Quick note: My dear friend Shawn Bolz has put together a FREE ebook on the prophetic. Partnering with prophetic leaders, this book was put together to give a fresh perspective on the value & implementation of the prophetic gifting and ministry to the world today. I am honored to have been a contributor and have shared my chapter below. Be sure to download your free copy of Prophetic 2.0 here.
The two questions that I have consistently been asked in the past four decades of ministry are:
1. “What is God really like?” &
2. “What is the will of God?”
Both are relational issues & New Testament prophets answer both questions as soon as they open their mouths!
God’s nature is the critical part of our freedom. Guidance is the byproduct of right relationship with Him. We learn both these vital features by learning the lessons of abiding, which are to:
Be still and remain.
Consciously indwell and be a partaker of Christ within.
Take a simple turn and yield our hearts throughout the day.
Remain joyful and thankful.
See all of life through the eyes of God’s goodness.
We bask in His love because we are His beloved. We practice living every day under His smile. We are much-loved children learning how to grow up in Him and become confident, more mature adults. The Father loves us as much, and in the same way, as He does the Lord Jesus (John 17).
He put us into Christ and Jesus into us so that he can treat us exactly the same!
In the will of God, a right relationship is the key to moving forward. “Everything in Christ is yes and amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). The Lord always wants us moving forward. It’s normal to pray and commit things to him; this is an important part of our relationship. We must learn how he says yes, no or wait. The will of God is primarily relational. As we abide, we become sensitive to his heart. He gives us confidence.
Everything is yes in Christ! That means we always have a green light until God turns it red. Our responsibility is to be ready to go on green. His authority is to turn the light amber, which means wait, or red, which signifies stop. Yes, no, and wait are the main directives of guidance, with yes being the priority. Go until you hear no. There is no inertia in the Spirit.
We are the subjects of great love; therefore, we can make ourselves vulnerable to His goodness.
In relationship, we become sensitized to the nature of God. We can learn to live in awe, wonder, and astonishment. These are the beautiful attributes of beloved children. The nature of God is our most compelling adventure. His heart for us is the promised land of exploration.
I love my story in God. In the hardest chapters, I have seen beauty and extreme lovingkindness. I have been to hell and prospered because He held my hand. I have lost everything and thrived. I have been in the valley of the shadow and lost all fear. I have been on the mountain, bathed in a light so strong I thought I would dissolve in happiness.
In the depths of humiliation and embarrassment, crushed by my own stupidity and inadequacy, He showed me a grace so amazing it brought healing to my soul. He taught me how to find kindness everywhere, and the fun in being patient. His love leaves me awestruck with gratitude. In all these encounters, every event of my life has been about his primary purpose in making me in his image (Genesis 1:26). Everything is relational.
That is also the primary purpose of prophecy: to produce the bride, the beloved.
All new covenant prophets are the friends of the Bridegroom (John 3:27-30). We produce people who know, with a joyful certainty, how much they are loved.
The nature of God and the will of God are folded together in primary purpose that is as unchanging as God Himself. The outcome of every circumstance is cleverly designed to show us another glimpse of the Father’s heart. Abiding empowers us to see properly. We always behold what we must look for and look like in life. Every application of his will and purpose is to make us in His image. We are learning how to grow up in all things.
Every prophetic word, vision, or dream has that same intentionality. “My people know my voice” (John 10:27). It’s the voice of the One who knows us best and loves us best. It’s the One calling us up in Christ. We serve a God who is dedicated to seeing us get things right. In return, we live and abide in the sheer pleasure of waiting on Him. We learn to use the all-access pass of delight in his presence.
All prophecy begins with a logos word that we have already experienced in ourselves, and on top of that foundation, our hearts are secure enough to hear the rhema word of the future He is calling us to, or the direct now word that can challenge our circumstances.
Alternatively, we may see a rhema word first and release a future directive word—one that can then be rooted and grounded in the logos word that provides practical wisdom in how to process the promise. Both are required in order to fulfill God’s intentionality for the achievement of primary purpose.
In this context, we must learn that the Holy Spirit is our inheritance. These are the signature points that are made with every prophetic word. Primary purpose, nature of God, future and a hope (huge sense of expectation).
Prophets empower hope because they, themselves, have embraced love.
Assurance is a byproduct of presence. In all the circumstances of life, prophecy is the healing, releasing factor that elevates people into the high places of God’s intentionality.
PS) Don’t forget to download your free copy of Prophetic 2.0! It features wisdom from 15 other inspiring and helpful leaders. Grab your free copy now!