The Prophetic Journey of those Who Obey God’s Voice: Facing the Crosses on Our Journey
A revelation about the cross hit me today as I spoke to my friend Paul H. on the phone. The revelation outlines the prophetic process by which true followers of the voice of God develop. Paul told me about the great disappointment he felt when his church plant effort failed, and how he questioned God. He was in this slump for a few weeks until he got his guitar out and worshiped and prayed for a breakthrough. He got the breakthrough words of encouragement and a few days later circumstances began to turn around when he was offered a ministry opportunity in the same city and given a home to run it in.
The revelation came as I spoke to him about his intense prayer time being a type of Gethsemane experience.
Every follower of Christ who truly hears his voice and obeys will come to certain crisis moments when everything goes wrong. This is normal. This is actually part of the cross. I hope this message will give you hope to see the resurrection on the other side of each crisis.
The follower of Christ’s voice will walk in these steps.
1. Pressing in to know God and hear his voice by the Holy Spirit.
2. God advances his kingdom by asking you to do something impossible and uncomfortable.
3. With faith the believer advances and jumps in to the journey...what faithfulness and giving.
4. Things appear to go wrong. Friends leave, people get upset with you, you are ridiculed and mocked and questioned, perhaps lied about.
At this point is where people get lost. Most will retreat in shame and confusion. Did I really hear God? Did I do something wrong? Is God mad at me? Do I really believe any of what I’ve been saying? These questions and others like them grip us and if we don’t follow the pattern of Jesus, we can retreat and hide and stop the journey of Glory.
The right response to a crisis moment is the example given by Jesus. Go to Gethsemane. What I mean is grab your closest friends and press into prayer like nobodies business. If your friends fail you then do it alone. Pray the mess out of it. Jesus prayed until he sweat blood. You must pray intensely into the crisis moment. You will more than likely want to get out of the crisis but you are to say “not my will but yours be done.” God will strengthen you to walk forward. The crisis hurts, sometimes extremely bad. But keep believing because the resurrection will come if you go through with it even in the pain and loneliness.
So the fifth step is:
5. Pray intensely with friends or alone.
6. Follow through with God’s directives and wait even when it hurts and appears to fail.
7. Wait for your resurrection with greater glory.
These seven steps are to happen to believers several times in their journey in life. We must expect this pattern, recognize it and have hope that we will see the resurrection on the other side of the pain.
Joseph is a picture of this journey and also of Jesus. He was faithful and each time he was thrown down was a cross/crisis moment. He stayed faithful and received the resurrected glory afterwards each time. Finally, he left the dungeon and ruled Egypt. This is a picture of Christ leaving the grave and ruling the world systems (Egypt). This is the pattern.
Learn to love it and expect it. Face each crisis with anticipation of glory after the death and pain.
Take comfort in these facts:
1. God will reward your faithfulness.
2. There is a reason for the pain.
3. The glory will eclipse the agony.
4. This season of pain will end and you will come out in glory afterwards probably with scars.
When things go wrong, its normal. It has meaning. You are conflicting with the world system. If you go forward and allow yourself to “die”, you will accomplish the work, the father will “resurrect” you and the kingdom of God will grow. If we fear, stop, doubt and hide, it doesn’t. God will reward those who are faithful and go forward in their crisis moments. These are the crosses that you carry. Carry them with pride and you will see the glory after each one.