This is the answer to the teachable moment mentioned in the last video from Mark and Bob – the one about the “sign” about being on the Sid Roth “Its Supernatural” TV show.
When we receive a potential prophetic sign or word, what is our part in its fulfillment?
“In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom—in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So, I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:1–3
Here is the back story: Daniel, a Godly man, has discovered from reading God’s word that God has set the length of time that his city, Jerusalem, will remain in ruins. He discovers that the time is up. According to God’s unalterable word the city is soon to be liberated. God has prophetically proclaimed the exact end of the time of suffering. This should be great news! We would expect a celebration of thanks to God at the very least, but this is not what Daniel does. He puts on sack cloth and ashes and he begins to fast and pray, asking God to do the very thing that God has already promised that He would do. This is very strange; can we take God at His word or not? What is the correct response to a prophetic promise of God?
Here is another similar example:
“After many days, the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year of the drought, saying, ‘Go, present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain on the earth.’” 1 Kings 18:1
Again, the back story: the nation is being ruled by a corrupt and ungodly leadership [King Ahab] and the country is suffering because of him. Sound familiar?
There has been a drought in the land for three years. God’s people are getting desperate. Soon they will be killing their flocks, because they have no water for the animals. Once they kill their flocks, their economy will be ruined and they will be destitute. God decides to rescue His people, not because they are good or are seeking Him [they are not], but because He is good. He sends Elijah to King Ahab to tell him that rain is coming.
Ahab is God’s leader over Israel. He should be God’s man as well, but he is not. Although he is one of the people of God he is in bed with the world. He has married a woman who is not one of God’s people and who is evil. She has been pulling him and Israel away from God. In many ways Ahab is like a portion of the church today; God’s in name, but not in heart or action.
God sends His word to Ahab to tell of what He is going to do to help His people: God is going to send rain! God has sovereignly spoken, rain is coming! So, Elijah says to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of rushing rain” 1 Kings 18:41.
Elijah tells Ahab to celebrate because God is going to bring rain. This is what we would expect to do; celebrate because God has promised help. This is not what Daniel did and it is not what Elijah does.
“So, Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; there he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees”. 1 Kings 18:42
Elijah responds the same way Daniel did. He hears the promise and then he begins to fast and pray fervently. What is the difference between Daniel and Elijah on the one hand and Ahab on the other? All three are Israelites, all three are leaders, and all three are faced with a crisis and a promise. Two pray; the other parties.
Here is the difference; the two who are in relationship with God and are in unity with Him share His heart and enter into His work. They begin to travail in prayer. Because they know God intimately, they know that His promise is an invitation to share His heart and His work and they respond with prayer. The one who did not know his God chose to say, “God has promised to save us, that’s wonderful, but I don’t have any part in the fulfillment of that promise so I’ll just continue to enjoy myself.”
Ahab has no real relationship with God and so God’s heart means nothing to him and neither does being with God in His work. We need to understand that a prophetic promise is not just a statement of what God is going to do; it is also an invitation to join Him in accomplishing the promise. It is as much an invitation as a future prediction. We need to remember that there is biblical precedent for God to change His mind. He does this when He speaks judgment and then hears a repentant people and gives mercy instead of judgment and vice versa.
At the very least a prophetic word is always a call to pray.
As we have said earlier, much prophecy is not given by God to be shared in church, but to be prayed in our prayer closets.