Geoff Daplyn sent through this email to me recently (check out: Your kingdom come.)
Scripture says that the church is founded on the apostles and prophets. However you interpret that, the prophetic is clearly important, but many do not understand it and fall into the trap of despising it – something that Paul in 1 Thes 5 urged us not to do. I’m afraid many who attempt to walk in the prophetic do not always help this situation.
Prophecy is often conditional, but it’s aim is always to motivate towards a deeper relationship with God. At the very minimum, the prophetic tells us what God wants to do. Often it isn’t fulfilled because we sit back and do nothing about it. We are to partner with prophecy and align ourselves with it. God is looking for people who will stand in the gap and speak into situations to change what is, into what God wants it to be. We are to be those who ‘call things that are not, as though they were’. (Rom 4:17) Thus, it’s always going to challenge the status quo. Roger Mitchell says that, “all prophecy must, I think, be subversive in imagining and choreographing the breakthrough of the new heaven and the new earth.”
So what does God want to do at the beginning of this new decade? Jesus said that the Father recognised different times and seasons. This is a good opportunity to use the internet to hear what other people, possibly in other traditions, probably believing different things to us, are saying. It gets us out of our ghetto (big or small) and gives us a wider perspective on what God is doing and is wanting to do.
Many of us still long for, pray for and work, for more encounters with God in OUR ways eg in regard to sickness, debt, injustice, relationship breakdown, lack of employment etc. etc. This is right, and we have had many successes in these areas (see Transformational Stories on the website). These encounters proclaim that the kingdom of God is here and demonstrates that what we say is true. But I believe that increasingly, God wants us to encounter Him in HIS ways.
As His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, they will challenge church and personal conventions, and many things that we were brought up to believe, we will discover are incomplete and inadequate. This may signal a shift from ‘service-oriented’ Christianity, and herald another major move of God. After all, we’ve enjoyed 270+ years of evangelicalism, and 40+ years of the charismatic movement, but are we any nearer reaching the 95%, even in the UK? Something has to change…..and this must be of God, not man. Some who are beginning to do it can be found in Blacon, Cheshire…
So this is not a time to hold too tightly to what we have built. The past and what has become familiar, will increasingly be seen to be a barrier to the future. Those able to run with this will begin to encounter God in HIS ways. Holding on to the past will often mean rejecting what God wants to do in the future. Some reactions to God doing stuff in HIS ways will be to disbelieve and denounce. Many others, though, will take note and begin to allow it to impact them and to change them. To follow this way this may involve a more intentional yoking, with those who are diligently seeking HIS kingdom first.