Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Waging warfare by the prophecies given

A little while ago, Dan posted a glorious prophecy from Glenda Rufus, given at CCK in Brighton, just before the 2007 Together at a Mission Conference.

It was an awesome prophecy for Newfrontiers, but I was struck very strongly by this comment towards the end:

"The Bible says we wage war by the prophecies given. You have waged that warfare and you have stood on those prophetic words and now the fulfillment is coming."

This is a reference to 1 Tim 1v18, "This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare."

Such warfare is key to the believer's armoury. I expect we all go through seasons of discouragement and times when we question whether we are in God's will. I can think of many people to whom God has spoken powerfully, prophetically over their lives, but the prophecies can get forgotten in the pressures of life. I can think of churches who have received wonderful promises from the Lord, but the progress seems so slow. This post is an encouragement to dust off the prophecies, perhaps from many, many years ago. We may have forgotten, but the Lord has not.

Of course, I am in no way downplaying the words of scripture; we must use these too, to build ourselves up. But God also speaks specific promises and direction over our lives, and these are powerful weapons to help us to stand.

I had been thinking on these things for a few weeks and then I read Genesis 24. Normally, this passage is used concerning God's guidance in marriage, but as I read my eyes were opened to the way in which Abraham, and then his servant, and also Isaac, stood because of the prophetic word of the Lord.

The prophetic word gave Abraham direction

The Word "to your descendants I will give this land"(v7) governed Abraham's life. He knew that this land was for the people God would give him.

So he was able to set clear limits on what was in or out of his life - v6: "Beware that you do not take my son back there." It could not be right for Isaac to leave the land because God had said "I will give you this land." So the word kept him from compromise.

God speaks to encourage and stir. God speaks to show us the path ahead, and we can cling onto the words of promise when we are tempted to give up, or to deviate from the call He has given us.

The prophetic word gave Abraham confidence

Abraham's answer to the servant's suggestion that Isaac leave the promised land, was "He will send His angel before you." Awesome stuff. He knew God would open the door because God had given him the word.

The prophetic word gave the servant urgency

Later we see the urgency of the Word is carried by the servant. By v33, he is saying "I will not eat until I have told you about my errand."

For us, the prophetic word is a call to action. Today is not "just another day", it is one day God has given us to fulfill the vision. The prophetic word frees us from drifting through life aimlessly.

We can strengthen ourselves by remembering the God's promises to us

Finally, we notice, just before Isaac met his new bride, he "went out to meditate in the field..." (v63). The Geneva Bible notes say that Isaac, as many of the patriarchs did, was meditating on the promises. In all the warfare we face, we can learn from Isaac; reminding ourselves of the promises sharpens our spiritual armour.

So the prophetic word is vital

So Abraham waged warfare with the promises. On the temptation to compromise - he knew to say "no - my son is not going back there." On the temptation that God wouldn't fulfill - he knew to say - "no- God will give you success." Such is the power of the prophetic word.

Faced with the "impossible" promise of God giving his descendants the land, Isaac took time out to meditate upon the promises.

So as we face battles on the road of life and ministry, it is the prophetic word that enables us to war. When temptation comes to compromise, perhaps to lose our cutting edge, we go back to what God has said to us. When the temptation comes to throw in the towel because it seems like the way is impossible, we stand on the Word of God. When it all seems impossible, we can specifically remind ourselves of what God has said.

He never lies; He says "for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled." (Jer 1v12, NIV)

Why not look up the promises God has given and, with these powerful weapons at the ready to take ground, enter 2008 confident of great things.


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely excellent. Yes yes yes the church needs to be revived and restored with a spirit of glory and of the prophetic. I love the prophetic song that Dan posted on the Rob Rufus blog ... Prophesy! Prophesy! Prophesy!! The call is to prophesy to the nations!

Peter Day said...

Thank you, James. :)

And, yes it is a truly glorious prophetic song. In fact the whole CD is so good. I strongly recommend you getting a copy - details on Dan's Rob Rufus blog.

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