Saturday, December 10, 2016

Can a True Prophetic Person Make Mistakes?

What Happens if I Make a Mistake?
A basic work of the prophet is to speak for God, to say what He wants said in a situation. This is an ultimate trust that He will not give to the immature or the frivolous. What king would want someone representing him who was prone to add his own opinions? Therefore, anyone can be used to prophesy, but it takes a level of maturity, integrity, and trust from the Lord to be commissioned as a prophet. It is a trap for us to think that we have God's opinion about everything – that what we think is what He is thinking, and what we may feel about something is the way He is feeling about it. This will lead to prophesying from our own soul, at best.
This is what happened to the Apostle Peter right after he had received the greatest revelation – that Jesus was the Christ. Jesus commended Peter for hearing this straight from the Father and was told that it was upon that rock, the rock which is revelation that comes from the Father, that He would build His Church. Then He blessed Peter with the keys of the Kingdom. The very next words that came out of Peter's mouth were straight from Hell, and Jesus had to scold him by telling him to "Get behind me, satan!" (see Matthew 16:23).
So here we see how easy it is to hear straight from Heaven and the next thing can come straight from satan. This happened because of Peter's immaturity, and it happens to virtually every prophetically-gifted person when they are immature. If this is too discouraging to you, and you are too afraid of making such a mistake, you will never make it as a prophet. If you learn from your mistakes, you will learn to discern between the voice of God and your own soul, or the devil, but if you are too afraid of making a mistake, you will never learn.
Peter was prone to the biggest mistakes in the New Testament, but he was also used for some of the greatest works, which is why he was given the keys to the Kingdom. Peter was not afraid to use them, and he did open the door of faith to both the Jews and Gentiles, not to mention walking on water, raising the dead, and having such power that just being touched by his shadow brought healing.
Many want a formula for knowing God's voice so that they can avoid making mistakes, but the only formula I know is to mature in Christ. I would love to have the gift of being able to lay hands on people and have them mature instantly, but I have never seen that gift in Scripture. Maturity requires experience. It is also true that people often learn much faster from making mistakes, so if we want to mature fast, we need to embrace our mistakes as opportunities. This is not to imply that we should want to make mistakes, but we cannot be too afraid of them to step out in faith. If we are, we will never do anything, and we will never mature in the gifts.
I do not know of a single person I consider to have a prophetic gift of true New Testament stature who has not made major mistakes on their path to maturity. Once we are a commissioned prophet, we should not still be making these, but there is a difference between a calling and a commissioning to the ministry. Paul was called as an apostle many years before he received the commission at Antioch.
You are not a prophet when you are called as a prophet, but only when you have been commissioned. We have to "make our calling and election sure" (see 2 Peter 1:10), or we must pursue maturity in our calling until God sees that it is time for our commissioning. If you are wondering whether or not you have been commissioned yet, then you have not. When the real thing comes, you will not have any doubts about it. Until then, enjoy the opportunity to try your wings, and stay humble enough to embrace your mistakes and learn from them.