On Friday, I asked what makes you think that the prophetic word God has spoken over your life will be the only word He fails to fulfill. It's an interesting question to consider.
But I realized as I wrote those words that there would be people reading them who would scoff at such a notion. What about people, they would ask, who defy what God is trying to do in their lives? What about people who don't even know God? What about people who don't care what God is or isn't doing with them? Or believe...He isn't doing anything? Certainly, God fulfilling the calling on a man's life is somewhat dependent on the man, right? Man must choose to be a part of what God is doing in order for God to do it, right?
Think about men and women you have known who have died. Think about funerals you have attended. Think about stories that have been told that might have shocked one of the main characters in that very story! It's hard to make assumptions, of course, but look at the holy work that goes on unknown by some of those involved in it.
I'm thinking about guys who would have asked what good they did in this world. Who spent their last days wondering if it mattered at all that they lived. Who maybe didn't know God until those final moments, then spent those hours in agony, wondering if it was all too late. And I'm thinking about the people that come out of the woodwork when guys like that die, to tell their stories of how this man or this woman touched their life. How this man or that woman changed them. Now, I have never known the word spoken over anyone's life but mine. I don't know what God has whispered or shouted or hinted in another man's heart. But I know the power of a holy story when I hear one.
We've seen it in the Bible stories, too. A few weeks ago, during Holy Week, I asked how the Pharisees missed that they were fulfilling the very prophecy of Jesus when they paid 30 pieces of silver and handed Him over to be crucified. You think at some point, those men wondered, having seen the crucified Christ, whether there was anything holy in them? There was. They fulfilled God's plan for that very moment. His Word was fulfilled in them. They killed His Son.
Here's the thing: God is going to fulfill the prophetic word He's spoken over your life. Your calling, if you want to call it that. Whether you've heard it or not. Whether you've listened or not. Whether you care or not. Whether you have your doubts or not. Whether you buy into the whole idea or not. But there is a benefit to the buy-in, and that is this:
When you buy in to what God is doing in your life, you don't miss it when it happens.
That's really the difference. And that's really the tragedy.
The only thing at risk once God speaks over your life is your ability (or willingness) to be present to it. That's all. Too many among us die wondering what their lives were worth only to have the stories come out at the wake, when people are finally willing to say what another man meant to them. It's because they haven't bought in to what God is doing in their life.
Which, I know, is no guarantee. Many among us will die not knowing, but having sought, our entire lives. We will die wondering if we made it, wondering if we did it, wondering if we did honor to the gift God had given us and the word He spoke to us. Many of us will not have the opportunity to know if we did what God called us to do or not. I think it's often that such things are not discovered in the life, but in the legacy.
But we can die knowing we tried. We can die knowing we lived present to what God was doing through us. We can die knowing what we did, how we did it, and why, even if we have never seen the depth of the fruit. And if you have seen the fruit? I highly doubt you have seen the depth of it. Holy things run deeper than we can ever seem to fathom.
I think it still matters, though. I think it still makes a difference to buy in. It makes a difference to believe. Because it gives you something to live for, a way to live, a life to be present to and a word full of promise. It lets you spend your final hours knowing you did your best. Knowing what you were working toward. Asking, maybe, how deep the payoff was, but trusting that you made the investment. Knowing life, to the best of your ability, was holy.
So to the doubters, to the nay-sayers, to the skeptics and the cynics and the unbelievers, yes. God will still fulfill the prophecy He's spoken over your life whether you buy in or not. If you don't, the only one who misses the good and holy thing God is doing through you is...you.