It felt like it came out of nowhere. I suddenly heard His voice resonate inside my spirit with perfect clarity. He said, "In June, your church will experience a financial breakthrough." I was filled with expectancy at the news. We were about three years past the 2007-2008 recession, but were still recovering as a church and getting our financial confidence back. June came, but instead of a financial breakthrough it seemed like we went in reverse! It ended up being a difficult summer financially. That breakthrough did finally arrive, but not until the fall of that year. What happened? Did I miss the voice of God?
The Bible describes some purposes for prophetic words. Prophetic words comfort and build us up in a revelatory way (1 Cor. 14:3). Prophetic words can unveil our hidden desires as well as reveal our future (Acts 11:28, 1 Cor. 14:24-25). A prophetic word is also a sure weapon when experiencing spiritual warfare. The apostle Paul instructed his spiritual son Timothy to wage war and "fight well" using his personal prophecies (1 Tim. 1:18).
Paul said that because he understood what was really behind Timothy's conflicts. Demons had been sent to oppose him and hinder his spiritual assignment using human beings to carry out their wishes. Spiritual problems need spiritual weapons and Timothy needed to use his prophetic words to overcome and stand strong.
Prophetic words act as sharp swords in the spirit realm when we speak them out boldly and with authority (Heb. 4:12, Mark 11:23). They will cut through anything that stands in the way spiritually and cause the natural realm to reorganize. The Lord had spoken specifically to me about our finances, even telling me the month of breakthrough in order to hedge us from a well-timed satanic attack.
I've learned to not be shocked when a prophetic word is the exact opposite of our present experience as God confidently calls things that are not as though they were (Rom. 4:17). An "eater" had come to devour us, but the Spirit of God had come with a well-timed word strong enough to force a turnaround.
What's Eating You?
The Holy Spirit has been raising a phrase in my heart over and over again. He's been speaking that ancient riddle to me, "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet" (Judg. 14:14). In addition, He's been speaking to me about divine turnarounds.
The riddle, "Out of the eater..." in Judges 14:14, was the riddle posed by Samson to his Philistine wedding attendants and crafted from his personal experience. Samson had been traveling by the vineyards of Timnah when suddenly a young lion came out ROARING in an attempt to devour him. Just as suddenly, the Spirit of God fell upon Samson in superhuman strength and he tore the lion apart! By the Spirit of God, he destroyed what had tried to destroy him.
After some time, Samson traveled that path again and found the lion's carcass. The carcass was now host to a swarm of bees with more than enough honey to satisfy Samson and to feed his parents. What had tried to eat him was now feeding him and feeding his family too!
We've all encountered an "eater" before, but "eaters" have triumphed in our lives far too many times. The "eater" has eaten our close relationships, our finances, our health and our confidence, having picked too many of us clean with barely anything left over!
The Christian life, however, is all about overcoming. The Bible describes how we will overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11). We are also given a powerful promise to rule nations if we overcome and follow Christ well (Rev. 2:26). If we have such promises, there has to be a way in God to consistently overcome the things that have come to "eat" us.
The Spirit of God Came Upon Him
Peter warns us by saying, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). We know what it means to be sober, and to be vigilant means we "carefully notice problems or signs of danger (Webster's)." In other words, be a man or woman of God that is so alert and so well prepared that you become hard for Satan to devour in the first place.
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