Kris Vallotton: DOES GOD EVER SUPERSEDE OUR WILL IN PROVIDENTIAL TIMES? May 1, 2020

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Do you believe in providence? God asked me this question a few months ago for five straight days as soon as I opened my eyes each morning. I knew it was God speaking to me because the word “providence” wasn’t even in my vocabulary. In fact, I had to look up the definition to find out what it really meant. I’ll save you the trouble—providence is defined as the foreseeing care and guidance of God over the creatures of the earth or God, directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence. This definition is nice and all, but God did not repeatedly ask me this question to hear me acknowledge that He was a benevolent director. No, rather He was readying my heart for an incredible prophetic revelation that I believe is not only for me but for you and for all of God’s people.

Before I share what I believe is more of a corporate prophetic word than a teaching with prophetic wisdom, let me preface it by sharing with you a vision I had years ago. In the vision, God walked very intentionally down a path yet people were standing in front of Him like defensive linemen in a football game. It may sound a little Old Testament, but God threw these men out of His way like ragdolls, one to the left and the other to the right. Then the scene shifted and instead of watching God knock these opposing men around, I was the next one in front of Him. I, too, had my guard up as if I was going to try and block God’s progress. He looked me right in the eyes and shouted, “Get out of my way!” Then He reached out to grab my arm as if to forcefully move me aside but I pivoted out of His way just in time, and when He swiftly pressed past me, I heard Him say, “Now follow me!”

ACTS OF SOVEREIGNTY AND FREEWILL

Have you ever considered that there are seasons when God is not for you nor is He against you, rather He creates sovereign times where you must get out of His way and follow? To clarify, I’m not suggesting that God is currently using pandemics, any type of terror, or quaking the earth to teach us a lesson. In fact, Isaiah 54:15-17 says, “If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me.” I’m simply saying that God is moving in the midst of it all, and it’s vital we learn to move with Him even when we don’t understand.

Joshua experienced this type of sovereign override while camping in the desert plains of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-14). The scriptures say a man appeared before Joshua with a sword in his hand. According to the Hebrew text, it’s unclear if it was a divine messenger or the pre-incarnate Christ, but when Joshua inquired if the sword-drawn man was for him or against him, the messenger’s response was, “Neither! I am the captain of the Lord’s armies. Now, remove the sandals from your feet because you are standing on Holy ground!”

When God woke me over five mornings provoking me with the question of providence, another challenging question stirred in my spirit: did I believe God moves sovereignly inside of the new Covenant as He did with Old Testament followers such as Joshua, Moses, Abraham, and so many others? In other words, through God’s divine providence, does God supersede the will of man for the sake of His omniscient understanding today? The account of Ananias and Sapphira lying to the Holy Spirit about money in Acts 4:32-5:11 suggests that He does.

Let me be clear, my primary concern in teaching about Ananias and Sapphira is that we might create a culture out of an exception because we misunderstand the difference between a Kairos act of sovereignty and the grace-filled gravity of every day freewill in Jesus. My point in referencing this passage is that many people before Ananias and Sapphira lied and didn’t die for it. In fact, the scriptures show that they are being questioned by the most famous liar in the Bible, Peter. I’m simply pointing out that there are times in history when we move from the grace-filled days of freewill into a sovereign time when God takes over, and we must adjust to His lead. I propose that we are in a sovereign season now, and we must learn to follow!

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

We are living in unprecedented times. For the first time in modern history, we live in a culture where people have morphed sin into an identity statement rather than recognizing it as a behavior. And, if this pandemic has exposed anything, it’s revealed a global political climate that has many of you asking God whose side He is on. I suggest you’re asking the wrong question just as Joshua did, and missing the point entirely. It’s not a matter if God is for you or against you, for your political policies or against them. What you must recognize is that we are currently in a time when God is showing up as the Captain! He is moving at a speed that is creating Kairos conditions. There is an urgency to step out of the way of what God is doing. So, the question isn’t whose side is God on, rather the question is whose side are you on?

After seasons of looking for His people to step up, God is stepping in and creating His own justice. Through providential moments, He, who fashioned and formed the earth with the purpose of it being inhabited, is going before us, and He will subdue the nations (Isaiah 45). I believe we are about to see American politics suddenly interrupted by providence; God will not be moved or derailed. I would suggest that you consider how to navigate this Kairos sovereign moment in the following ways:
Consider where your loyalties lie. We must be people that have loyalty to the Kingdom that transcends party lines. This Kairos moment will not be defined by a political party. If you have a political spirit, you will miss it.

Behave with nobility. You are a king among kings, and if you don’t understand what God is doing currently then consider carefully how you speak about this season. Weigh your words, and think before you speak. It is not your place to prophesy judgment against people, but it is your place to view people through God’s perspective.

Get out of the way. In sovereign moments of God, we need to put our heads down, listen, and learn to follow God’s lead even when we don’t understand.
God is prompting His people with one question: Do you believe in providence? He’s signaling to us all that we are entering into a time that will require a different attitude, and it will require us to discern His movement. You most likely won’t understand the greater good in the current moves He’s making, as providence happens from a perspective often unseen, but nevertheless, He is inviting you to join Him. He desires you to trust and follow.

My prayer is that you will ask God to adjust any attitude, action, or behavior that is resistant to God’s plans. I ask that the Holy Spirit will help you to discern the times, and learn to follow Him.

For more on Kairos moments, check out a prophetic word I gave in December 2019 here.

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