To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved. George MacDonald
Lately I’ve been feeling a call from God – it’s not a new call, but more a reminder of an old one. Nonetheless it’s been strongly present in my thoughts and dreams – it’s a call to be one of His trustworthy prophets.
It’s this topic of trustworthiness that I want to unpack in this second part of this series. For us to become God’s prophetic people, I believe that becoming trustworthy is key. It’s a word that can easily send us to the edge of misunderstanding – it tinkers on the border of ‘earning our way up the top of the spiritual ladder’ if we’re not careful. We have a lavish, good God who trusts us in so many areas that we don’t deserve – that’s part of our good news of grace. But we also have a very kind God who has deposited His wisdom into us regarding attributes that make us healthy, mature and able to fulfil our destiny. Trustworthiness is one of these attributes.
What does it look like to be a trustworthy prophet?
Early this year a good friend reminded me of an incredible verse in the book of Jeremiah;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. Jer 15. 19
This verse I believe should be a banner of vision over any prophetic person. It not only promotes a way to become God’s spokesperson (looking for the precious) but it also implies something of significant consequence: If we are to become God’s spoken representatives we must carry His heart as well as His words.
One of my favourite stories of the old testament is held in the first six chapters of the book of Isaiah. It’s where Isaiah gets commissioned to be God’s spoken representative. There are a number of lessons in this story that have always captivated me.
Firstly, there is an interesting historical point of context found in the first verse of chapter 6;
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Is 6. 1
Chapter 6 is the chapter of Isaiah’s commission and it is framed by this information of King Uzziah’s death. If you do a little bible treasure hunting you’ll find an interesting little story in 2 Chronicles 26 about king Uzziah’s death. He died of leprosy, which the bible says was given to him by God on the account of his pride. It seems remarkable to me that in the year that pride was cast off by God, a prophet was born.
Secondly, we have the internal struggle of Isaiah himself. For the first five chapters Isaiah is somewhat negative – he’s pointing the finger left right and centre. He’s obviously getting visions from God (the gift) but he’s yet to be commissioned (become God’s spokesman) and he doesn’t hold back any punches from Judah and Jerusalem. There’s a wonderful transition point held in chapter 6 that propels Isaiah from a person with a prophetic gift to a commissioned prophet. And it’s at this point that something significant happens.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Is 6. 1 – 5
I believe that in this grand open vision, pride got broken off Isaiah himself. People with pride tend not to see the problems in their own life and are attracted to pointing out the problems in others. Faced with the beauty and majesty of the Lord, for the first time Isaiah could only see his own sin – a humble moment indeed.
And it was at this moment of genuine brokenness and humility that the Lord commissioned His prophet.
There are many people like the Chapter 5 Isaiah who can carry the prophetic gift without being released as a spokesperson of God. I believe that we are on the cusp of seeing a major release of the prophetic within the church world-wide. Thousands upon thousands of spokespeople released into all sorts of places in society. For this to happen the church needs to know one thing – that God’s looking for people who will carry His heart not merely repeat His words.
Attitudes of the heart that are not of God, like pride, have to be dealt with for people to move into a place of commission.
For me, this call to be trustworthy is a pursuit to represent God the best I can. It’s about making sure I get to know Him intimately – so intimately that I convey Him accurately to people. It’s about making sure that I know His heart and hold His values so that when I live and act and speak I am truly representing my king.
This is a journey that’s not about trying to be good enough for God, but it’s about allowing His goodness in.
The currency of trustworthiness
When we talk about growing in the prophetic gift we point people towards discovering the language of God. The areas of growth are found in revelation, interpretation and application. But to grow as a prophetic person the areas of growth are different – instead we need to learn how to move into authority, influence and favour. I believe trustworthiness is a spiritual currency that allows increase in these areas.
While working for Woodlands Church as a pastor I experienced a journey of growth in my role. At first as a 25 year old my scope for authority and influence was fairly small – I had a lot of step -by -step instruction from my senior pastor – he needed to ensure that what I did within the context of the church met the values of the church. As time went by the range for authority and influence widened. This was due to the fact that I had become trustworthy in the eyes of my pastor. By the end of my time there I was in a senior role making all sorts of creative decisions. This principle of trustworthiness ‘leading to more’ is evident in many of the parables that Jesus taught. He’s watching to see what we will do with what we’ve been given and if we are trustworthy more influence, more authority and more favour is granted to us.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with a lot. Whoever is dishonest with very little is dishonest with a lot. Luke 16. 10
Trustworthiness is a corridor we must walk if we’re to access the offices of authority and influence. Part of becoming God’s prophetic people is to be God’s favoured people, positioned all over the world in areas of incredible influence. As we eagerly pursue the gift of prophecy let’s also be eager to pursue being commissioned as God’s representatives. Let’s shout ‘Here I am, Send me!’ Let’s let Him deal with our hearts and allow the incredible love of the Father to be the loudest message we share.