One of the greatest challenges prophetic people face is our tendency to live in a different time zone than the rest of the world. While our pastors and family members are often concerned with what is occurring in the present, those of us who are prophetically inclined are often miles down the road into what is coming next. We have one foot in the here and now and one foot in the future, often with the majority of our weight resting on the future-foot. The horizon looks different to us than it does to those around us, which can create confusion in our minds and tension between us and the rest of our world.
Understanding that we have a future factor at work within us which is not always shared by those around us can minimize our personal confusion, help us deal with the temporary disappointment of not seeing our prophecies immediately fulfilled, and overcome inner hurt that stems from being misunderstood.
We can learn to harness our futuristic tendencies, rather than letting them run wild, but we must also keep in mind that this will be a lifelong challenge. Just understanding why you tick the way you do will go a long way toward helping you be secure in who you are.
A general principle in God’s Kingdom is that things become a reality in the spirit realm before they take concrete form in the natural realm. When God speaks something into existence for our lives, it is immediately fact, as far as He is concerned. But it usually takes time for it to develop here on earth.
As a result, if we hear or see an event in the spirit realm, but the circumstances we experience in the natural world appear to go against the revelation we have received, it can cause us to question our ability to hear God accurately. We might even begin to question our mental or spiritual stability.
The truth is, the natural circumstances will almost always rise up in opposition to what we are hearing. Part of why that happens is that the future realities which we are peering into, because they are realities, seem to be very much a “now” thing to us.
Another factor is that, while God desires for us to hold onto the words He speaks to us, incubating them in prayer and growing in our faith expectancy for them, the devil wishes to steal our words by getting us to fix our eyes on the contradicting events unfolding in the natural world. He hopes to discourage us into giving up, into believing that we have misheard God, thereby deterring us from praying for the fulfillment of those words or otherwise preparing for them.
Waiting for the manifestation in our natural world of what is already reality in the spirit realm is a challenge that all Christians face to a degree. Faith is not faith unless there is something not yet obtained to believe for (Hebrews 11:1), so all Christians experience the future factor challenge at some level. But the more prophetically inclined you are, the more you will bump up against this challenge.
In our next post, we will talk about working with the future factor when it affects our personal destiny.