Do not despise the hard times you have had. It has set you a place where when others come to that situation, you can grasp where they are in the moment. It's a gift God gives when he redeems you from the pit. Think of the depth of understanding Daniel had after the lion's den. Look at the place of authority the 3 Hebrew children were given after they emerged from the fiery furnace. Look at the depth of Jeremiah after the pit experience. God allows experience to form us for the prophetic.
Don't let at the difficult times convince you that you are unqualified, unspiritual or passed over by God. NO, you were being prepared for such a time as this. Speak with confidence of the goodness of God. Speak with authority.
I look at my life and recognize the hard situations that have prepared me to minister to people who are facing just such a difficult time. That is what forms an Issachar anointing that understands the times and seasons. It's the prophetic office and the depth of life hammered out on the anvil of experience that speaks the oracles of God. Here are the Hammer Strokes on my life's anvil that have made me who I am as a Prophet.
- Orphaned at 14 years old so I know what it means to find new family
- Worked a farm to learn persistence; to know crop failure is not permanent.
- Saw failure and success in my family helping me know what it looks like.
- Difficult Marriage Problems gives me insight into marriage solutions for others
- Trading in the markets forced me to learn economics well
- Comprises and addictions that showed me that Life without Jesus has no future.
- Getting saved in my 30s created a Zeal like Paul for truth
- Close calls in my health that gives me confidence in the healing power of God
- Discovering the Plumb-line of God in my life that shows me constantly how far I am from it.
- Knowing without doubt the accuracy of the Word of God gives me confidence in HIM
- Dealing with failure yet hearing the promises of God in my ear and seeing it come to pass.
- Knowing how to abase and abound without fear of the future.
- Living in many countries as an executive learning to accept and understand cultures
- Chief Executive of large organizations and forming others from nothing developed depth
- Learning to lean on God's wisdom in my life. Living simply, a fasted lifestyle.
- Learning to always take the low end of the table and allow God to exalt me as HE will.
- Knowing when to cut some relationships and build on others.
All these and many more have developed a sound world view, a plum-line of God's truth and a level of understanding that has developed the ability to speak into situations and cultures with a sense that God's grace has created a specific prophetic word that flows out of the heart of God.
Amos 7:7God showed me this vision: My Master was standing beside a wall. In his hand he held a plumb line.8-9 God said to me, “What do you see, Amos?”
I said, “A plumb line.”
Then my Master said, “Look what I’ve done. I’ve hung a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel. I’ve spared them for the last time. This is it!
“Isaac’s sex-and-religion shrines will be smashed,
Israel’s unholy shrines will be knocked to pieces.
For that reason, I know like Amos the prophet there are many times I speak directly in opposition to cultural and governmental error the has deviated far from the plumb-line of God's destiny for His people. It's often unpopular. It's often controversial. It's often seen by many as angry. Amos said as much:
People hate this kind of talk.
Raw truth is never popular.
But here it is, bluntly spoken:
Because you run roughshod over the poor
and take the bread right out of their mouths,
You’re never going to move into
the luxury homes you have built.
You’re never going to drink wine
from the expensive vineyards you’ve planted.
I know precisely the extent of your violations,
the enormity of your sins. Appalling!
You bully right-living people,
taking bribes right and left and kicking the poor when they’re down.
13 Justice is a lost cause. Evil is epidemic.
Decent people throw up their hands.
Protest and rebuke are useless,
a waste of breath.14 Seek good and not evil—
You talk about God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
being your best friend.
Well, live like it,
and maybe it will happen.15 Hate evil and love good,
then work it out in the public square.
Maybe God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
will notice your remnant and be gracious.
It's time for the Prophets of God to speak boldly in the public square (political), Speak boldly of God's Plumb-line (Cultural and Moral) and speak directly to the economics of our society (Justice). Without that voice, what hope do we have? I will follow my brother Prophet Amos' lead and speak loudly and clearly. There will be many that will stop up their ears. It's not popular to have an Amos speak when most of the people are blind and deaf. They will enter into judgement of God. He will not be Mocked. He will remove the lampstands from their assembly. Pointing to the words of Amos...thus saith the Lord of Angel Armies.