Friday, May 21, 2010

Letter to a reluctant prophet.

Even though I don't see myself of any worth to be known as a prophet.. this has given me a great insight on humility and how we are all called to that higher calling which is to be conformed to Christ's likeness.

-excerpts by Chip Brogden.

Dear Friend,
It is with a certain fearfulness that I respond to your inquiry, for I
am not an authority on such things. I can certainly relate to your
reluctance at being identified among the company of the prophets
when so many false apostles, prophets, and teachers abound. I
wish I could point you in a proper direction, but I can only point
you towards the Lord. It is He who selects His messengers, and
I have nothing to offer you by way of what to do.

At most, perhaps you can look upon me as an example of what
NOT to do, and take some word of counsel from a weak brother
who has made many mistakes and endured many failures along
the way. Perhaps you too will have to make even the same
mistakes in order to learn, yet following my advice could perhaps
help you to avoid the unnecessary heartache and cruelty inflicted
upon yourself and others when thinking that you are doing God a
service. I would counsel you, first of all, to be a Christian. Do not
spend too much time focused on that which is prophetic. Do not
come to others as a prophet, but as a child. Let Christ be your
obsession, not the prophetic word. For "the testimony of Jesus is
the spirit of prophecy." There need not be turmoil in your heart
about your calling; it is clear that you are among those that are
"the Called, according to His purpose." And what is His purpose?
That you be "conformed to the image of His dear Son." That,
above all, is your first calling. Many are eager to wear the Prophet's
mantle, but are reluctant to bear the Christian's cross. This cannot
be. Given the choice between Christian or Prophet, choose Christian.
Serve God as the earthen vessel you are, in the place you find
yourself to be.

Perhaps the Lord will indeed use you in some prophetic way, but
if not then at least you have been faithful with the "one talent" you
have been given. God will not give five talents to those who cannot
be faithful with one, and will not give ten to those who cannot be
faithful with five. If you are a Christian first you will remember that
you should walk softly, with meekness and humility, while
esteeming others as better than yourself. Then the prophetic word,
when and if it comes, will be seasoned with the appropriate amounts
of mercy and grace.

Remember that without love you will inevitably become as
sounding brass - all judgment. If we cannot or will not stay in Love,
God will set out to humble us shamefully before our brothers and
sisters that we may know the depths of our hypocrisy and
self-righteousness. That is evidence of HIS great love for all of us.

Now, concerning the prophetic word itself. God will give you the
"what", but the "when" and the "how" are left up to you. "The
spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." You can be
right on target with the "what", but if you screw up the "when",
and especially the "how", you do yourself and others unnecessary

Let us not only be familiar with His Word, but let us become
acquainted with His Ways. It is not enough to memorize what
He said, we must take His yoke upon us and walk in tandem
with Him. Since Christ bids us to "learn of ME", beware of those
who will try to gain access into your life with an inordinate desire
to mentor or shepherd you. We may certainly seek the advice,
prayers, and counsel of other mature believers. Even the little
children in the Kingdom of God can teach us much. But people
can only carry us so far... Do you see dear friend, that God
is more concerned with the messenger than the message? Do
you see that the minister is more important than the ministry?

If the messenger is wrong, the message will be wrong too. If the
minister is wrong, the ministry will be wrong. And do you see that
the Lord of the work is more important than the work of the Lord?
Meditate on these things. There really is no famine of the Word
of God. If God is able to find the right vessel the Word will come
forth in abundance. Therefore, He takes much time to mold,
fashion, train, refine, purge, break down, build up, discipline and
create His prophets. Yield to that process. It cannot be rushed,
but it may certainly be hindered. We cannot force the Spirit, but
we may certainly quench Him. Ah, your gifts are given to you in a
moment's time, but your fruit, your character, YOU, develops
over many seasons of God's dealings. Do not be thrilled with
your gifts, only observe if you are fruitful in Spirit, bearing much
fruit, abounding in love, joy, peace, faithfulness, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, meekness, and self-control.You can be
sure that there are more gifted people in the world than you, yet
the fruit is what will remain when the gifts pass away. Never
neglect the place of abiding in Him, and you will remain a fruitful
branch in the Vine. Expect misunderstanding. Expect persecution.
Expect ridicule. Expect mistreatment. Expect suffering. Expect
rejection. Then, you won't be surprised when it comes. And when
it comes, shut your mouth, go to the cross, and die so you can
live. Learn to kiss the hands that nail you to the cross, for as you
are decreased, He is increased. It is not a better living we need,
but a better dying. We cannot reach Pentecost but by way of
Passover. There can be no resurrection without a crucifixion...

Be afraid of the praise and acceptance of others, for they are the
fertilizer for the self-important and grandiose thoughts that are
yours by nature anyway, which spring up in the shallow ground
of your carnal mind. Carry about the Death of the Lord so you
may have the Life of the Lord. Be ready to suffer with Him, that
you may reign with Him. And now, some practical advice: As
much as possible, stay away from money...

Be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Before, you would never
apologize even when you knew you were wrong. Now, be willing
to apologize even when you know you are right.

This is my counsel, dear friend, and perhaps something I have
said in this brief letter will bear witness with you. With these
words then, I commit you to the care of the  Lord Jesus Christ,
Who is able to complete the work which He has begun in you
and see you through to maturity, as you are rooted and grounded
in Him, being thoroughly equipped and strengthened by His
Might which works in those who have taken up the cross to
find power in weakness...  --Chip Brogden.

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