Stepping into Your Prophetic Destiny, Pt. 3: Watching for Pitfalls
Vows that create covenant are made at the altar but proved over a lifetime. When God promised Abram that he would become a great nation, things didn't immediately fall into place. More than one challenge could have derailed the promise had Abram not obeyed and God not intervened to preserve it. When God covenants with you, He sets the terms; you walk in obedience. While some may call it "legalism," it is not. Instead, it is freedom because the one who sets the terms is obligated to ensure they are carried out and remove any hindrances that present themselves. If Abram went through uphill battles, you will, too, and like Abram, you can't help but overcome in covenant with God. So, what are some of these challenges to stepping into your prophetic destiny?
· Birds of Prey (Gen. 15:11). The term for prey there means aggressive and ravenous birds bent on consuming what God has given us. The enemy will gladly send the hordes of hell to steal the sacrifice of the covenant, but, like Abram, we must chase them away. Listening to the voice of the naysayer will not profit anything. As Abram was waiting for the confirmation and culmination of the promise, he was determined nothing was going to steal his covenant with God or the promise of God. Birds of prey can come through the words and actions of others.
For example, when Walter and I discovered I was pregnant after firmly being told by the doctors that I would never carry a baby to term, we went to Deuteronomy 28:4, which says, "Blessed shall be the fruit of your body." We claimed that and advanced past the five-month mark, by which time we should have miscarried. An older woman came up to me and said, "Don't count your chickens before they hatch." That was a bird of prey, meant to get Walter and me into unbelief. However, we clung to the Word of God, proved it true for ourselves, and now twenty years of marriage later, we have four handsome, bright teenage boys, all gifts from God. You cannot concede to fear, doubt, and unbelief. You must drive them away and stand upon the promises of God alone.
· Sometimes we are the problem (Gen. 16). Sarai decided on her own that she would never carry a child because she hadn't up to that point. She offered up Hagar to Abram, and he didn't argue. This decision to try to produce in the flesh what could only be born of the Spirit has bred turmoil and contention within the Middle East for centuries. However, thanks to the blood of Jesus, families can be reunited once more. If God said He would do it, He will. God always keeps His promises; it's who He is.
· If the birds of prey don't steal it and you don't sabotage it, rest assured the enemy will seek through various means to delegitimize it (Gen. 20). The same year God reinforced His promise to Abraham (by now God had changed his name) that he would father Isaac, Abimelech, king of Gerar, brought Sarah into his harem. But God intervened and shut the wombs of all the women in Abimelech's court. Sarah was returned to her husband, and God preserved the legitimacy of the seed. Had Abimelech had his way with Sarah, and she later bore a child to Abraham, Isaac's inheritance could have been called into question. And even though Abraham had foolishly lied, God still had his back because that's who He is – a promise maker and keeper. I will add this note of caution, though: wisdom builds a house, so be watchful and discerning because seemingly insignificant decisions can put your entire reputation on shaky ground. Don't allow the enemy the opportunity.
· Add to that one last thing – the manifestation of the promise itself (Gen. 22). When Isaac had been born and grew, God asked Abraham something seemingly impossible – to sacrifice Isaac. But Abraham had learned by this point that even if he had to give Isaac back to God, God would still raise another from himself so that God's promise would be fulfilled. Abraham could have made Isaac greater than the covenant, but Abraham understood that Isaac was a blessing of the covenant, not the covenant itself. Be careful that when God starts to bring forth the promise, you do not put it before God. Abraham passed the test, Isaac was spared, and the promised lineage remained intact.
Let me note that this is especially hard for parents when it comes to their children. But it is when we let go of our children rather than abandoning the principles of God that God gifts them back to us. Many today have compromised the Word of God for the sake of their children and inadvertently lost them because they were not an example of holiness and righteousness before God. I don't know what would have happened to Isaac had Abraham refused God, but parents, I say this with much love: let your children go. God loves them more than you do, which brings me to my last point.
God doesn't just want a covenant with you. He wants your entire house and all the generations that follow. It's not just about your prophetic destiny but that of your entire household. Every Christian parent's goal should be to spiritually position their child so that when the parent dies, the child begins where the parent left off, and a legacy of godliness is created by which God can bless the world. When He keeps His promise to you, He is investing in future generations – your children and grandchildren. If you do not deal with the birds of prey, the flesh, the attempts to delegitimize and refuse God your children, YOU are the one preventing God's prophetic destiny for your house back. He is a multi-generational God who keeps His covenant. If you step out in faith, you and your family will reap the benefits of His faithfulness for generations to come.
"Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle" (Ps. 144:1). Thank you, Holy Spirit, for teaching me how to deal with the obstacles that prevent me from stepping into all that the Father has for me. Lord, forgive me for the times I have tried to make things happen in the flesh. I know that I can trust You and Your perfect timing. Lord, keep me from sabotaging what You so greatly desire to give me. Help me to preserve the integrity of Your promise. Lord, I present to You my children. Thank You that Jesus' blood, the forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit is not only for me but for my children, "and all who are far off." Let my life be a legacy of God-given purpose, operating in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about Your desires in my family and the earth. Be glorified in me. Amen.