Prophets are disruptive. It’s in the job description!
King Ahab couldn’t believe the audacity of Elijah as suddenly found him, exclaiming, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”
Elijah, unflustered, had the full measure of Ahab, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:1-19)
Well, we know how that would turn out. Prophets can look disruptive, but under closer scrutiny you can see there are other issues going on – they have come to issue a ‘product recall’ to the church. Such ‘recalls’ may be a call to repentance.
The prophetic call to repentance produces hope, joy and most importantly, worship.
Repentance isn’t something to be ashamed of, repentance is always a call to turn from one direction or another and wholeheartedly to God. Even the word, “wholeheartedly” has a challenge to it. A call to repentance that results in foot-dragging, reluctant and questionable obedience will not make the mark. The prophet is looking for what we might call, “a scripture-honouring, Christ-exalting and God-glorifying, wholehearted return to God.” Such a repentance produces hope, joy and most importantly, worship.
Prophets can feel a sense of frustration because they see things differently, but their input must be done in humility, gentleness, and accountability in such a way that God is honoured and glorified.
Repentance brings life, lifts shame and guilt from the shoulders of believers. In contrast, the evil one, never encourages repentance – a change of direction to trusting in Christ alone. But he does urge you to consider yourself of no use to God or the Church. Prophets are different.
Their disruption comes because God cares, and wants them to share His love, intervention, wisdom and guidance to walking in the direction He is leading and certainly, they don’t minister in the church because they have nothing else to do. They are aware that God has more for the Church.
The Church is always a family on a mission, called to establish new frontiers, to reach the unreached – spreading the good news of the gospel, healing the sick and reaching the poor. Prophets are used by God to affirm and remind the church of the promise that God extends to them.
Even when things are going well, prophets may turn up to cheer the Church on, but they are not just church members that have a disposition towards a more positive attitude than others. They have Spirit-inspired revelation of what God is doing, saying and willing about various activities of the Church. They are not guessing – they really do hear from God, sometimes in a way that would astonish you.
Are you feeling comfortable? Maybe a prophet is trying to get in touch with you!