"Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets." - Amos 3:7
Along with timing, it is key to understand the role we play as workers in God's Kingdom to see prophecy come to pass. Without understanding that prophecy requires action on our part, we might become upset when a prophetic word seems unfulfilled.
Disappointment can stir up questions like, "Did I hear God?" or, "Did I miss what God was trying to say?" We may even become jaded and confused, wondering if prophecy is real today.
Prophecy is a road map that gives us strategic information, but it is not the same as the concept of fate. For those who believe in fate, they feel the future cannot be changed or altered; life is what it is, and nothing can be done about it.
As Believers, we know God has given us a free will. We are responsible for making choices, and Scripture gives us the guidelines we need to follow in order to be blessed. While God does foreknow the end from the beginning, we still have to choose. Without the ability to partner with God to shift things, what would be the purpose of prayer?
CONTENDING FOR THE PROMISE
Often, we are given a prophetic word so we can contend to see the prophecy fulfilled. It is important to remember the enemy does not want you to reap the benefits of the promises of God, so spiritual warfare may be needed.
Though our prayers are immediately answered by the Lord in the spiritual realm, it takes persistent prayer for those answers to manifest in the physical realm. The word gives us hope to stand and believe in the midst of adverse circumstances.
Daniel, after praying and fasting for Israel to be freed from Babylon, the archangel Michael finally arrived. He told Daniel that God heard his prayers right away, but a principality – who was the ruling power of darkness over the region – held him back for 21 days. Though Daniel's prayers were heard and acted upon instantly, it was his prayers of perseverance that allowed the archangel to ultimately break through! (See Daniel 10:12,13)
What if Daniel had become frustrated before his breakthrough and given up? He would have never seen God's plan fulfilled.
We must play an active role in seeing God's prophetic word manifest in our lives.
HOW TO STAY HOPEFUL
While believing for the word of the Lord to come to pass in your life, allow the promises of God to give you hope and sustain you. Don't allow the enemy to sow seeds of discouragement while waiting for the fulfillment!
As you begin to hear the word of the Lord for the year, let's take a look at how to strategically respond to it:
1. Read through the entire word and take notes. Are there any points that the Holy Spirit is amplifying to you? Is there a resonance in your heart given by God to pay attention in a special way to a particular portion?
2. Use the word to take stock of your life. Are there any points that are admonitions to make an adjustment? (For example, if the prophecy says this is the year to "see the door," are you actively praying for God to show you the doors He wants you to walk through? This might be related to a transition in jobs, churches, advancing of His CALLING on your life, or even a geographic move.) Seek God about any changes He might be asking you to make.
3. Write decrees for yourself and your family from the Word of the Lord (Psalm 75:11).
As you hear God speak about what He wants to do or release, make the words personal and decree them over yourself, your family, and even your city. This helps your heart maintain a posture of faith, even when the spiritual battles intensify.
Though we must prayerfully battle for the future God has for us, He has given us the tools we need to grab hold of His promises and enjoy them in our lives. We already have victory in Jesus' name!
It will be rewarding to look back over the year and see the way God has strategically used the current word of the Lord in your life.
Believe His words for yourself and your loved ones, and you will see God do incredible things in your lives this year!
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