If you have a desire to mature in the gift of prophecy, there is something important to learn early on in the development of your ministry. Many times, you will receive insight into what is to come. That insight can seem out of step with the status quo but in obedience to the Lord, you speak it anyway.
These revelations can arrive before the hearers are ready to receive them. When this happens, a word can be quickly dismissed, and the credibility of the prophetic voice is discounted as less than reliable. The moment of dismissal and discounting is where we need to employ one of the fruits of the Spirit – self-control. Without the exercise of that gift, a prophetic minister will devolve into an insecure and defensive vessel unfit for use.
When a word finally does come to pass it is too easy to pull an “I told you so” to give notice that you heard from the Lord and to remind your detractors of your credibility. This is especially challenging when the word you spoke raised the hackles of those who were ignorant of what was developing that required the prophetic insight you delivered. As you hear the echoes of those voices, resist the desire to respond to their accusations and dismissals.
When we take a defensive posture and try to respond to the critics and smooth over any ruffled emotional feathers, we will preoccupy ourselves with things only God can resolve. Let the word speak for itself. Wasting time trying to defend your reputation or trying to make your critics happy will plug your prophetic ears and deafen you to hearing the next word the Lord wants to speak through you.
Prophetic ministry requires that we continue moving forward through the criticism and dismissive words spoken by those still trapped in confusion and deception. Those issues must be left behind or we will stall and stagnate. Moving forward is only possible when our trust is placed solely in the Lord as our defender.
“For God is my defense” (Psalm 59:9).
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins