Ezekiel 37:7 “As I was prophesying there was a noise, a rattling sound”
A prophecy from the Lord should produce action.
Ezekiel prophesied and it caused something to happen, there was a noise, a rattling sound. He is obedient and from his obedience to the Lord something happens.
Now this is what I want to see! I want to see the time between speaking out a word and the action that it produces shortened. Even to the immediacy that Ezekiel experienced here.
We are made in the image of the Lord and as such there are some of his characteristics that we share. One of which is the ability to speak things out and as a result something happens. For example, the Lord spoke and planets were formed, He spoke and stars were flung into space. If He were to stop speaking we would cease to exist (Heb 1:3). We exist because He is speaking. Now I don’t believe that our ability to declare a thing and it happening is on the same level as the Lords but I do see, as in this example, that when we prophesy, when we declare something that the Lord has spoken then something happens.
In Lam 3:37 it says “Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?”, we need to bear this in mind as we speak, prophesy and declare but having said that, if the Lord has spoken then who are we not to declare it? The question arises, how then can we reduce the time lag between the spoken declaration and the action of the word?
I would love to have a prescriptive answer but the word is short on formulaic approaches. Even the passages that would lend themselves to thinking like that are dependent on relationship and our walking in intimacy with the Lord. Draw close to me and I will draw close to you (James 4:8), behold the Lord and you will be transformed (2 Cor 3:18).
And now you are waiting for the million dollar answer.
And there isn’t one…but I will offer three suggestions. Obedience, faith and extravagance. In all three of these areas I believe that we move the heart of God.
Obedience is a love language for the Lord. If you love me you will obey my commands (John 14:15).
Faith, without faith we cannot please God (Heb 11:6). As we cultivate faith in our hearts it brings pleasure to God. And we can cultivate it, as it says in Romans 10, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I believe that it is both the word (bible) and the spoken prophetic word that produces faith. As such we need to put ourselves in a position to receive both.
Extravagance. When we are extravagant I believe it moves the heart of God. I was thinking of Mary of Bethany, her extravagance in breaking the alabaster jar will always be remembered and her extravagance in devotion has been tied to the global spread of the gospel. The alabaster box of perfume cost a years wages. That’s a lot of money! But she didn’t measure the cost, she knew Jesus was worth it. There is a story of king who went to a beggar and asked what the beggar would give him, somewhat shocked the beggar gave him three grains of rice. The king thanked him and walked away. At the end of day as the beggar was packing away he saw in his bowl three golden grains of rice and he realised that his meanness had withheld the blessing. Our extravagance moves the heart of God!
As we grow in obedience, faith and extravagance we will become more in tune with the heart of God and His desire. It is from that place that I believe we will see the gap between the spoken word and the action shortened.