In my reading time the past two days I was reading through 1 Kings and yesterday in 1 Kings something specifically caught my eye in 1 Kings 13 (take the time to go check it out).
We'll get back to that in one second though. I am a believer in prophesy. I believe that God gives people words to speak to the church, to individuals, etc. I've been in churches where no one knew me at all and the pastor comes to me and gives me a word that calls out directly something that God was already speaking to me about. I've had people come and give me encouragement for a specific situation I was going through that they knew nothing about. Also, simiarly I've had God tell me to go speak to a person that I've never met about something that I had no clue about only to find that the person was walking through that exact situation.
On the opposite side I've had people come give me a "word" that made no sense, meant nothing to me, and didn't have anything to do with anything I knew about. So when I say that I believe in prophesy I must add that I also believe people miss it, I think they make mistakes just as anyone else while using their gifts, I think some people think they hear something from the Lord and in reality it was just themselves feeling something, but I am definitely not on the side who throws out the whole load simply because there is a few bad sticks. We've all missed it, we've all messed up, and we all still need Jesus as much as we did the day of our Salvation. So.. onto scripture.
Let me go ahead and set the stage for you (in case you're not going to go read it lol). Solomon has just died, Rehoboam became king and then just as swiftly screwed it up, now Jeroboam is king of Israel and is also making a mess of things, so God sends a man of God, a prophet. As the prophet goes to give the Word of the Lord, God had given him very simple, but direct rules.
"Do not eat bread nor drink water while there, nor return by going the way you came" (v9)
I'm just going to stick to using the scripture that is necessary for what I want to talk about, but I encourage you to read the whole passage. After the prophet has done what He was sent to do and given the word to Jeroboam he begins to leave in a different direction (being a obedient to what God had said) and on the way another man meets him and asks him to come back to his house for some bread (v15) the prophet responds appropriately saying "I can't return or go in with you, I can't eat bread or drink water, for I was told by the Lord... (you know what he was told)" (v16)
THEN THE SHOCKING HAPPENS... The man responds...
"He said to him, "I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, 'Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water'. He was lying to him. (v18)So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house and drank water." (v19)
This man came presenting something that seemed pleasant, he lied, the prophet knew what God had told him, but rather than sticking firm to the word from the Lord that he was given, he was tempted by a more pleasant option.
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."
The prophet died. I write this blog because I believe that many are deceived by false prophets who offer a more pleasant solution than the truth of God's Word and because I believe the scripture when it says God desires obedience over sacrifice. He is a God who delights in obedience and lack of obedience can often be fatal (yes even today).
The enemy has lied to the children of God making them believe that they do not personally hear the voice of God.
My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
I do believe in prophesy and I do believe it is a great gift that God has given us, but I also believe that if we listen God will speak to each of us individually. I believe we hear His voice, the veil was torn and we have direct access to see God for ourselves.
I want to see people who are confident that they hear the voice of God and are obedient to see it through, people who won't give up on the things that God has given them, who don't look for short cuts, but rather pursue holiness, righteousness, and obedience. Imagine that powerful church and bride of Jesus.
Just some thoughts,