As we transition from the Church Age into the Kingdom Age, God is looking to see which voice we have become attuned to, his voice or a man’s voice. There are many leaders which have plans for you that are certainly not God’s plans. The fivefold giftings must work tightly together to have a fully functioning church. One gift cannot be allowed to dominate the others as is currently happening with the pastoral gift. The foundation of God’s church as clearly displayed throughout the new testament is not pastor and evangelist, the foundation is apostle and prophet with Christ as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). And then the pastor, evangelist, and teacher are able to build atop this foundation and God’s kingdom grows in perfect balance and harmony. This message comes from the book of 2 Chronicles Chapter 18 if you wish to read along.
2 Chronicles 18:1 “Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.”
“2 And after certain years Jehoshaphat went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead. 3 And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.”
“4 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to day. 5 Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.”
We see here the current state of the institutionalized prophetic where the words are constantly positive, affirming, and encouraging people that they will win all of their battles. Yet many times God is on the other side of the battle and what those leaders need is a fiery word to be woken up and repent, not the positive cushy words that affirm people in their sin. This is a major issue God has with the institutionalized merchandized prophets. They will give you a positive word so that you will keep listening to them, following them and thus donating to their ministry. The real truth of God often is quite uncomfortable but this word which convicts and hurts to hear is what is necessary.
“6 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.”
“22 Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.”
For every four-hundred prophets who give constant positive and encouraging words there may only be one who will release the judgement and conviction of God. Yet no one will repent based on a word of encouragement, a word of conviction is needed to bring change. Not many are willing to be the unpopular prophet to say this. After all, we enjoy our status liked, ministry subscribed to by many, donations receieved. Prophets are humans and the human desire to be the big shot is something we struggle with and must overcome. To be a prophet of God you must deliver the message he gives you to deliver no matter what. Some revelation will be popular and some will be unpopular but we can't only release the popular ones or else no one will grow in God. Seeking to be popular is what creates the ‘soothsayer.’ A soothsayer can have a prophetic anointing from God, but they are still a false prophet because they only release positive soothing words that appeal to the comfort of our fleshly nature.
“28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.”
After the 400 prophets had spoken we read Jehosephat asked “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?”
He asked this because he was unsatisfied with Ahab’s 400 prophets and knew they were false (4 is the number of the “world” and 100 is the number of “fullness.” “400” prophets therefore has the symbolic revelation that they are speaking “full of the world”). Jehoshaphat knew that Micah was the prophet of God. Despite clearly hearing the word of God through Micah, Jehoshaphat nonetheless went along with Ahab to fight in the doomed battle. Take time now to ask God which worldly battles you are fighting that are distracting you from his perfect will for your life. Are you joining up with someone's manmade vision by mistake?
“And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and I will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.
30 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel.
31 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.
32 For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him.”
2 Chronicles 19 “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.”
Did you see what just happened here? Ahab just convinced Jehoshaphat to dress up in his kingly robes meanwhile Ahab disguises as a regular soldier so that he will not be a target. Jehoshaphat will be the target and Ahab will be disguised away! Ahab has convinced Jehoshaphat to sacrifice himself as a pawn to Ahab’s purpose. There are plenty of leaders who will feed you right into their human vision for your life. You become a slave whose job is to spend weeks training and decorating at church for worldly 'holiday' events, meanwhile God's own plan for your life goes ignored. We are meant to be a "nation of priests" as scripture says. That means everyone needs to have their own relationship with God. There are too many places operating in the Catholic mindset where the function of 'priest' has shifted to the pastor in which this person is expected to go to God for you in place of you having your own relationship with God and your own call on your life. A real leader with the heart of God will allow you to spread your wings and move on to your next stage when the time is right. They won't see you as only a pawn meant to further their expansion ambitions.