Prophecy – How should I respond?

John Piper (founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary) shared this very interesting story of when he and his wife, Noël, were expecting their fourth child, and how this lady shared with John a very dire “prophecy”: “Noël would die in childbirth, and the baby would be a girl.”

‘How would something like this encourage me’, was the immediate thought that went through my mind and as I continued to listen to John speak, he wisely said nothing about it to Noël. A few weeks later in the hospital, the child was born a boy, and mother and baby came through just fine!

There is this scary aspect that we do face regularly, sometimes people are motivated by self-interests and the use of the gift of the Holy Spirit and, this most often keeps Pastors and many of us move away from using it in our churches today. Even in the apostle Paul’s day, he had to strongly urge the churches and their leaders to “not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good”. The easiest way to avoid the messes this gift can make is to avoid the gift as much as possible, because we do not want to encourage anyone right!

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons.

The more we begin to understand, the more important it is that we must not let the misuse of prophecy cause us to miss out on the benefits the Spirit wants us to receive through this gift’s proper use. I have personally benefited from it many times — mostly on the receiving end.

On the 31st of December last year, in a certain church in Sri Lanka, this Prophecy was given in the Sinhala language, its on video and I will be happy to share it with you if you are interested. Below is the translation, some points have already been witnessed and, it is the fervent prayer of many of us who have access to this, to continue to pray, as we prepare. Many of us are burdened and very concerned that we did not heed the warnings but, today we have a responsibility for our nation.

2019 WILL BE A YEAR WHERE

1) The people will come on to the streets

2) The people will come looking a piece of bread, they will come to the streets

3) The 3rd month will be a month of stirring .

4) A war will be seen again in the land in the 4th month

5) Gun fire that was silenced will be heard again.

6) Many deaths will occur by road accidents more than during the times of war

7) It will be a year where people will be treated like dogs , beaten up, and left to die on the road sides.

8) No answers to resolving Political situations

9) The peoples economy will suffer

10) The country weeps much in this year.

11) Wasteful ! wasteful ! decisions, all of them.

12) Peoples minds will be distorted, by force

13) Political decisions are made in favour of themselves

14 ) Political decisions of self again

15) Many will migrate to other lands

16) The prevailing government will take a terrifying decision in the 8 month

17) people will be forced to the street for lack of food.

18) An year in which the rich will flourish in palaces while the needy are forced on to the street

19) Strange (distorted) doctrines in the church and Church teachings that deceive people

20) There will be distorted ideologies

21) Lovers of money and of themselves (in church)

22) God’s Name will be sold for money in the church

23) Two noble Churches will become commercialised.

24) People will mortgage their churches to foreign nations and be reduced to be dependants.

25) One leading and important church will fall 3/4 of its congregation will walk away.

26) Yet! This is a year of salvation in the land

27) It’s a year when people’s eyes will be on Me and their ears will hear My voice for they will have no other to turn to or place to go for help.
My grace will be their place of victory for those who are helpless. My grace alone will be there for them, My grace alone this year.

I say I am responsible because, as an individual, I have failed to lift and include my nation and its governance into my personal prayer life sufficiently. As a church, we have failed to be fervent, we have no passion for our nation, we let the nation run on its own, we never support it sufficiently in prayer. We are good at criticising, finding fault, specially when things go wrong, forgetting each moment that we are not willing to submit to governing authorities, which in turn brings about judgement on ourselves.

All of us must have a desire to obey our God, we need to pursue the spiritual gifts He gives us because they are truly gifts from Him! Just like we all love to receive gifts like little children, so also does God desire to give us so much more, only if we can ask and listen. God wants to reveal Himself to us, He is preparing us, He Loves us and therefore is reminding the Church and all of us who belong to the church that we have a part to play for our nation. This is why he is preparing us, building us, bringing us together, working in and through us and now using us for a greater cause.

More on the subject of Prophecy

Government officials

This morning I had to get into a government office to make a claim for my retirement benefits. At the entrance the security personnel evaluated the documents and gave me #9 as my token.

When I entered the office and numbers were called, the first few numbers had been duplicated, leading to total chaos amongst the people present! The security personnel were being accused, voices were raised and suddenly there was no control until a young government official had to step in. Her role was to calm the people down and she did this very patiently and calmly.

There was pin drop silence. People listened as she explained the procedure and whilst she acknowledged that an error had taken large, she asked her colleagues to take on the duplicate numbers, making it a very fare process and no more reactions by those present!

Services by government officials are rendered free in this country and yet we tend to demand. We never appreciate!

As I sat my turn, I watched the commitment of these officials as they carefully dealt with each individual. I had no words to explain as I can imagine that this is something they must be facing each day! This morning I was encouraged with this verse, I needed to look for Him and His love:

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 NIV

Each day we go about our activities and can we look for appreciation or are we waiting for something to go wrong? If things go wrong, how do we react, is it with anger or with patience to resolve? I do not have the right answers but I was touched by one individual who was able to bring about a calm from the storm.

Thank you to those who commit themselves to serve humanity. There are many we come in contact with, we must express our appreciation! Going with the right attitude can make a huge difference, this is my personal experience!

Success?

I love this, I tried it! Who would you consider to be the most successful person in the list below and Why?

  1. A CEO of a multinational corporation whose headquarters are in New York, USA
  2. A freshman at a local university
  3. A street sweeper in one of the megacities in Asia
  4. A computer software engineer working at a start-up at Silicon Valley, CA, USA
  5. A stay-at-home mom
  6. An expat working in Western Europe
  7. A first class honours graduate who now works for a non-profit organisation
  8. An elementary public-school teacher
  9. A domestic helper working for a multinational company in the Middle East
  10. A certified box-office hit actor
  11. Your child’s nanny
  12. A business owner in his 30s who landed on the Top 50 of Forbes Magazine’s richest people for the past 5 years

Keep your answer simple and clear and lets face it, there is this persistent drive we cannot deny in our heart, to chase after the ‘good life’. It can come as the desire to get to live our true passion or simply to accumulate to experiences the next dream ‘get-away’. There is this great ‘Hunger in our lives’ where there is this huge hole in our hearts that no matter how much we try through our own efforts, we can never seem to be able to fill it up!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

 

My heart keeps longing for more and more and am hardly satisfied with what I already have and it is my greed that transforms my heart into being selfish.  What this does in return is that I become selfish and selfishness robs me of my compassion for others.

Last night, we were chatting over dinner and asked ourselves, can we honestly take our riches when our life is over? What happens after our life is over?

And the more I think about this, the more I am convinced that the best things in life are not ‘things’, it is not about keeping ‘things’ for ourselves but how can we honestly and sincerely enrich others?

And so I ask, how can I aim for success that lasts? Should I be rich towards ‘things’ or should I be rich towards my God?

Friendships

We met a fellow countryman, he had decided to make the sacrifice of working outside the home country whilst the rest of his family remained home due to education and the broader family network. One year ago, we were at this same crossroad, wondering what was best. Its a very tough decision to make.

Last evening we decided that we must cook some dinner and visit our friend, just being with him and making him feel at home was very much appreciated by him. In the few hours we were with him, we listened, we discussed, we discovered how small the world was and our boys even upgraded his tech skills by introducing him to different social media platforms, helping him to stay connected with all that was going around him!

Can we take a moment to consider the people in our life? Is there anyone I can risk being brave enough to go deeper in relationship with? Call them today! Just like for me, if there’s an opening, just show up. Just take with you yourself! All we need to do is listen and seek to know and understand our friend better, it will do them so much good!

There was this inner feeling of encouragement I got, that there is power in presence. In the same way that God is with us, is it not possible to demonstrate His character and nature when we choose to be with others? When I think back of last night, I am just convinced that presence provides comfort, care, and a sense of security to others.

We are not here to solve life’s problems nor do we have the answer to life’s problems, and we don’t have to act like we do. I just felt like wanting to be with my new found friend, as he processed his life, and all we as a family can do is look to God for His help.

We are so caught up in our own world of activities and responsibilities that we seem to be inside this dark hole where we forget that friendship is crucial as we navigate life. We’re all hungry for meaningful connection and the kind of relationship where we can raid each other’s fridge and keep no hidden agenda. We want to be received ‘just as we are’ and we want to be encouraged to grow into who God created us to be. I just felt how much I was able to find God more, as we devoted to be with a friend and share a little bit of love.