Do you find yourself an outcast? Are you labeled a trouble maker? Not an outcast because of your social skills or a trouble maker because you are a difficult person to get along with, but these labels have been given to you simply because of your strong convictions and your stand on Biblical truth. Welcome to my club. I am an outcast and a trouble maker. I have been given the gift of prophecy. Now to clarify, the gift of prophecy is not the ability to predict future events. The gift of prophecy is more along the lines of being gifted to speak truth and to call out sin when necessary. You are very black and white and do not see any gray and may be unwilling to compromise in any area and have a strong desire for truth. If you have the gift of prophecy you will naturally be involved in the field of polemics because they go hand in hand. Yes, women can have the gift of prophecy. We are however to use that gift wisely and in the guidelines and parameters of Scripture and not exercising any authority over men. The Lord has given spiritual gifts to all of those who are His and we are to use them to the best of our ability in the Body.
Let’s talk about why the gift of Prophecy is for most a hated gift and an unwanted guest. I have often wondered why the Lord gave me this gift. I have often pleaded with Him to take it from me. It has been a difficult road to have this gift and I have been scarred on many occasions by those who have had “good intentions.” The Lord has chosen not to take it from me but has instead as He continues to sanctify me, made my convictions grow stronger and my desire to voice the truth even more than ever before. The Spirit continues to give me a boldness that I know for a fact does not come from my introverted flesh. I often feels as the prophet Jeremiah says in Chapter 20 vs 9- “If I say I will not mention Him or speak anymore in His name, there is in my heart but a burning fire shut up in my bones, I am weary of holding it in and I cannot.” I have been called “harsh,” “brash”, “judgmental,” “narrow minded,” “unmerciful”, “hateful,” and much worse! All of this for just standing for truth. You see, very few actually like the gift of prophecy because it calls attention to sin and compromises. Those of us who possess the gift of prophecy feel as if to observe sin and say nothing is a sin in itself! Other spiritual gifts are very welcomed and accepted by believers and the world. The gift of mercy, the gift of hospitality, the gift of encouragement, all of these are welcomed and appreciated gifts. But when your gift is sounding the alarm in the face of sin or false teachers, you will most likely not be received well. You will most likely not have many friends. I lost more friends than I can count due to my convictions. Following Christ will cost you. The apostle Paul was often referred to as a “trouble maker” so I consider that a compliment. I would rather my name be mud than the gospel of Christ be compromised.
There is another unwelcome guest to speak of here and that is the area of polemics as I mentioned earlier. The definition of polemic is-“a strong verbal attack or written attack on someone or something.” When you have the gift of prophecy you will most certainly find yourself in the field of polemics. That will mean calling out false teachers, calling attention to sin or compromise and exposing evil deeds when you see them. As Ephesians 5:11 says- “have nothing to do with unfruitful world of evil, but instead expose them.” You will not be received well by the majority of people around you. They will view you as someone who lacks compassion. Even your Christian friends will take offense to your stand on truth. I have to remind myself daily that my strongest desire is to be pleasing to Him and not to those around me. (Galatians 1:10) if this means I have no friends, no Facebook followers and a terrible reputation then so be it. I consider my life dung compared to knowing and following Him. ( Phillipians 3:8)
So here is my challenge to you- those of you who do not have the gift of prophecy. The next time you hear some one who is biblically calling out sin or a false teacher, don’t tell them they need to be more “kind” or “less judgmental.” Consider that the Lord has gifted others with different spiritual gifts different than your own and one is not better than the other. These ones that are constantly battered by others for not being “nice” are simply using their spiritual gifts as God has commanded us to do to edify those around us. We have a strong desire to see the Scripture as the authority for everything and are not willing to budge. All of my critiques about teachers stem from my overall love for my fellow Christians and for Christ and my desire to see other believers walking in truth!! It is not a desire to say “Ha you are wrong!” Or to condemn but to expose false teachers in order that believers around me not get swept away by false doctrine.
Please choose to encourage these Christians in your life who do have the gift of prophecy. We get enough flack from unbelievers so to have our fellow members of the body condemn makes it that much harder. And to those who do have the gift of Prophecy, keep standing for truth! And remember that our aim is always to please Him despite the vast majority who do not want to hear what we have to say. “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9