The Hope of Tomorrow
Sometimes after I give a prophetic word, people come up to me and say, “Why did you tell that guy he’s going to win many people to the Lord? Don’t you know he’s in sin?”
This is precisely what the disciples said to Jesus when Mary Magdalene came to His feet or when He spoke with the woman at the well.
“Yes,” I reply, “but the reason many people cannot get out of their sin is that they feel hopeless, and the Lord wants to reestablish hope in their lives.”
When I give prophetic words like this, I do not mean to condone the person’s actions in any way—but there is no limit to what God can do when a person’s hope has been restored. This is what Jesus did with Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well and a host of others. It could also be said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
God sees where we are going more than He sees where we are. His kindness leads us to repentance. His mercy triumphs over judgment. Even strong words of correction should be delivered with the compassion and the pain God feels in that moment. He is not up in Heaven saying, “Oh, good—I finally got him.” No, He is weeping that He has to bring that level of correction. He corrects us in proportion to our attitude of heart, and whenever He has to bring chastisement, He does it with great sorrow.
God’s compassion for His children is limitless. It is without borders or boundaries. He knows where we are going and loves us where we are.
Spirit to Spirit
The men and women who have the greatest influence are those with the greatest depth of listening skill. They don’t listen for their own good, to gain something for themselves—they listen to help others get where they are going. They see others according to where they will be, not solely according to where they are now.
This is called empathetic listening, and it causes eternal change in a person’s soul. The Holy Spirit will drive us to listen to people in this way, because that is how He listens to us. It is also how He wants us to listen to Him. It is Spirit-to-spirit communication (1 Corinthians 2:9–13). The deep things of God are not understood through human reasoning but through the spirit—from His Spirit to ours.
As we begin to see others in light of where they are going versus where they are, we display God’s mercy. This doesn’t mean we overlook weaknesses and practice the type of human grace that allows sin to flourish in a person’s heart. It means we choose to love others as God loves them and respond as He would respond.
Being a child of God isn’t something that begins at a mystical point in the future when we finally become “good” people. We are His children now. His compassion is imminent. It is new every morning and will not fail us (Lamentations 3:22–23).
One of the greatest revelations we could ever have is that our Father loves us even in our hurting condition. Matthew 9:36 speaks of God’s heart in a way that is simple and, as we begin to understand, breathtaking: “When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” This verse allows us to see tomorrow as a greater reality than today—it is because of His compassion.
God calls things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17), and He has great plans for our future.