[This is the eleventh in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.]
When I was first called to the prophetic ministry I remember the admonition to not only know the Word, but to live it, and have it as a great well to draw out living water to refresh others.
In the past number of years, at the beginning of the year I often have gotten “marching orders” for that year for an area to study, a book of the Bible, like Amos, or a person’s life, like Joseph. As examples, here are a few of the lessons that I learned from these studies.
Amos was a farmer, and spoke the language of a farmer. God used his rural background to speak repentance to the northern capital of Bethel. God does not always send us to our “own” people.
The book of Isaiah is almost like the whole Bible in one book. Isaiah is in some ways the opposite of Amos – he was an educated blue-blooded prophet who was at home in royal palaces. But, like the meaning of his name, he clearly and compassionately declared God as the only salvation.
Habakkuk asked God a question that we might find relevant today, “God, how long will lawlessness go unpunished?”
James teaches me that real faith produces fruit.
And the life of Joseph – what a challenging lesson his life is! How does a young man from such a dysfunctional family survive in a pagan world alone? That was my question, and the answer I found was that God was with him because Joseph never gave up on God.
Jonah taught me a lesson that may sound strange, that your weakness is not your problem, but it’s your strength that often trips you up. Jonah was a fearless patriot for Israel, and could not understand God’s love for all people, including those in Ninevah. His lack of fear was his downfall.
These are a few examples of what God deposited in me as I have studied His Word. My reason for sharing them is to emphasize that you can’t minister out of an empty tank. We all need to daily feed on the Word in order to feed others from the word.
A number of years ago, God made it clear to me that ministering out of just love and compassion will end in burn-out and frustration. Jesus certainly ministered out of compassion, but also from God’s anointing and power, which was directly tied to Jesus knowing and speaking the Word.
The Word must live in us to flow through us!
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