4 P's to live by. Part 3.
11 January 2018
Prophecy in Scripture is sometimes about speaking about things that are to come, warning or encouraging people because of what is about to happen or is going to happen some way down the line. It is sometimes that.
But prophecy in Scripture is always about speaking God’s voice into a situation. Whether expressing His heart, standing for what He is saying is right or against what is wrong. In that sense we can all be prophetic, all express something of God’s voice in the situations we’re in.
Here are some pointers to grow in that.
1. Listen. Listen. Listen.
Before we can speak, we need to have something worth saying, and that means listening. I suggest taking some time to listen, deliberately and carefully, in three directions.
Listen to the people you meet. What are their concerns, struggles, desires, stories, situations? What dominates their thinking, their speaking, their being? What stories are they believing and telling about the world?
Listen to the world we’re in. Notice the things that are happening. Scroll through some news stories. Look on Facebook or Instagram at the messages that are most common. What are the stories of our world? What matters?
Listen to God. God is telling a story too. In Scripture we read God’s great story of restoration and redemption, and through it He reveals His priorities, what matters to Him. How does what you know of God match up with what you’re hearing from people, from our world? Take some time to really examine that question.
2. Champion the good
There are good things in our world! Things that bring pleasure to God’s heart because they express the beauty of His creation and the people made in His image. Creativity, joy, peace, redemption and restoration.
Notice them! And then shout about them! Celebrate them and thank those who are responsible for them. Share good stories in your social media, not just moans. Tell someone that you think the way they’ve spoken or behaved reflects beauty and goodness. Encourage it so we see more of it.
Maybe go one step further. Nominate someone for a community award. Become a champion for a charity. Buy an item of clothing from that charity, wear it and tell people the story of why you’re doing it.
The world needs to hear what Christians stand for, otherwise it will have no way of knowing what God is for!
3. Challenge the bad
We also know there are things in the world that are not pleasing to God. And there are people who need us to stand up and use our voice because theirs is not heard. We are God’s voice for the oppressed and the marginalised, and if we are silent, the message is that God doesn’t care.
Of course we don’t want to become moany, grumpy, nay-saying people. But there are positive ways to stand against lies and injustice.
- If there is something happening you think is wrong, write to your MP or local representative.
- If you hear something that suggests someone is believing a lie (‘I’m worthless’, ‘I’ll never amount to anything’, or something more subtle!) then challenge it. Gently and kindly, but tell that person there is a different story they can believe.
- Use the platforms you do have (conversations, social media, etc.) to give your opinion and call others to join you in petitions or campaigns.
- If there is a particular people group, situation or part of the world you are passionate about, inform people so they can join you.
We can’t all fight every fight and oppose every injustice, but each of us needs to play our part in tackling what is wrong and speaking God’s voice over it.
I hope you’ve found that a helpful prompt. Tomorrow, some thoughts on proclamation in the everyday.