The Work of Giving Birth

There are a lot of promises in the Kingdom that still need to be birthed.

Just sitting and waiting for them isn’t enough to make them come. I can sit and wait forever, and some things just won’t come to pass.

Maybe you know that you’re going to have children, you’re going to be a parent someday. That’s not enough to make it happen. Knowing something will happen does not make it happen.

If you want to give birth, first you need to become intimate. I understand that you can’t get pregnant without getting intimate: just doesn’t happen that way. You will be a parent of that child; the one you become intimate with is the other parent. That’s just the way it is: no intimacy – no pregnancy. No love – no sons and daughters.

Then you need to make preparations in your life for the change that’s not yet come: pregnant women live somewhat as if they already have a baby: they decorate the room, buy furniture and clothes and those silly little dangly toys that hang over the crib. They have baby-parties (which they call “showers”) and they celebrate the child that is coming. Some activities need to be given up altogether: if she doesn’t stop bungee jumping or scuba diving, she may unintentionally kill her child.

Obstetricians don’t need to advertise their services. It seems that expectant women possess an almost a genetic urge to place themselves in the hands of a medical doctor: “What do I do? How do I get ready? How do I protect this little one inside?” They take large pills and vitamins specifically designed for expectant mothers.

Being pregnant appears to be terribly uncomfortable; it’s awkward, inconvenient. Her body changes and things work completely differently. The digestive system changes; the bowels stop working right, the bladder shrinks to a fraction of its former size. Various portions of anatomy change size or dimension. Her chemistry changes and therefore moods change. She want to eat pickles. Right now. It’s really weird living with a pregnant woman!

Everybody can see that she’s pregnant: her belly eventually precedes her wherever she goes, and her gait is unique to the pregnant. Other women get weird around pregnant ladies, and it seems impossible to speak to them without rubbing their tummy.

Eventually it comes time for the child to be born, but even that requires pretty aggressive, assertive action. The doctor commands, “PUSH!” and she pours every fiber of her being into pushing, even though the urge to push was incomprehensible until the transition is upon her. But when that time comes, her whole person is focused on the birthing of the baby. If she cannot or will not push, the child is not born correctly, and the insurance company is displeased because the alternative is expensive.

We have some promises that we’re looking forward to. Like children. But having the promise isn’t enough. Having a prophetic word isn’t enough. The prophetic word gives us a target to aim for, it promises that if we work that direction we will be successful, but most of the time (there are exceptions), the prophetic declaration does not make the thing happen. That part is up to us.

If we want to give birth to the promise, first we must get intimate with the one who can inseminate us with promise. We must come to His private chambers and uncover ourselves. We must draw near with love and let Him plant the dream in our uncovered heart.

Then we need to make preparations in our lives for the changes that are not there yet: we must live in some measure as if the thing which was promised was already here. We need to make room for it. Has God promised you a teaching ministry? Then you’d better spend hours in the Word. Has God promised you riches? Then you must learn responsibility and restraint. Has God promised you a mate? Then you must make room in your house, your budget, your personality for him or her. There are some activities and more attitudes that must be eliminated altogether; if we don’t, we may unintentionally kill the promise.

Being pregnant with promise is as terribly uncomfortable, awkward, inconvenient as physical pregnancy. Things work completely differently. You’re in the “Now but not yet” place that makes no sense. My relationship with God is different: He sees the promise fulfilled yet, even though I can’t see that fulfillment to save my life.

My relationship with my church family is different: some of them can see the bulging promise, and some cannot. We can’t see the promises ourselves sometimes. Those that can see it can’t help but speak to it, rubbing our belly as it were; those that can’t see it don’t understand why we’re acting the way we are; they complain and whine about the changes we are making in favor of the promise.

Eventually it comes time for the promise to be born, but even then, aggressive faith is required. There’s a “push” that is needed, and often, we don’t understand it until it’s time. But if we don’t push, the promise may be stillborn.

Babies and promises are alike in that they don’t happen without a whole lot of participation on our part.

There are many among us that are pregnant with promise in these days. Some are aware, are under the care of a “doctor” in the form of a mentor, and as a result, many are moving well towards their goals and dreams. Others have no doctor caring for them, but the Father of their pregnancy is counseling them wisely, and their birth is approaching well; there are no complications.

Yet there are some who sit around watching TV and wonder at what’s happening to them. Some keep bungee-jumping or deep-sea diving, and reject the counsel of those older and wiser around them, and they wonder that the birth of their dreams is not proceeding well. They make no room in their lives for the promise, and they wonder that the promise does not come in the way they expect it, in the time they expect.

Do you have a promise that has not been fulfilled? Have you submitted yourself to the care of a mentor, to the care of the Father, or are you still living as you did before you received the promise? Are you making room for the promise, making preparations to birth?

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