound stirring of the heart to worship God. It provokes a, “God knows!”, “God cares!”, “God is on the move!” response in the heart.
With the prophetic ministry at any level, the imposter syndrome is felt easily if you engage in comparison (Comparison is never good, and the outcome is always suspect, and usually depressing!). An example is when I remember the film “Crocodile Dundee” where he responds to an attempted mugging by a man with a small knife [chuckling] “That’s not a knife. [draws a large Bowie knife] That’s a knife.” For me it can be a false reality check in one form or another that results in reticence to share what might otherwise be a “word of God for the moment.” The tension we live in is that God is speaking both more than we imagine and less than we imagine.
It is comforting to know that sometimes God speaks directly to us as well as to his church
This all sounds a bit melancholy, but it is intentional. It is comforting to know that sometimes God speaks directly to us as well as to his church. Having a close relationship with him allows us to discern more clearly when he is revealing something to us for the church. We also need to learn to endeavor to keep things to the point. I had a friend that many people would have heard of who had a ministry that used the Word of Knowledge with a remarkable level of accuracy; one part of his discipline was to make sure he said only what God showed him. Do not stop prophesying, but remain focused on encouraging the saints, so that their gaze will remain on him and you will do well.
God does speak. How we long for those times when God speaks with an audible voice as he did with Moses, Samuel and the prophets of old. The question is, how do we know when God is speaking just to us, only for us without declaring we are God’s favorite to everyone? I jest here, but consider Joseph and the submission of his family.
I don’t completely know the answer, these are just a few words of reflection. Maybe God will tell me; and then I will tell you.