by Lyn Packer
Can the precious gift from the Lord of a prophetic word about our future actually be used to rob us of our present? How and why would that happen?
Don't you love the little serendipitous moments that come and cause you to look at something familiar from a new angle? I was set to wondering a few days ago, as I read an article that talked about people not letting go of the past. In it there was one little paragraph that set me thinking. Just as the past can rob me of my present and future if I don't let go of it and move on, can my future sabotage my present?
How much have I missed of what God wanted to do in my present because I was so focused on the future? What have I missed out on in present relationships? What 'now' acts of the Lord in my life have I missed, what 'now' moments of His presence and power?
Can the precious gift from the Lord of a prophetic word about our future actually be used to rob us of our present? How and why would that happen and if it happens who is at fault? Is it me, or is it the devil, robbing me? If it is possible, then how do I treat a prophetic word? Do I throw away my future because I don't want it to rob me of my present? Maybe we should just live for the 'here' and 'now'? So many questions to ponder on and all leading to discoveries about my life and opening up a dialogue between God and me; I suspect they will do the same for you if you allow them to.
Let's look at some ways our future can potentially sabotage our present if we let it.
When it is so big it seems impossible
One way our future can sabotage our present is when it is so big that it seems impossible, so we shut down and do nothing because we think we can never achieve its reality.
Sometimes things can seem so big in our minds they immobilse us because we don't know where to start. Sometimes it's because we don't see ourselves as God sees us. We look at our present state and think – "I'll never be able to do that" or something similar. The devil hurls at us accusation and intimidation that we allow to take root in our mind. If we do that we will become immobilised and will walk our life from a place of unbelief instead of faith.
When that happens we will begin to speak from that perspective and reinforce those beliefs again by what we then say over our lives. Thus a vicious cycle establishes itself and we go into self destruct mode and both our present and future are sabotaged.
What we need to do is ask God – what one step can I take toward this today, break it down into small steps and take the first one, combine it with some of the other things in this article and you'll be well on your way toward it. Im not going to say make a ten year plan and stick to it, sometimes even making a plan can seem too big but you can take one step, so take that one step and then the next and before you know it passion will rise within you empowering you to begin to plan.
God will make it happen, I don't need to do anything
This is a false belief and is I believe a lie that has robbed many children of God, sabotaging their present and stopping them from fulfilling their destiny. Yet at the same time we cannot fulfill the prophetic words in our own strength – we must be aware of and follow God's timing and preparation strategy.
If we put off any strategic working with God toward our future we will obstruct God's present working in our lives as well. God has things to do in our personal life now to make us and shape us so we will be the person that will see our future present 100 fold fruit to Him.
We need to realise that when God speaks a prophetic word over us it is because God sees and speaks from our possible future into our present. Prophetic words speak to our potential. They are not a 'fait accompli'; they are dependent on us working with God to become that person and fulfil that destiny. Some people go their whole life waiting for their prophetic words to come to pass. They mistakenly believe that it will automatically happen, that they don't have to do anything but sit back and wait for it to be handed to them in it's fullness.
We must ask God to reveal to us His preparation strategy. We must allow Him to work in our lives transforming us and making us into the image of Jesus. What character issues aren't you dealing with now because you think 'it doesn't really matter, I have plenty of time to deal with that once I get my vision/ministry established'? What character issues do you need to work on now to prepare you so you will stand firm later on when the pressure comes.
What skills do you need to learn? What training do you need to get? Be intentional, be strategic; get your strategy and timing from God and make a start toward it.
Becoming future oriented
Your perceived or believed future can sometimes stop you from doing what God has called you to do in ministry now.
So how does that play out? What people are you missing sharing and praying with now because you are so busy looking to the future when the 'anointing' will come on you and God will release you into ministry? How many times do we walk past someone who is in obvious need because we are waiting for God to 'anoint us with visible felt power' when we should be stepping out in faith on his already revealed Word to us in scripture.
This happened in the 70's when huge emphasis was placed on end times and the fact that Jesus was coming soon and we were going to be raptured so why should I train for anything, why should I bring a child into the world if we are leaving, why do this or that when it was going to be for nothing. For those people their future sabotaged their present big time.
Another example – if I'm going to be a full time evangelist why should I go to university and spend thousands of dollars getting a degree I'll never use? There is some valid argument in that but also there is the other side – if God is calling you to go to university or train in any other way now, as a part of your preparation, then don't think your partial vision is the whole picture. God will make use of what you learn, during this season, in your future. He never wastes a thing we go through, He uses everything.
When vision comes before values
If future vision is placed before values you will sabotage your present. Vision is absolutely necessary otherwise we will wander aimlessly through life but if vision becomes our driving force we will sacrifice values to get the vision fulfilled. When we do that we sacrifice relationship, character and so many other things all in the name of the future vision.
Decide what are the non-negotiable values you will build your life and on and decide that vision must play second fiddle to those. Things like honour, integrity, faithfulness, love, patience, kindness, truth, love for the Word, love for worship, etc. If these aren't non-negotiable then we will end up using people to fulfill our vision, discarding and dishonoring people because they don't fit in our vision or believe what we do, etc. For example vision should never be placed above relationships, ie. the man who works or ministers 70hrs a week and whose family falls apart because he never had time for them. What relationships are you turning your back on now because those people don't fit your vision of what you will become?
Build a framework for your life with values; these are the foundation all else will be built on. Write them down, list them and read the list over often, speak them over your life and live them.
These are just some of the ways our prophetic future can sabotage our present. I'm sure you will be able to think of others as well.
It's always good every now and then to do a spiritual stocktake. Ask the Lord to show you if there are ways that your future is threatening to sabotage your present. Then ask Him to help you reassess and repent, get back to a right perspective and a values founded life based on God's Word, character and heart and for the Lord to help you rightly live in the present so your future will be all it can be. Your future will be the glorious future God says He has for you if you allow the present to be all God wants it to be too.
Don't lose sight of the present as you look to the future but allow God to bring your future into your present by the things you allow Him to do in your life now. That's what a prophetic word is for, it is not necessarily meant to be some way out there, years down the track, maybe if I'm lucky sort of thing. It's God speaking into your life saying "This is what I have for you, bring it into your now by co-operating with me in your thought life, speech and actions, allowing me to work in your life and make you the person this future can happen to now. Get my timing and my strategy and lets walk into tomorrow, today". Then instead of your future sabotaging your present it will help determine your present.