Last month I blogged on “Rooting the Prophetic in Covenant” by adapting a chapter from my new book which is to be published later this year. You can read that blog by clicking here. This month is part two of “Prophecy: A Covenant and Kingdom Perspective” and looks at the importance of a kingdom mindset in regards to the gift of prophecy.
What is Kingdom?
The theme of Kingdom is the other great thread that runs through the whole of the Bible, and whereas Covenant is all about relationship, Kingdom is about responsibility.
Covenant draws us deep into the Father’s love whereas Kingdom sends us out from that place to, quite simply, change the world.
It’s important that Covenant comes first: otherwise we become driven, legalistic and task-focused. But without a deep understanding of Kingdom we will see little breakthrough and will be a people full of unfulfilled potential.
Kingdom is about the responsibility God gives to those with whom he has established a Covenant. It is about representing the King and taking the responsibility to act on his behalf and extend his Kingdom.
Kingdom and Prophecy
A Kingdom perspective brings great balance, and a necessary outward momentum, to prophetic ministry. There is a tendency for prophetic people to be quite content remaining in their prayer closets, happily pouring out their love and adoration to God, enjoying his presence. Which is all well and good, apart from the obvious lack of engagement with the world around them. This is where Kingdom comes in. Whereas Covenant is all about stepping back, and resting in the Father’s love, Kingdom brings motivation to step out in the prophetic. It makes prophecy active, dynamic and forward moving.
The Kingdom dimension of prophecy begins with us really understanding who the King is:
Jesus is the name above all names and all authority in heaven and in earth has been given to him (Matthew 28:18).
We can have great confidence in this. When we have a revelation of Jesus as the King of Kings, who has defeated even death, that revelation should increase our faith in the authority with which he speaks. When we hear his voice speaking into our lives we can know that his words are not weak and inconsequential – rather they have power to bring transformation.
Being able to look at the world and see where it needs to come into alignment with God’s Kingdom is helpful. One of the key roles of a prophet is to call things into alignment with God’s Kingdom. For example, to speak out about the injustice of poverty.
The Kingdom is about the King’s domain, and the more familiar we get with his domain, the more confidence we have to operate within it. As we get to know the nature of his rule, we can speak out aspects of the Kingdom with confidence and authority. As prophetic people we can look at the world and see where it needs to come into alignment with God’s Kingdom.
Prophecy and Kingdom in action
As we learn how to operate in the gift of prophecy then our regular question should be, “How can I advance God’s Kingdom through this gift?” Thinking from a Kingdom perspective gives us a great sense of anticipation: that we can be about the business of the King and Kingdom – by doing something as simple as listening and speaking things out on his behalf.
The prophetic shows us where God is at work so that we can go and join in with him on Kingdom business. We know the Kingdom is at hand (Mark 1: 15), so let’s engage with the discipline of asking the Lord to show us. In every situation, and with everyone we meet, we can pray for eyes to see his Kingdom, and pray for further Kingdom breakthrough.
Representing the goodness, kindness and generosity of God is a key part of the calling of a prophet. As prophetic people, we have a responsibility to hear God’s voice and to channel his living word to those who need to hear it. We are called to live a generous lifestyle because we represent the King, and the King is very generous. Therefore it is important for us to be generous with what we have been freely given. Most of us will think this way in terms of money already (by tithing, for example.) However it is also important to be generous with our spiritual gifts as well as physical and financial gifts.
Here is a testimony written by Joanna who has recently been learning to live with a kingdom mindset with her gift of prophecy.
“Having both a covenant and kingdom mind-set is relatively new to me. Three years ago I thought only of kingdom and little of covenant. However after learning about both, I now have switched and seem to operate far more in covenant than I do in kingdom. I have become very comfortable in the mind-set that I am God’s daughter and He is my Daddy and loves to give me good gifts. But, I have become too comfortable. I may well be hearing God for myself, however I am not using the gift of prophecy to bring God’s kingdom or to love strangers. I talked to Cath about it and she challenged me, asking what made me think this gift was just for me? This really challenged my way of thinking. Yes God will still love me if I say no to his calling on my life, He will never love me any more or less than he does today, no matter what I do or do not do. However, if I say yes to what God has on offer for me, how much could that gift bless other people and not just me? Am I being selfish by keeping this amazing gift to myself by saying no? Yes! God has offered me a gift which has the potential to massively bless people, and I believe he is giving me the opportunity to be a part of that blessing. I do not want to be selfish with the gifts God gives me, I want to be generous with the gifts I’m given, and I want to take responsibility for them. If God gave me £1000 and said it was for a certain charity, would I turn it down because the journey to give it was not easy? No, even if the journey was tough, I’d like to think I could be a channel for that money to be put to God’s use. In the same way, I need to take responsibility for the spiritual gifts God gives me which He has a plan for, God has generously given me the gift of prophecy, and therefore I need to be a channel for Him to use that gift for His intentions, His kingdom, His will and not mine.” Joanna Millward, Accessible Prophecy