Why does God give us prophetic words that can be so far into the future, we often feel that we cannot connect with them now? He loves us to have a horizon in our life; something to aim for and head toward in our relationship with Him.
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not your calamity, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). These plans will connect us with our destiny, identity, and calling.
The principle of a future directive word is: The Father puts words into our long-term future because He wants to explore them in the Spirit and bring them into our present relationship with Him.
There are two ways that we walk in the natural. Firstly, we look at the ground around our feet so that we do not stumble or step into something nasty. Secondly, we look ahead at where we are going. Our horizon may be limited, but we look for landmarks of note to guide us.
What is true in the natural is also true in the Spirit. We look at where we are now in our fellowship with the Father, and we look ahead to where He is taking us in relationship. It is normal for us to have two perceptions on life; we live today and plan for the future. People who pay conscious attention to the interplay between present and future usually lead successful, productive lives. Those who only live for the moment seldom fulfill their potential and usually live with regret that they had not done enough with their life.
Present–future is also a way of thinking. It is a mentality that all fruitful people develop. We always make decisions now with the future in mind. We do not want to just move from crisis to crisis. We do not want our future to be a hostage of decisions we make in the present.
This is why meditation and reflection are so vital for us in life. The capacity to pause and calmly think about things (Selah) is an important part of our fellowship with the Holy Spirit, who is a genius at doing life!
If we really want to be transformed across the whole of our life in fellowship with the Lord, then we must be renewed in how we think (Romans 12:2). “As a man thinks in his heart so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
What we think about God is the most important thing in life. Too many Christians are trying to have faith without being settled in their hearts about who God is for them and what He is really, really like in Himself. They have little chance of becoming men or women after God’s heart because their own hearts are not fixed. When our hearts are unsure, our heads are double-minded.
Our testimony is always concerned not just with what Jesus has done (that’s our history), but primarily with Who He is for us now. What are we discovering presently about God’s nature? What are we exploring about the future in Him? Our present fellowship provides future assurances about our walk with Him. He who began a good work in us will perfect it in Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). Paul drew lots of confidence from his present–future way of relating to the Lord.
If what we think about God is most vital, then surely what He thinks about us is just as important. The Father’s loving disposition toward us is absolutely essential to our wellbeing, both in the natural and in the Spirit. This revelatory knowledge when combined with actual physical, emotional, mental and spiritual encounters and experiences of God’s nature becomes to us the very evidence of the incarnate Gospel. We are living proof of Good News!
Our thinking needs adjusting on two levels. Firstly, regarding our ongoing thoughts, ideas and reasoning about ourselves. Our innermost, heartfelt, emotional perceptions of ourselves must fit the way that God knows us and sees us in Christ.
Secondly, it is absolutely essential that we come to the place of understanding, agreeing with and consciously aligning ourselves with God’s view of us both in the present and with the future. It is much more than an agreed perception; it’s the basis of an upgraded relationship!
We see this, most particularly in God’s fellowship and relationship with Abraham. In Genesis 18:17-19, we see the Lord visiting Abraham and Sarah. He tells them they will have a son by the next year and Sarah has a fit of the giggles inside the tent. As the Lord is leaving after lunch, He makes this statement about Abraham to the two angels who are traveling with Him: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him shall all the nations of the earth will be blessed?”
Firstly, “Shall I hide” really means: I choose to include Abraham. I will open something up to Abraham. I will hear his thoughts. God is taking Abraham into His confidence. This represents an upgrade in their relationship.
Secondly, the most powerful word in this statement is the word “since.” God begins a dialogue, which obviously originated in Heaven concerning Abraham and his destiny. “I will include Abraham in what I am doing next…since…(i.e. for the reason that) Abraham will become a great and mighty nation.”
It was a done deal in the heart of the Lord. He wanted to connect Abraham’s present with his future. The Lord is going to include Abraham in what He is doing now because of what He sees Abraham will become in the future. He lives in the gap between our present and our future, relating to us easily in both contexts. Jesus, who ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25), stands in the gap between our present identity and our future destiny.
God speaks to us prophetically about our future and then relates to us in the present through our destiny. God begins to develop us from the place of our future toward where we are in the present. We partner with the Holy Spirit by cooperating in the present with our future in mind. In this way between our fellowship/relationship we always connect with our present–future.
–An excerpt from Prophetic Wisdom
Prophetic Wisdom is Graham’s most advanced book on the prophetic, detailing exactly how to take what you know about prophecy and applying it to your daily life. For the month of January Prophetic Wisdom is available as part of the Exploring the Prophetic Combo which also includes the CD teaching Making a Prophetic Impact. The Exploring the Prophetic Combo is perfect if you are ready to dig deeper in the prophetic and passionately explore all the treasure there is to unearth within.