Every believer has a history in God. Each one of us has unique story lines specific to the ways in which we know and relate to Him. This collection of our cumulative responses and experiences with God makes up what can be defined as our prophetic history.
So, what makes our history in God prophetic? And if something is prophetic, doesn't it have to do with the future? How would it be a part of our history then?
I would like to suggest that only a small part of the term prophetic actually involves foretelling or speaking of things yet to come. I believe we can limit the richness of what is really behind the meaning of this word by relegating it only to being about the future or just being accurate with words. Let's go a little deeper.
The heart behind the voice of the prophetic (or prophecy) is the voice of a Father; a good Father. It comes from the perspective of a loving Father who sees ahead—a long way out into the journey—and sees what is to come, founded on the lens of hope and goodness (Jer. 29:11). The voice of the Father is the bedrock and backbone for all of life (Ps. 29).
For us to understand how the voice of the Father—our Father—has been woven into the threads of our lives and establishing our prophetic history, we need to look back at the origin of the prophetic or prophecy. We need to examine where it all began and its true definition.
—The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 19:10).
The witness or testimony of what Jesus has to say is the true Word or accurate record. What He reveals can be trusted and is faithful and true (John 14:1–6). We can believe and put all our hope in what Jesus speaks. The spirit of prophecy is not separate from Jesus' witness and account.
Jesus came to reveal the Father and give a witness account of God's nature as the Father. Throughout Scripture, we can see what the Father is really like because of what Jesus said and did (John 5:19). What Jesus conveyed is an accurate representation of the nature of God as Father.
The origin of revealing the father heart of God and His loving plan involving us is the foundation of the spirit of prophecy.
—Prophecy is the Father's testimony about you and me (Rom. 4:17).
In Romans 4, we see a life of righteousness Abraham led as one who believed God. He was able to "call those things that are not as though they were" because the Father first called those things forth out of him. The Father was the first to begin the prophetic history in Abraham by prophesying over him (see Gen. 12-15).
A cycle of believing truth, believing God and experiencing God began in the midst of Abraham seeing ahead—beyond the present, hoping against hope, "being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Rom. 4:21, NKJV).
So how do we jump into this cycle of believing God and seeing His movement in our personal history? How do we get in line with His heart for us? We need to see the story line from His perspective. When we believe and accept that the testimony of the Father is an accurate record about us, we can become free from the worry of missing out on the good in store for us. It can even free us from the fear of harm or lack.
The way we interpret our circumstances and what happens to us changes as we see that the Lord's motives toward us are only generous, full of love, and kind. We see His gentle hand navigating us through life, knowing that He is a God who is for us and not against us (see Rom. 8:28–39).
In His loving-kindness, He opens our eyes to see Him truly as He is. This revelation frees us to walk in the liberty-giving confidence that there is nothing in our lives that is beyond the intervention and redemption of God.
To begin identifying the Father's perspective about our life, let's look at the well-known "hall of faith chapter" in the New Testament.
Hebrews 11 gives us the definition of what prophetic history looks like biblically. It all starts with a viewpoint from the Father's perspective. This chapter provides a foundation for beginning with what the Father says about our lives and those around us.
For many years, Hebrews 11 troubled me. remember reading it over and over as a young person and finding what I thought was so much contradiction in the verses. I was greatly bothered about what was written there for years, as I could clearly remember the same accounts were told quite differently in their original places in the Old Testament!
But when looking through these verses, we have a glimpse of what God is really like by the way He describes the lives of those listed. A tree is known by its fruit.
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bears what is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bears what is evil. For of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45, MEV).
When in the natural it may have looked like Abraham lacked faith, the Father instead declared that "by faith Abraham obeyed, ... by faith he dwelt in the land of promise." We need the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened to see the hope of His calling (see Eph. 1:17–19). We need revelation to see Him rightly.
See how the Father looked ahead at who Abraham was and declared those things that were not as though they were? See the Father's assessment of Abraham before he was even born, before he made his mistakes, before he walked out in faith? Don't just take my word for it. Search the Scriptures and make a demand upon heaven to be touched by the Father's heart.
The way the Lord described Abraham, Sarah, Deborah, Gideon and others is the way He describes us! We, too, can know with confidence the Father's assessment of our own lives. We can climb up to His radiant 20-million-mile perspective (the big picture of our lives) and see how He sees us by coming into alignment with His accurate testimony (record) of our lives.
By agreeing with what He says about us, we believe Him.
By letting Him reveal His thoughts and heart for us—especially during the vulnerable times we would rather no one else saw or knew about—we position ourselves to receive impartation to our spirit and soul.
By letting Him declare who we are in the midst of what is going on around us, even concerning what has happened in the past, we are saying, "Yes, Lord. We believe that we are ones who desire You just as the deer pants for water" (see Ps. 42).
In this pursuit, we can begin to cultivate our own prophetic history in God.
As we find our own stories in Hebrews 11, let us see our prophetic history through the lens of a faithful, loving, and generous Father who tells us who we are, even if it does not look like it in the natural. And let us be courageous enough to believe it.
Kristy August began her prayer habit at IHOPKC in 2008 as a NightWatch intern, having gone on to support the missions base in various roles, including her current service in the Immerse and Weekends at IHOPKC short-term programs. As a creative person, she enjoys cultivating beauty in the arts and in creation whilst encouraging others to do the same.
This article originally appeared atihopkc.org.
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