Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. —Jude 11, (NKJV)
Accuracy is important to the prophet’s ministry. Accuracy is defined as the quality or state of being correct or precise. There are things that can hinder and block accuracy, such as prejudices, misconceptions, doctrinal obsessions, sectarian views, bitterness, rejection, and lust. Prophets and prophetic people need to be careful that we guard our hearts against things that can block our prophetic flow and the accuracy of the word of the Lord.
Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. —James 3:12
Accuracy is important, and we want to speak what the Father gives us to speak. James talked about both sweet and bitter water coming from the same fountain. Our wells must be pure. What comes forth must be pure. Our fountains must be pure. We cannot allow ourselves to be hindered and bound by our own issues.
Here are some things that can be roadblocks to prophetic accuracy.
1. Too opinionated—Many prophetic people stumble because they feel that their opinion is God’s opinion. God’s thoughts are always higher than the thoughts of men. Many times prophets can become narrowminded and dogmatic about revelations they believe to be a truth received from God.
2. Prejudices—This can be cultural or religious. This includes being prejudiced to a race, gender, age group, denomination, or movement.
3. Rejection and fear of rejection—Rejected people need deliverance or they will minister out of hurt. The priests could not have scabs (Lev. 21:20). Scabs are unhealed wounds that can become infected. Rejection leads to isolation, and prophets are called to associate and minister to people. Rejection can lead to prostituting the prophetic gift—prophets giving prophetic words to people just to be accepted by them. The root of this spirit is insecurity. Basically we reason with ourselves, saying, “I will get acceptance if I tell them what they want to hear.” This also leads to flattery.
4. Fear of man—The Bible says, “The fear of man brings a snare” (Prov. 29:25, NKJV). “Snare” is the Greek mowqesh, which means to bait, lure. It’s an iron ring placed in the nostril of a beast.1 Fear of man leads us around like a beast with a ring in our nose. We must fear God more than man. The only way to overcome fear is to have faith in God.
5. Bitterness—Unresolved hurts lead to bitterness. Angry and bitter prophets can be tainted in their prophetic flow. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (NJKY). Bitterness can be a root hidden in the heart going undetected. This heart condition springs up at the most inopportune time.
6. Respect of persons—This can be a religious spirit. The high priest carried the stones of all the tribes on his heart, and we should carry the whole church in our hearts and not be limited to organizations and denominations. True prophetic ministry will learn how to minister the word of the Lord to all kinds of people and denominations because Jesus is Lord of all the earth. God likes variety and different tribes; that is why He had twelve of them. A Baptist preacher once told me, “I’m Baptist born and Baptist bred, and when I die I’ll be Baptist dead.” Some people will never leave the church denomination, and this shouldn’t disqualify them from receiving a prophetic word. The prophetic anointing is not designed to change church culture; it’s designed to change the hearts and minds of the people who affect the culture. God loves the Baptists. He even had one in the New Testament—John the Baptist. Prophecy is never used to establish new principles in a denomination or organization. A skilled prophetic minister can deliver the heart of God without partiality. I found that many different denomination leaders have invited me to teach and train their people in the prophetic because of trust and relationship. James 2:9 says, “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”
7. Human compassion—This is having compassion on that which God is judging. Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matt. 16:23). Jesus spoke what He saw the Father doing. Prophets cannot allow human compassion to dictate their prophetic flow. There are times you need to minister correction to people you love, and it can be hard, but prophets must pledge their allegiance to the Lamb of God.
Prophesying truth brings deliverance to the hearer. I have learned that every time I neglect to speak the truth to someone, I lose my power to discern or my hearing in that situation becomes dull.
8. Judgmental—This is the opposite of mercy, and when one has a religious spirit he can point out problems with great accuracy but seldom have a solution. All they have done is judged and torn down. Beware of pride and being overcritical. The critical prophet with pointing of the finger is not ministering out of the heart of God.
9. Judging by appearance—Looking at a person’s hand for a ring before giving a word about marriage or looking at someone’s countenance for some emotional signals is judging by appearance. Samuel had to anoint David although he was a boy. God told the prophet to judge not according to appearance (1 Sam. 16:7).
10. Lust—The simple definition of lust is having a self absorbed desire for an object, person, or experience. When we are in lust, we place the object of our desire above all. Prophets must guard their hearts from the lust for power, prestige, promotion, and wealth.
Lust in these areas will cause you to be drawn away from the will of God into a place of error and deception. Unresolved lust issues of the heart have serious implications to the validity of a prophet’s ministry. These lust issues create stumbling blocks to accurate prophetic ministry. If you’re not delivered from them, they can entice and drag you down a path of falsehood, causing you to potentially become a false prophet. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14).
Being developed in a sectarian environment is not the best for a prophet. It can warrant any of these issues to taint or color the way a prophet delivers the word of the Lord. Prophets have to be developed in the proper environment, else they can develop or be influenced by religious spirits. Religious spirits are real, and they can work in the environment of churches and sectarian groups.
Religious spirits work where people believe in prophecy and the gifts of the Spirit. We need discernment and deliverance to avoid contamination.
Prophets cannot allow any bias to affect their words. Bias is prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. God is fair, and He is no respecter of persons.
Michelle McClain serves as director of prayer ministry on the staff of Crusaders Church under the leadership of Apostle John Eckhardt. She is also one of the house prophets and apostolic team leaders at Crusaders Church in Chicago. She is the author of The Prophetic Advantage, from which this article was excerpted.