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Prophetic Ministry: an interview with John Paul Jackson

 

Why are there frequent problems between church leaders and prophetic people, and who bears the larger responsibility for these difficulties?

I am a firm believer that we who, at maturity, will be oracles of God must bear the brunt of the responsibility for the current gulf between church leadership and prophetic ministry. How can we demand the church change, or do anything at all, if we are not willing to change ourselves first?

Even in the most highly gifted people, the weight of the prophetic gift will crush a weak spiritual foundation if we are not submitted to pastoral oversight.

It is hard for a revelatory person to be received in a church that does not believe prophetic ministry exists today. But all too often, I hear revelatory people who do attend a prophetic-believing church blame various issues on the pastors and leadership. We prophetic, or revelatory, types have to differentiate between our pastor, who loves God yet may disagree with us, and an Ahab type who sold himself to evil.

Too many prophetic individuals are closer to being characters than having character. We prophetic people must learn that our character speaks more loudly than our words. We must also learn that we will have very few difficulties with church leadership when our character is greater than our gifts and we prove that we love people more than our gifts.

 

What qualities does a prophetic person need to have in order to gain the support and respect of church leadership?

I believe there are three distinctives that separate the average from the stellar—those who want to be recognized from those who are. We prophetic people must keep in mind that respect and support are earned; love is freely given.

First, we have to demonstrate that we actually are spiritual and not just acting like we are. Paul told the Galatian church that if they were truly spiritual, they would have spiritual fruit (Galatians 5). We need to inspect our fruit to ensure that we are doers of the Word and not hearers only. Spiritual fruit is obvious, and when we have it, others will always see it. This is the first way our gifts make room for us.

Second, we have to love others more than we love our gifts. If we do not, we will never be able to keep quiet when God tells us something about another person, place or event. If we love our gifts, we will always sacrifice others so our gifts might be seen. This will cause even our closest friends not to trust us, because they know we will talk about them as well.

Three, we must establish a history of accuracy in our prophecies. In other words, we must have prophecies that come true and words that are accurate. Until then, we are demanding to be recognized and given authority today based on prophecies for tomorrow. When we have true character and gifting, there will be no problem with the pastor and other leaders’ support and respect. Further, we need to recognize that if the Lord does not give us detailed level of revelation, He is telling us something.

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Category: Fall 2007, Spirit

About the Author: John Paul Jackson went home to be with the Lord on February 18, 2015, after helping people discover and develop their spiritual gifts for more than a quarter of a century. He directly impacted the lives of millions of people around the world with his best-selling books and audio resources, public speaking engagements and television appearances. He was the founder of Streams Ministries International. Some of his books include Needless Casualties of War (Streams Publishing, 1999), Breaking Free of Rejection (Streams Publishing, 2004), and The Art of Praying Scriptures: A Fresh Look at the Lectio Divina (Streams Creative House, 2014). Daystar TV program: Dreams & Mysteries with John Paul Jackson. Twitter: @JohnPaulJackson. Facebook.

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