Comparison is not always a good or healthy thing – especially when it comes to comparing the prophets of today with those that have gone before us.
Comparison always draws us to the conclusion that we are either better or worse than another. It’s not really a good foundation for humility!
Personally, I was born just in time for my fingertips to touch with one of the most famous (and controversial!) prophets in recent history. I am privileged to be friends with some of the most well-known prophetic figures alive today, but I wonder if we have yet to see the best that God has in store?
One of my prophet-friends loves good shoes, but who will fill the shoes of those who have gone on before us, and those who are among us for a short time longer? Is there a vacancy in the Church for prophets?
I think this is a time for a realisation that Prophets are a gift from God to the Church. (Eph 4:7-13) We don’t volunteer for the position, prophets are nurtured by God and will benefit from some direction and encouragement from the Church, but essentially the initiative is God’s alone.
There are no vacancies, but lots of opportunities for people, young and old, to step out in faith in the gifts of the Spirit as God leads – comfortable with the understanding that a gift is not the same as a ministry calling. And with the gifts of the Spirit there is great opportunity because you are actively encouraged to seek them!
I’m convinced that God has His hand on the Church in these days – we don’t need a new church to arise, a new Pentecost, or a new level of the anointing. For the most part such talk is religious nonsense, but sells books! What God has put into place is working, but not always according to what we want, desire or appreciate – but it is God’s Church, and Heis building it – and it grows only as God causes it to grow. (Col 2:19)
No-one is required to fill the empty shoes of departed prophets because in the grand plan of God, it is already in hand. There are no vacancies, or successful volunteers for the role of prophet in the Church, but very clearly (Eph 4:7-13) God’s personal call, inspiration and setting apart of prophets are at His discretion alone. God has it all in hand and is already training, nurturing, teaching and discipling those who may emerge in the days and years to come.
Taking such a stance removes all the need for performance, role-playing, arrogance and legalism – although certainly, you will see those traits in young or immature prophets. The hallmarks of a prophetic ministry should be seen by the indicators of humility, grace and servant-heartedness. That taken into consideration, makes you wonder about some of the prophets that are known to be a pain to work with, that don’t pay their staff, and that continuously depend on book and dvd sales and course attendance for their ministry to survive. When God calls, appoints and anoints – He also provides.
It’s an enigma, but there are no vacancies – but lots of opportunities! Be faithful in responding to, and cooperating with what God is doing in your life!