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Last week I talked about how most of the words God gives us are "now" words, where are relevant to what is going on in our life. But He is not limited to only present tense, He can give past tense words (about things that previously happened in your life), or He can give "future tense" words about things that have not happened yet.
I would like to share an example of a simple future tense word with you. This example happened just recently, so it is very fresh in my mind.
I need to give you a little context so that you can understand the example...
The Lord has been using angels a lot in His dealings with me over the past six weeks. I had seen angels before that, but those encounters were relatively rare. Then all of the sudden, it was like God put an Open Heaven over my home. There was a period where angels showed up several times a day for two solid weeks. The Lord used them to teach and instruct me in some areas that I'd been asking God about. He also used them to force me to examine certain areas of my life where I needed to grow and mature.
After that initial two weeks, I did not see angels every single day, but I still saw them a lot, and it as a time of very rapid spiritual growth for me.
Then I spoke at a woman's retreat two weekends ago. Just before I left my hotel room for the Friday Evening meeting, the Lord told me that He was sending two angels to the meeting with me. I thought that was neat, and I was excited about what He said.
That night for the ministry time, I lead the ladies through a prayer of deeper commitment to obey and honor God. After I did that, I asked the ladies to cry out to God to fill them afresh and empower them to walk out that commitment. Most of the time when I do this, the Lord shows up like He did in the book of Acts, with all sorts of power and anointing and visible manifestations. He sort of takes over the meeting for a while. When God finishes, then I invite anyone who wants prayer with the laying on of hands to come up front and I will pray for them. Usually it is very powerful and explosive with I lay hands on the people after this--most of them quickly get slain in the Spirit and laying under the power of God for quite some time.
The first part of the ministry time went more or less like usual--they cried out to God and God showed up and filled them. But when it came time for me to lay hands on people, it seemed as if someone had switched off the power switch. I hardly needed my catchers at all. I had to soak most of the ladies in prayer for a long time before God appeared to come and meet them.
I went back to my hotel surprised at what seemed like the "lack of power." I had expected that it would be more powerful than usual because of the angels, not less powerful. I did not understand what had happened, but God choose not to enlighten me on it. However, the next morning just before I left for the meeting, God again told me that He was sending the two angles with me.
A lot of the ladies came up to me throughout the day to tell me how powerfully God had met them Friday night. I was glad that it had been powerful from their perspective, even though it did not seem powerful from mine.
I did a combination of teaching on hearing God's voice and listening exercises that I call activations. One of the activations we did was to sit down for fifteen minutes to listen to God and write down whatever He said. I did the activation along with the ladies. God spoke to me about three areas, and one of those areas was angels. He said,
Child, I know that you still struggle with how to interact with the angels that I have assigned to you. Don't worry about it, Teresa, for I will teach you how to interact successfully with them. Yes, child, I have assigned supernatural resources to you, I have things that I want you to do with them. Know that I will do whatever is necessary to prepare you and to equip you for this.
He also spoke to me about two other areas. The stuff He said about the other two areas seemed a lot more relevant to me than that paragraph about angels. I did not really understand what He was saying about them, it did not make sense to me. So I kind of shrugged off (ignored) the part about angels.
The retreat ended with dinner on Saturday evening. When I was driving home from it, the Lord told me that He wanted me to debrief with His angel about it. The next thing I knew, one of the angels that God had sent to my meetings was sitting in the passenger seat as I drove. The angel told me, "Teresa, myself and another angel were at the meetings with you, but you never used us."
I was shocked when he said that, and I realized that he was right.
"I am sorry!" I said. I felt bad and hoped that I had not offended the angels or hurt their feelings.
Then I asked, "Is that why Friday night ministry was not as powerful as usual?"
The angel nodded his head "yes."
I felt terrible, like I had let both God and both of His angels down. I felt upset with myself for not using the angels in the meetings. My first reaction was constructive--I asked God to teach me how to better work with His angels when He sends them with me. But after a little while, I started to have critical and condemning thoughts about myself. I was upset that I'd messed up and let down both God and the angels He'd assigned to me.
"Teresa," the angel interrupted my negative thoughts, "Stop beating yourself up about this. When you get home, read what God spoke to you during the activation."
When I got home, I did as instructed: I reread that activation. All of the sudden the part about working with angels made all sorts of sense to me. God knew in advance that I was going to miss out on using the angels that He has assigned. He also knew that I'd feel terrible about it when He called it to my attention after the retreat was over. So God gave me a word in advance, telling me not to worry about it, along with a promise that He'd teach me how to work effectively with the angels.
Suddenly the most valuable part of the word was the part that I'd not been able to receive at first. But once the "time" came for the word, then it really ministered to me.
The reason that I shared this testimony is because there are times when God may use you to give someone a "future tense" word. Don't be upset if they can't receive it when you deliver it. They won't have the context for that word yet, so it won't make sense to them. They may even reject it when you initially tell it to them.
But at some point, that "future tense" word will become a "now" word for them. At that time, it will minister to them greatly and they will be in awe of God because He gave them the word in advance of when they needed it.