When it comes to hearing God’s voice there are many things that we must do in order to ensure that our hearts remain without offense towards Jesus and His leadership over our lives. God loves to give us prophetic promise, creating hope in something that we really don’t know the time-frame of. In giving us these various prophetic promises, God begins to fill our lives with hope for something more than we are currently experiencing.
But this prophetic promise seems to create a dichotomy of emotions within us. This new promise in our lives creates both joy and excitement and also turmoil and disappointment. Those of us who have received prophetic promises throughout our lives fully understand the challenge in chasing the now and not yet.
The experience of receiving prophetic promises is not something that’s new to us today, but something that the people of God, throughout history have experienced. Going all the way back to the beginning of the story Eve, in the garden after the fall, received a powerful prophetic promise from God that said “And I will put enmity between you and the women, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel (Genesis 3:15).”
This promise is the crux of all the Old Testament stories as God began bringing forth a seed through the people of God that would appear in Mary’s womb with the incarnated God. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, David, Solomon and many other people throughout the Old Testament make clear through their lives, that prophetic promise carries both joy and sorrow. Hebrews 11 tells their stories, both of victory and great loss. Some receiving great miracles and others suffering horrific deaths (some being sawed in two Hebrews 12:37).
If you and I only set our hearts on the promise itself and not on the Person of God we can end up bitter, offended, hurt, disappointed and even disillusioned at the end of the day. It’s common for people to hear the voice of God regarding a certain promise and give themselves wholeheartedly to seeing it come to pass. Though we are called to wage war over our prophetic promises (1st Tim. 1:18) Jesus always asks us to lift our gaze higher than just the prophetic promise. If I were to be honest, there have been times I was more excited about the prophetic promise’s I have received than I was about God. God was the vehicle by which I was going to fulfill those prophetic promises spoken over my life.
Many people wrongly judge “God’s Prophetic Promise Book” by its cover. What I mean by God’s Prophetic Promise Book is all the positive words that surround the prophetic promises we receive. It’s common for us receive promises about our greatness, our promotion, the grace, power, and global anointing that’s on its way. But when we judge these prophetic promises by external fruits, we are setting ourselves up for great disappointment. Though the cover of the Prophetic Promise Book often includes these positive realities, the various chapters within the book tell a much different story. Those chapters speak of hardship, delay, slow process, seemingly little progress, internal personal development, pruning, realigning our thoughts and more delay. Those chapters might even include the truth that the prophetic promises you’ve received might not be fulfilled within your lifetime. And if that’s all your living for, living may very well become a disappointing existence.
I am not suggesting that when we prophesy we share mainly the negative truths related to the prophetic promise coming to pass or the peoples sin and compromise. I am just suggesting that alongside all the positive realties of our prophetic words, we must remember there is a great process that includes pain as God is bringing the word to pass through our lives and our obedience to Him. The human heart is so weak and broken, that God understands in order to motivate us, He mainly shares with us the positive realities of our prophetic promises. This is the sweet encouragment of God and has personally encouraaged me on my journey. Learning to be mindful of the process that’s connected to the prophetic will ensure we don’t end up sidetracked and discouraged along the way of chasing promises.
At the end of the day, God’s goal in the prophetic promise is not that we would chase the promise or even the fruit of the promise primarily, but that we would talk to Him, leaning into His process as He develops us and works to bring forth the promise to pass through us. It’s intimacy that Jesus is after and it’s intimacy with Jesus that ensures our hearts don’t become offended, bitter or downcast along the journey. Using Abraham as an example, we can see this clearly played out. In Genesis 15 God comes to a very downcast Abraham and calls him out of his tent. Abraham has received some previous prophetic promise’s about being the father of many nations, but both him and his wife are getting to old and she’s totally barren.
It’s here, in Genesis 15 that God calls Abraham out of his tent and makes him look up to the stars in the sky. God tells him “…Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. And He said to him, so shall your descendants be (Genesis 15:5).” Before God gives this glorious promise He says to him “…Abram. I am your exceedingly great reward (Genesis 15:1).”
God was saying to Abraham beyond dreams, destiny and descendents, I am your great reward. The reason why this was so important to Abraham is because he only received two sons in his lifetime, and only one of those sons, Isaac, was the son of promise to him and his future descendants. It would be hundred’s of years after Abraham was dead that God would multiply his seed and bring forth a mighty company of people connected to him (Abraham). If this promise was all that he was living for, he would have had nothing in the natural to show for it at the time of his death, causing him great unnecessary pain.
What do the promises of God in your life look like? Have you connected the process to the promise? It seems that if we have received great prophetic promise, we get an equally great process by which God longs to bring it to pass. Think about the various things going on in your life right now, the challenges, the pressure, the pain, the growth and ask yourself, is it connected to what the Lord has spoken over mylife? And if so, are you responding to it, rebuking it, or running from it? Dialogue with the Lord about your current life circumstances, because you may very well come to the conclusion that your current situation is directly related to the promises you’ve received and the prayers you’ve prayed for God to use you!