Welcome to The Prophecy Series. In this series, we explore the nature of prophecy, what it can tell us about the heart of man, and this incredible God that we serve.
Intro to the Series on Prophecy
A young woman awoke one morning with a longing for a cup of coffee and someone to talk with. Both had been absent from her life, especially the conversation. She wandered through streets, searching. Twice, an inner voice spoke to her and told her which way to walk. She found her coffee and her connection, the conversation tethered around God was both deep and meaningful.
A pastor of a church in a remote town slumped his shoulders one evening defeated by the days’ work and the monotony of small-town church life. He drifted in and out of awareness, visions of a harbor and clouds dancing through his head. He thought he was going crazy. Years later he found that exact harbor and a new lease on life.
A boy had a dream of a vine springing forth from his mouth to fill the whole sky. Laden with beautiful fruit, the vine fed the birds of the air. This boy would go on to become a man, and he would write volumes of works on the spiritual life, helping people to know the God revealed through Jesus Christ.
The smallest things in our lives can become life altering moments if we allow them.
A simple dream can inform the rest of your life. A seemingly random assortment of pictures flashing through the mind of a man who had no grid for visions affirmed the location of his pastoral vocation. A simple desire betrayed a deep need in the life of a young woman, providing a profound altering point for her life.
Throughout history God has moved upon mankind through the agency of visions, dreams, and strange events. Revelation, the in-breaking of something previously unknown, can become a common occurrence if we learn to pay attention. What we have come to call revelation is simply one of the means through which God moves upon the deep, mysterious center of our being.
They devise iniquities: “We have perfected a shrewd scheme.” Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep.
We are designed to live from the inside out, all of us do, but few of us are aware of it. You have an “inward thought” and a “deep heart” that you live out of. From this deep heart you devise schemes for life, or plans, thoughts, attitudes, and opinions. This deep place is a foreign mystery to most of us. In the Old Testament, it was the deceitful and wicket heart of Jeremiah 17:9-10, in the New Testament, you have been given a new heart of flesh (Hebrews 8:9-12).
The vast majority of humankind spends their time desperate to find purpose and meaning, regardless of faith. As Augustine of Hippo said,
“Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”
That deep, mysterious center is only revealed in one way. There is no shortcut, no alternate path, no other ways. There is only One who knows the true depth of your heart. He is called the Knower of the Hearts, and He alone reserves full right to the data placed inside. He has numbered the hairs on your head, cares for you more than the birds and the flowers, skillfully wrought your innermost being, carefully numbered the days of your life, and wrote about every detail of the being you would become in His book.
…For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
We struggle in vain to know who or what we are
We add definition to us by obtaining things, adhering to ideologies, and forming relationships. When these things are taken from us, our lives crumble. They become touching points for our personal identity, however they are flawed, frail, and faulty. Talk to anyone that has lost a house, gone through a divorce, or declared bankruptcy. The loss of personal identity by the failure of that which surrounds us can be devastating and takes most people years to recover from.
What we call prophecy God calls His knowledge. The in-breaking of his knowledge into our lives drastically alters the landscape of our makeup. Scripture says that He has as many thoughts about us as the sand on the seashore (Psalm 13917-18)
We have called prophecy a spiritual gift and thus watered the efficacy of God’s original intention. Prophecy is not just a gift; it is an aspect of the character and nature of God. But if I were to elaborate on that, I would get ahead of myself.
It is the nature of God to bring definition to you. Right down to your unique DNA code and fingerprint, God has designed you to be you. You are not haphazardly made, you are intentionally made. God is light, and the nature of light is to define, clarify, and elucidate. When He shines upon you (2 Corinthians 4:4-6) He illuminates what He always knew was there.
Paul prayed that we would be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, that our hearts would be illuminated to know three things (Ephesians 1:15-19):
The hope of your calling
The glorious inheritance of the saints
The immeasurable greatness of the power of God
When God breaks into your reality something of who He is and who you are is revealed. When the spirit of prophecy moves, whether through the agency of a prophetic word, or by direction revelation, some of that mysterious center of your being is revealed.