For years I’ve written on this website in the third person, preferring to remain anonymous. This website used to be called propheticreformation.com – it had 450 pages on it all about the prophetic ministry in one form or another, and in that style was easy to write; you have an opinion and just plug in the keyboard.
Writing in the third person means you (one) can express ideas without having to publicly reveal your identity. But I felt it was time for me to write more personally for the purposes of this web site, so instead of being a faceless entity in cyberspace, writing about spiritual issues, etc., here I am revealing myself and sharing about my life, thoughts, opinions. It’s harder, though, because now when people read what I write there are no excuses should there be issues with content or context; my voice is out there and puts my name – and reputation such as it is – at stake should anyone take issue with it.
Hope, inspiration & courage
I have been thinking recently about the focus of the prophetic ministry itself. Its number one key priority is eye-contact with God, constantly looking to Him for approval, direction, guidance, comfort and support, as well as maintaining its characteristic that while embedded in the Church, it is responsible for bringing hope, inspiration and courage for both the present and future in an exciting day, and to God’s awesome people, the Church. (Now that was a long sentence!)
During the recent pandemic that has been an important feature of the prophetic ministry; restoring hope in the heart of the believer. The reason for the eye-contact with God is that prophets need to be looking to God as a default position. This is almost like finding their infinite purpose – the never ending purpose of their life or ministry. Part of their DNA to a certain extent is the unshaken conviction about God’s providence and sovereignty – accompanied by an assertion about His omnipotence, omniscience and reassuringly, His omnipresence. He is the God who is with and for us.
The entire church needs the same conviction too, but prophets are responsible, at core level, for bringing hope. Yes, issues need to be challenged, confronted or brought to light, but central to all of this is the prophetic message that urges trust in Christ and the issues that separate to be resolved and for reconcilation to renew hope, trust and obedience.
For some apparent reason there are a few prophetic voices that have used their influence as a platform to make their ministry almost entirely about making very odd predictions and declarations about the virus and have brought dispute to prophecy which has had an affect on authentic, scripture-honouring prophetic ministries. I wonder if the only way that the Church can move forward with considerable confidence with the prophetic ministry is for us to hear, see and read the authentic thing in our midst.
See it – say it. Knowing the authentic…
How will we know the authentic thing when we hear it? I’m not the most qualified person to speak on much about the prophetic ministry, but to me what does matter, is the necessary encouragement prophetic ministry brings to the heart of God’s wonderful church.
It’s message is on of hope, courage and inspiration that points them to the Lord, encouraging them to lift up their heads and follow Christ in faith, obedience and trust. God has much to say to the Body of Christ at this time, but most of it is found in the gospel. It’s a compelling message of God’s work of ransom, reconciliation, redemption and an understanding of what it really means to be a church that lives and thrives in grace. A people together, with God in their midst and what it means to fear Him, but not be afraid. Wonderful days are before us!
God is the answer to all of the deepest longing of our hearts, and the prophetic ministry helps us to find ourselves in the narrative of scripture – identifying others to whom we can relate whether it be Joseph in the pit, David in his dark night of the soul, or Job with the unanswered trauma of life. Wherever we find ourselves, prophets call us to trust with all our hearts that God’s integrity is fully intact when he declares to us that, all things work together for our good. The encouragement that in Christ, all our sin is dealt with cheers the heart, as does the notion that as our sins have been removed as far the East is from the West. If that is true, what holds us back! God is with us and for us, not ever against us!
In my humble opinion God undoubtedly wants to encourage us that He is doing something radical with the church or the nation and because no-one can engineer it, to display signs to confirm His activity. It happened with Isaiah and many of the prophets both in the New and the Old Testament.
Let’s be attentive to the leading of the Spirit, careful not to grieve or quench Him and watching for whatever He does in our midst. Such a sovereign Work of the Spirit might well be a preemptive token of revival where God comes and manifests His presence and glory in a tangible way.