Please, please, please tell me/us something more specific than “there is a new season coming…” I already know from nature that our God changes seasons, it is just part of what He does. Fortunately when He changes seasons, I can see clear signs that the seasons have indeed changed and so can everybody else. When many prophets tell us in the Name of the Lord, “Lo, I tell you, you are about to enter a new season. I say to you that it will not be like this last season…” I feel confused. I have no idea what the last season was, no idea from what is prophesied what the new season will be like.
If I were Pope, I would put out either a Papal Bull or Encyclical (I guess if I were Pope I would know which it should be) banning certain phrases from being used in prophesy: In addition to a ban on unidentifiable unprovable “change of season” prophecies, the following would be banned: “God is moving us up to another level.” (Worse still, “God is going up a level!”) “This is a time of transition…” (Well, nothing very prophetic in that: the whole of life is permanent transition.)
I love real prophecy just as I love real anything that is from God. It brings the awe of God and causes strength to arise in the hearts of God’s people, but non specific stuff all the time is not helpful; in fact while it causes fires of hype to burn higher, it destroys rather than encourages faith. Why have we dumbed down the gifts? Prophecy has now become quite confused with the gift of the word of Knowledge. On the other hand it has become so heavily weighted to ‘forth-telling” or speaking the Word of God into a situation (which is indeed an element of prophecy), that there is not much of the foretelling element, indeed that is usually just dismissed with a brief nod of the head. In the bible, prophetic foretelling is a sign that we worship the one true Living God, the God who announces things before they happen. This genuine gift is of course found in counterfeit form in the occult as are the other gifts and experiences of the Spirit God gives. They may look the same but they are not from the same source: this is a very basic and simple mistake people make when writing or speaking against charismatic gifts. By the way, it is not just prophecy that has suffered this dumbing down. Healing has now become a “Where on a scale of 1 – 10 is the pain?” (Usually and embarrassingly asked when someone is standing in front of a crowd of people…) As I hinted at in another blog recently, I believe that a dumbing down has happened to the gift of “The Apostle” as well; basically that has become dumbed down to being a spiritual entrepreneur or pioneer.
I know, I know that this sounds cynical. Actually it is not. Limited energy, which I am experiencing at the moment, tends to make you want to separate wheat from chaff in terms of what you give time to or pursue; it makes you more honest about what is good and helpful for you and what is not and can be left aside. I love it when God is in something and feel disappointed not just for myself but for God’s people when He is not. I am disappointed when for example the charismatic contingency in Scotland gets excited about some visiting prophet from somewhere or other who basically comes claiming to carry a significant word for Scotland, and actually says next to nothing, despite building up to this revelation for an hour or so in talking. The ensuing conversation in the car or bus afterwards between people goes something like this, “So, what did he/she say? Did you get it?” “Mmm… I am not sure….I think they were meaning….” “Oh…did they say what that would look like?” “Mmmm…not really. I think they were maybe meaning….” “Oh….oh well… it’s cold tonight isn’t it? It feels quite wintry almost, doesn’t it?” “Yes it is, I think the seasons are changing…”
I have been on the receiving end of wonderful prophecies from people. The real thing is awesome even fearfully so. The real thing really does exist and it changes lives and even saves lives, quite literally. I personally have received revelation to give to people on 2 occasions which if I had held back may have led to their death.
The wonderful thing about the gifts of the Spirit is that they are for all of God’s people, even the youngest believer: as John Wimber famously said, “We all get to play.” However, please don’t play with my emotions and hopes and fears and the secret struggles and longings of my heart that need strengthened encouraged and comforted by a true word from the Living God.
Let’s go after the real….
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