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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Lessons from an Ex-Fisherman on Making Your Every Day Prophetic

Did you know that simple aspects of daily life can become prophetic if you let them? Did you know that the Holy Spirit can come upon something as mundane as drinking a glass of water or unlocking your front door?

Ponder this question for a moment: Is there any limit to what our infinite God can do with the ordinary and humdrum elements of our earthly existence?

As promised, I want to continue sharing my thoughts about prophetic acts in this post. My main goal here is to emphasize how Holy Spirit yearns to get into the practicalities of our day in and day out living and make them extraordinary. If we will let Him, He will insert Himself into our banalities, and turn them into prophetic acts.

On a hot and humid day not long ago, I was pouring myself a big serving of thirst quenching water. Holy Spirit nudged me to tune in with my spiritual senses to His nearness. “You could receive a drink of My living water as you down that glass,” His soft voice suggested. He was pointing out once again to me the intimate connection between the physical and spiritual realms. If we will lean into Him each day, He will teach us how to bring Heaven into our daily activities. You might even try this exercise later today. If you feel Him leading you to do so, get a cup of water and invite Him to pour into your spirit as you savor each sip. Make your afternoon refresher into a spiritual activity. Make it into a prophetic act. I assure you, you are not overspiritualizing things. The more you invite Holy Spirit into your day, the more He will come.

Not only is He longing for your invitation, but He is also eager to surprise you with His innovative initiatives. I am truly convinced that He delights in taking our boxes labeled “Everyday” and “Normal” and intentionally transforming them into unexpected and remarkable shapes. Actually, He often prefers to do away with our boxes entirely. I have learned that He is rather fond of being unpredictable.

God decided to heal a spring of undrinkable water by instructing His servant to toss a dirty old stick into it. He decided to provide a needed temple tax through the mouth of a random fish pulled out of the sea. He decided to heal a grievously ill woman by having her grasp at the edge of His Son’s robe. I could fill many paragraphs with lists of all of the unanticipated, unconventional things that God decided to do historically with everyday objects to accomplish His ends. We find an unceasing supply of them recorded on the pages of Scripture.

For those of us that have been reading the Bible for years, these stories sometimes lose their surprise element. How enriching it is to pause and jump freshly into the narratives with our imagination! When we let God’s spontaneity displayed in each account strike our senses anew, we are refreshed. His sheer creativity and unbounded willingness to tackle each circumstance with a brand new approach is both staggering and life giving.

There’s one such story that the Lord keeps bringing me back to repeatedly over the last few months. I’m going to share it with you here because it’s a brilliant example of how Jesus gets into our daily activities to make them prophetic.

In Luke 5, we read about Jesus walking into Peter’s everyday life for the first time. Peter the fisherman is in his little world doing his regular thing – going through his unremarkable, mundane routine – wrapping up a night of fishing. Jesus strolls into his boat and transfigures what Peter has been doing all night into a powerful prophetic act. This prophetic act is so momentous, in fact, that it turns out to be this unlikely disciple’s commissioning. "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch,” Jesus says to him, looking penetratingly into Peter’s soul with His eyes.

Jesus was a brand new figure to Peter at this point. He must have had an intensely compelling presence about Him to inspire this seasoned expert in all things aquatic to follow His instructions. After all, we are talking about a team of men under Peter’s leadership exhausted after a long night of coming up empty handed at the fishing nets. They knew very well, at a very personal level, that there were no fish whatsoever hanging about those parts at that time.

However, something stirred deep inside of Peter. His spirit was responding to the Holy Spirit.

As usual with God’s plans, bodily action was required. "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." Peter set his physical frame into forward movement. Immediately, the prophetic unction on Jesus’ directive activated the spiritual realm when Peter obeyed. Fish were supernaturally gathered by the masses from only God knows where and deposited in an instant into those nets! Maybe there were angels assigned to move those fish into place. Maybe the Spirit just moved them Himself. Either way, power from heaven was released when Peter engaged with the prophetic mandate through a physical action.

Peter’s unquestioning obedience also set into motion a prophetic picture of the calling that opened up over his life through that encounter. As he gazed in wonder at the copious amount of shiny fish flopping around in his now overloaded and sinking boat, the Holy Spirit whispered to his heart, “Just as I sovereignly filled this net full of fish, I will from here out extravagantly fill your ministry boat with souls, as day by day you learn to act upon the surprising and sometimes seemingly irrational things that I tell you to do. Never forget this moment, the spiritual power released through physical obedience, or this picture of the supernatural abundance in which I am now calling you to walk. From now on you will catch men!”

You never know what will happen when you let the Holy Spirit mess with your day to day activities…but you can count on the results being “exceedingly, abundantly” better than anything you could come up with yourself.

Here’s something to experiment with as you chew on these principles. Try standing in the shower and asking Him to wash over you with His cleansing love. Concentrate on His presence bathing you as you feel the water running down over your skin. Then as you get dressed afterwards, picture yourself “clothing” your whole being with the garments of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love (Col 3:12, 14) – with every item of clothing that you put on your body. “Thank You, Holy Spirit, for this t-shirt of Your love that is covering me. I am now wearing Your glory and ready for the day.” As you spray on your perfume, declare, “Everywhere I go today, I will carry the fragrance of Your genuine care for everyone I encounter!”

See, you just did it! You just made your morning routine into a series of powerful prophetic acts. I would truly love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments section below. Holy Spirit is so eager to transform our mundane into mighty! Let’s make room for Him in every big and little thing we do with the hours He has given us today.

Our brother Peter can tell you, there’s nothing better than this. When you look at your weather worn boat and see it hardly able to support the weight of the biggest catch of fish you’ve ever seen… When the same old thing you’ve been doing every day is suddenly transformed into a dazzling picture of your destiny… When you look up into the Savior’s eyes and see He is beckoning you to follow Him into ever greater and more exciting adventures, you know. Activating the spiritual realm through physical obedience is the lifestyle you want to run after with abandon. I’m with this fisherman-turned-apostle. My heart cries out with his, “At Your word, Lord, let’s do this thing!”

Daddy God, I am so thankful that You want to breathe life into my daily routine! I lift up to You what to me is mundane, and ask You to make it sacred. Let the soft breeze of Your closeness, Your holiness, blow into and over my chores and scheduled activities for today. Come in, Holy Spirit. Turn my banalities into prophetic acts. I welcome You into what I am doing right here and now. Fill my movements with Your vitality, with Your power, with Your love, with Your energy, with Your joy. Show me the way You want to direct each of my steps today. Take over completely! I trust You with all that I am.

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