Jennifer LeClaire is now sharing her reflections and revelations through Walking in the Spirit. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Prophets would do well to keep their mouths tightly shut when they don’t have an unction from the Holy Spirit. Yet too many prophets feel the people pressure—the natural expectation that comes with the office—to prophesy profusely in public meetings. And too many prophets feel they must offer up a “prophetic word” about the latest natural disaster, governmental shift or economic crisis.
Yes, God surely does nothing unless He reveals it to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). But that doesn’t mean prophets and prophetic people should move beyond the unction and in to presumption, does it? We can prophesy according to the proportion of our faith all day long, but that doesn’t necessarily make it accurate, does it? Prophetic ministry is not an exercise that is ego-boosting—or at least it shouldn’t be.
Week in and week out I write this column. Sometimes I share experiences from my life. Sometimes I share prophetic insights. Sometimes I offer warnings. This week I am fighting a horrible cold and I didn’t really have anything to say. I was not moved by the Holy Ghost to offer a profound exhortation or even some simple edification when I sat down at my computer to start typing. I didn't have anything to say.
Sure, I could wax eloquent about the healing power of God and how I am standing on the Word even while lying on my back. (And I do believe in the healing power of God.) But the Holy Spirit isn’t leading me to remind you about the benefits of the atonement. I could reach back into my teaching notes and pull out a column that would delight many and anger some. But the Holy Spirit is not leading me in that direction. I could regurgitate a recent message that I found especially powerful and add my insights. But I don’t believe that is what the Holy Spirit wants me to do.
I don’t have anything to say. And I’m not going to let the pressure of a weekly column push me into writing something that’s not led by the Holy Spirit just to please the people who expect to read something new every week. No, I’m not going to make that mistake because the column could lack anointing at best and could move into error at worst. Apart from Him, I can do nothing.
I’ll say it again. Prophets would do well to keep their mouths tightly shut when they don’t have anything to say. Yet too many feel the people pressure—the expectation that comes with the office—to prophesy profusely in public meetings. Too many prophets feel they must offer up a “prophetic word” about the latest natural disaster, governmental shift or economic crisis.
I understand the pressure that’s on prophets to offer a word in season and out of season, so to speak. I get phone calls and emails or Facebook messages almost every day from people looking for a prophetic word. Some even offer to pay for it. (Don’t get me started on the Internet prophets who manufacture so-called prophetic words on demand for a special price!)
If I wasn’t secure in my calling I would succumb to these requests and offer up something that may or may not be coming from the Holy Spirit just to preserve my “reputation.” But I am far more concerned about my reputation in heaven as a faithful steward of the gifts God has given me than I am about my reputation with man. So I don’t have anything to say.
Noteworthy is the Scripture that says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). Also, “I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress (Psalm 17:3). James suggested that we should be slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19). Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.”
Scriptures abound on the mouth. All believers, but prophets in particular, should pray this Scripture: “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3). So like I said, I don’t have anything to say. Or maybe I did after all. But only by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including Did the Spirit of God Say That? You can e-mail Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here.
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