If you are going through a season that has left you confused, fearful, doubtful or just plain misunderstood, take John 13:7 as a prophetic word over your life even now.
Jesus once spoke those prophetic words to Peter, but they are just as relevant for believers who are pressing into the will of God today. Jesus said, “You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on” (John 13:7, AMP).
Some years back on Jan. 1, the Holy Spirit took me to Isaiah 43:18-19: “Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Oh, how exciting to have this rhema word from God! Nothing happened for the first 10 months of the year, but I kept holding on to that prophetic promise. I continued expecting something great to happen. I persisted in waiting for the “new thing.” But the new thing wasn’t what I had hoped for, no, not by a long shot.
Is Your World Turning Upside Down?
In an instant, my whole world turned upside down. I had to lay down my ministry, walk away from just about every friend I had, and suffer immense persecution in the process. I was betrayed and falsely accused. I was slandered and robbed.
I could have reversed it all in the blink of an eye. I could have bowed under the spiritual abuse and submitted to the spiritual crushing, but ultimately I would have lost myself in the process. Ultimately, it would have prevented me from walking in the knowledge of who I am in Christ. Ultimately, it would have left me as a eunuch in Jezebel’s camp.
So, ultimately, I chose to submit to the Holy Spirit and put it all on the altar—my ministry, my friends, my reputation, my comfort, my everything—instead of submitting to man’s will. In other words, I chose to follow God through the valley of the shadow of death rather than to hold tightly onto the things the Lord wanted me to willingly lay down.
Maybe the season you are in is not so dramatic. But that doesn’t discount what you are dealing with, going through, waiting on or otherwise enduring.
Maybe you just sowed a large sum of money into your church by the direction of the Holy Spirit and now you are in a financially dry season. God’s promises for provision are still true and you will understand later on. Maybe your teenaged son appears to be going astray. God’s promises relating to your seed are still true and you will understand later on. Maybe you are struggling with a health issue. God’s promises about healing are still true and you will understand later on.
God’s Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways
So again, if you are going through a season that has left you confused, fearful, doubtful or misunderstood, take John 13:7 as a prophetic word over your life even now. Jesus said, “You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on.”
That prophetic word has rung true in my life many times—and if you think back you can probably recount instances where you had no idea what was going on or how it could possible work together for good according to Romans 8:28. But it did. It can—and it does—because God is a lot smarter than we are. Consider this reality:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:8-11).
Warring With Your Prophetic Words
Most of us have a few prophetic words tucked away somewhere, waiting for God's perfect timing to manifest. When you don’t understand what God is doing, try warring with the prophetic words you've received (1 Timothy 1:8)—or just war with the prophetic promises in the Bible—and rest assured that you will understand later on—even if later on is in eternity. That’s just part of trusting God.
Oh, so far as the new thing God was doing in my life a few years ago … He was setting me free from a toxic environment and drawing me closer to Him. Obedience and sacrifice brought blessing. He gave me back everything I laid down and more, much more. Much, much more.
I’m reminded of what Kathryn Kuhlman used to say, “I believe that there is nothing impossible with God and that He is still God Almighty. And always remember, no matter what those problems are today, as long as God is still on His Throne hearing and answering prayer, everything will come out all right." Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including Did the Spirit of God Say That?. You can email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.