mercredi 4 janvier 2012

The Value of Prophetic Ministry

I wish you all a great new year 2012 in Jesus' name. Since we are at the beginning of the year I thought to regale you with this true story from the book "Surprised By The Voice of God". The author of the book, is a Theologian who taught at the Dallas Theological seminary as a professor of Hebrew and more for ten years. I really enjoyed both of his books: the first 'Surprised by the Holy Spirit' (which is kind of autobiographical) and the second 'Surprised by the Voice of God'. These books have been uniquely instrumental in teaching me about the understand of the spiritual realm and the supernatural activities of God throughout Church history up to modern time. Breath-taking! I highly recommend both of Dr. Deere's impressive popular theological works about God.

Here is an extract that you don't wanna miss and i hope that it will revive something in you! Enjoy the reading.
Years ago, I was on the pastoral staff at Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Anaheim, California. One Sunday evening instead of going to our adult service, I took one of the staff prophetic ministers with me and went to spend the evening with our ten to twelve-year-old kids in their version of children's church. There were about 150-200 of these kids in a large room in the back of the church. When we got them all seated, I told them they could ask me any question they wanted to ask. I hadn't even thought to pray or ask God for special direction that evening. After all, they were just kids. Obviously, what they needed most was knowledge of the Bible, and I was sure I was qualified for that task. Truthfully, I felt overqualified, awesomely overqualified. How hard could it be to answer the questions of ten to twelve-year-old church kids?

The first raised his hands. "Pastor," he said, "why is it that bad things happen to people who love God and try to follow him?"

Hmm, I thought. Why do bad things happen to good people? Theologians have been grappling with the problem of suffering for two thousand years, and no one has really solved its mystery. Even the book of Job never tells the ultimate reason why God permitted all Job's suffering. I mumbled some sort of answer about God not wanting robots but rather friends with freedom and dignity. It didn't impress the kids all that much. They looked a little bored. A second hand went up. "Pastor, why did God create the devil?" Hmm, why did God create the devil? Again, I mumbled some sort of answer about God not wanting robots but rather friends with freedom and dignity. They were less impressed than before and looked more bored. It went on like this for forty-five minutes. I had begun to think that some demon from hell had smuggled the kids a list of all the unresolved theological problems for the last twenty centuries and said, "Here kids, ask him these." I decided to retire from the theological question-answering business. I looked over at the prophetically gifted pastor I had brought in with me and said, "Has the Lord shown you anything about these kids? He sure isn't showing me much."

"Yes he has," he said.
"He has shown me something about this young lady right here," with that he pointed to a young, cute twelve-year- old girl sitting in the front row, "about that young man back there," he pointed to a twelve-year-old boy sitting in the middle of the room, "and about this lady in the back," he pointed to one of the Sunday school teachers in the back of the room.

He looked at the young girl. "What's your name?" he asked. "J-J-Julie." Julie was not sure she wanted someone giving her a prophetic word in front of two hundred of her peers. "Julie, while Jack was speaking I had a vision of you. It was Tuesday night. That's five nights ago. You went to your bedroom and shut the door. You were crying. You looked up to heaven and said, `God, do you really love me? I have to know-do you really love me?' God didn't say anything to you on Tuesday night, Julie. He sent me here tonight to tell you he really loves you. He really loves you. He also told me to tell you that the trouble going on around you is not your fault. He didn't tell me if he is going to change the trouble, but he wants you to know you aren't the cause of it." Then he went on to say something about the young man and something about the lady. After it was all over, I called those three people up to the front so we could talk privately. I wanted to make sure of two things – one, that there were no misunderstandings between the people and the prophetic minister, and two, that everything that had been said was true. If part of the messages given to these people was false, then we wanted to own up to it and clear up any misconceptions.

"Julie, last Tuesday night were you in your bedroom crying really hard and did you ask God if he really loved you?" I asked.
"Are your parents fighting now?"
"Do you think that's your fault?"
She looked up at me, smiled, and said, "Not any more."

I walked out of church that night thinking, who in the world could be against this ministry? Why wouldn't anyone want the voice of the Lord to speak like this in their church? I know what it is like to carry the guilt for something a parent did. My father "divorced" my mother by committing suicide when I was twelve years old. I know how hard it is for a twelve-year-old mind to understand something like that. I know what it is like to feel guilty for not treating my father better, especially in his last weeks. I know what it's like to grow
up thinking if I had been a better son, perhaps my dad wouldn't have left us. I was thinking about my dad and my own sense of guilt when I walked out of church that night.

Then I thought about a little twelve-year-old girl in Anaheim, California, who won't be sitting in some psychiatrist's office when she is thirty years old, trying to get rid of guilt she has carried around for the last twenty years. Even if her parents divorce, she will never blame herself for it. The prophetic word of the Lord came to her and delivered her from that guilt. The prophetic word of the Lord convinced her that God really does love her. And the prophetic word of the Lord convinced about two hundred of her friends that night that the God they talk about in church really does know everything about their lives and loves them in spite of it.

Excerpt from Dr. Jack Deere's Book: Surprised by the Voice of God. Chap.5: Presbyterian Prophets? Page 64-66).

P.S: An excerpt of my book can now be read online. Click here. 

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