Just like plants grow in good soil, honor is the soil that provides a nourishing environment for revival to take hold. Many people come to certain places to learn how to perform sign and miracles, and as important as they may be to bring about revival, they alone do not create revival. It is a culture. That culture is steeped in honor.
I believe the prophetic flourishes in a culture of honor as well. Where there is strife and competition, the Spirit of God does not flourish. Did not Jesus say, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household”? (Matthew 13:57) And the Bible goes on to say, “And he did not do many might works there, because of their unbelief.” (13:58)
Although God can do as He pleases, and He does as He pleases, we should not expect the prophetic to flourish where there is no honor. Does that mean that God cannot do miracles where there is unbelief and a lack of honor? No, God is not limited by our human frailties. It just means that there is such a thing as good soil and honor is that good soil.
How do we know if we are honoring others as the Lord desires? Sometimes we think we are but underneath our outward honor are underlying thoughts of jealousy, resentment, and anger that undermine our outward appearance. It also undermines our genuine support of the person. Sometimes they don’t really trust us. Although this can come from their own internal unresolved issues of insecurity, this can also come from our own ambivalence.
I know what it’s like to be part of a culture where honor is not practiced and I know what it’s like to be part of a culture where honor is genuinely practiced. Where it is not practiced, there is backstabbing, backroom conversations, backbiting, etc. Do you notice how much of it is behind the scenes? I originate from a culture that is known for its frankness. It may not always be pleasant, but at least you know where you stand when people express their opinions openly, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. It’s worse when it’s behind the scenes. You never know who is saying what about another person and it breeds mistrust and contempt, even among well-intentioned people.
Where honor is practiced, it is modeled from the top down. Maybe it is not taught as much as caught. What the leader models filters down from the top, even supernaturally. I remember distinctly having an experience at Bethel where the Lord was pushing my critical thoughts about what someone else said out of mind, as if to say, “We don’t think like that here.” I was only visiting. This doesn’t mean that we chuck our brain at the door, but it does mean that we honor people and what they’re saying. It alerted me that there was something different about the culture here that the Lord wanted me to notice.
By Ralph Veenstra