By Chad Taylor
"O Lord I have heard your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy..." (Habakkuk 3:2).
The name Habakkuk means "embrace." Habakkuk did not stand afar off at the fringes of Israel and prophecy destruction like a spectator waiting for the gun to go off! No! He embraced Israel and pleaded for her repentance and petitioned for the Lord's mercy to triumph over His judgement. God took Habakkuk from a place of imminent defeat, "O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear?" (1:2). To a place of faith and victory, "The Lord God is my strength, He will make my feet like deers feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills..." (3:19).
Even in the midst of certain invasion and captivity Habakkuk glimpsed beyond the temporal into the eternal and saw God's mercy and faithfulness. In his fear and flesh he finally comprehended, "But the just shall live by faith..." (2:4). Today in the midst of national turmoil and governmental intrigue, a prophetic chorus will rise from the din of defeat to herald a Greater. A greater Power, a greater Glory, a greater God. One that is not bound by elemental and human limitations, but "He that is in me is greater than He that is in the world..." (1st John 4:4).
Habakkuk saw a greater glory than that which was present in Israel. He saw something on the horizon that eclipsed the present distress and destruction. Once he saw it he exclaimed, "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea..." From the sackcloth and ashes had risen a vision of a greater day, a greater time, when the Lord of Hosts would visit His people and restore His glory to them. If we are to prophecy with any eternal effect and impact, we too must see beyond the veil of fears and current affairs and see Him! See Him high and lifted up! Transfigured and like lightning! It is only from that place of revelation will we ever have the understanding to pray with Habakkuk, "In wrath remember mercy..." (3:2).
Fear no longer gripped Habakkuk's heart. Fear no longer influenced his ministry and words. He had come to the divine conclusion, "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food...Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation..." (3:17-18). In his temptation he saw His salvation! In derision and confusion he glimpsed God's salvation! He was not ruled by fear but faith! A person who prophecies from fear and intimidation only breeds the same. One must glimpse the high places, walk with hinds feet, and breath the rarefied air of Heaven. Then he or she will bring His glory in their wake and declare with Habakkuk, "His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was filled with His praise..." (3:3).
Modern day prophecy must come to this place of inspiration. Where their words and declarations are not influenced by fear but faith. Faith in a God that transcends all current predictions and prognostications. A God "that loves the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son. That whoever would just believe in Him would NOT perish but have everlasting life..." When our hearts are ruled by that kind of love, when our ministries are ablaze with that kind of passion, then our words and decrees will not bring hopelessness but rather like Paul, "...we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2). We see and hope for a greater glory coming! We expect and anticipate a greater and more glorious hour to visit us! We grasp as did all the prophets, "The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of Hosts..." (Haggai 2:9).
The glory of God will be our hope and our anchor. Our mainstay and our Rock. "That we no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine...but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ." (Eph. 4:14). We will walk the earth in a knowledge of that glory "as the waters cover the sea". We will not be influenced by "wars and rumors of wars". But we will comprehend what it meant when Jesus prayed, "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one." We will be like Him. "...being transformed into the same image from glory to glory..." (2nd Cor. 3:18).
Only then will the masses of pierced and tattooed bodies heed our words. Only then will the derelict and heretic come to His feet to be washed. Then, and only then, will the unloved and unlovely open their hearts and minds and be saved. As long as we parade our own personalized doctrines and treatise they will perish as we prophecy. We must get a hold of His heart! His glory! His willingness to redeem even the most decadent of people or place. God is not standing over the nations of the world with a hammer of judgment, but rather a hand pierced and bleeding, aching for His people to grasp this kind of Love, and pour out to the earth like He did as they lifted Him up. The promise still remains true today, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself..." (John 12:32).
Chad Taylor (12/20/99)