Understandably, an Old Testament prophet would pronounce judgment on a nation. A New Testament prophet, however, can not ignore the fact that NOW we’re given a ministry of announcing, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them…”. “Counting their sins” isn’t prophetic but seeing their destiny IS.
I thought how true that is but I also thought how hard it is. Not to go for the obvious but to show destiny, hope and a future. Oh, how much easier it must have been to be the guy or the gal who said, “this is the law. You are breaking it. Repent or die.” Pretty simple message. Unfortunately, I know too many who think that message continues to be the message of the kingdom. I was once there. (And I also know I could be there in a moment if I allowed myself to lose ground. Just because sin does not get spoken about does not mean it is not seen by someone, somehow.)
In the industry of sales, marketing and selling there is what is known as pain points. A pain point is a problem, real or perceived. Now in business, you can always look for the pain and you may be able to “fix” it but if you do not have a long term plan, you may never get another shot. It is one thing to address the now, another to build for the future. (I am not denigrating the “pain point” because in business that is where solutions and inventions come from.)
To only identify the “pain point” may help today but not give you a tomorrow. I talk to businesses every day now. Some 50-70 during the course of a day. People have pain. Economy, slow downs, equipment and people. I hear “pain” all day long. The important thing in business is to establish peace and not get caught up in the pain to the point of despair. The other is to point to hope.
Like business, our lives are much the same. We may have a pain point. A child is sick, a death or a tragedy. We both know this is painful. The key is to identify their pain and begin to establish a beach head of goodness. From this beach head one can review and make strategy. Look ahead. Make decisions. I know, because I see people in pain, wondering. Yesterday my brother who is battling cancer wrote this, I think the hard part is balancing between living today, and hoping for a future.
I thought that is what is up for the church. We can easily look around and see the challenges. We can allow them to consume us and cause us ultimately to lose our peace. I work with well over a hundred people. I hear their struggles, their pain. Even while wearing a headset, I hear the trials, the tribulations. I pray and trust God. I know this is the world. I know this is the people God gave His Son for. But I do not have to go to the world to see pain, as I can see it in the church as well.
A word comes out about breakthrough and people run to it. I get it. Who does not want breakthrough? But as I wrote this, I saw people I know and they needed breakthrough. I saw a movie theater and on the marquee it said BREAKTHROUGH. Some walked in. Others just stood there, looking at their tickets. Some threw their tickets on the ground and walked away. Others put their tickets in their wallets or purses. Still others just walked around talking about breakthrough. The impression was strong. “You will never get breakthrough if you do not walk in…”
I have been accused of being a “feel good” prophet. I am okay with that. I do not want to be the one who seeks out pain, but the one who recognizes pain and points the way.
And that brings me to my final point.
This one brings me “pain”. Do not settle for a band aid approach. Too often in what I do I see people putting a “band aid” on the problem and not resolving the issue. I see it all too often in life. Example A divorce. “Moments” later another relationship appears. That folks, is in most cases a band aid approach to life. You may stop the bleed but the poison that brought it about is still there. Too many just want to stop the pain and not allow for the resolution to take place. Too many are looking for comfort and not cure. I get it. I have been there. I have “negotiated” with God on more than one occasion.
You do have a future. You do have goodness ahead. Will you allow the changes, the healing and the making whole process to take place?
Pain points are not particularly hard to find. Solutions and establishing peace, bringing hope and future a tad harder!