(Hab. 1,2, Luke 15:11-19, Acts 21:10-14)
In the time of the law and the prophets, God had men and women who knew Him. They spoke with Him and heard His response. They had visions. They saw what God was doing in their day and they saw what was coming in the future without fully understanding. So today, some are known as prophets. Some refer to a concept of the “office of prophet.” That distorts the reality inferring an “official” position. The gifts of the Spirit are functions not positions. No hierarchy exists in the body of Christ. Yet there are those with authority. We could say they are shoulders in the body. True leadership is necessary. When the mature ones speak or minister, His sheep know it is genuine. The true prophetic word will be by the Spirit. We say it is like God Himself speaking to us. It is. We recognize that each one is an imperfect vessel.
We have been distracted by false expectations and understanding concerning nations. We have prophesied and declared things out of our own imaginations. We see and prophesy imperfectly. Recent history among a so-called “prophetic” ministry is evidence. Most important that some of those who prophesied concerning governmental positions saw their error and said so. They repented. Who among us has always spoken correctly concerning the Lord’s working? We are too often shooting from the hip verbally. We too easily miss the true Spirit of prophecy which comes from the mouth of Christ Jesus.
Paul wrote we prophesy in part. We need to hear what others have to say. What we find too often is that we elevate some ministries to a higher place than we ought. The “local church” as we call our groups, typically have a senior pastor or lead elder. We may make him, or her, the final authority but that should never be the case. Apostolic authority is needed today as the Lord established it at the start. Notice the apostle did not stay in one place for the very reason that it too easily becomes his church. More importantly, others do not grow. We find, if we are growing, a time comes when each of us must move on. That is healthy. But this is not a fixed law or formula.
If we notice the Lord’s dealing with man, His people move. We often hear this phrase and it is true. We are, each of us, on a journey. His people passed through the wilderness. The church was scattered after Pentecost. It is easier to steer a moving object than to start it moving. Yet motion for its own sake can be fruitless. What motivates us? What provides our direction? Is the Spirit your co-pilot, or is He your pilot? We need to give others space. At times, we may see them heading off course, or even heading for a wreck. For certain, we should give warnings. Sometimes, we must let them go or they will never learn the lessons they need to receive. At other times, we love them so much, it is hard let them go.
Now I am thinking about two different situations. I was first thinking about the times when someone has made a bad decision taking them way from God’s ways and intentions. The other is a time when certain danger exists but God is moving someone. Such it was when Paul wanted to go to Jerusalem. He loved his people and wanted to bring the gospel to them. A prophet came and showed him and those with him that he would be bound. Those who loved Paul would have prevented him but he was compelled by love to go. They wept and sent him on his way. The Lord’s plan was to bring him to Rome, and so it was.
Again, I return to the foundational truth of the new covenant. All (who believe in truth) will know me from the least to the greatest. Mature sons is what God is after. Every seed reproduces after its kind. If the seed of Christ has found good soil in you. His life will be reproduced in you and you will walk as He walked. He walked in love. He walked in righteousness. He walked in compassion. He walked in wisdom. He did what he learned from His Father. Are we moving in this way, His way? Love is patient, is kind, does not seek its own benefit but the benefit of others. Ultimately, the only benefits that matter are those that are eternal
So we move on but where are you going? Are you following the Lamb where He leads? Have you been sidetracked? Have you completely turned away. The Lord says, Peace to him who is near, and to him who is far off. If you are on track, keep going. If you have drifted, be realigned. If you have turned away, turn again. He is waiting for us to move on, toward Him.