This is a post about what a prophetic ministry does. Watchmen on the wall (Is 62:6) don’t only tell the news. They don’t only ring the end-is-near-repent bell. The Lord uses these ministries to complete a process in hearers’ hearts. It isn’t only a cognitive absorbing of news, but a spiritual changing of hearts.
Paul uses analogies quite often and one of his favorites is the race:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7).
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 9:25).
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7).
The Church Age is a marathon. A marathon is a 26-mile race. Initially there is a burst at the starting gate, runners quickly jogging away in an explosion of energy. The Church started quickly, like marathoners at the gun.
Then there is the long middle part. Runners get tired. Some stumble, but they get up. Others drop out. The pace is plodding, not a lot of energy is expended. Runners look at the crowd, the birds, their shoes, becoming unfocused. They get complacent.
But then suddenly they round a bend and they see that finish line tape up ahead. Suddenly their focus zaps back to the task at hand- fully and completely. They run full throttle, the tiredness leaving their legs and adrenaline kicking in. People are on the sidelines cheering and the crowds swell with energy. There is joy in seeing it and arms start to reach out.
Prophecy is the finish line tape. The watchmen are close to the finish line shouting and clapping and encouraging and pleading with them to keep running the race. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit quickens their pace, opens their eyes, gives them energy. And the Lord changes hearts.
Here is what a watchman does: “Isaiah 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,” (Isaiah 62:6)
Here is the effect of what a watchman does: See, as you begin to think about the immediacy of prophetic fulfillments, The Holy Spirit changes your thinking. It changes your heart. Suddenly your priorities are different. You feel more urgency, have more focus on your Christian walk. Watchmen who exhort put these seeds in your mind and heart and the Holy Spirit revives you by showing you that the end of the race is near. You feel a deepening sense of burden for the lost world while at the same time a lessening of hanging on to it.
What you can do: Ask the Spirit to give you discernment, an ability to distinguish truth from error. Diligent study in the Word is the mechanism for growing discernment, because the bible is All-Truth. Once you know truth more solidly the Spirit will lead you to discerning untruth when you come across it. You will then feel stronger in standing on your foundation as the rest of the world tips crazily.
“The period of man’s day is ending, the period of God’s day is coming. But in light of the fact that we are soon to be taken to be with Christ and that will initiate the day of the Lord in which the ungodly will be destroyed and damned forever. It is time to get your priorities right. It’s time to wake up. This is no time to be slumbering and sleeping. This is a time for alertness. The same Jesus who is taken up from you, the angel said, shall so come in like manner as you’ve seen Him go. In other words, you’ve got to live in the light of the return of Jesus Christ.” It’s time to wake up.”