With the prophetic calling and its many sided giftings comes a great responsibility on the prophet not to pursue his personal interests and agenda but to pursue, protect and effect the cause of Christ and His Will in the Church. The only agenda a prophet is permitted to have is the agenda of Christ. His only pursuits should be only the Will of God and nothing else. All his personal likes, dreams, desires and interests should be nailed to the cross of Christ and left there as an act of worship. When a prophet begins to pursue his own agenda, using his abilities to pursue his selfish desires, he will fall into error.
Humility is the mark of a true prophet. Being gifted with the ability to see, hear and experience the supernatural may open the door for pride to enter into the life of a prophet and he must guard fiercely against this or it may lead to his fall. His prophetic abilities which were freely given to him by The Lord may cause him to think that he is better, more privileged or has a better standing with The Lord than everybody else and he should therefore be given preferential treatment and worshipped like a demi-god. Unfortunately some prophets think and live like this, contrary to the teachings of Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus said that the greatest should be the chief servant and should not desire to be served by others. The higher we rise spiritually the lower we should go in service. The Lord does not need superstars who have turned themselves into idols, he wants men and women who will humble themselves to serve the body of Christ with a heart of compassion.
A prophet should understand that the spectacular gifts and abilities received from The Lord were given for service to the Body of Christ and not for personal gain or self aggrandisement. Demanding honour from the brethren because you are being used by The Lord is pride and it will lead to destruction. The prophet who fails to clothe himself with humility will fall into the very sin that destroyed lucifer; he will become a victim of pride.
A prophet driven by pride may begin to think that he occupies a ‘special place’ of honour in the body of Christ so use his gifts to intimidate, blackmail and manipulate the body of Christ to move his personal agenda forward. When a prophet declares ‘death and destruction’ on his enemies, who happen to be fellow believers in the body of Christ, he is swallowed up by pride and it will lead to a great fall.
Pride makes a prophet feel that he is the only authentic voice in the land and all others are missing it. Pride makes him refuse to be accountable to anyone and that opens the door for deception. Being accountable to elders in the body of Christ keeps him humble.
A prophet should minister from a place of compassion and mercy. He should see situations, people and nations from God’s perspective of love. When he ministers from a place of mercy, he is able to make intercession for the people and situations The Lord reveals to him. The calling of a prophet is to stand as a watchman, to bring warnings and to stand in the gap as an intercessor for the body of Christ. Such intercession is driven by compassion and mercy. A prophet has to identify with the people to whom he has been sent and not see himself more superior than them in any way.
Without a heart full of compassion for the pains, struggles, challenges and issues of the people, a prophet will not be willing, neither will he be able to pray for the people as he ought to. Without compassion any word he brings will be from a place of judgement and not mercy. Without compassion the ministry of a prophet will bring more harm than good. Bringing God’s revelation or warnings to the body of Christ is not the issue, it is how the warnings are presented that makes the difference. Does the prophet come with tears, humility, brokenness and compassion, asking the Lord to show mercy or does he speak from an arrogant, judgemental place because he thinks he is holier and in a higher spiritual position than those to whom he has been sent? Without compassion a prophet becomes a destructive weapon in the hands of the enemy and will cause devastation and pain instead if bringing healing and restoration to hurting people.
The ministry of a prophet is not to expose the shortcomings, weaknesses, sins and failings of the brethren. He is not in ministry to become a judge over people and pull them down over their failures. A prophet is an intercessor, standing in the gap and praying for the Church. Jesus knew the disciple who would betray him, yet he didn’t expose him to the other disciples. In fact, on the night that Judas went out to collect the thirty pieces of silver from the rulers to betray Christ, all the disciples thought that he was going to buy some much needed provisions or even give something to the poor. They were all wrong. It was after his death and resurrection that the disciples discovered that it was Judas who betrayed Christ.
Jesus could have exposed him but he didn’t. He covered him in love. That is mercy. That is the place from which a prophet should function. The ministry of the prophet is about covering the body in love by making intercessions for the saints, asking The Lord to heal, deliver, restore them so that they can live according to God’s Will. A prophet gives warnings and brings correction and order to the body of Christ. But when a prophet takes it upon himself to become judge over the body of Christ and expose any and everyone caught in a fault, he has taken sides with the enemy. Yes, sin should always be exposed and erring believers corrected but it should always be done in love and in brokenness, never with an air of superiority and arrogance.
A true prophet finds no joy, finds no fulfilment whatsoever in bringing down other people, ministers or ministries. He seeks to build the body of Christ with whatever insights and revelations he gleans from the Word of God. The revelation he receives from the Lord should be used to bless the body, to bring healing and restoration, to strengthen the weak and lift up the fallen, not to inflict more emotional and spiritual wounds on the already afflicted. When a prophet begins to find joy in the exposure of the weaknesses, failures and problems in other people’s lives and ministries, that prophet has fallen from grace and is headed for self destruction.
Without compassion the soul of a prophet becomes callous, unfeeling, uncaring, unloving and he enters into a dark place. The revelations, warnings, foretelling of such a prophet will bring nothing but pain and cause confusion. We shouldn’t be distracted or deceived by the seeming accuracy and power of a prophet. Even agents of the devil manifest spiritual power. What we should look out for is his character: does he minister with compassion, humility and integrity or is he self righteous, judgmental and bound in pride?
A prophet should never forget that he is nothing and God is everything. He should remember that God made him who and what he is therefore, he should remain humble, bringing glory to Jesus through his words and actions, arrogating no glory whatsoever to himself, no matter how little it may be. In John 2:23-25, Jesus fiercely resisted the crowd when they wanted to make him a king. He refused to take such honour from men knowing that it would lead to spiritual pride and its concomitant consequence which is a fall. Every true prophet should follow His example.
P.S. This teaching also applies to every minister and believer in the Body of Christ and not just a prophet.