Only a part

We prophesy in part

How clever we are! If that is our starting point we have a lot to learn, and that path has to lead to ‘we are not so smart’. All prophecy is in part, the whole picture is never revealed. One can have increible revelation – look at Elisha and how he knew where the opposing army would be, so much so that the king was frustrated and was told that ‘Elisha knows what is going on behind closed doors’. Yet when the woman whose son had died came to him in great distress, he told his servant to go with her as he did not have a clue what had happened! I respect that enormously, the honesty (I know nothing) and the revelation (I know what is going on in secret) are probably related.

On the receiving end of things, no word will reveal all. I value, Paul valued, and above all God values prophecy, but we must never anticipate that ‘if only we receive a word from God through prophecy’ all will be clear. By all means pray that God will speak and show the way, but s/he might show that path could be in a variety of ways; prophecy might be one such way that helps.

We weigh prophecy. Yes – of God / missed the mark is one aspect; but also weighing it. What ‘part’ does that word play; how does it fit with what else I have received. Like a recipe – 200gms of this and 300gms of that plus… We weigh the ingredients; we weight all prophecy as part of the bigger recipe.

A second aspect of ‘only a part’ is that once we prophesy into a situation it is normal that we can only speak to a part. It is not the whole story (and I am particularly thinking of words that might be for a whole situation, nation, or season). The part we have not been able to get words for should provoke us to prayer. Gayle and I have some words (not directly for us) that we read to dig into, they give insight into the situation(s) but what is not said there, what is ‘between the lines’ is left there for us to wrestle with. The prophetic might throw light on those parts but those aspects are not actually in black and white in the text. There is so much more… Prophecy can open the door to a measure of understanding but prayer and yielding to God is going to bring something deeper. It is not knowledge alone that brings change, nor revelation alone, but co-operation with God (and I could add it is not God alone who brings changes).

God speaks when s/he is also silent. The sheer sound of silence – Elijah’s experience.

I am glad prophecy is God speaking. I am glad that God speaking is more than prophecy.

Not what I want to say

We all know so much, all based on what we are doing is the right thing to do, we after all are the ones who hear God and are in the centre of the will of heaven. That’s a great starting point – NOT.

It’s all very well to say ‘If I were you I would not be doing that’, or ‘no way would I feel free to do that’. If I take the illustration I used yesterday of the incumbent in the Vatican (BTW I have not had personal permission to use this as an illustration, but I don’t think he would mind) I certainly have my reservations about the position and the organisation. Do I believe Jesus intended us to have a pope when he said ‘and on this rock I will build my church’? No, I do not. Do I think Jesus intended (the perfect will of God) that Martin should do what he is doing? Of course, cos I am right, that much is obvious… or not!

Let’s start with we are all doing approximately what God intends, some approximations are closer to what God would do if s/he were us than others (and he became one of us)… but all are approximations. God speaks to US. Not to an ideal us (far too Platonic for an Incarnational, kenotic God). Hence prophecy is and always will be ‘in part’. God speaks to Martin with all his weaknesses, ideosyncracies and tendency just to do whatever he thinks anyway. So prophecy will not give me ‘the word of the Lord’ but will give me ‘the Lord’s voice to me’.

I find prophesying over people who are doing things, involved in situations that I (in all my self-righteous pontificating knowledge) would not touch with a barge pole a challenge. God does not touch things with a barge pole either, but with her/his own hands and heart. Do not, do not, ask for a king… OK you have asked for a king, bring him here and I personally will anoint the king.

The anointing, empowerment of God. So sweet, and gives me hope. The Holy Spirit might be given to those who are obedient, but that obedience is relative; it is obedience as I understand it. Let’s drop the absoluteness of ‘we are right’ and get involved in living for / with Jesus. As I wrote yesterday it might be that I don’t walk with Jesus, but given that he walks with me that is probably enough – we walk together.

To grow in the prophetic one has to learn, at times, to speak what one would rather not say. It is seeking to speak what God seeks to say to the person / situation where they are at, regardless of what I think about barge poles. So thankful that is the case. If we can’t get to that stage we will either end up arrogant (not good, there is not too much else in Scripture that ‘God opposes’) or continually questioning if God is with us (what we sow we reap… if we sow barge poles we will reap barge poles).

Generosity, encouraging, PRESENCE. Hence God speaks in part, with an overriding ‘Go for it’.