So, as I have an hour to kill before I board my flight to Washington-DC, I have been reflecting about the weekend.
What God has been saying.
Who God has been linking together.
I love it.
Yesterday morning’s teaching stays with me in particular.
The relationship between the prophetic and reaching the nations.
Looking at what we can learn from Daniel 1.
And man, Viv Thomas’s epic teaching was like trying to drink water from a Holy Spirit fire hydrant, so this will be the footnotes…
The way that Daniel found himself living out his prophetic life to change the nations was messy.
He was in Babylon because of the sins of his own people. And his heart would have been to live in Jerusalem, not Babylon. Babylon was not the comfortable or easy option.
So he finds himself in a place of second choice, as God reveals His purposes and shifts him into the place of His purposes.
If we want to be a prophetic voice to the nations we have to be willing to go to a place of dislocation, and move to a place that isn’t normal, familiar or comfortable.
That’s not playing it safe.
That’s taking risks to reach the nations.
So God invites Daniel on what looks like dislocation in order to mould him. Daniel was never number 1, but rather came to a place where he realised that he was not the point of his own life. He was always a servant. A mix of high intellect fused with an ability to see God’s vision and hear his voice.
We have to come to a point where we realise that we are not the point of our own lives.
There is something bigger going on.
1. If we want to shape the nations we have to be able to notice culture. Daniel notices what Babylon values (verse 4). If we are going to speak prophetically we have to become a student of the places God calls us to, and understand what it means. You become educated in what you know and what you don’t.
2. If we want to shape the nations we have to realise that we can’t do it by ourselves (verse 6). This is not about individualism, it is about team. We do this together. Our lives are accessible to others in community. Daniel speaks prophetically out of this community.
3. If we want to reach the nations we have to blend our politics and spirituality. Daniel has to make some choices about what to say yes to and what to say no to. Daniel had a gift that meant he knew when to ‘compromise’ and negotiate within culture. He doesn’t take the food of Babylon, but he receives their name for him. There are difficult decisions to make and work through in the nations, and it’s complex and not clear cut.
4. If we want to reach the nations we have to serve with excellence. Daniel and his friends are in this place where they don’t want to be and lots of Babylon would have been repulsive to them. But they give their best to Babylon. They serve Babylon so well. When you speak prophetically you need to serve with excellence, with your whole heart. Serving God through serving the nations.
5. If we want to reach the nations, God must be right in the middle of our whole experience. Daniel has a prayer life. The shape of your internal world is hugely important. What you hold in your heart will shape everything you do. The internal world is most important and this brings forth wisdom. Out of a rich relationship with God, you emerge from the place of prayer with a huge vision. Our hearts and imagination are shaped by the hidden things. The darkness isn’t dark to Him.
6. If we want to reach the nations we need to get His vision for changing the world. Read Daniel. Powerful regimes fall before God. Mighty kings are transformed.
And that’s what is gripping me just now.
Because I have this big clear vision that has come out of community. God’s vision for doing more than we can ask or imagine. And I am praying for the souls that He longs to see saved. For the children His heart breaks for. And I am so incredibly excited to be a part of this. I am so incredibly thankful to be rooted in His people. Loved by His people. Loved by Him.
And this morning, some of my precious friends gathered around me to pray over this next part of my trip, over this next season in my life and over my heart for Asia, and the words that one of them spoke were, ‘Peta, you think sometimes that this place with God is it, but it’s not. He has so much more for you. More than you can imagine.’
And you know, that spoke to me.
Because I’m so thankful for the healing God has already done, more than I could have ever asked or imagined, but that sometimes means I forget that there’s something bigger going on.
Because my life is not my own. And my heart burns for the children of the nations.
It really does.
And now I better go catch my plane 🙂