The Pain of the Prophetic Calling
There is often a temptation to want something before we understand it. Then
once we have it and experience the difficulties associated with it, our temptation
is to want get to rid of it.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about prophetic ministry. Spectators
don’t realize how much prophetic people typically wrestle and struggle with
the “down sides” of their own lives and ministries. If a person has a desire
to be involved with prophetic ministry, it should not be because it seems
exciting. The pain, the perplexities, and the attacks upon these people surely
increase as their calling increases. To repeat Francis Frangipane again, “New
levels bring new devils.” In other words, new levels of the anointing inevitably
bring new devils and intensifies spiritual warfare against us.
Some prophetic people I know complain with pain, asking the Lord to
lift the prophetic call off their life. The “glory” of the prophetic ministry
that some imagine when seeing a prophetic person minister in a conference
setting is untypical of their everyday lifestyle.
We encourage prophetic people to find their joy in their spiritual identity
as those who love Jesus and who know that He loves them. They should not
think that having a “spectacular ministry” will make their life happy. I havenever met a prophetic person whose life was made happy because of his or
her prophetic gifting. Typically they experience increased demonic attack,
opposition from godly people, and great perplexity in their own souls in the
aftermath of their prophetic gifting.
I have noticed that prophetic people often have more disappointment with
God than others. Why is this? It is because they see more clearly how things
should be or how God plans for them to be in the future. But in seeing far
ahead, they must wait with faith sometimes for many years for the release
of what they know is on God’s heart. Therefore, they are more prone to be
heartsick because of enduring failed expectations. As Proverbs 13:12 says,
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
Because their expectations are typically higher, they are more deeply
disappointed. It’s easier for those who are not so burdened with how things
are supposed to be. Jeremiah complained that the Lord had tricked him.
When Jeremiah prophesied of how God wanted to change things, he got in
trouble with the leadership who were protecting their place in the status quo.
He was ridiculed and rejected by so many. He wanted to quit. Nevertheless,
the word of the Lord was like a fire burning within him; he could not hold it
back, and so he continued to prophesy (Jer. 20:9). This resulted in even more rejection and pain for him.