[Course 42 Index] [Prophetic-School Index] [Mini-Series Index] [Prev Week] [Next Week]
I had an interesting experience the other day. I live on the top of a 1000 foot hill, and I have a view of much of the city Oakland from my back yard. It was just after sunrise, and as usual, my dogs wanted to go outside to "do their business." I was barely awake, as I took them to the yard. I glanced out at the view and noticed that someone's house was on fire. It wasn't a little fire--flames were jumping up taller that the building itself and in the grayness of the dawn, I could see the smoke billowing up from that residence. There was not any sound of fire trucks rushing to the scene. It appeared that no one was aware of the fire on that sleepy morning.
My first thought was to call the fire department and report the fire. In order to do that, I would have to give them some idea of the fire's location. But there was a problem--from my vantage, I could not tell precisely where the fire was. It wasn't next to any major land mark large enough to see from my house. There were many dozens of little streets in that area and I could not even figure out what the major cross streets were. I wanted to help, but I was powerless to do much of anything.
So, of course, I prayed that God would alert someone to the fire, that He would spare the lives of those in the house and get them out safely, that He would protect the fire fighters from injury, that He would prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring houses, etc.
A few moments after I started my prayer, I was relieved to hear the sound of a fire engine siren, and I was glad that someone who knew the fire's location had alerted the fire department. From my vantage point, I could see the flames shooting up at least twice as high as the two-story house that they enveloped. I could not make out the specific details, but I could tell that it was a huge fire, and that is why I wanted to sound the alarm. Only I did not have the necessary information to do so.
It did not take the fire company long to get the fire under control. Soon there was a huge cloud of black smoke, but I could not see any more yellow flames shooting up. Of course, I felt relieved as I realized that the fire was under control.
"Teresa," the Lord said, "you wanted to call the fire department and report the fire."
"Yes, Lord, I did."
"Then why didn't you?"
"Because I could not tell them where the fire was, I couldn't give them the info they needed to respond to the fire."
"How did you feel knowing there was a real and tangible danger, but not having enough information to do anything about it?"
"I felt frustrated and I felt powerless to stop it."
"Why do you think I gave you the information that there was a fire, but I did not give you enough information to do anything about it?"
"I guess it was because You wanted me to pray about it."
"That is correct. But even knowing that, you still felt frustrated that you could not do more?"
"Yes Lord. Very much so."
"Now you know exactly how many of My own feel when I show them pieces of revelation, but not enough for them to 'sound the alarm.'"
There are times when God gives us revelation or foreknowledge about things that we wish we could prevent. But He may not be expecting us to do anything "practical" towards preventing it. He may be showing us about things to come as a training exercise, so we learn to recognize His voice. Or He may be asking us to pray about it. Or He may have some other training/equipping motive for showing it to us.
Not all revelation is to be acted on. Not all revelation is to be shared. Sometimes God shows us things just to show them to us--He may or may not explain more about it to us at some future date.
Let me give a bible example of this. Sections of the book of Revelation are closed. The Apostle John was allowed to hear certain revelation that he was not allowed to pass on. We seen this in Revelation 10:4, when seven angels with voices like thunder uttered something and John was about to write it down: "Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, 'Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.'"
There is another example in the book of Daniel. In chapter 8, Daniel has a vision of a ram and a goat. He did not understand it, so the angel Gabriel was sent to explain it to him. But there was one portion of the vision that wasn't explained. Look at Daniel 8:26, "And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future."
It is hard when God gives you revelation that you are not allowed to share, but at times He does do that, both in the bible and today. He gave that type of "secret" or unsharable revelation to Daniel and it was hard on him. Look at Daniel's response in Daniel 8:27: "And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days."
Not all revelation from God is intended to be shared. There are going to be times when you have a partial revelation of some future thing, but you won't have enough information to share it and the Lord won't give you a platform to share it from. Something inside of you will want to sound the alarm, but that won't be your job. If God was giving you the job to sound the alarm, He would give you the tools you need to do so. He would give you enough details to have a message and He would give you a platform to share the message from.
There are times when you will get information that you wish you could act on, but you have no plausible way of acting on it. That happened to me in the natural when I could see the fire from my back yard, but I could not tell where it was located well enough to call the fire department. It was frustrating, because everything inside of me wanted to do something to help. But God did not alert me to the fire in order for me to take practical steps to help put it out. I think that in this case He did not even "need" me to pray about it (though I am sure that He did not object to my praying). I think the reason He gave me this experience was to teach me something and have me pass it on to you in the form of this teaching.
The same thing happens in the spirit. There are times when God shows us revelation that alarms us, but His intent is not for us to act directly on that revelation. He is not looking for us to share it with others. He may be looking for us to pray about it, or He may be using it to train us in some manner.
Please don't assume that everything you hear from God is to be shouted from the rooftops. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that every time God reveals a problem or danger to you, your job is to sound the alarm. Instead, treat that type of revelation just like you treat any other type of supernatural revelation. E.g., go back to God and debrief with Him on it. Ask Him what He wants you to do with what He showed you. Look to Him for direction and don't go running off to act on it before He shows you clearly what He wants you to do with it. Let the One Who gave the revelation be the One to show you what to do in response to the information that He gave you. Don't let the urgency of the situation be what drives you. Remember, God knows all things in advance, and if He is giving you an alarm to sound, He will do in far enough in advance that you have time to touch bases with Him and get His will and strategy on the information that He has given to you.
There will be times when He does instruct you to sound the alarm--and in those times will give you a strategy and show you how to do so effectively. But there will be other times when He wants you to hide things in your heart and wait on Him. Know which situation it is before you run off to sound the alarm.