I’d Like To Prophesy…But* (Part 9)

shy2Click on following links for: Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6Part 7 and Part 8.

What is the price for rising above entry level prophesying?

5. Humility

“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man who doesn’t care who gets the credit.” (Dwight L. Moody)

If I had to pick just one character trait which Jesus is longing to see in us prophetic people, it would be humility. And yet, this seems to be the hardest one for us to attain.

Let’s say, you are on a platform with a microphone in your hand. You look into the audience and see a woman.  There’s nothing remarkable about her, but you instantly know something.

You point at her. “Your prayers are about to be answered,” you say, “that man you have been praying about for years and years is coming back into your life. Buy a wedding dress.”

The woman breaks down and cries. She raises her hands and shouts, “Thank you Jesus!”

Afterward, you find out the woman has been praying for her ex-husband. She believes they will be remarried, but everyone, including her pastor,  has told her she’s nuts. They say that her ex-husband will never, ever change his ways.

Six months later, you are invited to the wedding of the woman and her ex-husband. The man had an experience with the Lord and was instantly changed.

This actually happened to me, and countless other ones like it.

Pretty heady stuff, right?

Today, as I look back at the guy who held that microphone and spoke those words, I cringe and shudder. I hate him. I hate his pride, his arrogance, his thinking that he was the man who prayed, fasted and heard God for other people. I don’t even like to remember the time period because I am so ashamed of that man.

But let’s be honest, okay? I still give prophetic words. So, what’s changed in me?

“I remember the day and the place where I died.” (Katherine Kuhlman)

Maybe, Kuhlman was fortunate enough to completely die to all of her pride on just one day, but I wasn’t.  I can take you to street corners where parts of me died. Or to dumpsters where I crawled into searching for cans. Or to jobs I failed at. Or to countless other experiences where my heart was crushed.

Am I a perfect example of humility now? No. No. No.

But I am no longer the same guy who held the microphone and spoke the words to that lady…and I pray that I never will be like him again.

Humility takes time, lots of it. It is an ongoing work in my life, one which I continually struggle with; and yet, I embrace it.

(This series will be continued in the future.)

*I have used the word prophesy in a general sense to denote prophecy, words of knowledge and words of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10).

6 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

6 responses to “I’d Like To Prophesy…But* (Part 9)

  1. This series started out to be a teaching on prophetic blockages. But as I got into it, it became much more. I believe it will be an ongoing teaching for months to come. And eventually, I will even write about prophetic blockages…hopefully.

    The next extended series will be back on spiritual warfare.

  2. And yet, Larry, God saw fit to use that man that you hate. 🙂 God wanted to show him that he is usable. It seems that God does this over and over. He uses us to bear fruit. Then he prunes us. And uses us again. And prunes us. If He waited until we are perfect, none of us could EVER be used! Since I am an outsider, may I just say that I thank God for the way He used you to touch lives with His love during those days in the past which you now abhor? This is not to say that pride isn’t dangerous. It is! But, it sounds like you are a great student…willing to learn…grow…and be pruned. Today, you are a huge blessing to many.

  3. seriouswhimsey,

    Thanks.

  4. Isle

    I’m grateful to you for writing about the price of discipleship. It’s not a popular topic these days.

    I’ve been attending church my entire life, and have never witnessed ‘obvious’ spiritual gifts of prophecy or tongues like you describe. I don’t doubt that they exist (indeed, your story is encouraging in that respect) but I wonder why I’ve never observed them in myself or the people around me. Is it my circumstances or my perspective? Or are they really that rare?

    In any case, thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  5. Isle,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Is speaking in tongues and prophesying rare? Good question.

    I checked some Pew Surveys and learned that 76% of Americans consider themselves to be Christians. But only 3.5% of Americans consider themselves to be Charismatic or Pentecostal (speak in tongues or the other gifts). Those who consider themselves Charismatic or Pentecostal attend a variety of churches, from Catholic to Assembly of God.

    So, you could very easily attend a church and never hear a prophecy or someone speaking in tongues.

  6. Pingback: Posts about spiritual warfare as of July 22, 2009 | PRAYtheREVOLUTION

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