THE GIFT OF PROPHECY – 4

Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 5:17-25

It is important to recognise that prophecy by itself is not intended for guidance. It might be the beginning of guidance but it needs to be supported by other confirmations. It might also be the final part of a whole series of events that are a part of guidance, but prophecy on its own must not be taken for guidance. Many people, including my wife and I, have made this mistake.

Our first five and a half years in Indonesia were traumatic, hot and painful, and when we returned home for a furlough we did not want to go back to Indonesia. A very trustworthy person spoke a prophecy over us in a meeting a few weeks after our return to England. It spoke of returning to a different place. It would be in the mountains and a cool climate. Everything within us shouted out Hallelujah!

A few weeks later we were approached by our missionary agency to move to Northern Pakistan in order to re-open our missions work in that nation. They asked us to consider moving to the mountain region between Pakistan and China. What excitement! Mountains… a cool climate… a new ministry – everything fitted in with the prophetic word that we had been given.

Then came a problem. The Indonesian Java Field did not want to release us and demanded that we return to Indonesia and not move to Pakistan. We recognised the importance of submitting to our leaders and chose to honour them by returning to Indonesia. On our return to Indonesia we were asked not to return to the place of our first assignment. We had put in place a pastor at the church and he was doing really well. We were asked to move instead to minister in a town called Lawang. Lawang is situated at 1400 metres above sea level in the foothills of Mount Arjuno and has a cool climate.

We learned so much from this experience. The original prophecy was genuine, but we almost made a serious mistake and could so easily have moved out of the will of God. We had to learn that when a word of prophecy is given we should not assume that the first opportunity that seems to be fitting with the prophecy is necessarily right. It is best to wait on prophecy – more haste less speed! Allow God to work it out and do not try to work it out with your own mind. The prophecy might be genuine but there is a due spiritual process that must be followed.

Questions:

In our Bible reading today we read that David was successful in his battle against the Philistines. What was the main key found in verses 19 and 23 to David’s success?

What lessons have you learned about prophecy from today’s word?

Why is it important that we do not try and work out with our minds how a prophecy might be fulfilled but instead wait on God and give Him time and the right to work it out?