“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me” (Psalm 138:8a). If you have faced some unexpected twists and turns recently, let this promise encourage you.
- You will see God at work—you will see Heaven’s greater purpose—and you will declare, “My God does all things well!”
The Unexpected Appearance of the King
Two weeks ago, I came across this vision from nearly 30 years ago, and it felt fresh! Right now, I believe the wind of the Spirit is blowing across this insight for many.
I was standing on the veranda of an attractive, homestead-style home when I looked out and saw a distant figure making its way along a path that led toward the house.
As the person made his way closer, I saw that it was a man, hunched over and dressed in rags. I presumed he was a beggar.
As he approached the home, the man’s face was hidden, due to how he was bent over. Closer and closer he came until he was at the steps leading up to where I was standing. Then, he glanced up.
To my shock, I realized that I was looking into the face of Jesus.
Immediately the vision clicked off and the Holy Spirit spoke these words: “Would you recognize Me if I came?” [1,2]
3 Ways Jesus is at Work in Your Mystery
Jesus is the glorious King of Kings, but sometimes, He comes to us in ways that we do not expect.
And in events, we never saw coming.
- So, what is God doing when we don’t immediately recognize Him? Here are 3 ways God uses these times to grow us:
1. He is Revealing Our Doubt to Increase Our Faith
In Matthew 14, Jesus sends His disciples out in a boat—when partway across the lake, they encounter a storm.
Then, to their horror, they catch sight of a ghostly figure walking on the water.
And they are terrified!
No doubt the disciples assume Jesus is back on the land where they left Him—finishing up with the people and praying in the hills!
Never do they imagine He will show up nearby.
Least of all, appearing like a ghost and walking on water.
That is—until they hear His voice.
Jesus is Closer Than We Think
Like the disciples in the storm, there are times when we do not perceive Jesus.
When the light is dim and the horizon is tilting.
As we waver in the crisis, we are uncomfortable in our doubt.
Yet within our mystery is a miracle in motion.
And Jesus is closer than we think.
Our weakness is exposed so He can demonstrate His grace and increase our faith. Jesus says, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt 14:31b)
2. God is Teaching Us About Himself
An Unexpected Companion
Sometimes Jesus hides in plain sight! He is visible, but we do not recognize Him yet.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus encounter Him as a stranger.
They see someone who needs to be informed of current events—while Jesus sees two beloved sons of the Father.
For a duration, He keeps His identity hidden.
So, they ask questions—and find this mysterious traveler an eloquent teacher.
They learn about the Messiah, and then they see the Messiah.
“Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him, and He vanished from their sight.” (Luke 24:31, NKJV)
For a period, we do not recognize Jesus in our situation.
- But as we turn to His Word, we are reminded of who He is.
3. He is Revealing His Power
Through Locked Doors
We did not expect Jesus to come this way, to take so long, or to be so quick.
Perhaps, we were expecting God to make a grand entrance. We were looking for God to enter the front door, but He entered through the side or back door.
Or through no door at all.
In John 20, the disciples are hiding, with the doors locked, when Jesus suddenly shows up in the gathering.
- Where did He come from?
Shut doors have no power against God, and there is no place His grace cannot reach us.
Soon, the moment of revelation arrives—unexpectedly, Jesus is here!
In Unexpected Ways
God is working outside the frame of our expectations, where miracles are birthed.
We look in one direction, only to find He is moving in another.
Someone needs to know He is at work in the alternatives, is present in your problems, and has more options than you are aware of.
And He will reveal His power.
Jesus is walking on the waters—right here in our turmoil, where emotions run high, and thoughts run wild, He has command of the situation.
And He is about to show His face.
 I first published this vision in my book, “Prophetic People in a Changing Church” (2007). In the original context, the homestead represented the church, and the balcony, intercessory prayer (this still has relevance, today). It heralded a time of personal trial in my church life, in which I learned about the difference between Old and New Testament prophetic ministry. Recently, I’ve used it in teaching sessions on the subject.
 When I describe a vision, it’s usually a vivid impression in my mind’s eye accompanied by a strong sense of God’s Presence. This is not an “open” (physical) vision. I believe all prophetic words, encounters, and visions should be compatible with Scripture and need to be weighed up—if you’d like to know more see 8 Ways to Grow In Prophetic Visions and Pictures.
Leave a Comment:
Has this prophetic insight about God showing up in unexpected ways ministered to you? Which one do you relate to the most (I relate to all, but mostly point 3!) I’d love to hear from you. Leave a note or prayer request in the comments below.
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