Monday, September 24, 2007
預言とは (Japanese Link)
By Ramone - September 12, 2007
I believe God is calling us to the heart of prophesying: To prophesy is a type of intercession— to receive His heart for someone He loves and give it to them. He’s calling us to radical intercessory love! For many reasons people at times cannot hear or feel God’s heart for them, even though He loves them intensely. He’s calling us to “stand in the gap,” to ask for & receive His heart for them, and then love them with His love—in action and in word—until they themselves can know, hear and feel His heart for them.
At the heart of things, "prophesying" is not some great or glorious thing. Rather, it is simply one way God has given (and still gives us) to practice His command to love one another. If that heart is not the beginning and end of what "prophesying" means to us, then we need to completely reset our hearts and understandings about what prophecy is and is not!!
It is helpful to remember that the ancient Hebrew word for "prophecy" (or "oracle") can also be translated "burden" (see footnotes for Habakkuk 1:1). Prophecy is receiving the burden on His heart, the thing to be lifted up, the burden to be received from Him, a burden to be taken back to Him, and the burden of His heart for all of us to be shared with one another. And what is on His heart? Ask Him! It is us. We all are on His heart. The nations are on His heart. Our neighbors are on His heart. The "sinners" down the street are on His heart.
Background Story to This Picture: The Purpose of Prophecy
Sometime last summer I had a few thoughts about "prophecy" and wrote them on the FAF forum. Then I sketched this picture, and promptly it went to the back-burner. But now I'm finally putting up a recently inked version with the thoughts in their rough form lest they get lost while trying to be smoothened out. (^_^)
#1 - Prophecy is not additive so much as it is reductive. In other words, it is not given to add teachings, but it is given usually to reduce us to Christ. It's given to remove obstacles out of the way of us resting in Christ and looking to Him in the simple faith of a child. Prophecy is one of God's ways of calling us back to Him when we have wandered from "the Way"---that is, from Christ Himself. Usually we wander away from Him Himself by going off into a lot of teachings and other things, etc.
#2 - After work tonight I was praying and thought about what I'd written earlier & the whole topic. I thought of 1st Corinthians 14 where Paul says to earnestly desire to prophesy, and suddenly I felt I understood from the Lord something very basic about this:
In 1 Cor.14, Paul is urging the church at Corinth to seek prophecy instead of tongues. But what is "a prophecy"? It's what the Lord is speaking. Prophesying is speaking the Lord's word. Instead of seeking to speak to each other in tongues, the Spirit (through Paul) is urging us to seek the Lord's word for each other!
He's urging us to ask Him for His word for our brother, for our sister. He's urging us to seek His heart for our brother, for our sister. He wants us to seek His heart for each other.
This is the "heart" of prophecy in the Church. It's not about seeking a gift, but rather about seeking the Lord on behalf of one another. He wants us to seek what's on His heart for each other, to receive it, and then to share it and bless one another.
I was blessed to understand this. God is wonderful. He had Paul urge the Corinthians to seek prophecy so that they would seek Him, His heart, and in so doing bless one another and share in agape love---love which "seeks not its own"---is it any wonder that this comes right after the "love chapter"!!
Still more wonderful is the promise behind this: God wants us to seek His heart for one another, and He does not call us to seek that which we may not find, so He is promising that if we seek His heart for one another, He will reveal His heart for us, for us ourselves, and for one another. He is so awesome, so loving, so full of agape love! It's all about His love, His love for us, and His love driving us to love one another---and in so doing, share in the blessing of His love, discovering His joy of why it is truly "better" to give than to receive.
Ramone, I was blessed in reading this today! It is so true that as I seek God's heart for others He reveals His Heart for me... That happened today as I shared over the phone with a friend of mine... I chose to read her something the Lord had given me that I felt the Spirit wanted her to hear today. She was so blessed by what she rec'd from His heart that she found herself weeping out of thankfulness for God's timing in speaking to her... In turn her tears of joy blessed me more than I could ever have been blesssed if I had kept His word to myself...