“He’s going to use your church in Colorado Springs for revival, [God] said. He’s going to bring revival and He’s going to use you guys. Get yourself ready. Be prepared. You’re going to be armed and dangerous. Let me tell you. The power of God is so strong on you. I’m shaking from the inside out, because even the marrow of my bones is shaking. He doesn’t do that very often but the fire is so strong. I feel like I’m burning …” (Mary, October 2nd, 2016, 9:15 AM)
Have you ever experienced a divine interruption? Throughout my 36 years of being a missionary and pastor, God has intruded into my life many times. He never asks permission or gives me a heads up that He’s coming. I hate that. Like so many of us, I’m a planner and designer by personality. I was taught in my well-ordered Lutheran family to plan ahead. My mantra has always been: “Seek God for the Plan. Plan the Work. Work the Plan.”
But what do you do when God’s plans in the work are a different plan than yours?
What about divine interruptions into your work? Like the time Liz and I were loving the work in Okinawa, Japan, only to have God speak to us in a dream that He was going to move us to Colorado Springs! Or the time God spoke to me to purchase land and build a church building way out east of Colorado Springs! I could recount dozens of such divine interruptions that were never a part of my plans.
And so it was last Sunday that this little diminutive lady from California, whom I had met only once before, showed up at The Road and gave an incredible word to our church. None of us planned for this.
So what do you do when God shows up in surprising ways? Or maybe another question that precedes the first is, how do you know if the interruption is truly from God or not? Here are a few ways I judge a prophetic word, dream, or vision:
- Is it biblical in scope and character? Does the prophecy line up with scripture?
- Does it feel right in your heart? In other words, not that we completely trust our emotions, but does it line up with the righteous longings of your heart?
- Does it carry the stamp of God on it? Does the agent or process have the anointing of God?
- In discussion with your leadership team, those around you who you trust and are of maturity, is there general agreement that this word is from God?
- If so on all of the above, don’t be quick to act but wait on God. The true nature, scope, and character of God will flow with many confirmations over time.
God gets our attention and then He fulfills his prophetic word on His timetable. Rarely is God in a hurry and rarely is God going to completely disrupt godly, well-thought-through plans, but we must remember He is the Editor of those plans and He gives us divine corrections along the way. Like Joseph in his dreams (Genesis 37), David being anointed by Samuel (1 Samuel 16), and John leaping in Elizabeth’s womb (Luke 1), God is preparing His servants for a future work.
Let’s rejoice in divine interruptions and always be ready for the Editor-in-Chief to take our plans, even mess things up a bit, in order to give us the abundant life. It’s truly the adventure we all long for.
On the Road,