Jeremiah 14:14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.
This verse immediately brought to mind an article I was reading just yesterday about the rash of “prophetic” books that have come out in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles recently. I think it is very clear that humble discernment is called for. Groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons, and even religions such as Islam, have been founded on prophecies and visions. The existence of the false does not negate the true, but it definitely calls for caution. This was certainly an issue in the early Church, which caused Paul to write about the need to “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:13-14) Each one of us needs to have deep roots in the Bible and an active, ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit in order to evaluate all the stuff that comes out. Someone might be completely sincere but not be hearing the Lord accurately, and another might simply be “cherry picking” verses to their own advantage. God is alive and speaking today, but He is not going to contradict what He has already said.
This brings up two experiences I have had. One time I prophesied something to a couple that they “knew” was “physically impossible,” as they understood it, but some time later it was fulfilled in a way that was outside of how they had understood it at the time, and they remembered the prophecy. (At the time I had told them they needed to evaluate it, but that I needed to be faithful to communicate what I felt the Lord was saying.) Another time I had a fellow minister tell me I was “too balanced,” because “you have to be off balance to get moving.” It is true that I have perhaps not had the most active of ministries, but I can’t feel that being off balance is the answer! In these tumultuous times I need to be anchored and faithful, hearing the Lord accurately and being obedient to all He tells me. I am not to despise prophecies, certainly, (1 Thessalonians 5:20) but neither am I to chase them. I cannot help but feel that we are within the period of John’s vision on Patmos, but I am not to be anxious about what part, or what is going to happen next. Rather, I am to rest secure in the One who is over it all, and be obedient to Him.
Father, with the Internet we are more aware than ever before of things going on around the world. Help me fulfill my part in what You are doing, without holding anything back but also without being anxious about anything. May I speak clearly all that You are saying through me, but nothing that is just out of my own imagination. May I make the use that You intend of all that You place in my hands, my mind, and my heart, for Your kingdom and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!