LIVING IN PROPHETIC TIMES OF PROMISE
I have titled my message today “Living in Prophetic Times of Promise” with great purpose and by faith. I did so because I believe we are about to enter a time of a prophetic surge. I’m not being mystical in my use of the term prophetic surge.
Last Sunday when I spoke regarding the historic first advent of Jesus and how we celebrate it, I mentioned that we are in the season of His second advent. This second advent is not intended to reveal a helpless babe to be consecrated at the temple in Jerusalem and suffer for the sins of His people. This second advent is intended to usher in the majestic King of kings and Lord of lords! A triumphant appearance of Jesus so glorious that His enemies tremble with fear and those who have hated Him in their hearts cry out for the rocks to fall on them and hide them from His face.
This second advent is releasing something powerful as we anticipate and await His appearing. I shared from Revelation 19 how the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus. Today, I’m going to step out and say some things in faith.
I believe in 2017 the church is going to experience a shift. I believe there is going to be a great prophetic release this year on the church for the purpose of witnessing for Jesus. I believe it will involve an evangelistic mantle being passed. Not a passing from a great evangelist to a single person, but a release of an anointing from a prominent God called evangelist that will fall on many.
2017 is also to be a year of turning. Turning from the distractions of daily life to a time of determined, intentional, pursuit of His presence. Gathering is going to be of great significance in the coming year.
This may sound strange to some, but I believe 2017 is going to a year of open doors for women in an unprecedented way. In history women have been instrumental or at least very engaged at every major important God moment that was powerfully history changing, and I believe God is not done with His daughters.
I also believe there is about to be a call go out to sons. Jesus came to bring many sons to glory. In this time of advent I believe men are going to begin to sense a strong pull of the Holy Spirit and to respond it is going to require faith. A faith that isn’t self produced but is mercifully given as men begin to realize their great need for it and begin to ask the Father in sincerity for it.
Look around this room today, because should Jesus tarry even the slightest and not show up before the end of the year, these surroundings and this current scene will be different. There will be people new to the mix, and I believe God wants to bring some positive change that will breath life more than we’ve seen so far. I believe there are ministries to be birthed and gifts and callings to be discovered this year.
I believe an anointing for prayer, faith, fasting, and waiting while watching for Him to return is going to come upon the church. There is a call going forth in the Spirit right now, a call to prepare, a call to become intentional, a call to turn aside and see.
Moses was to be the deliverer of Israel, he had even killed an Egyptian trying to self fulfill the destiny but after fleeing Egypt to save his own life he had settled in the camp of his father in law Jethro at the base of Sinai having married and taken up sheep herding. He was finally enjoying the peaceful day to day life of shepherding and enjoying family. He was blessed, his herds were flourishing and his family was well but one day he was drawn aside. God distracted him from his work and family to experience the glory of His presence.
I believe it is time for us to get distracted by the God of glory from the day to day things that have held our attention! Time to fall in love again with the One who gave Himself for us. To have reignited in our hearts and minds a fascination and love for Jesus and the good news He brings!
Ever tried to use a dirty mirror? Ever noticed how a rear view mirror on your car if never wiped clean can tend to get fuzzy and it gets hard to see what is behind you clearly because the mirror isn’t reflecting clearly? Doesn’t it motivate you to get something and wipe it clean?
I believe there’s going to be some polishing taking place this year. I hear the word Holy Spirit sanctification! I believe the Father is wanting a clear reflection of His Son in us! If we are to arise and shine it is not that we are the Son rise itself, it’s that we are a reflection of the Son rise! The cleaner our mirror the more we can clearly and accurately reflect His image to all who are near us. Purity is going to be important to many again.
I believe Harvest Church is entering into a “Come and See” time of visitation and purpose. A time when we become so intentional in all that we do together as a body and all that we experience together as a body that it is meant to be seen and experienced by others beyond our own comfortable ranks. At the same time I hear the word export! We are coming into a sending anointing as a church. Not that we haven’t ever sent anyone out from among us. But I am talking about another level of sending. I believe a real apostolic (which simply means sending) anointing is being gifted to us for taking the gospel forth.
Jesus is coming soon! Are you ready? This is not a time to have greater faith in your own unworthiness than in His willingness.
It is time to believe the gospel! It is time to take hold of the promise of His having known us in eternity past, predestined us, called us, justified us, and glorified us! It is time to believe this is made possible through what Jesus did at the cross and in rising from the dead. It is time to believe that the promise of the Father belongs to us because our Father is no respecter of persons and that promise is based on Jesus not us. The promise of the Holy Spirit belongs to all of us not just a select few who appear to more devoted.
It is time to let go of the counsel of men and take up the counsel of the Holy Spirit. I see a retuning of spiritual hearing. It’s been as if man’s opinion was a wax filling the ears of many, and I see the Holy Spirit clearing out that wax so hearing can return to many in the church. So let’s test that hearing today shall we?
After sharing a story about a widow and an unjust judge, Jesus spoke of how the widow went to the judge repeatedly seeking justice until one day the unjust judge granted her the justice she sought. Then Jesus said,
Luke 18:6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
In this example Jesus is teaching us something about the good nature of the Father and how He will respond to us better than an unjust judge. In other words the Father can be moved by our determination to seek Him for justice. But then Jesus asks a disturbing question.
But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Faith is willing to accept good news! Faith is willing to press in until the promise is realized. Faith takes hold of the word God has released and stands on it until it manifests. It believes it to be true all the way till death! The essence of faith is not proven by someones ability to question, criticize, or be negative and cynical. It is proven based on holding tightly to the promises of God that declare good things even in defiance of natural realities.
These words of Jesus about faith seem to echo the sentiment of Isaiah 53:1 “Who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
When Jesus started His ministry after His temptation in the wilderness, He spoke in synagogues throughout Galilea and was quite popular. But then He came to His boyhood home in Nazareth and entered their synagogue. Let’s see what happens when Jesus says something of great hope that catches the people off guard because of their lack of faith.
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” 20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” 22 Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” 23 Then he said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’ —meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ 24 But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown. 25 “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. 29 Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30 but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.
This is an account of the first time Jesus was rejected and people attempted to kill Him. It happens very early in His ministry and it was fueled by their lack of faith. They loved the good things He spoke about but they struggled with the idea He was the fulfillment. You see He was saying the fulfilling of Isaiah’s promise was based on Him. This is where many miss it! You see all of God’s wonderful promises are based on Jesus not you or I. In fact, Scripture tells us they are Yes and Amen in Jesus! But the challenge to us is the same as it was to these people of Nazareth.
Will we believe we can take hold of the promises based on who Jesus is and what He has done, or will we reject such a notion and fall prey to what we must do in order to make ourselves worthy of such wonderful promises?
Will we be so convinced we should be experiencing His promises simply because of Christ we can go to the Father like that widow went to the unjust judge and ask for justice?
Can we approach the Father as someone being unjustly treated if we find the promises are not actively working in our lives?
Can we approach Him reminding Him of His words to us not because He is forgetful but because He wants us to exercise our faith regarding His word?
What’s the first thing you do when you get a prophetic word that is confirmed in Scripture and spoken through a tested vessel? Do you throw up your hands in surrender to Him and receive it with wide open heart, or do you begin to question how it could be possible?
During the first advent Zacharias was visited by the angel Gabriel and given a great promise while burning incense in the temple. A promise from God that defied the natural. He struggled to receive it and as a result he lost his voice.
When the church questions the word of the Lord due to natural circumstances they forfeit their voice until such a time when God determines it is to be given back. However, those who believe and receive are given strong authoritative voices with which to speak. They get to taste and see that the Lord He is good.
Who’s report will you believe?
Will you believe the report of the Lord?