As a musician, singer and speaker, I have had the opportunity throughout most of my life to travel and engage all kinds of church folk. I have ministered to Baptists, Presbyterians, Mennonites, Amish, Pentecostals, Independents, Catholics and many others. I have noticed that even among the less charismatic believers, there is a tendency for people to look to preachers and prophets for direction and guidance. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since God established Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers for the building up of Saints and the Church. (Eph 4:11-12) But sometimes, this goes a bit too far and people start chasing after so-called prophets.
I have met people that read Prophetic newsletters, go to Prophetic services or scour positive messages on Facebook to get their daily “fix” of Prophetic insight. In a lot of ways they are just as addicted as the person who can’t start their day without reading their horoscope. While the Bible tells us to desire prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:39) it does not tell us to get hooked on it. A careful examination of the context lets us know that the greater gifts are Faith, Hope and Love with the greatest being love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Chasing after Prophets can actually be dangerous. The truth is that some are actually False Prophets who speak out of greed, emotions, or other fleshly desires. In Deuteronomy 13, God warns His people that even if a Prophet declares something that COMES TRUE, we must never-the-less judge the content of their message. If they encourage us to follow a god other than the one of the Bible, we shouldn’t listen to them. This is not simply speaking of golden idols or other graven images. It is also warning about philosophies that are similar to God but stray from the TRUE GOD by adding or taking away from His Word. (Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:19).
The passage goes on to say, “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:4 NIV) In other words, BEFORE we go looking for a “Word” from God through a Prophet, we need to KNOW the written Word of God for ourselves. It is only in this way that we can judge the accuracy of the words that we hear; whether they come from a Prophet on a platform, a preacher behind the pulpit, a Televangelist on the TV or a forecaster on Facebook.
I want to challenge you to read your Bible all the way through this year. A mere 4 chapters per day, 6 days a week will do it. That’s about 15 minutes per day for the average reader. The YouVersion app has a variety of plans that can help you, or if you want to keep it simple, download our free guide, print it, and keep it on the wall to track your progress. One of my greatest desires is that you will find most of your answers as you open the Word of God for yourself.