I can think of a church leader today that I am apt to call a prophet, even though I’ve never heard him use supernatural terminology. I’ve never heard him “declare a word from the Lord,” but his social justice message is so inherently prophetic and so grounded in Jesus that it’s nearly impossible to discern the difference between him and the biblical prophets.
I had a friend tell me once that he thought this man was a bit of a jerk. I didn’t really agree, but I knew what he was feeling because of the conviction this man’s words always put on me. While his online posts are a bit harsher in tone, very little that this person has ever done or said has ever made him out to be a jerk. Therefore, I recognize that I sometimes hear his prophetic message and want to diminish him so that I don’t have to listen to him. Is that not what Israel would have wanted to do with their prophets? “Oh those guys are jerks. They always make us feel bad. Their words don’t matter.”
And so if someone’s message just took on a prophetic tone and they suddenly come across as annoying or as a jerk, perhaps it’s not their spirit we need to check, but our own. Because if I’m honest with myself, sometimes the people I want to consider as the biggest jerks in the church are actually the ones who carry a Godly message my flesh doesn’t want to hear. The problem is not with them—it’s with me.
A small unedited excerpt from my upcoming book, The Rush and the Rest: Engaging the Presence of the Holy Spirit