Prophetic Words Require Effort

Before we launched Dinner Church we had a prayer group from a local conference stop by our church. As they gathered around us and prayed, one of them declared, “God is going to do something here in 7 months.” A few days later another person from the conference stopped by our church and prophesied, “God is going to do something here in 7 months.” Dinner Church launched about 7 months later, and after 8 years of struggling to grow above 40 people, we hit triple digits within 2 years.

Sometimes when God prophesies something, people just sit there in faith, waiting for it to happen. While faith is absolutely necessary to see prophetic words fulfilled, action often is as well. We already knew in that season that our church had to make some changes and God’s prophetic word had now just given us a timeframe as to when to do it. And so we worked hard redesigning our services, installing new cleaning appliances, and creating new volunteer groups and training them to run all of the various pieces of it. Had we not done this, likely nothing would have happened in 7 months like it did.

It took some faith for Paul to go to Jerusalem since he knew he’d be persecuted for it. But God had sent him there for a purpose and that purpose became clear once there: Jesus appeared to him in jail and told Paul that he would now go to Rome to testify. But to make this happen, Paul had to partner with this prophetic word. So when a plot to kill him got to him, he didn’t just say, “No problem, I’ve got faith.” Instead, he made the authorities aware and earned himself a massive parade of soldiers to escort him.

There’s that classic joke about a man sitting on a roof in a hurricane when a helicopter comes to rescue him and he says, “Don’t worry, God will save me.” That man goes on to die and gets to Heaven and asks God why he didn’t save him, getting the reply, “I sent you a helicopter!” Faith, reason, strategy, and action are all a part of leaning into the prophetic.

*This devotional was created out of the themes of Acts 23:25-35 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net.

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