The Angry Young Prophet

Prophets are generally an odd lot, relying on feelings and impressions; very subjective stuff. Hearing from God, and relaying what you hear to people, is fraught with pitfalls. So much so that most churches don’t want to have anything to do with prophets.
Like it or not, prophets do exist, and God does choose to speak through them occasionally. I’ve known some prophets that were mightily used of God and a genuine blessing to the body of Christ. Unfortunately, most prophets I’ve met have been loose cannons, of absolutely no use to the church whatsoever. They were a thorn in the side of their pastors. When God speaks a word to a prophet, or when the prophet has a dream or sees a vision, his job is to deliver the message, period.
I see five problematic issues with that delivery:
1./ Control
Human nature is to want to have control over that message, to make sure it is fulfilled, to ensure that people listen to and act on it; to see it through to fruition. However, once they’ve delivered the message, it’s none of their business what God does with it, only that they deliver it accurately and in the right spirit.
2./Addition
The messenger adds a little bit of his own twist to it. Of course the word passes through a human messenger, and it’s difficult for them not to add a few of their own ideas. It’s a learned skill that takes lots of practice to get right. When you think about it, no prophet really wants to say words that God didn’t say.
3./ Pride
Prophets tend to be proud of the insight God has given them. Unless they deal harshly with that pride, God will judge them. He shares His glory with nobody.
4./ Submission
In 1 Cor.12:28 it says “first apostles, then prophets.” Why second? Hearing straight from God, shouldn’t they be first? Apparently not. I think God knew that their pride would become a stumbling block, and they would need to come under the authority of the apostle. That’s true for any prophet, whether they are a big name prophet, or a lowly one; it begins with the authority God has placed at hand. God’s heart is that prophets would come under and submit to His delegated authority, starting with submitting to the pastor and his elders.
There are plenty of prophetic people who have never submitted to anyone’s authority. They are like wild horses, useless without a bit and bridle, just running around blowing off steam.
5./ Judgement
The man with a prophetic nature sees sin under every stone. This tends to make him jaded, cynical, and judgmental. This angry prophet sees the world for what it is, is upset by the sin he sees, but feels he has no outlet to vent that displeasure. His frustration leads to anger. A mature response is to seek God’s heart for people’s sin, and see beyond his anger to feel His compassion. Compassion, with God, always leads to His provision for salvation and grace. The prophet needs to go beyond the anger stage. He mustn’t forget that the anger of man does not accomplish the will of God, lest he becomes just an “angry young prophet,” not reflecting the whole nature of God. In the end, he gives an incomplete picture of God, and is of limited use in furthering the kingdom of God.

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