Prophetic Momentum

Jon Cressey writing mostly about church, prophets and prophecy...


A few years ago, thanks to the generosity of my brother and sister-in-law, I had the privilege of visiting and touring a vast expanse of Lebanon, which included a trip through the Bekaa Valley to see the incredible Roman ruins at Baalbek, and then visiting the spectacular caves of Jeita Grotto. Beirut city by day and night was an experience in itself, but not to be missed was a long, winding trip up the crisp, cool air of the mountains to see Lebanon’s massive cedars.

Planted by God

My Church, Emmanuel Sheffield, was planted in Sheffield in 2017, and one of its key features is King David’s Psalm 92 exhortations. It’s a place of worship, fellowship, and friendship where we experience the presence of God in a dynamic way that gives us peace in a world of turmoil and upheaval.

One of our values, captured in Psalm 92:12-15, is an audacious one. We’re not just called to experience the heavy ‘presence’ of God akin to the ‘kabod’ of God (Glory and weightiness), or to delight in the peace that only God can bring that passes human understanding, but we are also attended to by God in such a way as that we ‘flourish’.

God always has more for us

Flourish. It’s a heart-warming word. The song of David paints a vivid picture of the righteous as resilient, enduring, and fruitful individuals, much like palm trees weathering life’s storms – and not dissimilar to the huge towering cedar of Lebanon; standing and remaining tall amidst challenges. It’s a display where God’s intentional intervention in lives that have that ‘Immanuel’ quality about them displays a God that never leaves or forsakes His people. God’s people are called to flourish and grow. As David’s song progresses, inspired by the Holy Spirit as all his songs were, he changes the tempo, the rhythm, the focus and draws us to a startling double-whammy revelation…

Back to Eden?

The righteous are not just flourishing and growing – they are planted. Planted by God. Not in the Garden of Eden, the place where it all started – instead, God, giving us the best of the best, plants them in the house of the Lord! And what happens? They flourish in the courts of our God! God has a long-term plan; it’s extravagant, gracious, wonderful, and exciting! Here’s the thing. It’s not a one-off event where we once flourished, grew, blossomed, and then wilted.

Society struggles with what to do with all the challenges of time. People are happy for time to pass if it means they will have reached a given target, accomplishment, result – or even an inheritance. Age is the problem, and along with it are the inherent problems that accompany it. The Church has a different view. Have you ever wondered why in Joel 2 it is written that “the old men will dream dreams?” Could it be that the old men (and women!) have a relationship with God that allows them to search out the mysteries that dreams often bring and be able to apply doctrine and theology to understand the revelation that God brings?

Prophetic mandate

I digress. King David talks of the righteous flourishing in the Courts of our God with another exciting feature – they still bear fruit in old age and remarkably, they are ever FULL of sap and green. They are not turning yellow or wilting. That’s God’s intent for us, and His Lordship means He has the power and authority to ensure that it happens. And the outcome? It’s a prophetic one – they declare that God is upright.

God is upright. That says it all. He is all that He says He is. The righteous flourish because Christ is their righteousness, His Spirit brings His presence into our lives causing us to march to the beat of a different drummer and in the peace that settles our hearts calls and causes us to flourish, to grow and be a blessing to all of those around us.

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