If you are into the prophetic, can you think of a time when you believe you’ve heard from God, but your real life didn’t match up?
Ever found yourself blindsided? You hoped for and maybe even expected a positive outcome, but when the battle was over, you had been creamed? A big-time loss like the Denver Bronco’s Superbowl loss against the Seattle Seahawks this week (Feb. 2014).
Why does this happen? Why are we sometimes OFF in our expectations?
Assuming we are right with the Lord, there are several reasons I can think of:
1. Perhaps our personal hopes have dominated our spiritual perceptiveness
- We have to work hard to remain objective.
- A number of years ago I was given news that my dad’s lung cancer was back. I fasted and prayed for a month that he would be healed.
One day The Lord sent me an impressive dream. I was out in public and asked a complete stranger, “Do you know what’s going to happen to my father?”
I immediately approached another unfamiliar person, and then another, both nonchalantly answering, “Sure. A beautiful golden substance will come out of the ground.”
That morning, as I went to the scripture, the next passage included Psalm 71:20. “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.”
What did I think God was saying to me? I adored my father! Surely God was going to send a miracle and my father would be saved!
Looking back, God was saying “Your father, who was unable to hear me after his traumatic WW11 experiences, will again hear, believe, and will be saved… SPIRITUALLY. Then I will take him.”
I wasn’t objective. Check your objectiveness.
The leaders of the prophetic group had made it clear that under no circumstances did they want to hear any negativity about anyone. This discouraged us from speaking out.
The pastors’ hopes of building their own million dollar facility included blueprints, but regular attendance was only around 40 people. They had very little funding because most of those involved didn’t attend the “church” portion of the ministry.
When this unscrupulous couple spoke of the hundreds of square acres they had drilling rights to, the “scientific” tests that had been done, and the billions of gallons of oil they would be acquiring… well, it tickled the ears of the pastors. That’s what they wanted to hear. It would fulfill their dreams. God was surely right on track.
We left the community, but learned later that the “oil tycoons” had been persistent in digging in. While they were still involved in this community, their corporation was overturned, they were fined and banned from a third state. The ministry has yet to acquire their building.
2. Maybe, due to our personal hopes or zealousness, we’ve stretched the prophecy a little too far
- So God tells us our ship is coming in. Surely He means several million dollars will overtake us and we’ll never have another financial need.
EXAMPLE: Once, just as we were about to take a leadership position in a church, God clearly led us to another church.
In preparation for the position we believed we would be taking, the Lord directed his path on the web site which resulted in a phone call to a thriving non-denominational African-American congregation. Frank was needed on the drums in the praise band. The church had a unique balance between evangelism and the charismatic. We were attracted to it. Then we went to the website and saw the train from the dream… heading the other direction!
“God has surely brought us to the church He wants us to serve at for the rest of our lives,” we thought… Not.
Within two years, the church was shut down, and the same scenario repeated itself with another church until we took a position as lead pastors in an inner-city church.
3. God may have led us in a direction for reasons differing from what we assumed
- Just as the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the “wilderness”, the third person of the trinity sometimes leads us down a road for purposes we don’t anticipate.
EXAMPLE: God led me through circumstances, dreams, and prophesies into a legal battle. Naturally, I had in mind a complete victory, with wickedness taking a real beating. After nine months of what felt like hand to hand combat, the outcome looked more like a draw.
I have found that the Lord will lure us where He needs us to go. In the long run, it will be for our good, but if we knew what the journey would feel like, we’d have stayed in bed.
4. Maybe the prophecies will be fulfilled at a later time that we expected
- One recent battle I found myself in could be described that way. All along the journey, I continued to be baffled as to why God didn’t seem to be directing my path. After all, both the Old and New Testaments tell us to seek His counsel and wisdom!
“First seek the counsel of the Lord.” I Kings 22:5
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
In this epic 15 month battle, when all seemed to be said and done, I was left suffering the “agony of defeat”. I was stunned. Blind-sided. A series of dreams had prophesied a completely opposite conclusion.
Couldn’t make sense of it at first. Then I began to perceive that what seemed like a Superbowl defeat to me (because it carried significant ramifications), may have been an “ordinary Sunday game.” The ”Superbowl” may yet be coming, and this time, the prophetic dreams will be fulfilled and we’ll be the ones left standing.
One of our dreamers can relate to this right now as He continues to stand on the dreams and prophecies in faith. “I know Father God has a plan through this whole thing. I know sometimes God has to test our hearts to ensure that if he is going to use us we must be in a complete surrender to him…and that means that sometimes he must test to show us what is in us and it is about letting us die so his purposes can live.”
There are other reasons, of course why we are blindsided at times. Sometimes God seems to step back for some reason and lets us forge ahead by our own wits, and by the wisdom of the scripture. We’ve seen curses stand in the way of someone receiving direction from God.
But when we are, remember— His ways are higher than ours, His sight— so much more broad, His wisdom— so much deeper, His power— incomparable, His love— unconditional.
Hang in there. Keep the faith. Keep fighting for the victories. And look to the Great Coach who promises to lead you home.
And by the way, I light-heartedly predicted a Superbowl victory for our home-team, the Broncos, this year, based on a dream. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The dream was speaking of something else. Peyton Manning as a dream element, however, is still a positive one. Ha! Frank reminded me last night, that he’s still one of the highest paid players in the NFL and the NFL’s top pitchman, earning millions from sponsors.
Of the 4 reasons listed here that prophetic people are blindsided, which one do you think applies to my Superbowl expectations! Comments welcome!