Saturday, December 24, 2016

PITFALLS IN THE PROPHETIC

THE ELIJAH PITFALL
The prophet Elijah walked in a very powerful prophetic gifting. He was a man of prayer and a man of great faith. He demonstrated a determination of purpose in his calling and a willingness to put his life on the line to prove that he served the one true God. All of the qualities were demonstrated as he stood alone and confronted the prophets of Baal:
At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, "O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. "Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again." Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God." Then Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape." So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. (1 Kings 18:36-40)
It would be easy to assume that a prophet of such power would not have character flaws. Yet when Jezebel made threats to kill Elijah he fled into the wilderness and complained to God. Elijah become so depressed that he asked God to take his life.
Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time." And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, "It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers (1 Kings 19:1-4)

Then Elijah descended into self-pity, saying he was the only prophet left. God later told him that he was not the only one, but that God had 7,000 prophets who had not forsaken His covenant.
Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, (1 Kings 19:9-10)
Lessons from Elijah
Elijah was a mighty prophet of fire and power. Yet at the very peak of prophetic ministry he plunged into discouragement, resentment, self-pity, a persecution complex and bitterness.
Discouragement – the initial stage, happens when people do not understand or receive our prophetic ministry.
Resentment – It the result when we allow ourselves to feed upon discouragement. We begin to elevate ourselves by continual criticism of others.
Self-pity/persecution – Nothing works out. Satan is always attacking me. Where is God? I am the only one speaking the truth. Other ministries just don’t get it.
Bitterness – A hard and critical spirit. Rejection is compensated for by controlling others. Inflated sense of self-importance and will become angry if questioned.
THE JONAH PITFALL
Jonah was one of the greatest evangelist/prophets in history. One sermon and an entire city repented. Yet when the Lord spoke to him he was not exactly obedient.
The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3)
Jonah’s heart was later revealed as to why he ran from the call of the Lord.But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, "Please Lord, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. "Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life." The Lord said, "Do you have good reason to be angry?" (Jonah 4:1-4)
Lessons from Jonah
Pride, selfish and judgmental spirit, lack of compassion.Being was more interested in seeing God punish the wicked then have mercy on them. Becoming more concerned with our reputation than the people that God would have us minister to. We need to love people like Jesus loves people. Having personal ambition and not submitting our will to God.
THE PETER PITFALL
Peter was an apostle with a prophetic gifting. Peter did nothing wrong but was  accused of being with Jesus while at the campfire after Jesus was arrested.
Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, "This man was with Him too." But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know Him." A little later, another saw him and said, "You are one of them too!" But Peter said, "Man, I am not!" After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, "Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too." But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, "Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:54-62)
Lessons from Peter
Peter not only denied knowing the Lord, but Peter was denying his inheritance,  who is was. There is great pain and guilt that comes when we deny the power of the Holy Spirit that is within us.
Prophetic ministry will be a great blessing to many people that you minister to. But it can also bring persecution and guilt by association for your beliefs Many have abused prophetic ministry. We must learn to take the good and endure the bad. Our inheritance is that we are a prophetic generation. You are a son/daughter of the King and you have been given prophetic ears and eyes to hear and see supernaturally.
Overcoming Rejection and Fear
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Tim 1:7)
Everyone experiences a level of fear and rejection to some extent in their lives. Rejection is usually the initial step. There is always a maturing process in prophetic ministry. Growing in the prophetic is a process in which we will make mistakes. The growth of our character is just as if not more important than growth in our prophetic gift. The prophetic words, we speak may not be heard or understood by some and even be rejected. We all are or have been “wounded soldiers” at some point. It is best to deal with our wounds quickly and completely. Contend for healing in the presence of God, who will carry all of our burdens and let them go. We all are like Jacob, walking with a limp, but when we let that limp become a compassion for others our limp will become powerful! Ask we seek the Lord He will send healing for our life wounds. Sozo and other inner healing tools are also excellent ways to get free from our wounds. Rejection that is not healed may disguise itself as “discernment”, but in reality it will turn into suspicion, which can turn into fear, which can turn into isolation, bitterness, anger and so on. We manifest fear because we do not want to experience rejection again. We must guard our heart and contend to walk in love. Perfect love casts out fear!
David and Saul
The stories of David and Saul are great examples. Both had the opportunity to be great leaders. Both experienced rejection. David overcame rejection by pouring his heart out to God (read the Psalms) and even with many failures became a great King. Saul allowed rejection to turn to fear and bitterness. This even drove Saul to seek a medium and eventually was rejected by God as King