When I kicked off a preaching series at a local church, the senior pastor charged me with bringing a word about politics.
I knew it would be a hard word because the body of Christ is divided over Democrats and Republicans, as well as many of the political issues they stand for.
As I ticked down some of the harsh realities we've come to face over the last several years, most of the congregation was eerily silent. I read and report on these issues every day, but it dawned on me that many don't follow the state of the union as closely. The looks on their faces revealed that they hadn't previously heard much of what I was saying.
There is much talk about Christ's soon Second Coming. But we know that Jesus will not return for a church without spot or wrinkle unless the falling away comes first...
I wrote those words about 18 months ago in an article in which I asked the question: "Is the Great Falling Away Already Underway?" I was deeply concerned then that we could be witnessing the first fruits of the Great Falling Away about which the apostle Paul prophesies in 1 Thess. 2:3. I was concerned that we were at least seeing a shadow of the Great Apostasy.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article called "Apostasy Rising: 4 Denominations in Less Than a Week Defy God's Word" that went massively viral. All this has stirred my heart and the Lord has mantled me to pray—and inspire others to pray—for a Third Great Awakening in America. In yet another column on our Prophetic Insight blog, I shared what the Lord told me in 2007 about a Great Awakening coming to this nation.
We all walk through peaks and valleys—and we all have our wilderness experiences. But there’s a big difference between being a voice crying in the wilderness in obedience to God and finding yourself stuck in the wilderness, going around the same mountain over and over (and over).
I’ve experienced both realities, and I can tell you the former is liberating because you know you are smack-dab in the center of God’s will. The latter is frustrating because you know you’re absolutely missing it somewhere.
Of course, if you don’t have a revelation of why you are in the wilderness—if you are antsy for your big ministry debut, even though it’s not God’s timing—then you could be frustrated even in the will of God.
There are at least three reasons why you might be in the wilderness right now. You don't want to try to push your way out too early. But you don't want to stay there any longer than you have to, either.
First off, there is no room for personal opinion in the prophetic. Our “proof” must come from the Holy Spirit, not our own spirits or some other spirit. As mouthpieces for God, others take our words and insights very seriously, and we cannot abuse the grace people perceive on our lives.
"Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
Many of you have heard the story of Henry Stanley, the ambitious American reporter who went to the Dark Continent in search of Dr. David Livingstone, an 19th-century missionary who explored sub-Saharan Africa.
When Stanley finally tracked down the famed evangelist, his first words when approaching the only other white man in Ujiji, Africa, were, as the story goes, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” The white man’s identity may have seemed like a no-brainer to the young journalist, but if he had been a prophet, Stanley’s presumption would have landed him in a heap of trouble. That’s because presumption is on God’s blacklist.
Over and over again, I’m reading about how youth are leaving the church as soon as they turn 18. I see study after study highlighting how Christian conservative values are turning off millennials who prefer social justice to culture wars.
I guess I’m not the only one who’s noticed it. I came across an op-ed in CNN by Daniel Darling, vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, that demanded my attention. The headline? "Millennials and the False ‘Gospel of Nice.’"
In it, Darling points out the same trends I’ve been seeing during my duties as news editor for Charisma magazine. It seems some in the younger generation are willing to water down the truth in God’s Word even as they stay busy fulfilling His command to feed the hungry. It seems some in the younger generation would rather allow a gay worship leader to take his place on the platform than stand for traditional marriage in the public square. Oh, and when more mature believers point back to what the Bible says about morality, they are labeled religious.
Fulfilling your prophetic promise means engaging in a battle to dispossess all the so-called "ites" from the land. But if you make this one mistake you could lose before you even get to the battle line.
Guest Column by Larry Sparks
Jennifer LeClaire helps make the journey to the prophetic lifestyle clear and practical in her new book, The Making of a Prophet. We recently discussed this on my BlogTalkRadio show Voice of Destiny, and during our time together I was reminded that prophets are truly a gift to the body of Christ.
Maybe you don’t feel this way.
(Guest Column by Larry Sparks)
The Bible tells us that in the last days, God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17). These last days have been in effect since the Day of Pentecost, and this promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit includes men, women, young and old; none are exempt.
A vital part of this “last days outpouring” includes a release of the prophetic. Every single Christian has the ability to prophesy residing in his or her spirit, since the Holy Spirit is the One who empowers us to prophesy. Though every believer can prophesy, there are certain individuals who have been set apart to fulfill the role of a prophet in the body of Christ.
Jennifer LeClaire discusses the making of a prophetic, the difference between prophets and psychics, how prophets face spiritual warfare and other prophetic ministry topics on NBC's Change is in the Air radio broadcast. You can download a free sample chapter of the book here: https://jenniferleclaire.org/the-making-of-a-prophet or get it on Amazon.com, BN.com or wherever books are sold.
If you listen to my teachings on prophetic ministry for long enough—and maybe even just for a few minutes—you'll hear me say this: "You can't put a prophet in a box." What do I mean by this?
If you listen to my teachings on prophetic ministry for long enough—and maybe even just for a few minutes—you’ll hear me say this: “You can’t put a prophet in a box.”
What do I mean by that? Well, no two prophets are alike. I talk about this at length in my new book, The Making of a Prophet, as it relates to the office of the prophet. But you could take this saying—“You can’t put a prophet in a box”—and apply it with equal truth to prophetic people. In other words, you could rightly say this: “You can’t put prophetic people in a box.”
Think about it for a minute. God created us all as unique individuals—masterpieces. (See Ephesians 2:10.) No two of us are alike, so wouldn’t it make sense that there would be different prophetic expressions?
There are two sides to prophecy: the one who delivers the word and the one who receives it. Last week we talked about receiving personal prophecies that just don’t make any sense at all to the natural mind—or even necessarily bear witness with your spirit. Indeed, some prophetic promises are so exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ask or think that it’s tempting to dismiss them without even praying it through.
Now, let’s flip things around. Have you ever delivered a prophecy that someone flat out refused to receive even though you were convinced it was from God? The prophecy was pure. It didn’t breed fear, seek to control, or violate Scripture. The prophecy exalted Jesus and was delivered in a spirit of humility. Nevertheless, it wasn’t received—and maybe you were even harshly criticized or labeled a false prophet for delivering it.
I’ll repeat what I said last week: I believe in judging prophecy before receiving it as Holy Spirit-inspired truth, but as I explain in my book “Did the Spirit of God Say That,” judging prophecy isn’t always an exact since. That means you could be delivering a perfectly accurate prophetic word that’s perfectly passed over as false. What’s a prophet to do?