How Long, Lord?

Just heard this week that a friend is getting married. Also heard of another friend who is pregnant. Then, talked with someone who is getting out of debt and experiencing some real financial breakthrough.

Years ago, each of these people received prophetic words that promised what they are experiencing. Each of them experienced seasons when they questioned God, with tears, frustration, and despair, about why what was promised wasn’t happening. Some of them waited more than decade for the promise.

I have had several discussions lately about waiting a long time for prophetic promises to come to pass. A couple of people were of the opinion that the prophetic word they received just wasn’t any good – bad prophet or bad word. One person was of the opinion that God wasn’t doing a very good job of being God – forgetful God or judgmental God. One person was certain they were not good enough to receive what God wanted them to have – bad or unworthy person.

Bad Words

We have all seen poor prophetic performances in which people quote verse from Scripture at people as if quoting them was prophetic and the fact that they “prophesied” these verses God would be obligated to respond. This is not even prophecy; it is not predictive.

Of course, true and pure prophecy will often quote Scripture verses in prophetic simile: “Just as God blessed Abraham, he will bless you” or “Like God dealt with Hannah, He will deal with you.” Certainly, I have had God speak to me and through me in such a manner legitimately and accurately.

However, prophecy and faith statement are not the same. Some prophetic words sound more like cheerleading angels and heaven to make a big score. Some prophetic words predict people will be rich, have babies, become famous, and be elected President in the same context that they will win the lottery and pay off the national debt.

It is rare that I prophesy that someone will be rich or pregnant or famous, and I do so reluctantly because I know such a prophetic word is a call for that person to be prepared for what is coming more than what is coming. In other words, they need to hear a strong prophetic word to endure what is between them and its fulfillment.

Leaders need to instruct those who would prophesy about bad words of a spectacular nature, words that sound like prophetic competitions – “now, I will prophesy something better than anyone has ever prophesied to you before, then you will want me to be the one who prophesies, then the crowd will applaud and hope I prophesy to them, words that make me needed and important as a source of releasing the blessings of heaven upon people, for I am the great source of heavenly benevolence upon the earth in my generation…”

“Sit down and shut up” would be appropriate to this silliness and infantile cry for attention in the name of speaking the oracle of God. Enough of this immaturity. Set some protocols and make certain the word of the Lord doesn’t become morning game show performance of words that never come true with a “come on down!” atmosphere that when prophecy is occurring you may be the one who gets what’s behind door number 2.

How Long?

I am not saying that all prophetic predictions require decades for fulfillment, or that suddenlies will not occur through the creative power of God’s words. I am saying that Scripture and history speak are rich with details of prophetic predictions that test the souls of those walking into the fulfillment of those predictions.

I am saying that Abraham and Sarah waited until it was impossible for Isaac to be anything but a miracle, Moses arrived at the beginning of his life’s work eighty years old, “now” can mean forty years or more in prophetic timing, and the Glory Jesus received came through the Cross. It took Noah 120 years to build and prepare before he felt one drop of rain.

A prophetic word is a call to prepare yourself to be the person who can walk in its fullness and fulfillment. The prophetic word is not about God getting ready, but God getting you ready. The prophetic word redefines your priorities and puts pressure on the distractions hell is bringing to steer you into a different destiny destination.

The promise has a purpose, and you must be prepared to receive and fulfill the purpose lest you forget that purpose once you’ve received your promise.

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