[This is the third in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.]
Having wrestled with God’s call, and worked through some things involving God’s grace and work in my life as discussed in my last article, I was finally on board with God’s call into the prophetic.
I read all the books and study notes that I could, and attended seminars on the prophetic. One day, either in a stroke of rare brilliance, or naivety, I came up with a plan. I bought myself a large hardcover blank notebook and said to God, Why don’t You teach me some prophetic lessons?
A by-product of that would be learning to hear from God more, so that sounded great to me. God answered that prayer, and I began to fill the book with some tough lessons – be careful what you ask for!
For a period of time God would deal with one thing (usually involving character and attitudes), and then would let that lesson become part of me. After a while the next lesson would hit like a wave, and my life would be turned upside-down. I went through several sessions like this, filling my journal.
As well as saying be careful what you pray for, because He may take you up on it, I would also add that I consider these lessons to be very important, and tailor-made for me in the order that God chose. Your journal might look very different from mine, as it should.
At the end of 1995, I began to feel that I was to pray concerning my attitude, and that morphed into praying concerning my hard heart. During this (inspirational!) time a number of people close to me – church, work, family, friends – called my integrity into question on different issues.
I was angry and hurt because my friends were attacking my foundation as a person.
God wanted to trade my heart of stone for a heart of flesh.
I found I had built my life on a wrong foundation (not a bad one, just a wrong one). My ministry, my self-esteem, my Christian walk were built on a strong sense of covenant, loyalty, commitment, duty and my reputation. All these are important, but not as the foundation.
For example, with that foundation, if someone doubted my word, relationship and fellowship with him was gone. That severed relationship would be very hard to repair.
That is in contrast to I Corinthians 13:8, “Love never fails,” and verse 13, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
If God’s agape love is the foundation for my life and ministry, I’m bullet-proof. God’s grace will protect my heart of flesh.
When we use our prophetic gift our motive must be genuine love and concern for the person we are ministering to. If we carry an offense it can corrupt the prophetic word. We must be quick to forgive.
More in this series:
- My Prophetic Journey: The Call
- My Prophetic Journey Part 2: The Redemption Box
- My Prophetic Journey Part 3: School Starts
- My Prophetic Journey Part 4: Motives
- My Prophetic Journey Part 5: When to share or not to share
- My Prophetic Journey Part 6: Confirmation
- My Prophetic Journey Part 7: Learning the Radar
- My Prophetic Journey Part 8: The Challenge of the Roller Coaster
- My Prophetic Journey Part 9: How to minister in North Dakota and not even be there!
- My Prophetic Journey Part 10: Prophetic Protocol
- My Prophetic Journey Part 11: You Can’t Draw Water from an Empty Well
- My Prophetic Journey Part 12: Using your keys
- My Prophetic Journey Part 13: Prophetic Props
- My Prophetic Journey Part 14: The Angel and the demon
- My Prophetic Journey Part 15: The Last Word
- My Prophetic Journey Part 16: From the Hand or the Heart