I heard twenty-five or thirty ‘trumpet’ words from intercessors before I heard one prophetic word from a prophet.
If I put fifty or sixty seasoned intercessors into a room and have them pray in tongues for an hour, they will come back and report what they heard in the spirit with the same level of accuracy as 98% of the prophets blasting on Facebook.
They will say what prophets say but they aren’t prophets.
Now, this tells us two very important things about “How Things Really Work in the Spirit”:
1. Using Elijah’s experience to illustrate, God has 7,000 in the caves for every prophet on the mountain. (Or, something like that.) The abundance in the kingdom of intercessors determines the influence of the voices that shout “no rain until I say so.” The travail of intercessors in the hidden closets determines the cloud the size of a man’s hand birthed in the prophet’s decree of thunderstorms. When Elijah runs from Jezebel, God explains that He has 7,000 intercessors so Elijah will understand.
2. Intercessors who hear in this way (as I mentioned above) and assume they are prophets err on “How Things Really Work in the Spirit.” And, prophets who think they are “the only ones God talks to” teeter on the fine line of “false” because their motivations are impure. Challenged, they exhibit defensive avoidance behaviors. Roles played do not measure value. Faithfulness and obedience measure value. (In terms of kingdom efficiency, not personal worth. I speak of value to the team to fulfill purpose, not the innate value of each person.)
I’d much rather be in the cave or closet, and I have a bit of insecurity with the prophet who doesn’t feel the same way. I will be pushed into the pulpit by God, but I tremble at His Word so that speaking with an accurate voice becomes more important that being known as a famously spiritual man.
Jesus emphasizes what is done in secret in stark contrast to what is done in public. He makes the value of what happens in the closet infinitely greater than what is performed on the street corner. [See especially Matthew 6.]
I’m always a bit concerned by the modern penchant for fame, and the readiness at which prophets desire “to go viral.” The subtly of the secret desire to be famous has pretty much lost it subtlety now. The thought that I might get a call from CNN for this word has captured the imagination.
The prophets with chips on their shoulders because they are not the famous ones should find a cave and closet for a season until they come out with a different motivation. They would say the same things they said before in terms of accuracy, but they would say them with a different motive.
If we mix the new emphasis of love, goodness, and acceptance flooding our consciousness with the penchant for fame in prophets and teachers, we end up with shallow surface slush instead of deep wells of revelation. Half the “powerful words” I hear now cause me to think of the SNL skit: I say, “Well, now isn’t that special!” Prophets sound like people hoping to get on Sid Roth more than men and women burning in the bones, speaking because they only when they will explode if they don’t.
Meanwhile, Back in the Closets
I remember praying with a group of intercessors and accomplishing a lot, on our way to more maturity, until an apostolic conference came to town. I came in for prayer one morning and the predominately female group was squealing with delight like little girls getting a new doll baby at a birthday party. “We are finally going to become apostles and prophets!”
I threw up a little in my mouth and wondered where the verse that reads, “Be thou a good intercessor for a short time and thou shalt surely become an apostle,” appears in Scripture.
Nonetheless, that was the beginning of the end for intercession. The closet emptied even when the group gathered for prayer because the intercessors had to be heard, seen, known, and promoted after that moment of coronation. They demanded to be honored and respected, and they pouted like diaper-clad brats when they weren’t celebrated by titles.
Meanwhile, back in the closets, the work Jesus is doing continues with the 7,000 who haven’t bowed their knees.
I’m not inferring that all cannot prophesy; I already mentioned that every seasoned intercessor can communicate an accurate revealing of God’s mind and heart. That’s how they intercede the will of God! The inference I make is that immaturity in the prophetic seems to lead to spotlight promotion, and spotlight promotion leads to “I’ve got another one even better than the other one.”
The real work is the intercession. We don’t pray for the ministry; prayer is the ministry. We don’t leave the ministry to minister; we take the ministry with us to distribute it.
The immature see the microphone and fly like moths to the fire. The immature wish to shout, “Hey, I heard God say, ‘trump it’, months ago.” I say, “Of course you did. That’s the whole point. Don’t be distracted by ‘getting the word out’. Pray it to pass.”
Hearing in Public what You Prayed in Private
If I didn’t hear in public what I prayed in private, I’d rethink my capacity as an intercessor. 80% of what I hear in the closet is for intercession, not Facebook. Another 15% is for a very small group of people. The 5% I get to prophesy makes me tremble! If you stop trembling, sit down and shut up.
I mean, when you read the blogs and receive your monthly word from the apostles and prophets, the prayer alerts and updates, you should assume that some confirmation and understanding of what you’ve been pregnant with comes through. Like a checkup at the doctor where you see the baby move and hear the heartbeat of what you already knew what there, or decide if you want to know the gender or wait for birthing.
We don’t just pray warm up tongues until we get a bulletin from the big boys and girls! We know the big boys and girls will invest the treasures we mine from the hidden places and shatter with the shocks of doom, fire with the passion that burns in our bones, purified by the Gethsemane of blood-letting perspiration.
Blah, blah, blah is not intercession. No wonder God wants us to pray in tongues so we won’t know what we are praying! The baby we birth doesn’t belong to us. The baby we birthed turns around and names us instead of us naming the baby. The pregnancy ends and we get pregnant again almost immediately. The blah, blah, blah needs to die.
When I discover the closet and cave, I asked God if I could stay there the rest of my life. Praying Hyde was my dream. God says, “No, you must come out of the closet and represent Me.” I know that is my calling and have known that as long as I can remember, but the closet is the place of real power, prestige, permission, and peace.
When you get to the place where you don’t have to be part of the photo op and selfie sludge, you know you are ready to be trusted with birthing God’s babies.
The recent mini movements that are going to fix what’s wrong with intercession and prophetic function seem to have an underlying sentiment. I can smell it — discern, in other words — as the fine aroma of “when I am heard and lead, things will finally be right.” Yet, what is wrong isn’t who is being heard and leading but motivations for speaking at all.
If your strategy for correction is to destroy the present leaders to make room for your own untested and presumptuous “I am better than them,” you need to get into the cave with the pickle jars, crawl in one, and stay there until the only vinegar is on the outside of you.
Jesus Didn’t Say That
“Why won’t you just speak to us plainly?” the crowd says, exasperated with Jesus for using stories to secure the treasures of revelation.
We seem to think that our job is to improve upon His shortcomings, that after the Resurrection we are now sent to do what He could not. From whence cometh this concept? Misperceptions of the finished work of Christ or further exaggerations of what He does as opposed to what we do? I hear prophetic people declaring that we are now going to do what could not be done before, and I wonder the basis for their exaggeration of the prophetic opportunity; they assume they know how to improve on the basic principles and protocols of “How Things Really Work in the Spirit” by adding mysticism and superstition to the kingdom.
What Jesus didn’t say was often the real key to what He did say.
The mature prophets always function in this way and have no eagerness to be seen as the sources of breakthrough Truths.
Beware any motivation that presses you to be seen and heard, the deep sense that you have been passed over for years but your moment of ascendancy is coming. I hope not! If you carry that in your heart, and listen for that in prophetic words, you are being set up by the devil. (Time God hit in the face with a wet squirrel! Do you good.)
If the prophet trains by having learners sit and watch him or her do the stuff, the immature become worshippers at the wrong altars, hoping to someday get their chances to hold the mic. If the prophet trains by having others do the stuff in a secret place where the word requires no audience but God, intimidation is removed so the learner doesn’t learn to perform but to tremble.
Better to develop prophets and prophetic people from their intercession than from their performance. “High fives” at the operation of gifts doesn’t measure character. If a wannabe can do the stuff, we only know they can do the stuff like every false prophet in history does the stuff. If we know they can intercede, we know they know something no false prophet in history has ever known.
If you are learning to prophecy for God by speaking to God, as intercessors do, you come out of the process a different kind of representative when you speak for Him.
When you learn that what you don’t say is the key to what you say, you will mature more rapidly in intercession and prophecy.