I had the privilege to minister in every “stream” I can think of... from Baptist (God bless the baptists) to hyper-charismatic (God bless those too)..
God has been using me quite strongly in the prophetic for His glory with many many things coming to pass and while I do not claim to be a prophet (I’m an apostolic evangelist), it is a hall-mark ministry of the church I planted and pastor and it will continue to be that way
There are a lot of discussions, I can only talk about what I’ve experienced in current seasons..
Should we be careful or should we be open. Which one is it
I think balance is the key, and being led by the Spirit, as in everything.. so, the answer is both, in a way. Whenever we lean too much on one side, I think we should try lean towards the other, and vice versa
Again, this has been my experience over the last couple years.. the greatest misuse of prophetic ministry that I’ve seen personally was among those circles who always caution everyone regarding prophetic ministry. It is logical, because often then when a word comes, they often weigh too much on it. I’ll explain it further
One would think the opposite is the case - misuse happens in circles where people are too open. That’s not been my experience. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of people who are very open for the supernatural who simply understand better how to put things in their proper place.
And since there is no fear in it, the Holy Spirit can actually better lead them
The problem is, when people are cautioned regarding the prophetic too much, when Paul clearly told us to not despise it (as well as to test it), then they often weigh too much on words they get from well-respected ministers. This is a very strong pattern I have seen. So, we lift up “man” again and “the minister”
I’ve received so many words from „normal Christians“ that all came to pass it’s unreal. I dont exactly know how that fits. There was no pressure when they gave me those words and I was free to test it etc. and they came to pass.
As a church planter, I find it’s about the culture a leader creates
I’ve received a word several years ago from a preacher that you see on TV every day. He is very well-respected. Some of it was good. Part of what he said, was not of god, he was projecting a bit, and I kinda knew instantly, but I had to pray it through and talk it through with several people I deeply trust. I would have not done that if I would have thought that the prophetic is something you have to be generally very careful with, but when it comes from a preacher it surely is most often from God (that’s exactly what many believe subconsciously, who have not been trained properly or have received teaching based from a certain perspective only).
Thats just one example.
False prophets usually have a message of doom and gloom. It comes from a lack of understanding regarding the new covenant (worst case would be that they have an qgenda). If it is not redemptive in nature, every believer should be very cautious. While God speaks through warnings and sometimes stern corrections, it is always redemptive. He doesn’t change His nature, even judgments are an expression of His love.
How to test a word you get?
Is it redemptive
Is it biblical
Does it lift up Jesus
Does it confirm something that is in your heart
What’s the motive behind it
If it fails the test, let it go of it
I’ve seen people who got words from well-respected ministers and then they try to almost build their entire lives around it. If I would name the people to you who gave me words you would be shocked..
but I build my life on and around the Word of God!
I really feel some people need to lighten up a little bit regarding the prophetic as well as provide solid biblical teaching..
At the same time, there are indeed a lot of people who are always seeking new words, but they are not really moving forward in their walk with Christ. Whenever I sense that is the case with people who come to me, in a tactful way, I tell them. I tell them that the should strive to be students of the Bible and invite the Holy Spirit into it. I tell them that they should be faithful with what God has given them, serve in a local church, and share the gospel with the lost. I tell them, that it is actually “more spiritual” when you are led by His Spirit than when an angel appears to you. And that God is more impressed by childlike trust than by wild experiences.
So, why not just tell them
But please lets not create a mindset (I know that many dont actually say that, but they convey a meaning like that) „we have to be careful with the prophetic“ when Paul didnt say that. He said to not despise it and then he gave guidance on what’s best and so forth.
(Read 1. Cor. 12 and 13)
I do have a problem with some circles though who overemphasize prophecy in a big way, while at the same time they have almost no miracles. I even talked to some leaders about that. Sometimes it is rooted in pride, because when a church for example never invites an evangelist to his church (because he might preach better or because people get healed all the time), then they basically set themselves up for “lack”, simply because of a wrong attitude.
That’s another area of balance because I do believe in the importance of itinerate ministry, just as much as I believe in the local church.. some churches think they can do all by themselves, while some itinerate ministers have completely given up on the church.. that’s another post