One of the most rigorous challenges to any understanding of the real dynamics of prophetic ministry in our bleak, but hope filled days, is to define what is the true heart and raison d’être of the prophetic ministry?
Prophetic ministry is not about predicting the future, but does take pains to demonstrate that God will be there in the midst of it. The fact that difficult, painful and challenging times may about to be transformed by the intervention of God brings hope. It is valuable, but not the heart of the issue.
What is at the very epicenter of prophetic ministry is something of a lost jewel.
There was an astonishing level of revelation carried with eager, trembling, open hands by Old Testament prophets, as they focused on the staggering news about God’s redemptive purpose, intention and plan for the salvation of mankind. It was a breath-taking message with the Suffering-Servant Messiah at the heart of it.
And there, like huge, glimmering nuggets of pure gold is the real heart of authentic prophetic ministry – the Gospel of God.
John Piper pursues this issue of the good news of the gospel by urging us,
“all the saving events and all the saving blessings of the gospel are means of getting obstacles out of the way so that we might know and enjoy God most fully. Propitiation, redemption, forgiveness, imputation, sanctification, liberation, healing, heaven—none of these is good news except for one reason: they bring us to God for our everlasting enjoyment of him.
If we believe all these things have happened to us, but do not embrace them for the sake of getting to God, they have not happened to us. Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savouring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.”
It is a majestic message and one that deserves to be rooted deep in the heart of all prophetic ministries.
The gospel is simply staggering news. The issues of sin, faith and repentance wrapped in the sheer overwhelming message of God’s amazing grace is surely the heart of radical, authentic and anointed prophetic ministry?