A Letter to a Prophet in the Church

Dear Prophet,

I almost didn’t recognize you.  But there you are.  You seldom seem to find a home anywhere within the Church these days.  Not very many people like you, respect you, or look up to you.  You will often eat alone, or at least, with those who are of more humble circumstances.  You have a way with words, but not too many people care for what you have to say.  Indeed, you are seldom asked to preach, and when you do, the pastor often second guesses himself as to the wisdom of why he even invited you to speak to begin with.  But he figures giving you this outlet is perhaps safer than you simply speaking up in the middle of a service.  So, you’ll probably be invited to speak again, but not too often.  And while you carry great joy in your heart because of the Lord, that joy often turns into a burden, as you discover few want to share in the joy you have, and thus, they leave you alone.

Things just aren’t right.  Something is off.  I know.  I feel it in my bones too.  Things were never supposed to be this way, especially in the Church.  And like you, I yearn for reformation and revival.  But guard your heart against cynicism.  There is simply no room for a cynical spirit in the life of a prophet.  For a cynical spirit will simply turn you into a rogue, and will cause you to declare a word from your own thoughts and imagination instead of the word of the Lord.

And while I’m on the topic, remember that in declaring the word of the Lord that you are not to be an innovator in your preaching.  Your task as a prophet is not to declare some startling new revelation or insight.  Your ministry is not to declare when the next revival is going to be, or where it is going to be at.  Your ministry is not to run around and give everybody some personalized word about their circumstances.  Your commission is much greater than that.  For the word God has raised you up for the purpose of declaring is nothing less than the very gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, don’t be jealous over so-called prophetic men who are in the spot light today.  Don’t covet their ministries and try to be like them.  They are well received because they preach everything but the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But as for you, announce to the people their sins, and make much of what you say about what Jesus Christ did on the cross.  Speak often about His resurrection.  And don’t shrink away from declaring that the world and its systems are passing away and will soon collapse, all because our King shall one day come again, and bring everything to a sudden violent end.  For if you labor greatly in these things, then you shall truly be prophetic.

In closing, I would like to leave you with one final thought.  My brother, I know it is easy to get discouraged in prophetic ministry.  But don’t be.  For your encouragement is not to come from the effects of your ministry, or in being recognized by others, but from the fact that your name is written in heaven.  So be of good cheer, and rejoice in the God of your salvation.

I hope these words have helped you,

Jimmy Humphrey

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