God uses the period of solitude for prophets to strengthen and prepare them for greater ministry. He cleanses, teaches and perfects them in this time.
Prophets do not seek attention, spending most of their time alone seeking God. When prophets make statements – such as Samuel telling his mentor of an impending judgment – they are often met with great hostility from opponents and critics alike.
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1. They are misunderstood
A prophet must be willing to face God’s harsh judgements for both themselves and others, accepting it is his responsibility to speak the truth even if it means risking his life and trust in His protection if necessary – otherwise his calling may become impossible to fulfill.
One of the primary issues associated with prophets is that they can often be misunderstood. This stems from their unique perspective on events taking place around them that other people don’t see; this can be both discouraging and frustrating to them, knowing what they’re saying is true. Additionally, prophets can often come off as too direct in their communications; for instance if they detect sin in someone’s life they will often denounce it strongly, which might seem harsh at first glance but is simply trying to promote repentance; similarly when discussing false teachings or doctrines likewise strong words are usually spoken out loudly against.
Prophets face another difficulty when foretelling future events: being able to foresee things that won’t come to pass without having the means necessary for making these predictions a reality, leading them to sometimes being seen as pessimists by other believers.
Prophets face another difficulty when communicating their message: they do not comprehend it themselves. While reading the Bible and hearing God’s voice can help prophets interpret what they hear accurately, prophets often think they hear him when in fact it may just be their thoughts being stirred up again! Therefore it is vital for prophets to seek God’s guidance in every action that they take (Iverna Tompkins’ “Advancing in Prophetic” offers advice), so as not to misunderstand themselves or misslead those around them when communicating their message correctly.
2. They are lonely
Prophets can often feel isolated because they do not fit comfortably into society or church structures that seek to keep people comfortable and contented. Their calling requires them to speak truths that may cause discomfort among society at large; speaking these harsh truths often leads to miscommunication or persecution from society itself, making life harder still (Micah 2 Chronicle 18). Furthermore, prophets often minister alone (Micah).
Prophets need a close, intimate relationship with the Lord in order to remain attuned with his will and deliver his word effectively in public settings, yet spend time alone with Him to remain fresh and receive instruction for their ministry work.
Once God has given a prophet their mandate, they must remain loyal and remain true to it without deviating to either side. Their faith should remain undivided as they take up any opposition that arises against them.
Partnership between apostles and prophets can be one of the cornerstones of a church’s strength. Apostles provide spiritual foundations while prophets bring fresh word from God that breaks chains and frees people. Prophets possess special ability to see or hear things others do not, making it vital that they develop close ties to Him to receive full revelation of His word.
Prophets can share God’s word with an audacity rarely seen today. Yet their bold approach can cause misinterpretations or even hostility from those who don’t believe what they preach.
They must remain unwavering in their call to minister and not allow circumstances in life to cause them to doubt it. A deep love and devotion for God should inspire their ministry rather than view it as burdensome; this often requires personal sacrifices, such as Jeremiah being single for forty years while people ignored his message.
3. They are attacked
Prophets can become targets of attacks from all sorts. Their adversary attempts to silence or alter their message, often by attacking from within the community – such as when Jeremiah’s family attempted to kill him because of what he spoke out (Jer 12:5,6).
Another way the enemy attacks prophets is by undermining their faith and questioning their spiritual authority. One great example of this was Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness; day after day he would come with new temptations until Jesus became too tired to resist him. Prophets too can often find themselves subject to spirits who try to control or strip away their power.
The enemy also employs slander as a tactic against prophets. Nehemiah’s enemies hired false prophet Shemaiah to defame and intimidate Nehemiah, hoping that it would force him into closing off the temple doors for them to commit sin (Neh 2:10-11). Prophets must often be careful who they speak to so their message does not misinterpret or twist; this can often result in isolation as prophets fear letting anyone hear what they are saying for fear they will be rejected.
Many churches fear supporting or empowering prophets, so they try their hardest to keep them quiet at any cost. Unfortunately, this leads them to feel powerless within the church or cause them to leave altogether; at other times they remain but feel muzzled from fulfilling their ministry effectively. Prophetic people require an environment in which they can operate as each part is necessary for full functioning in Christ’s Body.
Prophets must learn to deal with rejection. This means not taking it personally when other people don’t react favorably to what they have to say, while at the same time being able to distinguish criticism from prophecy – they need to recognize whether what is coming from within is their critical spirit, or God speaking through them – anything which causes harm is not from Him.
4. They are rejected
The prophetic call is an invitation to share God’s word with people who will often resist or ignore it. It’s not meant to bring people praise or popularity; rather it serves as a summons that can bring about salvation and reformation for many people – this was evidenced in Jesus’ life, ministry, and death as well. Rejecting prophets is often due to sin and rebellion against Him; their dismissal can even result in judgment by Him!
Prophetic gifts require close, accountable relationships within their church body to flourish effectively. These relationships should be founded on deep mutual respect that grows as the prophet gains confidence and develops their ability. Doing this will help avoid some of the common mistakes associated with prophetic callings.
The Bible shows prophets can quickly fall into cycles of isolation and false clarity without strong, mutually respectful relationships with their leadership. This is especially true when dealing with issues of sin or error – prophets tend to take themselves more seriously when making mistakes than people without the same calling do, leading them to self-flagellation when making errors of judgement or experiencing personal failures.
Cycles of isolation and false clarity are a part of prophetic ministry and should be managed accordingly, while taking care not to push them away or suppress them as often happens with church members.
Prophets possess a spiritual understanding of divine principles and can apply them to human society, making them powerful reform forces. God desires for these prophets to use this strength to change our world – but for this to occur they must maintain healthy, mutually respectful relationships with those not gifted as prophets.