Today we are starting a new series which I believe will benefit all pastors everywhere. One of the most important roles of a pastor – or any leader – is to lead people to be more based and more secure on the Word of the Lord, the Scripture. So we are going to give some short lessons on how to “Lead With the Word”.
Firstly, I want to deal with something which I did think the church as a whole had dealt with, but sadly is coming around again. At our church Christmas meal last night, I noticed a few of the young men were wearing really skinny ties. I remember when that came into fashion last time, and then went out of fashion. It all comes round again! And it is sadly the same with false ideas in the church – and somehow it seems to me a whole bunch of false ideas in the church gather around how we understand the office of a prophet.
I am still meeting Christians who are changing the whole course of their life because of something a so-called prophet said to them – I mean marrying someone, changing geography, changing church, changing all sorts of things – not because the Spirit of the Lord led them, but because a prophet said so. Now is this Biblical – that is the only question I have about this, or any, practice. Is this what the Bible tells us to do?
You see if you do not understand the role of a prophet, you could have your entire life destroyed because of a false prophet – someone claiming to be a prophet.
So, let’s phrase the question clearly: are we supposed to receive guidance in our lives from prophets?
And let me make the answer as clear as I can: NO! Did you get that? Let me say it again… NO! Let me make it even clearer:
You are not, under any circumstances, supposed to receive guidance from prophets. Ever. Not at all.
If you are living in the New Testament, and according to the calendar you are, then you should be guided by the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Romans 8.14 tells us that God’s sons are led by God’s Spirit.
Are you saying that there is no role for prophets? No – I am saying their role is not to guide but to equip (Ephesians 4.11 tells us prophets are to equip the saints).
In the Old Covenant, you had to go to a prophet to hear God for you because not everyone had the anointing. But in the New Covenant, everyone has the anointing, and everyone can hear God for themselves. And the prophet is just supposed to equip you to hear God better and function prophetically better. They are not ever supposed to do it for you, and if they do they are false, and you will be manipulated and your life will mess up.
Not only that, when the prophets speak you do not need to accept it 100% no matter what, and you are not in rebellion to the Lord to ponder and analyse and consider a word from a prophet. Paul is very clear: Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge (1 Cor. 14.29). What is unscriptural is to just accept a word from a prophet and fail to judge and examine it – which is what some are sadly doing today to their own ruin.
So today, when you have a major life choice, or even a minor decision – don’t seek the prophet, seek the Lord! Learn to flow with the Spirit and follow the principles of the Word and the peace in your heart.