1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
The call of God on my life is that of prophet. I’m aware that multitudes make this very same claim and yet the majority of these so called “prophets” are anything but what they claim to be. I certainly don’t take the claim to be a prophet as something light. This office carries with it a great responsibility before God and before man. I didn’t choose this office; the Lord placed me in it by His Sovereign Will.
As a young boy, the Lord audibly called my name twice; I will never forget that day. It was a day that I knew that there was a God in Heaven; no one from that moment on would ever be able to convince me that there was no God. Why? Because He opened the Heavens and called me by name. I would learn many years later that He called Samuel by name also. Ironically, my middle name is Sam.
The giftings that God has allowed to operate in my life are the word of knowledge, the discerning of spirits and the word of wisdom. I primarily operate in the word of knowledge. He allows me on a pretty regular basis to receive prophetic dreams showing me what is or what is to come. On a handful of occasions He has allowed me to operate in the gift of tongues for interpretation as well as healing, though these last two giftings have literally only been on a handful of occasions; occasions which I bless His Name for as He was glorified in those instances.
It must be clearly and plainly stated, however, that prophets do not – without exception – add to the Written Word of God and nor are prophets’ words on par with the Written Word of God. Prophetic ministry confirms and remains within the bounds of the inspired Scriptures. Anyone claiming to be prophetic and yet teaching contrary to the Word of God must be rejected outright.
Contrary to popular opinion, the office of prophet is not one which is glamorous. What one sees on so-called “Christian TV” is not, for the most part, reality. This office will often call you to say and to do things which bring division. For example, I prophesied that a local leader who I had never met would be exposed and removed from ministry in our city. This, of course, was not a well received word from the Lord… yet it came to pass exactly as prophesied (click here for the prophecy). The Lord will at times have me prophesy such things openly and publicly to leaders and to those who sit in the congregation of the Lord; it’s never an easy thing to do. Thus, I can say with complete confidence that this office is not something, if properly understood, that which people would actively seek. It gains you a reputation among the lukewarm and apostate and unfortunately, the lukewarm and apostate have a very large voice in the visible church. Yet – praise God! – those who know the Lord surround those with this calling in prayer, support and fellowship.
The danger for a prophet is to venture out on his or her own; to refuse to be accountable. I have made it my goal to remain submitted to church leadership and while that is not always something that feels good… it’s the call of God on all of our lives… regardless of what ministry office we’re called to.
I thank the Lord for a church which has recognized the call of God on my life and which continues to love me, regardless of what I’m called to speak for the Lord – whether easy or hard.
Finally, while my calling is that of prophet I shun the title being used by others when addressing me or telling others about me. I prefer to be known as a servant to others; not “a prophet”. While this is my calling… it’s not who I am as an individual. As an individual I’m a servant of God which translates into being a servant to others. That, and that alone, is the title I desire.