His wrinkles betrayed his age but were laced with kindness and bordered eyes that reached out to love us. I sat on the edge of my seat held captive by the words flowing from his mouth. “Prophecy,” he said slowly walking across the podium, “is intended to comfort, edify and exhort.” He shook his head and held up one hand. “We will not be giving any ‘directive’ words rather our intention will be to reflect the love of God as He seeks to encourage and lift your hearts.”
Just when I thought the introduction couldn’t get any better he said, “By the way, we’re human and can miss it at times. If something we say doesn’t seem to fit then please give us a little grace…I would also suggest putting it on the “shelf” as something that doesn’t make sense now might later on.”
In a world where the “prophetic” carries such a harsh and unloving undertone an introduction like what I’d heard for a night of prophecy was incredibly refreshing. The tones of judgment and self-righteousness were absent from his inflections. I could literally feel my hear soar as memories of “other” prophetic nights served as a stark contrast.
He proceeded to minister as the Lord led to the room full of people. All around us people were deeply touched as the love of our perfect Father flooded the recesses of their hearts. The emotionally and spiritually dead came alive as the light of love invaded dull eyes.
Yes, the prophetic I believe has been abused and misused. I think it’s hurt many people as those who minister in the prophetic may have sought to expose and condemn rather than love. There is a lot we could say about the prophetic today.
But there is something bigger displayed in this picture. It’s how we envision what coming to the Father, caked in layers of sin, looks like. Is He going to love us or beat us? Is He going to embrace us or throw us out of the room?
I think the harsh image is one reason why people run from the prophetic. If we believe that God is only going to yell at us for our sins then why would we want to listen to someone who claims to be a voice for God? Sadly, someone using the prophetic through a bitter lens holds many times our perception true.
But in Hebrews (my favorite book right now) we get an incredibly different picture of God than many people ministering in the prophetic have portrayed.
The writer of Hebrews states that there is no creature that exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of God.
Some of us are saying, “Yep, He’s out to expose my sin. He is focused on all the dirt in my life. It’s the same o’l song and dance. He’s waiting to pound me so I won’t go to Him.”
However the writer of Hebrews goes on to say, BUT we have a great high priest who has already ascended and passed through the heavens. Jesus Christ, the Son of God (who IS God), let us hold fast to Him because He has shared the torment of being tempted in every way we have and are but has NOT sinned.
We are told that God sees all things but Jesus knows and understands. Though He never sinned, and certainly never condones it, He is able and willing to empathize with us in our struggle. That is not a self-righteous ‘I told you so’ position but one that hollers, “I’m sorry you’re going through this. I know what it feels like. Let me help you.”
Because of Jesus, our great High Priest, we are invited to fearlessly and confidently approach the throne of GRACE so that we can receive mercy for our failures and help in our time of need.
It’s the presence of God we are invited to fearlessly approach in our sin-caked conditions and He sits on a throne of grace, not judgment. He is waiting and willing to pour out mercy.
(Note: There will be judgment one day so I’m not saying there won’t be. Now what that judgment will look like is a topic for another day).
To top it all off, the writer of Hebrews goes on to quote Jeremiah in chapter 8 saying “For all will know Me, from the smallest to the greatest of them, for I will be merciful and gracious towards their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.”
All will know God by His mercy and grace. Not by bolts of lightning and thunder and end of the world judgment. We are not drawn to God by people using the prophetic to expose and judge, we are drawn to God by those exposing the true nature of His heart. His almighty and all consuming love!
**Scripture is Hebrews 4:13-16 and 8:11-12**
Jesse and Kara Birkey
Jesse and Kara Birkey are committed lovers of Jesus who seek to show others the extraordinary life of Jesus is available for everyone. They have authored two books, been featured in films and seek to serve the Lord in whatever ways they can. Follow their blog here.
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Life Resurrected, Extraordinary Miracles through Ordinary People has been endorsed by Sid Roth and Mark Virkler and is a collection of inspiring stories making it clear that the extraordinary life of Jesus is available to all who love Him. It’s also the testimony of Jesse’s life, the road he travelled bringing him into the arms of Jesus. Get it on Amazon here. View the trailer here.
Marriage What’s the Point? One couple finds meaning in a crazy mess is the story of their marriage—The tragedy and the restoration. They bear their hearts in an attempt to get others to bear theirs and finally receive the freedom they’ve longed for. Get it on Amazon here.