What Are We Missing?

As I was reading my bible one morning recently, I asked the Lord, “Where do you want me to read today?” He answered me immediately. My thoughts were prompted to turn to Proverbs 29:18. In the Amplified version it says, “Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]-blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.”

In the NKJV bible, it says where there is no vision, people cast off restraint. That has never been truer than it is today. When we lose sight of the things that we used to hold dear—things that made this country the most revered, blessed, prosperous and respected nation on the earth, we “will” suffer negative consequences. When a society lacks vision and revelation from God, the end result is anarchy and chaos in its culture.

A companion message to Prov. 29:18 is found in 1 Sam. 3:1. Samuel was a little boy who would eventually become a powerful prophet of God in Israel. He was being tutored at this time by an old prophet named Eli. Verse one in the KJV says, “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days {and} there was no open vision.

The times we’re living in now are much like they were in those days. There’s little respect for, or fear of God and it seems there’s even less in the church at large. Many churches are more concerned about getting their people out in record time to fill it up again than they are concerned about allowing the Holy Spirit to interrupt their perfectly scheduled agendas so He can do what they say they want Him to do. But how dare God interrupt our services and make us run late.

 We Still Need Prophets

In order to understand the importance of these two verses above, we need to understand a little history of the original Hebrew word “vision”. In Prov. 29:18 the word vision comes from the root word châzâh, which means: to gaze at; mentally to perceive or contemplate with pleasure, specifically to have a vision of, to behold, look and prophesy.

The word châzâh comes from another Hebrew word châzôn, which has a similar meaning: sight mentally, that is a dream, a vision in an ecstatic state, vision in the night, prophecy or divine communication. It especially means the kind of revelation that comes through sight, namely a vision from God. The word châzôn is a noun in the Old Testament that occurs 35 times and was specifically used for the type of revelation that the prophets received. The prophets of the Old Testament times understood God’s instructions so clearly because He revealed matters to them regularly by “visible means”.

I’ve probably belabored this point of vision. However, I believe it’s valid according to what the Lord shared with me. The gift or office of the prophet is not respected like it used to be due to excesses and abuses in the past, as well as those today who are self-proclaimed or self-appointed prophets.

It’s my personal opinion or conviction that many people don’t really understand the need for prophets in the days we’re living in because they may feel that they were just Old Testament characters. However, that’s totally wrong! We still desperately need men and women who are operating accurately in the office of a prophet or prophetess as well as having their life marked by a Godly humility which cannot be bought or artificially fabricated.

Ephesians 4:11-12 in the NKJV says, “And He Himself (Christ) gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the Saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ.”

I don’t think the Apostle Paul who wrote the book of Ephesians was saying that apostles or prophets were more loved or more special at all. However, the Holy Spirit who inspired these writers must surely have listed the order He wanted these offices mentioned in for a specific purpose so I am highlighting the office of the prophet in this post because that I was told to do.

The Purpose of Prophets & Prophesy

Amos 3:7 says, “Surely God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” This is not “just” for the Old Testament today. God is speaking regularly to men and women all over the world today with prophetic words from heaven in order to expand His kingdom and download strategies and marching orders for us here on earth.

I used to follow several of the quote unquote prophecy preachers because I grew up with that “rapture, doom & gloom mentality” that seems to pervade much of that type of teaching. And honestly, that was much of the content of the Old Testament prophets during the law or the pre-grace period.

However, if you’ll refer back to the last part of Eph. 4:12 above in bold font, it says that “all” of these gifts/offices are supposed to be for the “building up” of the body of Christ, which is us. It’s not supposed to be for agreeing with the devil’s agenda and releasing fear, doom, gloom and hopelessness in the church or the world.

Let’s take a look at 1 Corinthians 14:3. Before I comment on this passage, I want to make it clear that this particular passage is describing one of the Holy Spirit’s gifts that each and every Christian can and should operate in at some time or another. It is called the gift of prophecy which is listed in 1 Cor. 12:10.

First Corinthians 14:3 in The Voice translation beautifully illustrates this wonderful gift and purpose of prophecy from the Holy Spirit which average Christians as well as prophets can operate in. It says, “But a person who has the gift of prophecy teaches in a way that builds up the community, draws them near, and comforts them.” Did you catch that? New Testament, Holy Spirit inspired prophecy should build people up, draw them in and then comfort them. It should not promote fear, terror, hopelessness or the like. Period!

If the prophet you’re listening to promotes fear or hopelessness in your heart and mind, he is probably in agreement with another spirit without his knowledge and you can be certain it’s not the Holy Spirit.

Always Test the Word

All prophecy should always be able to withstand the scrutiny of God’s word, either verse by verse, or at the very least, it should be easy to see and hear scriptural principles woven throughout what is being prophesied or foretold.

I hope this has been an encouragement to you. Don’t discredit prophecies or the office of a prophet without investing your personal time in study to understand what his or her call really is and how it should operate.

The prophetic ministry is beautiful and is vitally needed today. When God sends a prophet or prophetess to you to give you a prophetic message, always filter it through God’s word and what He has already been speaking to you about. It should confirm what God has already been saying to some degree.

When you receive an accurate prophetic word, it literally means that God has gone into your future and brought back His completed desire for you in the form of a revelation so that you have a map to follow toward its completion.

Serving You Truth,