When I make presentations on The Lord's Rain (the next one is coming up June 14 at the men's breakfast at Sonrise Church in Surrey), I always talk about the fact that prophecy played a key role in this endeavour. But it wasn't until Pastor Cal Weber spoke on the prophetic this past Sunday at Westpointe that the importance of the prophetic word really hit home.
Actually, "importance" isn't the right word. I don't think the English language has a word strong enough, in fact. It's more like the life blood of any mission, whether directly connected to the Lord's work, or not.
As Cal pointed out, when the early Apostles were preparing to go out and spread the Gospel, the other Apostles prayed over them and laid hands on them. If you're in any kind of charismatic church, you've seen it: a group of leaders will cluster around someone who's about to go someplace -- perhaps into the mission field, or leaving town to take another job -- and they'll lay hands on them and pray and some people will speak words of knowledge or wisdom or encouragement. If these leaders are walking in the Holy Spirit, they are speaking words from the Lord, and those words, when spoken, set events in motion to bring them to pass.
In September (as you'll recall if you've read the earliest postings on our "saga"), Lee Grady, editor of Charisma, visited Westpointe and called up anyone in Ministry for a Word. That was where he laid hands on me and spoke that I would be going on a journey and the Lord would provide me with new "ax blades" for Ministry on the Downtown East Side (and elsewhere).
Not long after that, I went to New York (something Lee didn't know at the time) and came back with the seed of the idea that became the showers project.
A few years before, Gerry Wall, senior pastor at The Oasis near Duncan, prophesied over Barry Babcook that Gospel Mission would expand and reach out to more people.
What hit me when Cal spoke on Sunday (and looking back on it, it comes straight from the Book of Duh), is that the Lord has had the showers project ready to go from the beginning. He just needed the right place, the right time and the right people.
Notice that Lee's prophecy did not say, "Drew ... you will go to New York City, where you will meet the senior pastor of the second-oldest rescue mission in the city and he will show you their showers project and you will come back and do the same thing in Vancouver". As we learn from Ezekiel 40, God never shows us the big picture: just what we have to do. What I had to do was open my heart and mind to receive what God wanted to show me on my journey -- the imminent one to NYC, but also any other journey He might send me on.
After all, a key part of the journey was to connect with Kenny and Evelyn Black at Rivers of Living Water, which led to being part of a red-hot all-night prayer meeting and the beginnings of a great friendship; it also led to meeting Pastor Roger Jamison and learning about the Christ-based rehab program at Anchor House in Brooklyn; those were key factors in the whole picture. Had Lee's word simply mentioned showers, I probably would have cut the whole New York trip and gone right to work.
"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it ..." (Ps. 147:1) Any kind of mission, if it's truly the will of God, is built on a prophetic word.
One of the side-notes about this project is that, as we get rolling, there are more people suggesting other things we "should" do: stay open longer ... open more mornings ... provide breakfast ... Good ideas, all, but so far, no such leading from the Lord. He may make the way for us to open more mornings ... and He may tap someone else on the shoulder about the breakfast thing ... or call more volunteers to help us expand what we're doing now ... but it's all up to Him.
Even if God has purposed something and people become part of it in obedience, the moment anyone says, "Right, Lord, thanks a million: we'll take it from here" and push ahead with our own ideas (even if it's "only" to expand the original assignment), we'll be on our own and unprotected.
Jesus tells us we can only aspire to be unprofitable servants (Luke 17:10), and trying to do anything more than our duty -- even for the noble-sounding purpose of being "profitable" to God -- risks bringing us out of His will.
So among other things, The Lord's Rain is an excellent example of God's having long-ago decided that something must go ahead, and has brought together, as only He can do, the people to make it work.
If that isn't humbling and exhilarating at the same time, I don't know what is!
I don't think anyone actually laid hands on me regarding A Very Convenient Truth, but the more developments that come along regarding the current frenzy over the environment, the more convinced I am that it's a message the Lord wants to get out. But I've noticed there's been a "slow but steady" progression in the way it's been happening. The book arrived from the printers' in January, and only a few copies have been purchased. But the talk show appearances and discussions with others have helped the message grow and develop so that, while I wonder sometimes about whether I shouldn't have a Big Marketing Plan to get the book into more stores, I keep reminding myself that this is all happening in God's time -- which is always on time.
Coming up on Sunday evening, June 22 at 6:30, I'll be giving my first big presentation on the book at Westpointe. If you're in the Vancouver area, come out and "hear what this babbler will say". It's a perspective that you won't hear from the mainstream media and especially not the environmental movement -- and may inject some hope into the discussion, where there isn't much now.