I recently taught on this subject to a group of prophetic people in my area. My encouragement to you is that if you’re in a frustrated place waiting for a prophetic word, vision or promise from God to come into fruition, consider the lessons contained within this. I believe they are important to your growth as a prophetic member of the body as well as helping you stay in balance while waiting on a promise from God.
All too often, prophetic people lose sight of the promises of God and stagnate at the diagnosis stage because they cannot see how they have any power to change a situation. So as is often done when ministering to others, they can provide a word about a situation, but the solving of that problem is up to the receiver.
In some cases, however, a prophet may be waiting for things in their own life or church and cannot simply stay in that place of diagnosis but rather, should look past what may appear to be a lifeless situation and continue to speak to them through faith and prophecy until they come back to life.
1. The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
2. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.
3. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!
5. This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
6. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ “
7. So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
8. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ “
10. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet–a vast army.
Do you have a bone yard that needs to come to life? I want to talk about this idea of prophecy, diagnosis and bridging the gap between where we are today and where we are going. I think the reason why prophetic people have such a difficult time moving the prophetic beyond the diagnosis stage is because they don’t see themselves as part of the solution. Ezekiel was the bridge from dead bones to bones that came to life.
If we don’t have the power to change something we tend to not consider ourselves co-owners of the solution. We see the problem as always someone else’s issue. For instance, if a prophet was standing for something in his church, he might not have authority or power to change that thing. Therefore, he/she must pray for that issue until there is a breakthrough and try not grow frustrated while in that place.
A WORD ABOUT FRUSTRATION:
I believe frustration is initially born out of expectations that mutate over time.
It’s ironic that while we’re frustrated about others’ so called soulish behavior, prophets respond soulishly as well in response to the blockage in the first place.
The feeling of having no control creates levels of frustration in our lives that go in this order:
IRRITATION – This generally starts with a feeling of impatience over something. This is not all together a bad thing. Irritation can bring about change and the change may be a necessary route for growth into a new area for the church.
FRUSTATION – At this point people are in an elevated stage of irritation that is usually associated with feeling of being blocked, or having your desires being thwarted by someone or something. Again, similar to irritation, frustration is a necessary component of change. I believe that Pastors think that if there is frustration that we cannot then have unity. Not true. A level of frustration in a church means God is bringing pressure to something for a reason. In fact, some people do not want anything to do with churches that lack frustration of any kind. That tends to mean a church is not ready for change. We do not have change without pressures in our lives and also because God is not static. It is simplistic to think God will not require corporately what he requires out of each individual in the body. So instead of trying to put a cap on frustrations (which will just blow up later if we do), we should try to discern why someone is frustrated in the first place and ask God if that’s for a reason in the second.
EXASPERATION – Which brings us to the third stage where frustration turns to anger and a sense of failure and exhaustion over something. This is one part of frustration that we want to avoid in the church. We should never allow anyone in the body to become exasperated if we can avoid it.
God is about process and results and he doesn’t get frustrated. God gives prophets the result. He informs them on where he is going and what He is up to. But God does not generally reveal the process, we must work through the process. The devil’s in the details, right?
If the enemy can frustrate us enough, we’ll voluntarily give up on some of the greatest promises of all time without a fight. The Israelites did when they grumbled against Moses for taking them out of Egypt in spite of the gigantic promises and miracles from God.
Our frustrations take on many forms. By our own admission, most all of us would say that our own process may have taken years to get us where we are today. And yet, our expectations for the rate of change in others is usually much higher and faster than in our own experience. For instance, I was personally a long time in the making, and still am. I went through a year of teaching on faith alone and my organized prophetic training began about seven years ago. Yet, I can be impatient with my church or in some situations because we don’t move quickly enough.
That’s why we must let the Holy Spirit teach us the discipline of patience. It’s important that we don’t let our irritations mutate into exasperations.
7. Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
8. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
9. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10. Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
I think because God speaks all the time we could be complaining all the time about something. That is why we must begin to exercise good judgment into what should be shared and what should be kept to ourselves or for prayer until God tells us otherwise. When we hear God, we assume that we should share everything we get. That’s nothing more than impulsive. If we do that, we should legitimately fear being labeled as outspoken, disgruntled and divisive. I do not believe the Lord wants us to share everything He tells us. Instead:
- We should be praying what to share
- We should recognize that not all problems are with the church.
- We should admit we don’t believe our own visions. Either that or we are not led by the spirit ourselves.
- We should exhibit the kind of faith that sees the issue for what it is and then stands in the gap until it comes to pass.
What can you do about the dead bones and lost dreams in your life?
1. TAKE OWNERSHIP: The church belongs to all of us and we’re all responsible to some degree. Notice how Moses speaks to God concerning the people of Israel:
“O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes,” he said, “then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff necked people, forgive our [not their] wickedness and our [not their] sin, and take us [not them] as your inheritance.”
Moses doesn’t try to shirk responsibility for any of the problems with the people of Israel; he joins in it taking ownership as a leader and as prophet. A sign of maturity among prophetic people is thinking of leadership as partners. Don’t criticize the leaders, instead pray for them. Ask your pastor, how can I help, pray, or partner with the leadership in ushering in a new season of leadership and spirituality in the body
2. PREPARE FOR OPPOSITION: If we are moving prophetically, we are going to face opposition and it should become a regular part of our pray life to pray over that. Opposition comes in many forms both in the church and out of it. Chalk it up to another pile of bones that need life breathed into them.
3. RESPONSED SPIRITUALLY: We have to respond spiritually when battling opposition. Most everything coming at us is spiritual and it demands a spiritual response. Anything less and we’re no better than the world. When you face opposition remember to.
Move in the opposite spirit
4. DECLARE BREAKTHROUGH AND WISDOM: In our own lives, we needed exposure to more teachings, experiences, mentoring , revelation, and relationships to expand our horizons. Before God can move us out the mess we are in, he uses all of these tools to take us where He wants us to be. He will also do that with other members of the body. But it takes time. And we shouldn’t expect a faster rate of change in our leaders than we expect in anyone else, especially ourselves.
5. BE THE LEADER YOU ARE: We are co-participants as members of the body and should pray things through that we see in the spirit. For instance:
The body can function without sight, but who is better off without it?
The same is true of the church and the prophetic. The prophetic is like the eyes of the church. Soon the prophetic will be recognized in its rightful place in the church again. Ephesians chapter 2:19-20 says that the church was built on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets. I don’t believe this is happening today. The church today is being built on Pastors and Teachers instead. And as a result, we have only about 40% of what we should have in the way of fullness and maturity (Eph. 4). But we must not get frustrated and instead should prophesy to those bones in our lives that they would stand up and breathe once again.
To do all these things, we must be true to our gift, responsible and finally, and most importantly, be men and women of faith. Take the story of Abraham. Read this scripture from Romans.
18. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
19. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
20. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
21. being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
22. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Abraham never gave up. He was given a promise, vision, and words from God and never wavered in his faith in God to see it through – he prophesied over the bones in his own life until it came to pass. Is our miracle anything less than his?
This is why I think prophecy and faith are close counterparts. Prophecy bridges the gap between what is and what is to come. Prophesying to the dead bones in your life is a step of faith. If you’re waiting for something that God promised, such as your church to move beyond its present state and to have your own place in Church, or for God to deliver on a personal promise he has made, you need to prophesy to those dead bones so they stand up and breathe again once and for all.