Things To Come
This devotional is contributed by Reverend Lynette Teo, an Instructor with Rhema Bible Training Centre Singapore. We thank and appreciate Reverend Lynette Teo for her valuable contribution.
John 16:13 (NKJV)
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
One of the things I have learnt about the Holy Spirit which has significantly impacted my Christian walk, is that He shows us things to come. Whether by tongues and interpretation, or when receiving words of knowledge, I often receive glimpses of what is to come for the person or situation I am praying over. Hence, times of prayer are exciting and adventurous to me as I collaborate with the Holy Spirit and pray out what He shows me.
However, as I did not fully comprehend that the Holy Spirit was showing me ‘things to come’, I soon became paralysed with frustration.
My spirit would soar and my soul would be thrilled with these promises of transformation and breakthrough. Faith arose in me as long as my eyes were closed in prayer and as long as I saw these future realities in the spiritual realm.
However, once I opened my eyes, I would be thrust back into the present realities in the physical realm. I often became frustrated at the agonizingly slow progress of the situation, the painful injustices which continued to persist or stubborn attitudes which opposed divine guidance. I had expected instant breakthroughs or at least a gradual progress which approximated what I saw in the spirit. Consequently, I became impatient and irritated with loved ones or friends who continued their self-destructive or unbelieving ways, seemingly oblivious to the love and compassion of the Lord.
The contrasts between what I saw in my spirit when I was praying and what I saw with my physical senses were too much for me to bear. I actually stopped praying for a couple of situations or people as I became discouraged and disillusioned. Nagging questions crept into my mind – “Was I hearing from the Lord correctly? Why was my prayer seemingly ineffective? What was I missing?” With all these doubts, my prayer life was greatly hindered.
This went on until the Holy Spirit spoke to me, pointing me to John 16:13 – “Don’t you realize I am showing you ‘things to come’? I don’t show you things which already are – things in the present.” I read the verse again. This illumination of the truth powerfully impacted me! I began to understand that ‘things to come’ meant that it would take time for things to fall into the right place.
Moreover, people also needed time to change, and thankfully, God continues to be patient with them, and so I must be too, in order to keep on praying in faith. Just as I needed time to make adjustments – whether it be my thinking or behaviour or speech, others too, needed time. I could not be expecting unrealistically instant transformation (though that could take place). I must not be upset that what the Holy Spirit was showing me would require time to be fulfilled as He was showing me ‘things to come’.
This brings me right to another issue that the Holy Spirit was bringing to my attention during that period: people needed time to make the changes, and also to become willing.
In the early years of marriage, every time I cooked, the kitchen floor would be wet as I brought wet pots and pans and dishes from the sink to the table or stove. I would then wipe the floor dry at the end of my cooking. This habit posed a risk of slipping to my husband who would sometimes enter the kitchen and almost slip near the sink area. He would remind me to keep the kitchen floor dry, but I would resist and be reluctant to change what had been a habit since young. Only when I became willing, did the adjustment quickly become a habit. It took quite a few months to make that change.
God never forces people to make decisions, but would continue to ‘woo’ them with His lovingkindness and patience so that they would willingly decide to turn to Him.
Let us pray.
“Father, we thank You for Your immense patience and love with us in giving us time and space to grow and change into Your likeness. Thank You for leading us in every area of our lives, showing us ‘things to come’, so that we can continue having that hope and faith in Your Word and promises which are always Yes in Christ and in Him Amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”