WHAT IS IT?
“Many people think the spiritual gift of prophecy is just speaking the future. Yet the gift of prophecy is far more than that. Those who are bestowed this gift receive messages from God that can be about anything from warnings, to guidance, to kind words in tough times. What makes this gift different from wisdom or knowledge is that it is a direct message from God that is not always conscious to the one with the gift. Yet the one with the gift feels compelled to share the truth revealed by God to others” (Kelly Mahoney)
ARE WE PROPHETS OR SCHIZOPHRENICS?
Compelled to share the truth with others. Compelled to instruct and encourage. The true prophet speaks FORTH the Word of God to build up and equip others. There may be a message of correction, but it always includes encouragement. And the Bible says we are to test prophesies, but not despise them. If someone says to me that God will do something in my future, I will not embrace it, or reject it, I will ponder it and wait for God to confirm it or perform it.
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false
prophets have gone out into the world.”
1 John 4:1
Why would the Lord give the prophetic calling to people whose personalities are not naturally inclined to it? Jeremiah was not altogether excited. He knew that a prophet was hated. The prophet in the Bible was usually looked to as the “Troubler of Israel.” Who wants to tell people who don’t have hearts that are open and ready to hear, the Word of the Lord.
You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived;
you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.”
I love the Word of God, how it is so honest. Jeremiah, couldn’t stand the difficulties of God’s calling. But he was so compelled by the Word that he couldn’t hold it in, even when he tried. And no one listened. No one cared. All that work and pain and persecution, just to watch Jerusalem burn down in the end. But God needed to give them a million warnings right? No one could say God didn’t warn them.
I look at the prophets, my heroes of the faith and I see humans. Humans directed by the deep compassion of the Holy Spirit, who is always involved with humanity. Never not reaching out His hand.
He has reached out His hand all day to a stubborn and rebellious people.
He has reached out His hand every day to a stubborn and rebellious people.
He has reached out both hands to a stubborn and rebellious people.
He has always been reaching out.
“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts;
A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face”
Thank You Lord God, for sending your people to speak your heart to us. We are so stubborn and rebellious. We do walk according to our own thoughts, desires and inclinations. We are so often wrong and don’t want to hear it. Our choices have consequences and bring our lives trouble, but we don’t want to hear it. You see the end of the path we are on and are holding out your hands to warn us of it, and we ignore you and keep going our way like stubborn donkeys. Rebellious. We know what is best for us right now, and You don’t. We will just ignore your warnings and pretend like we don’t hear and say we didn’t know better, but we did.
use us . . .
EAVESDROPPING ON A CONVERSATION
“Lord, you understand;
remember me and care for me.
Avenge me on my persecutors.
You are long-suffering—do not take me away;
think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.
When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
Lord God Almighty.
I never sat in the company of revelers,
never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand was on me
and you had filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain unending
and my wound grievous and incurable?
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
like a spring that fails.
Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“If you repent, I will restore you
that you may serve me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
you will be my spokesman.
Let this people turn to you,
but you must not turn to them.
I will make you a wall to this people,
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
to rescue and save you,”
declares the Lord.
“I will save you from the hands of the wicked
and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
You might like to read my next blog post on the gift of prophesy– April Fool’s for False Prophets!