The prophetic experience
by Kathy Matuschka
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The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15).
For some, their prophetic gifting is dominant and lifelong, while others may be called to speak for a season. Today’s text describes a prophet as a person from among the people who can stand closer to the power of God than the ordinary person can.
When I was a child listening to Bible stories, I pictured biblical prophets as bold and confident, always knowing what to say and do. I assumed that a prophet sat outside the message, receiving God’s word as if they were a pizza delivery person safely transporting the message from A to B without having a strong personal investment in the message itself. Relating to today’s text, I might have imagined prophets having oven mitts strong enough to grab the message straight from the fire of God’s pizza oven, let it cool a little, and then hand it out!
However, I now believe that before a prophet speaks, they experience the word of God and wrestle with what it means for their context. I now believe that prophets sometimes sit in the middle of difficulty and adversity, submit first to the transformative process that God would perform in their own life, and then speak of what they have learned.
What prevents a prophet from being overwhelmed by God’s glory or God’s voice? I wonder if part of the prophetic gifting is to have such a heart for God and his people that the prophet cannot walk away because the discomfort of walking away is greater than the discomfort they experience through obeying and speaking.
What do you think?
Dear God, your power and glory are simply overwhelming, and yet I must speak of it. You have promised to pour your Spirit on all people, enabling us to prophecy. By your Holy Spirit, give me your grace to speak the words you have for me. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.
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