[This is the tenth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.]
The title of this next article in this series could be, “The Means Must Justify the Ends,” or, sometimes it is more important how you do something than just getting it done.
One pitfall in the prophetic is when those who are idealistic or insecure look with criticism on a person or group who does not respond to the word they give in the way they think they should (“if they don’t do as I say, they are rejecting God’s word”).
Fortunately, a prophet’s pride is no match for God’s grace. Another situation that can challenge our attitude and response is when you feel you have a hot word from God, but are not given a platform to share it.
Moses is a great example of what our attitude and response should be. He was a deliverer, Law giver, and also prophet, and Numbers 12:3 says, “(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)”
When the people sinned in worshiping the golden calf, and God was about to destroy them and start over again with Moses as the beginning of the new nation, Moses stood in the gap between God’s wrath and a sinful people, and offered his life for the people. Lord, give us great leaders, but humble ones with a heart for redemption! Moses was not in the destruction business, but the building business, and so I should be too.
Several years ago I took a small team to a city to preach in a church that at that time had no pastor. I received a prophetic word to share with the church, but there was a problem. I was told by the coordinating elder in our church that this church was not overly receptive to prophetic ministry, especially the head elder. So, I could preach, but not prophesy.
What do I do with this word – do I obey God or man?
The answer was, both. I asked God, how do I deliver the mail when they don’t like the postal service? I remember praying and sweating about it beforehand.
On the day of the service, I preached, and all went well, but at the end of the service I closed the service with the prophetic word God had given me, but expressed it in the form of a prayer over the city. The head elder took us out for lunch after the service, and said how much he appreciated my prayer, and that it was right on.
Sometimes there is more than one way of building the house, as long as it gets done to code (the Word).
Another example happened a few years later, and this situation was not resolved in the same way. I was helping out in another church as a drummer on a semi-regular basis for a time. The pastor knew I operated in the prophetic, but my role there was as drummer.
During a service God gave me an encouraging and somewhat directive word for a man in the congregation. During the prayer time I told the pastor about the word, and asked if I could share it with him, with the pastor being there of course.
The pastor nicely said, “Maybe,” but it was left at that, and it was apparent that the prophetic word wasn’t received. Since I don’t believe in doing “parking lot prophecies,” I wasn’t able to share the word with that brother. I prayed that the word would come some other way to encourage him, and I left it at that.
At the end of the day, unity and order are more important than me sharing one prophetic word. If it can’t be done through the prophetic, then God can use many other means to accomplish His ends.
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