Has this last year taken its toll on you? Prophets, like everyone else, sometimes lose their focus in the things of God and are left wondering about where things are leading, the apparent lose of opportunity and how to press through. Discouragement can get the best of them, resulting in them hiding in metaphorical caves, wondering about the overwhelming purpose for their lives.
Despair and discouragement produce terrible things to the heart that wanders or is not fixated on Christ, but that discouragement has to be faced head on.
Where do you find encouragement when difficulty and circumstance has extinguished the fire that once ravished the heart? King David was no stranger to discouragement and in one particular challenging period it is written, “And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”(1 Samuel 30:6) Each one of us needs to not merely encourage others to stir themselves in God, but also to proactively encourage ourselves in our pursuit of God and His purposes in the face of adversity.
Pushing through discouragement is a pressing issue.
One key issue is that insecurity in the heart of a prophetic person may raise a sense of vulnerability particularly because when you tell someone by revelation the secrets of the heart in a public setting, you are going to get called, ‘prophet’, ‘man of God’ names – and names and titles do bizarre things to people. Recognition is not always a destructive thing and more often than not the embarrassment and awkwardness of public recognition is something that mostly affects early stages of the ministry, wearing off with time. People mature and grow up!
On reflection, people want to tell their story of how God spoke to them through someone else and because of that, things changed, hope returned! And the prophetic person’s name will pop up. This is where leadership feedback is also helpful, recognising what God is saying or doing through an individual but encouraging them to enjoy the moment, but not take it too seriously! It is not a moment to misunderstand the prophetic person’s calling or motives. Encourage one another to keep wholeheartedly and relentlessly going after God and being sensitive to His voice. Whether they are recognised or spoken of or not, the pay is the same!
In most prophets is a need that is not unlike any other individual in the kingdom; the need to be accepted, affirmed, recognised and loved. Everyone experiences those needs. Someone stepping out for the first time in the gifts of the Spirit or speaking at the most global conference – the essential emotional needs in life are no different. But how those needs are met is.
I recently saw a documentary on the Amish Christians sharing their faith. I was very moved to hear a young lady mention that whenever she felt sad or down, that the answer for her was a simple one. She prayed. So simple and yet, so deeply mature.
Our relationship with God makes all the difference – and the more real, dynamic and authentic it is, truly makes a significant difference. Before prophets can restore a blazing fire of passion for Christ in the hearts and lives of others, that fire must be blazing on the altars of their own discouraged and life-tested heart.
And only Christ can light that vehement flame. You can’t light an enduring, blazing fire in your own heart – but you can feed the flames. We’re talking about passion for Christ here, not about stirring up the gift. Feed the flames of devotion by devouring the scriptures and seeking God in prayer. Where there is no passion or hunger to do so – ask.
It has been said that you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. In actuality you can – you give it salt tablets! Ask God to encourage you in your pursuit of Him. He knows just what to do…
Allow God to reignite the fire of passion for Christ’s glory and passion for His purposes in your own heart, let it roar and blaze, then let that most ferocious flame impart tongues of fire into the hearts of those around you.
Don’t let discouragement get the better of you. Stir up that gift.