Many people glamorize what it means to be a prophet of the Lord; even prophets sometimes make their position appear more glamorous than it is. Consequently, many people want to be prophets, or say they are, without truly knowing what they are getting into. Thank the Lord that no one is His prophet unless He ordains the individual.
Besides the isolation, rejection, and the spiritual warfare, there are those assignments from the Lord that are not easy for a prophet to receive or execute. Lest not forget the following assignments the Lord gave to some of His prophets of the Bible, which may set the tone things the Lord may require of His current prophets:
- “At the same time spake theLord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, ‘Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot.’ And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, ‘Like as My servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.’” ~ Isaiah 20:2-4 (KJV) Isaiah was most likely unaware of what he had volunteered for during this prior encounter, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.’ ~ Isaiah 6:8 (KJV) I used to criticize Moses for doing the opposite by asking the Lord to send someone else when the Lord commissioned him to go to Egypt (Exodus 4:13). However, experience is a cruel teacher. It will make you go from saying, ‘Lord, here am I; send me!’ to laying low and letting the Lord call on you when He needs you. We know that Jonah disobeyed God when the Lord told him to go preach against Nineveh. However, how would you feel if the Lord sent you to warn your persecutors to possibly give them a chance to repent and avoid the Lord’s judgment? Don’t forget that Nineveh was a part of the Assyrian empire, one of many empires that conquered Israel. I am not encouraging anyone to disobey the Lord, in part because I do not want you to end up in a whale of a situation. This is simply to open your eyes to the potential realities of being a prophet.
- “And theLord said unto Samuel, ‘How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided Me a king among his sons.’ And Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hear it, he will kill me…’” ~ 1 Samuel 16:1-2 (KJV) Some assignments from the Lord puts a prophet in danger, yet it does not mean the Lord will spare the prophet from being afflicted. Too many ministers nowadays are too quick to make it seem as they should not be persecuted by saying, ‘Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm.’ ~1 Chronicles 16:22/Psalm 105:15 (KJV) However, Paul, an apostle, let us know some of what he suffered in his ministry for the Lord when he wrote: “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 (KJV) There are also times when the Lord is the source of a prophet’s afflictions to ensure his or herbholiness and humility. For as the Lord said, ‘Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For Mine own sake, even for Mine own sake, will I do it: for how should My name be polluted? And I will not give My glory unto another.’ ~ Isaiah 48:10-11 (KJV)
- “The beginning of the Word of theLord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, ‘Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.’ So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.” ~ Hosea 1:2-3 (KJV) After Gomer left Hosea and went to be with another man, the Lord said to His prophet, ‘Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.’ ~ Hosea 3:1 (KJV) Hosea’s redeemed his wife, which is symbolic of Christ’s role as our Redeemer from our sinful ways.
I close with one of the many challenging assignments the Lord gave to Ezekiel, along with a reminder from the Lord that ‘…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…’ ~ Luke 12:48 (KJV)
“Also the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, ‘Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men.’
So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded. And the people said unto me, ‘Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so?’
Then I answered them, ‘The Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, ‘Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another. Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I AM the Lord God. Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters, that he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause thee to hear it with thine ears? In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I AM the Lord.’” ~ Ezekiel 24:15-27 (KJV)