There is a story in the Bible from the book of Jeremiah.
For the uninitiated, Jeremiah is the guy who shares mostly bad news to the people of Israel.
The summary of this prophet’s inside scope from God was this “You guys have been big, bad, and naughty, God is going to give you an ass-whooping by sending everyone into Babylonian captivity”
Well, in the middle of it all, God tells Jeremiah to buy a piece of land.
Good old J-man pays seventeen shekels of silver for the land.
I’ll skip back in time to share another story.
Kings Ahab of Israel & Jehoshaphat of Judah were preparing for a land-based assault strike on Aram.
They decided to call in Ahab’s 400 prophets to know if they would have a winning outcome.
All of them agree – Ahab & Jehoshaphat would win.
One of the prophets, Zedekiah, even adds some special effects to the whole prophecy gig. He grabs some iron horns and hollers “this is the winning kit. you win with these.”
Everything was peachy until Micaiah shows up.
He starts by backing up the 400 – no need to tell the boss what he did want to hear.
He throws a curve ball when he explains why everyone is saying the kings should go to battle.
It’s not for victory, it is because God wants to take out Ahab for being the ultimate bad guy in Israel. God has decided that the Arameans would do that on the field of battle.
So, what’s the tagline for these two stories?
If you are into results-based outcomes from immediate actions.
If you have a bigger and longer-term endgame in mind. Something very common to God.
I started with these two stories because they form a great context for the overarching storyline that God builds up through prophetic actions and prophecy.
A prophetic action is simply an act that communicates the intention God has for a situation in vivid terms.
Its purpose – provide a better understanding or accelerate the prophetic events God has set in motion.
There are two components of a prophetic event. First, what you have to do, and second, why you are doing it.
Most people get the first part right but fail on the second part.
Sometimes folks have formed ideas and can’t accept anything different God is explaining. Or it could just be one of those times God decided to not explain.
Can you imagine the explanation some people might have given Jeremiah’s land purchase?
“Old J-man is buying land, it means that things are going to turn around NOW and the Babylonians are not going to win.”
Well, this was one of those times God decided to explain.
He told Jeremiah to do it not because of the present but because of the future hope.
For this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Someday people will again own property here in this land and will buy and sell houses and vineyards and fields.’” – Jeremiah 32:15.
So, Jeremiah lost hard-earned money on a deal he was not going to make anything on from the moment he went into the deal.
Prophetic acts like these become very difficult to obey in a world where every action is defined by the immediate result it produces.
Someone shared a story of how during the early days of the COVID pandemic, he refused to store up USD dollars.
There were projections that the Nigerian Naira was going to do badly against the USD dollars.
He knew about this and could take a strategic position.
But he said “no”. In his words, “I can’t be praying for the prosperity of Nigeria and be investing on the premise that things will get worse for the country.”
His refusal to make money off the future negative prospects of the country was his prophetic act to support his prayers.
Recently, I was reading some commentary on Pastor Tunde Bakare’s attempt at becoming the APC presidential flag bearer.
None of the comments were complimentary. For them, his failure is a failure of his sense of God-given direction. In simple parlance, a waste of N100m (circa $170k) since he did not win.
I’m not a member of his church but I know he carries a strong passion to see a better Nigeria.
The money spent and the investment of his time may be the prophetic action that goes with his prayer.
I don’t know. Just my speculation.
And this is something that most of us will have to face.
God will ask us to do prophetic acts that make us look dumb but have greater meaning in His context.
An action without an immediate result. But with greater meaning in God’s overall masterplan which we have a little part in.
In case you are wondering “Why did he put the Ahab story in the mix without using it?”, I got you covered.
One of the biggest distractions for most of us is our inability to escape from the maddening crowd.
Micaiah was the only guy who was able to understand the “why” for everything happening.
To do that, we must discipline ourselves to stand before God without an agenda – no matter how good they are.
The 400 chums had an agenda “be the nice guys to big-boss Ahab.” It made them easy pawns to get him to his demise.
Micaiah had a different agenda – be the man who speaks for God.
Agendas are creepy things. They have a way of showing their pretty heads when we least expect it.
I recall a time in 2016 when I got a prophecy about a political office holder. I didn’t like him and so I interpreted it in a way that showed my “I don’t like you” agenda.
With time, prophecy will interpret itself. And that happened. I realized my agenda bias.
And so, I am more cautious to sort out for this when I get a prophecy or watch a prophetic action.
We are in the end zone. This has gone long enough. I think I’ll stop here.
But not before I say this.
Sometimes we as Christians need to do dumb things. Actions that put us in a losing position because they put God’s vision for His world in a winning position.
We live for God to win.
When God wins, we win.
Even when the rest of the world sees us lose.