When I was younger, I didn’t always have an appreciation for a tidy bedroom. I often cleaned by hiding everything in the closet. When my room was particularly bad, Dad used the word squalor. I’m not sure exactly what it meant, but I’m pretty sure it resembles “now I must judge you!”
The truth is that sometimes we find ourselves in squalor. Whether because of our own choices or the circumstances around us, our lives can become a mess. But God’s voice doesn’t resound with judgment. Rather, His voice brings order to the chaos.
Several years ago, I was in a hotel room preparing to speak at an evening session of a conference. I was simply spending time with God as I happened to look out the hotel window to the pool. It was empty at the time, but I saw a distinct picture in my imagination. I would call it a vision.
The picture I saw was of a young man from the conference. He stepped into the pool and walked from the shallow end into the deep water. He kept walking until he was fully immersed.
I didn’t know what it meant, but I tucked the image away in my mind. Several hours later, I was surprised to see the exact man I had seen in my imagination attending the conference. I struck up a conversation with him and told him about the vision I had earlier in the day. He thanked me with a smile, and we both went our separate ways.
At the end of the service that evening, I felt particularly impressed to ask if anyone wanted to give their lives to Jesus for the first time. I was a little taken back by this impression— after all, we were at a Christian conference. But I went with that fleeting thought and asked if anyone wanted to give their lives to Jesus.
To my surprise, the same man I had seen in the vision of the pool came to the front and dedicated his life to God for the first time. “Can I be baptized in the hotel pool tonight?” he asked. I was elated! Late that night, after the service, we got permission from the hotel manager to baptize the man in the hotel pool. He was fully immersed in the water, just as I had seen earlier.
The next day, I had an opportunity to spend some time with that young man. I asked him what his spiritual journey looked like. “I’ve heard a lot about Jesus, but I grew up in a faith in which we worshipped and prayed to many gods. Jesus was one of them.” He went on to explain that during the evening service a light bulb went on for him. He realized that Jesus was the unique Son of God and it was time for him to follow Christ only.
As I reflected on this event later, I asked the Holy Spirit a question. Why did I see a picture of him being baptized in the pool and not a picture of him worshipping many gods? His answer stunned me: “I could only show him to you as I see him, and I created him to be my child. When you saw what I see about him and said what I say about him, he became what I created him to be.”
God’s words reveal His heart. What He doesn’t say is just as important as what He does say. God didn’t pronounce His judgment on that man’s idolatry. Rather, His words spoke into being His purposes for the young man. When God hovered over the formless, empty, dark earth, He didn’t declare, “What a mess!” He didn’t start pointing out all the issues that were wrong with the earth’s state. Rather, He spoke destiny and released what the earth could be through His words.
You can shift conversations from negative to positive with your words. Be positive.
God’s words spoken through us can do the same thing. That is the essence of prophecy. When we hear God’s voice, it transforms us. When we speak His words out, they change the environments around us. Prophecy brings God’s order through words. It reverses entropy. One word, son, changed me in a moment through that pastor in Pensacola. One prophetic word changed the young man at the conference forever as well. In the same way, one word from God’s creative genius spoken through your mouth can instantly bring chaos to order in someone else’s life.
Our role as prophetic people who hear God’s voice is not to identify the problems around us but to release the solutions.