Prophetic ministry these days can appear to be gripped by a fierce frenzy of activity, and can be very confusing.
We are not confused not by God, (after all He is not the author of confusion), but confused by the teaching of many that is heavily based on experience rather than, or sometimes over, the scriptures.
Such a an approach to learning and discipleship is almost Catholic in its approach, giving authority to tradition as well as to the scripture.
We must always base our understanding on scripture. The bottom line is, where does the scripture support (consistently) our beliefs and practice?
Some argue that the Bible doesn’t mention everything that we face in church these days but I think their argument is more inclined to fact that they want (or need) that argument to support their position regarding what they are doing.
God speaks to the church through prophetic ministries and gifting’s in a rich assortment of ways, often in spite of the messenger. The greatest way that God speaks to us is through the gospel. The writer to the Hebrews urges us, “how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will”. (Hebrews 2:3-4 ESV)
The Bible has much to say about dreams, visions, signs & wonders, angels. It is full of remarkable stories and encounters through periods of great difficulty in both the life of the Church and ancient Israel. I hope to address some of those issues here, looking at the whole process of seeing and hearing God’s communication with man about Himself and His plans and counsel.
// Visual integrity ::..
On a visit to Zimbabwe I was taken on a trip across the countryside. Every so often my host would stop the vehicle and point out the wild life. At one point I stopped the vehicle and looked into the distance. “What do you see? I was asked. I stared into the distance and said, “an elephant”.
Everyone erupted into laughter. Indignantly I asked why everyone was laughing. It seems that the grey elephant I was pointing at in the distance was actually a rock!
The truth was I saw nothing. My integrity was intact, my eyesight plainly was not! If I had said that there was an elephant and that it had now moved from visual range then I would have crossed a line of integrity.
It is so important for the prophetic to have visual integrity.
When we say that God has clearly shown us something then it needs to be that we actually have clearly seen it. If it is an impression then call it that, if it is a mental picture then say so. Trust is not a commodity. If the prophetic person ever loses the trust of the church or individuals it might not ever be fully restored.
The issues of CHARACTER vs GIFTING are what causes prophetic people to go adrift. We do not ‘see things’ to be recognised in the body of Christ. We are loved and accepted for who we are and not what we do. If we make it that we are accepted for what we do then we are under a constant pressure to perform, and we then become a liability to the body of Christ instead of the blessing that God intended.
So what do you see?
What do you really see? Ask God to clarify it for you, don’t rush to share things. And when you do share be gentle, this is where humility comes in, “I believe that God is showing me …”, leaves people with room to make their own mind up as to whether or not God is speaking to them right now, and also allows them to feel comfortable to speak to you more about what God may have well been showing you.
It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (Pro 25:2) Act like a King, take your time and be sure of what you see before you say it – but if what you are seeing is actually a rock it is not a problem!