What if you have been given a phenomenal prophetic word which lines up with Scripture, witnesses to your heart, is confirmed in various ways, and yet it does not happen? Was the prophecy not truly genuine after all?
First of all, many prophecies carry conditions with them: “If you will do this, then God will do that.” We can get so caught up in the promise that we skip over or forget the condition. Did God give you instruction for how to get there, and if so, did you follow through and do what He said?
Most prophecies do not see fulfillment in a matter of days. Many take decades. Abraham and Sarah waited twenty-five years for Isaac. Joseph’s brothers bowed down to him twenty-two years after he first dreamed about that event. Moses had the revelation that he would deliver the Israelites from bondage to the Egyptians forty years before it happened. How long it takes for fulfillment to come can depend on God threading together a series of complicated circumstances involving many people. It can also depend on how long it takes for us to mature to the place where we can handle that word finally coming to pass. God knows what He is doing, and His timing is perfect. In His love for us and for others, He makes sure circumstances work out best for all concerned. Coming into fulfillment prematurely would mean less blessing for everyone.
We can delay fulfillment of prophecy by not cooperating with the Lord, by trying to take matters into our own hands, by refusing to work with others in the local church, and by not heeding correction from the Lord or those He has placed over us as pastors.
If you see that you have already blown it in one of these areas, however, don’t despair! Ask the Lord to forgive you, and offer yourself afresh to Him. Ask Him to put you back on track. Generally speaking, our mess-ups can and will cause delays, but they don’t negate the word we received. God knew all along what you would do that would get in the way, but He is still committed to getting you to your destination. So, pick up and go on. Your promise is still there for you.
Here are some ways to prepare for its fulfillment:
1.) Write down the prophecy you received, so that you can remember it accurately.
2.) If there are conditions to be fulfilled, be diligent to do what you were instructed to do.
3.) Bathe your prophetic word in much prayer. Pray over it in your prayer language. Contend for it. Find Scriptures which apply, and use them to pray it through.
4.) Listen for God to give you further details as time goes on. Most prophetic words are not all laid out in one lump. The Lord expands our understanding and vision over a period of time.
5.) Ask the Lord to pour grace over His plans for you — to put you in the right places at the right times, to give you connections with people who can help you, and to give you specific strategies to implement the plans and ideas which He has given you.
6.) Have a servant’s heart. Serve in small opportunities which come your way, especially in the local church. God prepares us to walk out our big assignments by giving us opportunities to be faithful in doing less exciting things first. He builds integrity and humility in us in this way, so that we can handle the big stuff successfully when it finally comes. Look at every serving opportunity which presents itself as training ground. (And be willing to continue serving in small ways once you start to receive greater responsibility. We should never develop an attitude of thinking we’ve grown beyond or above doing the menial things.)
7.) Be vigilant to focus on the Promise Giver (Jesus) rather than the prophetic promise. It is extremely easy to inadvertently slip into worshiping our promises. So, watch against idolizing your destiny.
8.) Be aware that seeing a prophetic promise fulfilled often involves a death and resurrection. We reach the end of doing all that we can do, while circumstances may seem to make the promise no longer possible. It looks like all is lost. And then, it suddenly comes to life when we least expect it.
9.) Having done all, stand (Ephesians 6:13). When you’ve done your part, from being faithful to conditions, to serving, to letting God build your character, to praying it all through, it is time to declare your trust in the Lord that He will surely do it, and then determine to rest in that hope. It’s up to Him now.
If we follow through on these nine points, the Lord will see to it that every true prophetic word comes through to completion. He is a pure and holy God, Who never violates His own perfect integrity.
(This concludes the Discerning Personal Prophecy series.)
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