Another Perspective (Part 4 of 9)
I want to share a personal experience that I had with the Lord a little over twelve years ago. I have shared it with a few friends over the years but have been hesitant to share it publicly until now. At the time, I did not believe that I was receiving some big prophetic word for the nation, but rather an answer to a question that I had asked in prayer.
I have been hesitant to share because I didn’t want to add to the noise of all of the voices saying “God said this…” or “God said that…” and I ultimately was not looking to get into theological conversations about whether God still speaks to people today. But then, as I was reading what Dutch Sheets wrote this week, I recognized that his perspective (vantage point) was shaping the sound that was coming from his heart. I recognize that my vantage point is different than his. He has a perspective that I don’t have, and I want to honor and listen to the sound that comes from that perspective. I also want to honor how God has shaped my perspective and add what I pray will be a clear sound from my perspective. My prayer is that what I share will add dimension to what God is saying to His people today.
So here is my story…
It was July 27th, 2004. I had been away for an evening meeting and was shocked when I came home to find that my wife had the TV tuned into the Democratic National Convention. While Adriane is an informed voter, watching politics has never been her thing. I, on the other hand, was somewhat of a news junkie and would spend hours watching cable news or reading political articles online.
As I sat down in my chair, I sensed the Holy Spirit was highlighting something about this moment. What is it Lord? I asked. This is the part that I have been hesitant to share up until this point. But I heard a clear response to the question had I asked.
As I watched the television and saw a young, freshman senator from Illinois delivering the keynote address for the convention, I heard the Holy Spirit say, That is the next President of the United States.
What? Barack Obama? Really? Sure, he was an emerging star in the Democratic party, but he was unproven and very few people even knew who he was.
What I sensed Holy Spirit speaking to me didn’t make sense to me. In fact, it bothered me, not only because I didn’t understand how what I thought I heard could be true, but also because I couldn’t understand why God would speak something like that to me.
I told my wife what I sensed God saying and that it bothered me. I prayed as I went to sleep that night, wondering why God had so clearly answered my question. Again, it wasn’t like I was a prophetic voice in the nation. Why would He speak that kind of information to me?
I woke up the next morning still thinking about what had happened the night before. As I was spending time with the Father, I asked Him why He would speak to me about something that seemed so important. Again, I sensed a clear response from God. This time I understood why He was speaking.
I sensed God speaking to my heart, I am much more interested in what happens in my house than I am the White House. I told you so you wouldn’t be distracted…
WOW. God had my attention. In that instant I understood that what I had heard the night before was not a prediction that George W. Bush would triumph in his race against John Kerry, nor was it an endorsement of Barack Obama in the 2008 elections. It was the heart of a good Father letting me know to focus on what He was focusing on. It was a simple answer to prayer that has had a profound impact on the way that my heart has been drawn to the church over the past 12 years.
As I read the scriptures, I find that the Holy Spirit is constantly highlighting what has been recorded about the role of the church in society. My view of these scriptures has led me to a vantage point that focuses my heart towards seeing the opportunity for the people of God to shine in the midst of darkness, to stand out as harmless and blameless in the midst of a broken and perverse generation.
As I read the article presented last week by Dutch Sheets, I was so thankful that he took the time to share what God had spoken to his heart, but my heart was grieved to read these words from the opening paragraph.
We are so close to the precipice of a complete self-destruction—a devastation of such magnitude that it would take decades to recover. Some believe a complete recovery would never be possible. The America we have known and loved is being systematically dismantled and reshaped.
As I am prayerfully sorting through the entirety of what he had to say, I found so many helpful insights, but I kept coming back to the ache in my heart over the opening statements of self destruction.
Why? Because the vantage point that I have is focusing me towards something different.
It is focusing me towards the need for the church to shine as light in the midst of darkness. It’s not that I am hearing something different than what Dutch Sheets was sharing, but that my vantage point is different than his.
I have been calling those around me to “buy oil so we can shine bright”. Why? Because I recognize that darkness is trying to overtake our culture. In my next article, I will unpack why I believe that it is important for the church to hear this perspective as well as the prophetic insights of those who are sensing the urgency of the moment we are living in. I believe understanding what God has to say about the church as light in darkness will be incredibly important for us in the coming days, regardless of how the election turns out.
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Brad and his wife, Adriane, have spent over two decades pastoring churches in the United States with a focus on reaching the “un-churched”. In 2011, they moved to Grove City, PA with their daughter Abigail to pioneer Antioch Overflow Experiment (AOX), a community of simple churches with a mission to “disciple, equip, and release sons and daughters of the King to transform every sphere of society for the glory of God.” Follow him on social media@bradmckoy to stay connected to him and his family.