Prophetic Momentum

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

The great quote…

“The task of every generation is to discover in which direction the Sovereign Redeemer is moving, then move in that direction.

It’s a brilliant quote—often attributed to Jonathan Edwards; however, there is no evidence that he actually wrote or said it! (Somewhat akin to Smith Wigglesworth’s ‘Word & Spirit’ prophecy) It’s very possible that the quote is a paraphrased version of his theological stance, emphasising the sovereignty of God and the need for personal and corporate alignment with God’s will. Whether he wrote it or not, I am certain that he would agree with it!

It certainly aligns with Scripture, and I can think of five verses that would render the quotation a real prophetic challenge to us. ‘Prophetic’ because they speak into the challenges we face today and offer great hope and carry promise as to what God desires to do among us. Though it is a corporate challenge, the nuts and bolts of it start at a personal level. It has been said that before we see revival, we need to see it at a personal level—and that is the case here.

Trusting in God’s Guidance Over Personal Judgement – Proverbs 3:5-6

Let’s start with Proverbs 3:5-6 where the admonition is, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” It speaks of the necessity for us to proactively trust in divine guidance rather than rely on one’s own intellect or understanding.

Such a stance includes faith and conviction in the veracity of God’s Word. We need to encourage one another to trust God’s Word as the foundation for our lives. It’s not something that comes easily. When the Bible says that “all things are possible to the one who believes,” it means it, despite our experience. God’s Word will be with us forever; “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb 4:12) There’s a mystery in itself—there are times that you intended to bless, encourage, or reach out to others but didn’t. God’s Word discerned that intent and you may very well be rewarded for it!

We have to be a people who see, in military terms, ‘beyond visual range’. Trusting, obeying, and following all that the Lord leads us into by His Spirit. It’s easy to be formed and shaped by culture—or even people’s expectations of us, but we are not our own—we belong to God. That’s easily said, and agreed upon; making it a reality takes a lifetime of discipline. The challenge is there in Proverbs 3 because God knows you can do it. Bit by bit.

Listening for God’s Voice in Everyday Life – Isaiah 30:21

Knowing that God is leading you is comforting, and there is an assurance from Scripture that if you listen to the leading of the Spirit some very reassuring things will happen: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21) Again, this is in the Bible because God means it—but you might have to grow in intimacy and relationship with Him first before you discern His voice or leading.

Right now, listen to the sound of the clock in your room, or the sound of the traffic in the distance. Notice how your attentiveness in listening changed! The sounds were there all the time. In life, we block things out. You can pretend to be on a phone talking to a friend whilst a dog sleeps soundly, but include the word “walk!” in the sentence and the dog is back in the room, tail wagging.

Listen for God’s voice. John Wimber said that one of the things he gave himself to was listening to the faint whisper of the Spirit, and immediately obeying. You can too.

Embracing God’s Requirements for Living – Micah 6:8

So, in trusting God and following His leading, the question remains, what does He want you to do? Given you are only on this planet to do His will, it’s a good question. Our lives are full of “stuff” and “events”—things we like to do, want to do, and try to do. So much activity, but the prophet Micah simplifies things and throws down a radical challenge: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) He’s telling us to focus on understanding God’s requirements and living them out, which includes walking humbly with God, aligning one’s actions with His character and will. Getting your act together means embracing God’s kind, gracious, favourable, and exciting ways as your own.

It’s discipleship in action. Step by step, deliberately following His ways. Guaranteed you will make some stumbling missteps, but the Spirit urges you to press on.

Praying for God’s Will to Be Done on Earth – Matthew 6:10

With such a mission in our lives, we need to be praying for God’s will to be manifested on Earth in solid alignment with His sovereign plans. Obviously, one text expresses that perfectly: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) We are painfully aware of the need for the Lord’s prayer to be answered in every way—especially for this portion in our pre-war world with international tension increasing.

Observing and Following God’s Actions – John 5:19

So, finally we want to see which way the Spirit is moving so that we can cooperate and join with Him. You really can’t express that any clearer than when Jesus told the disciples, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.’ (John 5:19) We’re encouraged to be observing and following the actions of the Father, which is a model for believers to follow in discerning God’s direction.

Again, this was an encouragement that Wimber brought to the Church in the 1980s— “What do you see the Father doing? Now go and do it!” The response at the time from many of us was, “Erm…” but we soon learned and many great things began to happen in the life of the church.

So, joining the dots we come back to our great quote, “The task of every generation is to discover in which direction the Sovereign Redeemer is moving, then move in that direction.”

Whether or not Jonathan Edwards actually said it, the challenge still stands before us—and Scripture agrees it’s a great word!

The great quote…
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