We live in a time of shaking all over the world in both the natural and the spiritual realms. But we, as people of God, do not need to fear. In the midst of the shakings, God wants His people to have perspective, peace and purpose. The first of these—perspective, or vision—is a message God has continued to put on my heart. God made it real to me through a dream.
In the dream, I was a child in the middle of a large crowd. Noise and confusion were all around me, and because I was so small, I could not see what was happening. But then the Father lifted me up on His shoulders. He lifted me to a higher vantage point, from which I could see what was occurring all around me. I could see from my Father's perspective.
This is the perspective God wants us to have. He wants to transform us into a people with vision—a people with prophetic insight for the days we live in, prophetic understanding of what He is doing around us and prophetic wisdom to know how to lead others to the unshakable foundation of Christ.
Perishing for Lack of Vision
Unfortunately, many in the body of Christ are without the heavenly perspective that is necessary to stand firm in these days. They are tossed around by what they see on the news or hear from their neighbors or colleagues. Many times, even what they hear from the pulpit is nothing more than the faulty foundations of men.
The Bible says without vision, or revelation, the people perish (see Prov. 29:18). Psalm 74:9 says, "We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, nor is there any among us who knows how long" (NKJV). These verses describe both an individual and a national state in which God's people lack prophetic understanding or revelation. Lamentations 2:9 describes Jerusalem in this same state: "Her gates have sunk into the ground ... and her prophets find no vision from the Lord." Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."
Knowledge, wisdom, revelation, vision—God is trying to tell us that we will not survive without them. He has made these things available to us by His Spirit, but are we listening?
Discerning Present Conditions
In the verses above, God is speaking about prophets who do not see, leaders who don't understand the times and people who do not hear His voice. Too many in the body of Christ are prophesying over the next blessing rather than being the blessing. God is trying to show us the fire on the horizon. We are deaf to His voice and blind to His perspective.
There is a desperate need for a people with prophetic insight who can both illuminate the Word of God and interpret the present times. Scripture speaks of leaders with such insight in 1 Chronicles 12:32, referring to the "men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do" (NIV).
In "The Gift of Prophetic Insight," A.W. Tozer wrote about religious leaders who lack understanding of present conditions:
Religious leaders who continue mechanically to expound the Scriptures without regard to the current religious situation are no better than the scribes and lawyers of Jesus' day who faithfully parroted the Law without the remotest notion of what was going on around them spiritually. ... The prophets never made that mistake nor wasted their efforts in that manner. They invariably spoke to the condition of the people of their times.
Today we need prophetic preachers; not preachers of prophecy merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. .... We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits. It is not ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to appraise the religious scene as viewed from God's position, and to tell us what is actually going on.
God is looking for prophetic leaders who will meet with Him daily to gain His perspective and be guided by His Word. This prophetic people will receive revelation, insight, wisdom, and vision from God that will enable them to lead others into an understanding of God's truth and His will.
The Prophetic Promise for All God's Children
It is not only to leaders that God desires to give prophetic vision. In Acts 2, Peter quotes Joel 2:28, "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." To whom was this promise given? Acts 2:39 tells us, "The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call" (emphasis added).
Prophetic understanding and the indwelling of God's Spirit are no longer for a choice few, as was the case in the Old Testament when only kings and prophets would receive the word of the Lord. God desires for all His children to hear His voice and walk with prophetic insight and vision.
- Continue reading >>
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?