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The prophetic lifestyle – observation #1

November 24, 2009

A frustrating-but-true-and-much-less-frustrating-when-you-grasp-it truth when it comes to the prophetic lifestyle is this:

“There is a blessing in the act of submission that is not present in the act of being right”

It might sound like a quote, but as far as I know, I wrote it.  That one sentence encapsulates almost everything I have learnt about the prophetic lifestyle since I realised that God had called me into more than giving nice pictures of flowers and waterfalls to people in a church meeting.  But it can hurt so much!  And yet this one sentence can relieve that hurt when one walks humbly and in right relationship with leadership: but lately it has caused such pain.

Let me explain.

There is a temptation that prophetic people face often, which almost mirrors the struggle that all people go through when they first hear God speaking: was that God, or me?  And things can go wrong when the prophetic person has established a pattern of hearing from God regularly and clearly: it becomes all too easy to anoint every thought and opinion and idea as being the voice of God. 

Once the idea is duly anointed as being ‘of God’, the prophet becomes passionate about the revelation, faithfully shares it with leaders: but then what?  What does he do if he is rejected? Or ignored? Or feels welcomed, but then sees nothing happen as a result of his words? Surely God has spoken – what fool of a leader would not accept the prophetic word I just gave him – does he not want the church to grow? Does he not want God’s blessing?

Unless the prophet understands his responsibility under God to submit to the leadership that God has established in the church, he will grow in frustration; he will move from frustration towards unsubmission; and ultimately into rebellion.  And, since a prophet’s words seem to have an effect on others for good and for bad, this frustration spills over onto other people, having a similar effect in them as in the prophet. 

It is a tragedy when the prophetic gift and office is demonstrated to be true to the stereotype that it is all too easy to fall into.  It is sad that it can appear almost that this gift is the only one that can be abused in this way.  And it is sad to see so many fathers and role models of mine fall at this hurdle.

I am passionate about Jesus, and the purity of the prophetic ministry, and the partnership of the prophetic ministry with other gifts in the church.  Who will join me in seeking God for more of the true, less of the false; more of Jesus, less of ourselves; more of the Spirit, less of the flesh?  If you will come, then pause for a moment and consider the following Scripture with me: because if we can cheerfully submit the gifts that God has given us to the leaders that He has given us to care for us, we will enjoy the blessings of being faithful with revelation, fruitful in ministry and fathered by godly men who love us.

Hebrews 13: 17 – Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

 

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