I have come to realise the value of a clear mission and vision. An organisation that is crystal clear on why it exists, and then it applies razor-kind of focus to this mission, can go very far. I find lessons on this across the Word of God. The last instructions Christ gives to His disciples are meant to ensure that they have a very clear mission and vision: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The disciples were to do many things, but in the end those things were to add up to their one mission – Go and Make Disciples.
I have just started reading the book of Isaiah. I am excited about it because these book has been beckoning since early in the year. Yester I read Isaiah 6 and got stuck in verse 1, In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted,seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.! This was Isaiah’s first encounter with the Lord. He had a vision that was vivid enough for him to say I saw the Lord! This statement took me back to a conversation that has silently been forming in my head, the gift of prophecy.
In the recent past (or not so recent), I have had a problem with the prophetic ministry (perhaps because I have had overt encounters with this). I have run away from the thoughts I had, and even the simmering problem that was in my head because I did not want to have controversial conversations with myself, let alone anyone else. But as I read Isaiah 1, i knew it was time to deal with this issue. I whispered a prayer, “Okay God, teach me.”
And because He is a Teacher, and a faithful Father, God led me to 1 Corinthians 14.
Why was I struggling with the prophetic gift?
Some background, why was I struggling with the prophetic ? Is it coz I don’t believe in prophecy, no. I believe in prophecy. I believe God is supernatural, and uses the supernatural, and to be honest, I’m comfortable with that. I think prophetic is just a gift of revelation, and I’ve seen God enough to know He can and does give revelation.
So what was the issue? My issue has been around how we (the recipients) deal with the prophecies. One of my greatest nightmares, for self and for others, is building a dependency on human beings rather than on God. It therefore does not help that I’ve seen to many instances of the prophetic ministry breeding a high dependence on man, rather on God. When i hear of 310 or Kanyangi or many ministries gone bad, what i hear of is people who were very dependent on a certain man or a gift that the man possess. With this fears intact, I’ve felt my spirit lock out prophetic ministries and related stuff.
This was the background with which I went to 1 Corinthian 14. I encourage anyone with a struggle on prophetic ministry.
As I meditated on those words, it was clear that the gift of prophecy is first and foremost a gift from Go, but also that this gift exists to edify and encourage the Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 14:13 says “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.“
Every prophetic word released from the days of Abraham, served the sole purpose of edifying – encouraging, strengthening and comforting. This revelation freed me from my fears. God is so gracious that He knew the church would need to be encouraged and edified.
Connects with the mission of the Church
Look at this in the context of the mission of the church to go and make…The mission field is nothing short of a battlefield. The process of going and making disciples is plagued by difficulties and many battles. While David fought physical battles for the territory promised to the Israelites, Christians now live in a spiritual world with its fair of spiritual battles – the kind you just can’t escape from, but are fully equipped to handle by God.
And so if you can paint a mental picture of someone in the mission field who’s beaten and wakes up to continue the work, then you know why prophecy exists. It’s to edify him, to patch him up. This is a man out there, exposed, and he comes home to find a Father who patches him up, encourages him, gives him water and the next day he’s ready to be back to the mission field – with Him at his side still.
What does this mean? It means that for us the recipients of prophetic words, the prophetic words are not the point, the edifying and encouraging is the point. If then we become seekers of prophetic words, or obsessed with seeing the words come to pass, we miss the point. And in that context, we also have absolutely nothing to fear from the prophetic ministry coz our dependence is fully in Him. He may use the prophetic ministry to edify and encourage us, but in the end He alone brings it to pass – or not. Abraham, Joseph, David, Peter seemed to have understood this very well and in part 2 I will share how.