I was chatting with a lady today whom I’d never met before. Here in NC, that happens a lot. People just start talking to you like they’ve known you their whole life. Which is great, because it creates such open doors for kingdom work.
As we were talking – simple talk, about the weather and such – I felt a strong impression in my heart from the Holy Spirit, not just saying, but exclaiming to me, “She’s a writer! She’s a writer!”
I took the the next open window I had in the conversation and said, “Can I ask you something? Are you a writer, by any chance?”
She paused. Almost a little stunned.
“Well, yes”, she said. “Well, sort of. I mean, I would be if I would just set the time aside to actually do it! I’ve written lots of stuff before, but that was years ago, and I know there’s more I should be writing. I just wish I would do it already. But why do you ask? Is it because of my last name?”
“No.” I said. (I hadn’t even taken notice of her last name. Even now, as I write this, I don’t remember what it was.) I went on to tell her, “I actually just felt very strongly that God was revealing that to me about you, and that I was to encourage you to write. You’re a writer! And what you have inside of you is very needed in our world today.”
Her eyes teared up as she started nodding her head in agreement.
Then suddenly she blurted out, “CHILDREN!” “I’m supposed to be writing things for children! But I’m so busy it seems I can never find the time.”
I listened but quietly let her continue, because I knew my turn for talking was over. (Operating in the revelatory ways of God means we speak when He prompts us to speak. But it also requires we have enough spiritual etiquette and reverential awe to recognize when it’s time to shut up.) In this case, I had made the introduction, said what I had been given to say, and now I could tell the Spirit working. It was time to let her hear what He was saying next.
Almost instantly she responded, “You know what? The truth is, I just need to turn my tv off at night! If I were to just take that time and replace it with writing, I would get so much done!!” She said it almost in ridiculous frustration of herself, yet I could tell she was energized by the sudden realization that she actually could do what in her heart she’d be longing to do. (By the way, the Spirit never condemns. He is patient and yes, He is truthful. He will no doubt show us where we’ve gone wrong or are going wrong, but then releases the grace empowering us to go in a different direction. One of the most distinctive qualities of conviction is the energy that accompanies it. Condemnation, or guilt, on the other hand depletes and drains us of energy.)
As we finished talking and she walked away, I knew this precious lady had just encountered heaven. Something had shifted within her. There was a new sense of purpose, courage and determination – like she was going to go clear her desk off right then and there, dust off her computer, throw the batteries away to her tv remote, and get-to-work. This, my friends, is one of the main reasons I love the revelatory/prophetic ways of God.
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV
God loves people so much that He will prompt a complete stranger to speak something they could have never known on their own. As in my case today, He wanted this lady to know He saw her, and that He wanted to affirm what was in her, and that He loved her enough to not let her continue wasting time and miss this incredible purpose she was created for.
That’s just like our God. Jesus always speaks to our potential. In fact, right after being baptized and upon starting His public ministry, the first thing we see Him doing is inviting people into His Presence (John 1:39) and prophetically declaring to them who they were and who they had been created to be (John 1:42-51).
The primary purpose of the prophetic – or the revelatory ways of God – as I like to call them, is that they’re meant first and foremost to reveal the love of God towards people. To reveal His nature and His intent towards mankind, and to let them/us see ourselves in light of that love and truth. And when that happens, it has a way of supernaturally lifting us to the next level. It moves us forward.
This is how we were all, as children of God, meant to operate. First, we grab hold of this reality for ourselves, and then it progresses to where it begins to spread to the world around us. The more we grow in love with Him, the more our vision gets adjusted to where we can see the world and people the way He sees. The more our ears will tune in to hear what He is saying. The more confident and bold we will be to speak up. And the more effective we will be in causing the kingdom within us to become the kingdom around us.
Where to begin? Well friends, this is the part where it’s probably best I shut up and say, “Ask Him.” Ask Him what your next step is. Because if you long for that kind of intimacy, (for yourself and to have a heart for others) it’s best to ask the One who already knows us more intimately than anyone else ever could. The answer could be, “Turn off the tv!” I don’t know. But He does. And as His word promises, “Your own ears will hear Him…” Isaiah 30:21a
Fixing our eyes on Him,
-Linda G. Riddle