I can quickly relate a dozen experiences I’ve had with flaky people (both men and women) who thought they were “prophetic.”
They always show up at my meetings and want to pray for me.
Then they always think they “see” something wrong with me, or they want to give me a “word.”
And they are always off the mark.
This used to bother and upset me – now, I try to have a little fun with it.
One lady gave me the great revelation that there was something “wrong with my heart.”
“Really? What is it?” I asked.
She looked around and leaned in close to me…
“Bitterness!” she whispered gravely, crossing her arms and leaning back in a triumphant stance, satisfied that she had prophetically diagnosed my hidden condition and exposed Chip Brogden as a bitter, hurt, angry young man.
“Oh, THAT!” I boomed. “Jesus healed that YEARS ago! There’s just an old scar there now. He heals the wounds but leaves the scars.”
I smiled sweetly.
She became confused, blinked several times, and tried again:
“Oh, you are still HURT… you have PAIN… you need HEALING… the Lord told me to tell you…”
“Listen,” I said. “All of us have been, or will be, hurt. Pain is a part of living; it isn’t something to be healed from like a toothache or a broken toe. I know you’re just throwing out a big net to try to catch me into confessing something so you can get power over me, but if you’re going to give me a prophetic word, try something a little less generic.”
She just blinked and stammered; then she got visibly angry because I had “rejected” her “word.”
“Wait!” I called after her as she stormed off. “Now I’m sensing pain, hurt, anger, and rejection in YOU! You need HEALING!”
I’ve said that people like that will crawl across the country on broken glass to deliver a “prophetic” word, but they won’t drive across the street to listen to one.
Maybe you’ve had some of those experiences yourself.
The point is I am full of stories like that, but…
I can’t easily think of a single genuine prophetic experience I’ve received from others in the last ten years.
(I’m not saying there were none, I just can’t easily remember them.)
The genuine encounters are few, rare, and very subtle – no big “thus saith the Lord” moments.
But my bad experiences with “prophetic” people are numerous and easy to remember.
Now, if you can relate to what I’m talking about then you’re probably in a touchy place when it comes to prophetic things.
Most people (including me) have been so fed up with “prophetic” quackery that we avoid the subject altogether.
Scripture warned us this would happen, and tells us what to do about it:
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (I Thess. 5:19-22).
How does this apply to the subject at hand?
Here’s how I read it:
“When you allow the Holy Spirit to have His way among His people, the Revelation and Testimony of Christ is bound to come forth. This is a good thing. So don’t be suspicious of prophetic giftings and utterances; on the contrary, encourage them. But don’t accept everything you see and hear. Test and prove everything said and done. Exercise your spiritual discernment and if you find some nugget of truth worth keeping, hang on to it like a precious gem. Discard the rest. Never allow any kind of evil, self-serving, carnal purpose to masquerade under the pretenses of a false prophetic word.”
I like that. It makes sense.
If we despise prophetic ministry altogether, or take the arrogant position that “I’m led by the Spirit, so I don’t need no prophets,”
then we will miss a huge blessing and suffer needlessly.
Pain is a part of life, but there is no spiritual value in needless suffering – or suffering due to a lack of knowledge.
On the other hand, if we run around chasing prophets and prophetic words, we’re going to suffer, too.
So we have to learn how to recognize, restore, and receive from the genuinely prophetic men and women in the Body of Christ.
And my new book discusses all this in great detail.
So if you’re trying to sort out the difference between the true and false then this book will be helpful and encouraging – perhaps even eye-opening.
It is the best cure I know of for getting rid of those “prophetic pains.”