God speaks to people. We know that. But did you know that God speaks to governments, nations, organizations, and churches? In fact, most prophecy in scripture isn’t addressed to individuals, but to groups.
We’re so individualistic in this society that this rarely occurs to us, but it’s true.
How does he speak to groups? Through scripture, and circumstance, certainly — but again, the broad example of scripture is that God speaks to groups through individuals that God has spoken to.
Sometimes one individual gets a message from God to deliver to the group. This has happened to me before. I’ve written letters to church boards, that kind of thing. And every week I preach what I think God wants our church to hear. But I think we’ve missed or forgotten one of the most powerful ways God can speak through individuals to a group: Through a collective message.
So no one person gets a complete word. We all get pieces of the puzzle. Maybe just one. But because it’s only one piece, we figure it’s nothing. Nothing significant. So we sit on it, forget it, stuff it. Maybe it’s an impression, an idea, a concern, a part of a dream. And we never say anything.
Problem is, there are maybe dozens of these floating around, then getting stuffed and forgotten. And the message gets lost. It could look like this.
One person has a growing passion for the poor. That’s it.
One person is convicted about their finances and want to do something with their extra cash.
Another person knows a poor family on their street and have been praying for them.
Another person works downtown with a social agency and has been praying about how to connect their work with their church life.
Another person feels like their church ought to create a benevolent fund to meet practical needs people have.
Another person has been meditating on the story of the good samaritan, and is asking God,”What does this mean for me?”
But since everyone just has one piece of the puzzle, they sit on it, forget it, and nothing gets done. But what would happen if they all shared this with their pastor. Any leader with any discernment who had all these people coming to them within a few weeks of each other would get the message, and something might get done! Right?
So what about you? Is there a small puzzle piece thing God has placed on your heart that doesn’t make sense? It might just be because someone else is supposed to assemble the puzzle. Ask God what to do with it, who to share it with. And see what happens!