E-Letter: Peace and the Prophetic Gift
Written by John Paul Jackson
I meet a lot of young prophetic people in different places around the world. They are gifted men and women who can discern God’s voice, and I often hear them say similar things:
“If the church would just do this . . .”
“If the pastor would just do that . . .”
“If my father would just do this . . .”
“If my boss would just do that . . .”
They see the issues more than they see what is going well.
As prophetic people, we have a wonderful gift, but when we “tune” it to finding other people’s mistakes, we can become sin hunters who sometimes end up missing what God wants to do.
Prophecy is not meant to tear people down. It is meant to build people up. It is a constructive
element of the Kingdom, not a destructive element.
Many of us are uncommonly good at perceiving other people’s sin, and if we’re not careful, we get pulled into a cycle of negativity, where the negative is somehow more interesting to us than the positive.
The problem is that we become what we think! We become what we take in and what we see. And when our lives are focused on the negative, we lose our peace and don’t understand why we no longer receive as much revelation as we used to.
The peace of God is our phone line, if you will. Without peace, we don’t hear His voice. Without peace, it is difficult to see Him at work in people’s lives. The measure of peace we have in our lives reveals our understanding of the bigness
Revelation comes from peace. If we want to hear God more and in greater, deeper ways, we need to learn how to walk in His peace and break the cycle of prophetic drama in our lives. We are prophetic—being aware of sin comes with the territory. But what we choose to do with that revelation will either help build the Kingdom or help tear it down. It’s up to us.
A Safeguard for Your Gift
The Bible very clearly tells us how we are to think:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
— Philippians 4:8
When he penned those words, the apostle Paul did not include any conditions. He didn’t say, “Think on good things unless
you’re a prophet. But if you’re a prophet, you can think about anything you want.” I’ve seen real revelatory gifts wasted because gifted men and women became focused on the negative, ended up losing their peace and quit.
Seeking the peace of God is not just a good idea—it will keep you from burning out. Philippians 4:8 is a safeguard for your gift.
Look for the Plans of God
The point of the prophetic gift is edification, exhortation and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3). The prophetic gift exists to help other people find their way to God’s heart. It exists to take the weak and make them strong, to help the strong grow stronger and the great greater. That is how the Kingdom of God advances.
Therefore, when we focus on the negative in someone else’s life, we actually tear down
His Kingdom. It is not as if God is surprised by the sin we see in other people. He knows exactly what is happening within them, just as He knows what is happening within us. God has good plans, even when the people in those plans are making bad choices. He is waiting for them to repent and accept His ways. His plans still exist for them, and He longs for those plans to be fulfilled.
It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). That doesn’t mean we can’t bring correction when correction is due—but it does mean that we get to bring the love and kindness of God into each and every situation.
No matter where we find the captives—in the Church or outside of it—we are called to set them free and build them up, not tear them down. We are called to seek peace and demonstrate the heart of God on the earth.
In so doing, we avoid negative cycles in our own lives and see the Kingdom come in power and redemption.