I’ll have to admit that I get a little stirred up when others say “how” my prophetic gift should be practiced. Some say that the Old Testament models of Prophets are no longer valid. In part, I agree. Mostly because I would probably have been stoned by now for saying something which didn’t come to pass. Others say that the prophetic gift of the New testament is one that always encourages or edifies. Of course there’s Barnabas, which the Apostles named “Son of Encouragement,” but the name Barnabas can also simply mean “Son of the Prophet.” And yes, the prophetic gift of the NT, according to 1 Corinthians 14, is to encourage, to comfort, to console, and to build up. But those things can often come through rebuke, Spirit tempered criticism, and exhortation. I also believe that there are seasons when those means may dominate. According to APEST descriptions, Prophets are those who:
Know God’s will.
Are particularly attuned to God and his truth for today.
Bring correction and challenge the dominant assumptions we inherit from the culture.
Insist that the community obey what God has commanded.
Question the status quo.
The Prophets ultimate motive is mission, God’s mission.
I’ve seen how the rest of the APEST gang, (Apostles, Evangelists, Shepherds/Pastors, and Teachers) get snarky when a Prophet starts doing the prophet thing in their midst. It’s always like, “Hey buddy, calm down. Speak the truth in love. Don’t be so critical. Bla bla bla… It’s like they don’t want me to be the warrior because they’re not. It’s sort of like an unbiblical and twisted pacifism that has bled over into church.
Granted, Prophets need the other APEST’s around because left to themselves, they can “become belligerent activists or, paradoxically, disengage from the imperfection of reality and become other-worldly,” but they also need what the other APEST’s have to offer. What do I mean?
Pastors care and protect the prophet. They watch their back while they’re cutting through the overgrowth.
Apostles direct the prophet. They point them towards the space where there particular giftings will have the most impact.
Evangelists compliment the prophet. They bring the good news of the Kingdom as a salve after the battle.
Teachers equip the prophet. They check, recheck, and check again to confirm or correct what the prophet is saying.
You get my drift. Prophets are not going to mess up your pastoring, evangelizing, teaching, and apostling, but will certainly stir them up. Oh, and Pastors… you’re not the Prophet’s boss.
So, Can’t I Just Be The Warrior Prophet That God Wants Me To Be?