I had every intention of leaving our Doberman, Mira, at home. Where I was going hiking was on the edge of a wilderness and had some steep and dangerous cliffs. But her eyes were on me. She watched as I laced up my hiking boots. Her eyes brightened and ears lifted when she saw me stuff water into my daypack. I hadn’t said a word to her. I was, in fact, ignoring her.
But she knew. So off we went into the Siskiyou Mountains to hike the Panther Ridge trail together.
It may be a cause for concern that these days I get more theology from Mira than from pastors and theologians. Nonetheless, I believe Mira has taught me much about the relational foundation of the prophetic spirit.
As mentioned in previous “dog blogs,” Mira has a lot of “go with”. She truly and deeply wants to be wherever I am. Moses, who is called a friend of God, said to God, “If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” (Exodus 33:11). More than anything, Moses wanted to be with God.
More than she wants to know where I am going, Mira simply wants to be where I am. At the very foundation of all prophetic ministry has to be an abiding desire to be with God–to go where he goes. Relationship must precede revelation.
How did Mira know I was going hiking? She watched. She noticed every move I made. She saw that I had put on my green jacket, not the yellow one I wear when I go biking. She had learned all my hiking ways.
Psalms 123 captures this careful attention to God: “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.” We live in an attention-deficit culture that bombards us with distractions, but this kind of attention to God is what nourishes the spirit of prophecy.
I know that I am not talking about the kind of prophetic ministry where God plops revelation directly into one’s head or mouth. That happens, but I think it is more likely to happen to those who have laid the foundation of devotion to God’s presence and have learned God’s ways. Too often we seek to skip the attentive devotion and go directly to revelation.
In other words, I should notice when God is lacing up his hiking boots. I need to be as attentive to God’s preparations as Mira is to mine. If I keep my eyes on God, he might say, “Okay, Mark, let’s go.”