Throughout the land prophetic voices are releasing words that either directly or indirectly indicate that a time of judgment is upon us. In some cases, these voices are declaring loudly and clearly a message that can only be perceived as doom and gloom. In other cases, the voices are crying out for this judgment to be tempered by mercy and calling the people to a posture of prayer for grace to overcome the judgment that is at hand. The prophetic message of Jonah was a declaration of judgment, but when the people of Nineveh were moved to repentance, judgment was delayed for a season and justice took its place. I believe that judgment and justice are opposite sides of the same coin and whether the prophetic voices you heed are releasing harsh words of judgment or sounding a call to repentance, we are the ones who determine which side of the coin their words will land on. On a recent visit to Auburn, Alabama to see two of my sons who are attending college there, my third born asked that we join him for a Reptiles and Amphibians show at the University’s Nature Preserve. His service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, was volunteering and he was going to be helping the staff show off some of the snakes and lizards housed there for educational purposes. I must admit that snakes are not my favorite creatures, not only due to their frequent negative metaphorical meaning, but also because of their natural physical appearance and characteristics. I also have to admit, that I wasn’t particularly thrilled that Jacob had developed an interest in them from working with the naturalist as a volunteer. However, looking back on that evening, I am now quite confident in its being one of those mysterious God moments when the Lord speaks in unexpected ways if we are only willing to listen. One of the snakes displayed that afternoon was an Eastern Blue Indigo. It is an endangered species that I had never heard of before and is one of the longest snakes in the United States – reaching lengths of up to 9 feet. It has an iridescent blue black coloration, from which it gets its name. This particular species’ common scientific name is Drymarchon, which roughly translates from Greek as “Lord of the Forrest”. The individual snake that was on display was on the very brink of shedding its skin and its eyes were clouded over to the point that it was almost blind. It’s normally lustrous skin was dull. The most stunning revelation was that this particular species’ favorite food is rodents and venomous snakes, including the Diamondback Rattlesnake. Auburn University and other groups around the country are working diligently to restore the Eastern Blue Indigo and remove it from the endangered species list. It was out of these things that the Lord began to speak to me.
To help those who may only see snakes in a negative light (as I have been known to do myself), let me remind you of a couple of positive Biblical illustrations that involve snakes. When Pharaoh demanded that Moses show him a miracle, the Lord had Aaron throw down Moses’ staff and it became a snake, ultimately devouring those snakes the magicians displayed using magic - Exodus 7:8-12. Also keep in mind it was a bronze snake lifted upon a pole that brought healing to the Israelites that had been bitten by the fiery serpents of Numbers 21. These two references help us keep perspective that snakes are not always a negative symbol (though they may tend to be so more often than not). It is prophetic revelation that will consume the lies of the enemy and prevent the venom of deception from impacting both the Body of Christ and the earth. While we all know that prophetic revelation has been being restored to the church for some time now, I believe that even in the midst of that restoration we have tended to see through the glass darkly. 1 Corinthians 13:12. We are, however, right at the edge a prophetic release that will be clearer than it has ever been. Prophetic insight has been keen in days past, but there are those who feel it has lost its luster and been dulled by both its abuse and then its seeming familiarity. While many have spoken to the restoration of the prophetic over the last few decades, it seems that the true and clear prophetic voice remains somewhere on the endangered species list and in need of true awakening and restoration. When the trumpet blows a clear warning the people will prepare for battle and when the pipes play a distinct sound the people will know the tune that is being played. 1 Corinthians 14:7-9 It is without doubt that we learn our greatest lessons in the seasons of our greatest trials and I believe that the context of our sin riddled modern culture is setting the stage for some of the greatest growth we have ever seen in the revelatory community. While I am in no way questioning the value of the encouraging prophetic word passed back and forth among the body within the walls of the church building, I am confident in the need for mature revelatory voices that discern the plans of the enemy and comprehend the strategies of the Lord to be released outside the church into the marketplace and the world. We need a clarity that that will result in the same level of repentance that Nineveh experienced. This is the season for the Blue Indigo – for mature leaders with clear prophetic voices to be restored and raise up a generation of revelatory people who have been equipped to sound the alarm with precision and hope. The enemy’s deceptions can be consumed just as the magician’s staves were consumed by the staff of Moses. It is the kindness of God that leads to repentance, but our stubbornness that leads to his judgment. Romans 2:4-5. Even as some prophetic voices lift up and call attention to the idea that God’s judgment (bronze) is at the door and point out the deceptions (serpents) that the enemy has sown, how we respond to such messages can turn that judgment into justice and fan the flames of revival and awakening in the earth.