A person without patience cannot prophetic be. The critical virtue of patience is most central to the character of a truly prophetic man or woman of God. It is not something that comes naturally to any of us, but is cultivated through relationship with the Revelation Giver. Many ascribe to the prophetic, but fall by wayside after the passage of time and events. Hopes delayed can dishearten even the most determined. Patience, not determination, brings to us the fruition of the spoken promise.
Patience: The Key to Words of Destiny
“Perseverance (patience) must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything,” James 1:4. Patience is fascinating in that it is both the facilitator / promoter of maturity, and the distinguishing mark of it. The impatient soul is far from being seasoned in the Word he carries. Still believing the word is just supposed to happen to him, he bemoans every setback as persecution or cosmic interference. In immaturity, he misses the point.
Any prophetic word given, is powerful to recreate us in its likeness. Instead of happening for us, it first happens in us. The timetable for the fulfillment of any prophecy lies in how long it takes for the word to renovate our own mentality and behaviors. Of course, this takes time… and patience. Should your destiny be greatly removed from your current state, more time will be needed for this word to recreate you from the inside out. Joseph, regent over Egypt, was decades in process. As a dreaming teenager, he couldn’t be further from the sophistication and regality of the night visions he received. However, the distance between teenage Joseph, and fully matured Joseph was more than geographical… it was also developmental, psychological and spiritual in nature. Why did God reveal the promise of such grandeur to an adolescent? I believe it was because it would take years of Joseph’s life to cultivate the compassion, wisdom, savvy and sophistication needed to preserve nations during famine.
It is spoken of Joseph in Psalm 105:19, “Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.” Tried is the Hebrew word, tsaraph, meaning to purge, test and refine. The word of the Lord literally purged Joseph, tested him and refined him for His purpose. More specifically, the word given to Joseph set in motion certain circumstances that would precipitate change within him. Any adverse circumstances surrounding his story were merely tools of purging, testing, and refining.
The Hebrew word for tried in Psalm 105:19 also includes a reference to smelting. Smelting is the process of melting down metals for the purpose of separating it from other metals or impurities. Joseph’s separation from family at an early age, was just the beginning of the smelting process in his life. The later separation from Potiphar’s household and society at large, was part of the continual work of smelting. Joseph was isolated for the purpose of identifying and cultivating his character and gifts. As this process happens in our lives, it may feel that we are the ones being tossed aside or purged out of the picture. Friend, this is the path of destiny.
Any accurate prophetic word of destiny over your life with test you… every day of your life. No doubt, Joseph daily revisited his boyish dreams of regality and authority. In the worst of circumstances, his dreams played over and over again in his head – challenging his resolve and sanity. In our immaturity, prophecies will first test our faith in self. The arm of the flesh will generally try to muscle a prophetic word into existence. This is guaranteed to fail. Until we flunk the test of the flesh, we cannot begin to be tested in our reliance on Father God. Once our resolve to make it happen wanes, we discover our resolve to follow His faithful leading.
Because a prophetic word has refining power, it must be rehearsed often in our hearts and minds. Write, frame, or speak out your promise. In doing so, you are subjecting yourself to the chisel and hammer of the master sculptor. Not only is the heard word overwriting your former, flawed expectations, but it is creating the capacity to believe in the new.
The very act of declaring your promise is powerful to set in motion certain circumstances that will hasten its fulfillment. As in the case of Joseph, these happenings bring refinement of character and much-needed experience for the days ahead. WIthout these tests of refinement, we would never arrive at the expertise or confidence needed to walk our out destiny. Refinement brings mastery in matters of skill – and humility in matters of heart.
In closing, allow me to encourage you in your prophetic journey. You may feel time has ruled you out of your promise. Your destiny, however, has never been nearer. Ironically, the development of patience requires the manifold exhaustion of composure and fortitude. How else will we learn that our times and seasons are in His hand? Persevere in believing against all hope. The word is making something marvelous of you.