All sons and daughters of God have pastoral and prophetic ability. We tend to think we are one or the other, but these abilities just exist in different strengths in each of us because we are each uniquely made, which is our Father's pleasure. As we mature and grow in our relationship with our Father, more balance comes. Through our choices, we can influence our personal development and spiritual growth to quite a large degree. Achieving balance in our own walk, in our walk with others and our fellowship interactions is something worth working on.
We carry a lot of baggage that affects how we receive what Father reveals to us. Of course this takes on different flavours and forms with each one of us. Our flavours and baggage can be a real problem that every one of us must acknowledge to Him in order to grow into larger places. Our flavours come in good and bad "tastes". The flavours we carry are not all due to wounding. Some of our flavours are there because we are made that way. Our Father chose to create us like that and He is not about to change it. He values and even invites our "good" flavours into our conversations with Him and our walk and work with Him.
This becomes more of a factor as we mature into the oneness relationship space we discussed in an earlier session (Friend Father Lord Oneness). What happens is that we flavour what we hear God saying to us and that flavour comes through in our delivery and what we believe. Our Father gives us gifts for others even though He knows we will flavour them as we deliver them to those they are intended for. I recognise this flavouring effect and will happily listen to the same word coming through a few people because I am looking for the best, most complete view which comes as all those perspectives add up.
There are varying strengths of natural pastoral and natural prophetic ability in each one of us. In our fellowships we will have observed that strongly pastoral people tend to be people focussed and strongly prophetic people tend to be focussed on looking for the cutting edge of what God is doing. Whether or not they get along well together depends on how wise they have become in dealing with others. In a nutshell that depends on how much they have grown up spiritually and in flowing graciously in the resurrection Life of Christ. It takes real spiritual maturity for pastoral people to be able to love and encourage baby prophetic people, and real maturity in prophetic people to use what they see to gently and graciously encourage pastoral people to be on the cutting edge.
Immature pastoral people are offended by immature prophetic people. Immature prophetic people are wounded by immature pastoral people. This needs to change if we are to move forward together well. We have looked briefly at the stages of spiritual growth that John wrote about in his Gospel and in 1 John 2. These are babe, child, young man and father. Many of us across the Family of God that I meet seem to me to need to grow up. I dont see many fathers around and we need these gracious life centric people to gather and inspire the great Family of God to be her best. They best express the balance I am talking about achieving.
Some key points
All Christians should be able to operate in both functions but all fit into a range of strengths and will naturally lean more in one direction than the other.
Pastoral people seem to be moving too slowly to prophetic people
Prophetic people seem to be too out there and scary to pastoral people
Both perceptions are only partially true and indicate that there is some growing up to do.
If we will be determined to break through our own selfish defensive opinions we can see that we need this:-
Pastoral people – care for the prophetic ones instead of being scared of them.
Prophetic people – encourage the pastoral ones instead of being critical.
Both need to develop the other function in themselves. Then some wisdom can come.
Jesus comission begins with all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...." this is a pastoral and prophetic thing to do. Discipling is the pastoral act of getting alongside someone to help. It is also the prophetic function of knowing what Dad wants to guide that person into and how to give them precise godly counsel. Every one of us is commissioned - no exceptions and we need to shake off the christian culture thing of discipling being done by the man up the front.
Both need to become spiritually mature and gain wisdom
Jesus is our clear example and He showed both prophetic and pastoral ability working together well at all times.
Isaiah lived about the middle of the period of the law. He saw the coming return of relationship living and was very aware that before the Law men lived by individual relationship with God. He saw that the law of Moses brings about wastes of lack of God's life. He saw a time coming of a restorative return to relationship living after the cross and under the law of the spirit of life which is where we find ourselves today. I have been talking a lot about empowered sons. Empowered sons when working together will return cities from law centred wastes to life again. I have been shown in a vision what a city will look like when the empowered sons are in their full flow across the city. The anointing of life across the city reaches up hundreds of meters above the city.
Jesus mission statement – Isaiah 61:1-4
(there are a number of ways to view “wastes”. I am viewing wastes of relationship living made waste by law living here.)
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because the Lord has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; so that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.
And they will build the old wastes, they will raise up the ruins of former times. And they will repair the waste cities, the ruins of many generations
This is part 1. Part 2 continues next week.