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THE PROBLEM OF PROPHETIC PRIDE
First of all let me say that I do not come with the pride of "chastisement" as I present this. Those with a true prophetic calling know that they are called to corrective - or better said, course correction - ministry. Many have taken a pride at this aspect of the calling, often because they themselves have been harshly corrected. We are all corporately and individually on His course.
Often with children, you will see the older children "correct" or admonish their younger siblings with parental type authority. There is almost an "ouch" to it sometimes when the parent sees their reflection manifested in impatience or frustration, or when one sees that authority abused, because it is evident that the child does not have the wisdom nor the skill of the parent. But honestly, we know that some concern is better than no concern at all, unless there is damaging abuse.
Those who are called to correction should become skilled at correction, and sometimes that can be a thankless job or one that needs some stretching of our humility. The Lord Jesus taught not just by words but also by example. It's important that we understand His points and purposes when we correct in His Name.
However the immaturity of presumptive correction is not the biggest challenge facing the prophetic ministry at the present time. Something like that is often easy to spot, and prophets judge (and discern) other prophets, according to I Cor. 14:29.
A big part of the maturing process is for prophets to learn to work with other prophets and recognizing the gifts in one another and learning to yield and come forth in unity. Often those called into prophetic ministry will hear their calling in a singular setting and feel the burden of God's mandate in such a way that they feel they must fight the battle for the world alone.
The Lord allows it to happen that way I believe so the prophet will gain a trust and confidence and surety in His Voice. The word of the Lord is strong but its purpose is corrective and redemptive. It is easy to spot a prophet off center when they are believing that the world revolves around "their" ministry. They will come up with harsh judgment words and use Scriptures to beat people over the head and bend their will to their young (hopefully) or false prophet's way of processing things.
If there is bitterness or fear or immaturity by the lack of skill through self control, the prophet will come off like a clanging symbol. When fear drives the person "to need to be in control", then fear is often put forth toward the people around them. In its ultimate manifestation, the worst thing the devil can do is used as the threat. They are missing it.
We know from God's Word that it is His kindness that leads to repentance or a changing of ways (repentance). When the prophet is insecure, it is difficult to know when they are speaking "for Him" or for themselves. When the lines are blurred, it takes the true knowledge of God to know the difference and that doesn't always take another prophet for that discernment.
The gifts of the prophet are real. There is an impartation and a sensitivity to hear the Voice of the Lord. The messages come by the Spirit and do not always come in the minister's native tongue. Sometimes there is an impression or a vision or a word of knowledge through the senses and sometimes a general knowing or a manifestation of words seen or heard. All these must be processed through the prophet for the ministry that is going to be imparted or delivered.
Self control is vital to learn so that the timing can be at its best moment. There is much self discipline needed and there is no self control without knowing oneself. In knowing ourselves we see our needs and our weaknesses and God's Grace, and that is what we are called to offer and give. When we do not know ourselves then the gifts have little meaning.
Obviously some gifts manifest in spite of us and that is a grace from God. The big news is that God did not put man in charge but His Spirit. Smile! As we learn to accept His will, first for us, then we are more able and equipped to minister it to others. The Apostle Paul said we could have all the gifts at work in us but if we have not His Love in ourselves then we have missed it.
But the biggest problem today in the prophetic is not skill development, but pride. In a big way the prophets have had pride in themselves in the nature of their calling. Continually comparing each other with one another, they have often become their own camp in such a way that they do not work well with the rest of the Body, much less minister effectively to it.
This has resulted in a "status" of who has it and who doesn't (when it's really the Lord who HAS it!) and so a man-made system of "judging" them has occurred. Those not prophetically called but interested often find solace in false prophet Scriptures, claiming that those who miss it should be stoned (at best, sometimes). Both, in failing to mend the Body, begin excising one another from the Body and this is not right.
Because the prophets are called to police their own kind, they often only receive wounds from the already wounded and then neither is helped. If the pride of the prophet is so great that they cannot see the gift of the other person(s), a great blindness has indeed taken place and only by the humility of crying out to God will those wounds be healed. And not all wound healing comes from prophets!
Sometimes it is the prophet who must submit and yield to the other members of the Body to receive their healing, and then ideally their gifts should minister to one another with a great overflow. Just because one part is an "eye" does not mean the ear or hand makes no difference! They all do!!!
The Body of Christ is not a group over here or over there but it is a living organism that spans time. Our forefathers and coming grandchildren all have important roles. To not honor these members is to miss the true Vision of Christ.
When we focus on gifts and not on the God who created it all, including letting us in on some of His Spiritual gifts, then our focus becomes upon us and not whom we should be in Him. We are overcomers. We are called to be overcomers because there are things that need to be overcome! But if we only focus on ourselves and who we think we are, foolishly usurping His Authority and Design, we become pitiable people.
It's the Father's good pleasure to give us the Kingdom! His goal is not to make us under-confident or over-confident, but to be strong in His ways so that we can enjoy His Fellowship and let that relationship take us to heights and worlds unknown.
Our gifts are just that - something that was given to us! Knowledge puffs up. A certain amount of knowledge and skill can lead us to a comfort zone but we will never grow and mature until we learn how to come out of these comfort zones into the humility of more. God is not going to puff us up with more knowledge, even if we in our flesh crave it. That flesh will lead us into corruption if we do not learn to let it go for more of Him.
We can borrow from the world's system of knowledge and call it "the Lord" but both the world and Church know better ultimately and can discern it. But the Anointing speaks for itself in not only a changed life but gives people a productive satisfaction in Kingdom life.
Our destiny grows then with assurance and confidence and a joy in knowing that we are a vital and active part of His Grand Plan because we are recipients of His Glorious Gospel. It's by His Grace!
The job description for the prophetic is the same as for the other five fold ministries listed in Ephesians 4:11-16.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
It's all about Him! We must learn to work together and for the Body corporate. He is in us.
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in Love.
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