You may not have realized this yet. Your lifetime’s prophetic journey will include seasons of waiting for God’s prophetic promises to come true.
Consider Joseph. In Genesis 37, we see that Joseph had a prophetic dream about his future: he would be in a position of leadership over his parents and siblings. You probably know the story…his brothers got so angry that they considered killing him and finally decided to sell him as a slave. Joseph was taken to Egypt, sold to a master, and then put into jail after being falsely accused of raping his master’s wife.
How do you think Joseph felt in those years between having the prophetic dream and when the dream came true? Psalm 105:19 NKJV tells us, “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.” However, we know from Genesis 50:20 NLT that by the time the dream came true, Joseph had gotten past the testing and into an inner place of peace. He declared to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
An old friend explained the season of waiting to me this way: “The prophet stands on the mountain and looks at another mountain in the distance. On that other mountain are the prophetic words and promises given to him. However, the prophet has no idea how long the journey will take between the two mountains. The prophet does not know what valleys or challenges may be between the two mountains.”
This metaphor of the two mountains has sustained me many times over the years. I can remember one season in my life when I began to learn about Jesus the Bridegroom. It was a very sweet and intimate season for me, but the following season was very confusing and dry. I felt distant from God and disoriented. What happened!? I cried out to the Lord and he answered me three times using three different people in three different cities to say the same thing to me: “Go forward!” The Lord did not want me to grow stagnant, even in intimacy. He wanted me to go forward in the Spirit and learn new things and have new sweet seasons that would be different from that sweet and intimate one, but still good.
Know your season. Are you in a Spring season when everything is bursting with new life and new possibilities and the beauty of the Lord is everywhere? Are you in the Summer season? Summer could be a time of planting or a time of relaxing…or maybe you experience dryness in the blaze of Summer’s heat. Are you in the Fall season when the Lord is bringing you a harvest bounty of all the seeds you’ve planted over the years? Are you in a Winter season when all seems frozen and buried?
I can remember being in a Winter season. And although the spiritual seasons don’t always correlate with the natural, this one did. I was in a Winter season in the winter. The Lord brought me to this tree that he’d shown me many times that represented me. He said, “She looks dead, but she’s not dead.” From the outside, the tree looked dead. No leaves. No fruit. But I knew that in the Spring, the tree would awaken in the warmth and once more produce leaves and fruit. From the outside, I looked dead. I certainly felt “spiritually dead.” The Lord was reminding me that when a spiritual season of Spring would come, I too would awaken and once more show signs of life. It was all a matter of timing.
I believe that within the prophetic journey, there is a promise from the Lord inherent in the imagery of seasons. Every season with the Lord bears fruit. Really. Nothing is wasted.
That season when you made a bunch of mistakes? It’s not wasted. He wants to use it, and bear fruit in you from it. That season when you wouldn’t humble yourself and put yourself under leadership? That season when you became bitter and resentful? That season when you ignored wise counsel? That season when you refused to take a good look at your character? That season you were weary and thought you’d never hear God’s voice again? That season when you decide to become the lonely prophet because you’d gotten burned by God’s people? None of it is wasted. It can all grow fruit in you if you will let Him.
One reason I know this is because of the tree of life described in Revelation 22:1-2 NLT. The tree bears a fresh crop of fruit each month.
The will of God is for things to be on earth as they are in heaven. In heaven, the water of life flows from the throne of God and the trees that grow beside it produce a new crop every month. On earth, you are described in Psalm 3:1 as being “like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.” Jesus tells us in John 7:38-39 that the Holy Spirit is the River, the source of living water.
So in heaven, we see the river and trees bearing fruit in each season. On earth, we see the river and trees bearing fruit in each season.
I bless you to accept your own prophetic journey in all its seasons and to find a way to always return to the River. Not just so that you can produce the fruit of your life for the Lord, but so that you can remain with the Lord in the journey, sustained in the valleys as you wait for the words of the Lord to come to pass on the mountaintops.