I’ve just come home from a ten-day drip to Peru with a wonderful team of ministers led by Dennis Walker of Las Vegas. Dennis runs a school of the Spirit there, and the tenor of our trip was to equip the Peruvians to do the works of Jesus.
I couldn’t help noticing the contrast between this trip and many of the excursions I have taken into the prophetic camp.
We didn’t spend much time prophesying that a season of signs and wonders was coming on the church. We moved in healing ourselves: many people reported that pain in backs, hips, and knees left them instantly; several deaf people reported complete healing; several digestive problems were healed.
We didn’t spend much time prophesying that God was going to use the rank and file of the church; we got them involved ourselves. There were several times when we had people lay hands on one another. George Bowker ministered to a man who had been seriously injured and burned in an industrial accident; a few moments after he asked Jesus into his heart, he laid hands on a woman with back pain — this was at George’s insistence — and the pain left instantly and the fire of God flowed through his hands so powerfully that they could feel it through the cast.
We didn’t have time to hear much from God that was symbolic and puzzling because He kept us busy with literal things: words of knowledge for healing, prophetic words for people or clusters of people, leadings to minister to this person or that.
I can’t claim that we were better than other prophetic people, but we did dial in to a more literal level of prophecy than what many of our friends have chosen. And this is what it seems to boil down to: we all have to choose where we want to live in God.
Do you want to spend your life with prophetic signs and symbols that have to be puzzled out? Or do you want to hear literal things from God, things that tell you who to minister to or how to minister? Both are biblical, but which looks more like the way Jesus did things?
Do you want to spend your life in prophecies that always speak of a better tomorrow, or do you want to step into the place where Jesus brings transformation today? There are biblical precedents for both, but again which looks more like Jesus?
Many would suggest that we must accept whatever God speaks to us — riddles, puzzles, symbols, dreams — as if we are beggars who can’t be choosers. I disagree. Jesus is the mediator, the only mediator, between God and man. I believe that He is so good at what He does that He likes to see us determined to see God face to face and to know Him heart to heart and to communicate with Him plainly and directly.
Jesus said it this way in John 16:25 —
These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.
Will anyone join me in contending for this promise to come to pass in our lives? I suspect that the times we live in are urgent enough that God might not want to play word games with the prophets, but to start directing us and equipping us with words easily understood.