For my Biblical perspective on prophetic acts, read the previous post. I think it’s important because prophetic acts can be disconcerting at times if there is no understanding.
Using Scripture as a rationale for doing prophetic acts –
The Bible tells us, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Tim. 3 16,17 NIV)
We need to remember that the early church did not have the New Testament as it’s available today. Much of it hadn’t been written at that point. What had been written was initially available only to the people who received that particular letter. When Paul referred to Scripture, he meant the Old Testament. Today we use the Old Testament to understand many aspects of the New Testament and to learn about God’s ways. (We also need to recognize that the purpose of some OT practices were to teach principles to the Israelites who had been immersed in a pagan culture.)
When we use Scripture as our guide, we have an advantage over New Testament Christians. When we read our Bible we learn about Agabus. His example provides validity to prophetic acts and it strengthens the reality of Christians engaging in prophetic acts.
My early exposure –
Ken and I lived in Phoenix when we were young. While there I joined friends in several prophetic acts—but, try as I might, I can’t remember anything specific. I think they were all initiated by others—but it was such a long time ago and I’m really not sure. I do remember thinking at the time that prophetic acts were significant and that I played a vital role. I definitely knew what they were and accepted them as a valid response to God’s leading.
A story from the not-so-terribly-distant past –
About seven or eight years ago, when living in Minnesota lake country, I heard a news report that Buddhist monks from Tibet were coming to create a sand Mandela in the Fargo/Moorhead area. When they completed their work, they would release the sand into the Red River of the North for the healing of the waters.
This was billed as a cultural event under the umbrella of a local college, but I felt God told me the stated purpose was a disguise—a way to strengthen false spiritual powers in the region and a way to draw people away from faith in Jesus. Just as God directs His people to declare and claim God’s Word by faith through prophetic acts, Satan directs counterfeit acts. And just as it’s real with God, it’s real with Satan.
I also felt God impressed me to ask friends to join in a prophetic act, and I instantly knew what we would do. We would pre-empt the Buddhists by going to the sources of the Red—meaning the source of the Ottertail River and the source of the Bois de Sioux River—and then to the confluence where the two rivers meet between Wahpeton, ND, and Breckenridge, MN.
The Ottertail River begins on a Minnesota reservation where roads are limited. On a perfect summer day we made a journey north to a spot where the river is a mere brook flowing through a culvert under a local road. Making our way down a hill, we stood on an island of rocks and pebbles, sang praises, and prayed while the brook babbled and the birds sang. Then we left.
But nothing in our fallen world is perfect. On the way home, we had to take shelter from a severe hailstorm in the Frazee rest stop. That night the local news informed us that the storm had continued into southern Minnesota where it culminated in a tornado. Amidst much destruction, a man had died. A weather forecaster pinpointed the spot where the storm originated—exactly over the spot where we praised God and prayed—and emphasized that there was no meteorological reason for the storm.
We saw a correlation—and whether or not our act and the storm were actually related, we were spooked. Initially, we couldn’t deal with going to the other source and the confluence. But eventually, everyone was remarkably ready again.
Before our second trip, we prayed for protection for anyone who might be vulnerable. We also told God we’d like a sign to let us know we were following His Word, but that we’d like a gentle, peaceful sign.
And so, on another perfect summer day, we traveled south to the source of the Bois de Sioux which flows out of Lake Traverse along the Minnesota/South Dakota border. We parked by a bridge that crosses the river just as it leaves the lake. People walked past with their fishing rods, but no one was interested in us as we sang praises and prayed.
As we finished, a flock of about fifteen large white birds with black tips on their wings swooped down in v-formation just above our heads—and then lifted without landing in the water. They didn’t make a sound. We learned later that they were pelicans. We received the birds as our sign, and I felt the silence was a sign that no violence would follow.
On the way home, we stopped at the confluence which is near the main bridge connecting the downtowns of Wahpeton and Breckenridge. Cars whizzed by as we parked in the “Y” between the rivers. Again, no one was interested in us. And again, we sang songs of praise and prayed. Then we had lunch and came home.
As far as we know, the monks did not come. There were no more news reports of their arrival or activities in the area—but we don’t have inside information. By faith we believe God did something.
Before leaving on our recent trip, I received an email about Buddhist monks from Tibet visiting the confluence where the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers join in western North Dakota. My heart sank—and then I remembered that Ken and I had already planned a stop at the confluence as part of our vacation—and I realized our stop would coincide with the monks activities. In that moment I felt God told me that I would do a prophetic act.
I’ll share what happened. It was not a solo act because others were involved.
Also, at some time I’ll say something about how I think we should feel about non-Christian religions as they make inroads into the fabric of American culture—and how we should respond to the people who bring them. They key has to be sharing God’s love. But how?
8 years ago