Do I have the Faith to call out the Lord’s Name, so confident that I know He will answer? I mean… truthfully? I have the verses memorized – usually – I pray the right prayers – I can speak a good spiritual game, given the experience and and years spent in His service and ministries. But at the end of the day, with His Name on the line but my face staring down the mockery, scorn and uncertainty in the face of an un-repenting, non-believing mob of people… does my faith have the strength to stand out alone to call upon God in this instance to do, say or move in the manner I thought He spoke to my heart? Can it hold up under that crush of doubt and contempt? Or will it once more wither away, wilt or water down God’s very direct and distinct words in the hopes of soften God’s coming wrath and scorn?
For all the marbles in the world, I wouldn’t want the prophet job. I see that “Help Wanted – Apply Inside” and I just keep on walking, man. Being a prophet sucks. You gotta tell people they suck. Then tell them a whole lotta pain is coming their way and they better get right, THEN… right about the time the masses are bending down NOT to pray but to pick up stones to impale you with – you gotta give them the final “by-the-way-you WILL most certainly die if you don’t repent” tag line right as the first stone goes whizzing past your head and your running for your life! Not my idea of a great job opportunity.
Prophets gotta be fast, too. As a kid, I wasn’t slow but I wasn’t super fast. I had bursts of speed but never had stamina and prophets got be both speed and distance runners! When you tell people they’re gonna die for how they’re behaving, they tend to chase you until they can chase no more. Nobody likes the party pooper. But Elijah… well, he had some weak moments, too… I always had Grace for those guys (and God did too) because you get all wound up and excited and your like “Yeah God! We got this! THIS is gonna be EPIC!” and the moment comes and you stand your ground and then… the dust settles and it hits you – the gravity of the situation you may be in. Because prophets see not today, they transfix on tomorrow and when given time to think a prophets greatest asset can become his worst liability: imaging what could be in store for them. God have them the one message – He’s typically a God of “One message at a time” and a prophet left to his own imagination without any clear message, well, even I can picture that worry-fest forming rapidly. But the prophets pay-off for standing firm in Faith to both deliver God’s direct message then having the courage and trust in God to remain where he stands facing down a pissed off group of people – often times “holy” and (making matters the absolute worst) indignant religious people… when the prophet has that kind of courage and faith in Him, His reward is simple: the prophet has a court-side seat to the Moving Power of God. In his heart, the prophet longs for the people to repent – most prophets, not all of them! – but he rejoices to see people suddenly broken and repenting and calling on the Name of the Lord! But the prophet sheds little grief when those stone hardened hearts refuse to hear the Words of The Lord and that Power is not abated but flashing with no temperance. It takes a special kind of courage, as well, to even be near that type of all consuming Power when it falls upon the wicked. Prophets didn’t have a fancy wardrobe I’m guessing, but it had to be extensive… I’m sure they went through a lot of tunics from the fire-singes and ripping they went through… prophets invented the tear-away jersey, had to.
I love Elijah. Frustrates me sometimes but he couldn’t see what I get to read – he was living in the moment, message to message. I would’ve fared far worse. Like I said, I would’ve kept walking past that “Prophet-Needed/Apply Inside” sign. But I think we all have that courage, that trust and that incredible Faith that is “prophet-durable”. I believe we ARE called to be prophets, in our own ways and in the the unique opportunities and surroundings and circumstances God brings into our lives. God wants to see us deliver His Truth about sin but our message is already so much more beautiful in context then Elijah’s messages ever were because our message is singular in context and embodied with Hope and Grace. It’s not repent or else… it’s repent because… it’s not turn or be dead… it’s your dead but you can live… Christ makes our prophetic words from His Father so simple: “that because my Father Loves you He sent me, His Son, to die for your sins because my Father wants you to live today…”
Don’t be afraid to call something sin. To be afraid to be called a hypocrite. We don’t have to water down the Grace of God and the Salvation of Christ… God doesn’t long to Bring down the full might of His Power to consume those who won’t repent… though, He sure could if He wanted to…! No, God wants to bear down the enormity of that Power and consume those who believe with the full weight of that Power in His Glory and His Grace! And watching that consuming fire cleanse and heal a broken soul is just as incredible of a heart gripping pulsating moment as calling down God’s Power to consume a horde of evil, God-Hating un repenting people so against God they call Him “enemy”.
Be the prophet He calls you to be and be so boldly, without fear. And watch what His power will do before you – through you and even TO you. It’s a ride and a rush and believe me… those are ring-side seats you wouldn’t want to give away for all the money in the world! Peace, Sean G.
1 Kings 18:36-40
36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.
37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”
40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.