After I related a modern story of Christian prophecy, a subscriber asked how often “similar situations lead to disaster,” whether this does not open the door to “deceit” and if I am saying that we should be ruled by “feelings rather than by rational content.”
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Good brother, you ask how often “similar situations” lead to disaster. Not often, I would think. For consider the “situation.” What we have here are two groups of church leaders in prayer about a common concern, all seeking God’s will and glory and asking for his guidance. God answered those prayers by providing direction. Part of that direction came through what I believe was a prophetic word to a praying elder. That word confirmed other guidance the praying preacher already was discerning — through wisdom, biblical principles, godly advice, circumstances and sanctified impressions. Why should we consider that dangerous, or likely to lead to “disaster”? Does our heavenly Father give his children stones instead of bread, or scorpions when they ask for fish?
So far as being deceived, what forms of guidance should we consider more reliable concerning a ministry move than this? No Scripture text tells us where to live and serve. Should we prefer secular wisdom and methods? Does God not guide us in practical matters of earthly life? Throughout Scripture, God invites us to seek his guidance and he promises to lead us. I do not think deism is a good option for believers!
This is not a matter of “feelings” — it involves a content-filled message directed to the intellect and expressed in words. Can we “prove” this came from God? Of course not, and neither could believers in the first century or any other. Do we have absolute certainty about our interpretation and application of such prophetic words? No, we are not infallible. Can we trust God’s faithfulness to lead when we ask in faith and seek his will and glory? Must we have scientific-type “proof” before stepping out in trust? Do we walk by faith, or by sight? Why are we so afraid of what we cannot understand? Why do we so fear what we cannot ourselves control?
As we leave this subject for the time being, I commend to us all these trustworthy, balancing, scriptural words from the Apostle Paul: “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thes. 5:19-22).