Remember how excited you were when you got that prophetic word five, 10 or even 15 years ago? You set your heart to prepare yourself to walk it out. You confessed it out of your mouth. You declared it shall come to pass. You prayed it through.
You did everything you were supposed to do, but that prophetic word still hasn’t come to pass. In fact, it may even look like the exact opposite is happening in your life. It may look like to enemy has already robbed your prophecy. It may seem like the prophetic word will never come to pass.
Now is your moment of decision. Will you give up on that tried-and-tested prophetic word that you know that you know that you know is from God? Or will you go back to the author of that prophecy—Jesus—and remind Him of the prophetic word?
Jacob’s Vow at Bethel
Jacob got a prophetic word from God while he was fleeing his angry brother, Esau, whom he cheated out of his birthright. Imagine the scene: Jacob was traveling alone from Beersheba toward Haran, and when the sun started setting, he decided to rest. He used a rock for a pillow and had prophetic dreams of “a ladder that was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (Gen. 28:12). Next came a prophecy that was exceedingly abundantly above all he could ask or think:
“I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you” (vv. 13-15).
Jacob believed the prophetic word, set up a pillar to God, poured oil upon it and made a vow to give a tenth to God if He kept him safe during his journey, gave him food and clothing, and allowed him to reach his father’s house in peace. Of course, God kept up His part of the covenant. Despite being cheated by his uncle Laban for more than a decade, Jacob prospered wildly in every respect in Haran. He had exceeding abundant children, livestock and favor with God.
Wrestling With God
Finally fed up with Laban’s dishonesty, Jacob decided to return to his country. Laban pursued him, and Jacob boldly confronted his uncle—but when Jacob learned that Esau was coming out to meet him, fear struck his heart. Jacob did what we need to do when it looks like our prophetic word can’t possibly come to pass—when it looks like the devil is devouring our prophetic dreams. When the enemy comes in with fear that what God said will never happen, we need to take the prophetic word back to its author in prayer.
“Then Jacob said, ‘O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, "Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you": I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. For You said, "I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude"’” (Gen. 32:9-12).
But Jacob didn’t stop there. Jacob wrestled with God over the issue until the break of day. You’ll recall the determined words of Jacob’s mouth: “I will not let You go until You bless me!” (v. 26). Jacob got his blessing, but he walked away with a limp.
Of course, God always intended to keep his prophetic word to Jacob. There was never a question in God’s mind that He would watch over His word to perform it (Jer. 1:12). And the same holds true for you. Although some prophecies are conditional, some are set in stone—no man on earth or devil in hell can stop what God has planned. But we can stop it with our doubt, unbelief, fearful mindset, complacency and apathy.
So if you’ve been waiting for months, years or decades for a prophecy to come to pass—and when you're afraid people and circumstances are going to kill your promise—do what Jacob did. Pray. Remind God of His prophetic word. Wrestle with God in prayer until you have the faith to get up and run toward His perfect will despite what things look like—even if you have to run with a limp. Amen.
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