OUR VIEW OF GOD:
HOW IT AFFECTS OUR WORD FOR GOD
Our view of God is critical to accurately reflecting God's mind as we convey His prophetic word to the church. At issue is the formidable divide in prophetic circles over the presentation of God as either a God of judgment or a God of mercy.
Our view of God is shaped by what we have embraced of the revealed facets of His character and nature and how we have aligned them. If we have not accurately reckoned with the Totality of His Nature—if we are carnally partial to single facets of God's character, or if our attunement to those facets is not in alignment with Who He really is—then our prophesying will be skewed. At best, we will prophesy in immaturity. And if persistent, we will at worst become false prophets—prophesying an out-of-context part of God as if it were the Whole—prophesying His attributes in misalignment.
There are (at least) two essentials to embracing the entirety of God's character in right alignment. These essentials are necessary to developing a whole view of the Divine Nature, necessary in turn to true prophesying.
Embracing God through the Scripture
The first essential to a whole view of God is to embrace the complete record of God presented to us in the Scriptures. Today's revelation of the Lord does not come to us in a personal corner or vacuum. As God's people, our present revelation is built on a foundation and into a superstructural revelation of God that predates us. The foundational aspect of that revelation is manifested through the Scriptures. So our present embrace of the Lord's Nature must integrate with what He has revealed Himself to be through the Scriptures.
This being so, the only way our embrace of Him can be TOTAL is to drink in ALL of the Scriptures. One of the alarming danger signs concerning much prophetic speaking today is in its failure to account for vast portions of scripture that offer strikingly contradictory presentations of God's Nature to what is now offered as the "whole" of God's heart.
- Soak in the Contrary
A good exercise for every aspiring prophet and lover of God is to spend time soaking in those Scriptures that present the facets of God WE DO NOT LIKE. If you have a problem with God as a hard judge, you should soak in the Scriptures that detail His nature of hard judgment. If you have a problem with His mercy and forgiveness, you should soak in the portions that detail His mercy and forgiveness. If you have a problem with God's fairness, you should dwell in the Scriptures that to you leave God appearing to be unfair or unrighteous.
We should soak in these "contrary-natured" scriptures until we are able to justify God in our hearts for ALL He has said about Himself—until we can become comfortable with EVERYTHING that He has revealed to us about Himself, whether or not it lines up with what we would LIKE to think about Him. We must allow the Scriptures to judge the carnality of our view of God. Only this way can we be confident of growing into a whole view of God and know that our prophesying will be less and less skewed by our own carnal partiality of nature.
Unless and until we have proven to our hearts that what we are receiving prophetically of the Lord today is aligned with everything He has said of Himself in the scriptural foundation laid before us, we must not embrace it, or at most receive it with a cautionary "grain of salt."
The second essential to embracing the complete Nature of God is to perpetually maintain a surrendered teachability before His face in the secret place of the inner man. Said another way, whatever we learn of God by His revelation to our inner man, we must not grasp, clutch, own or possess as if under our own control. We must only "reflect" what we have received.
"Ownership" of the Lord's self-revelation predisposes us to prejudicial partiality. Our momentary encounters with God's self-revelation in time are only partial. Ownership of any facet of God's self-revelation causes us to mistake the part for the whole, blinding us to further revelation toward the True Whole. We think we have more of God than we actually do. This creates in us an obstacle of pride that makes it hard to embrace anything beyond what we have now.
Owning the revelation of God IS the essence of spiritual pride.
- Humility in the Reflection, Not the Message
Today, many equate spiritual pride with embracing the judgmental side of God's nature. This equation seems right—yet it is false. Spiritual pride is the owning of ANY facet of God's nature, whether of His judgment OR mercy. The owning of God's mercy produces false humility, which is but the flipside of the spiritual pride more evidently associated with those who own His judgment.
True humility is found by refusing to own any facet of the Lord's self-revelation, while still embracing every further revealed facet. Humility is the reflecting of the Lord's inner revelation as an impartial conduit. This opens us to the further Whole view of God. And from this platform, He teaches us to "rightly divide the Word"—that is, to rightly prophesy the applicable facet of the Nature of Christ into situations, holding His facets in right alignment.
- Reflection Yields Authority
The humility of reflecting God's Voice yields the authority of godly certitude to prophesy His immediate mind—whether to judgment or mercy. Many mistake ambivalent hedging, endless "qualifyings" of words and indirect "circumlocutions" as humility. Then when some otherwise speak by godly certitude it is asked, "By what authority do you speak?" The certitude is equated with pride.
But to verify the authority and its humility, we need only look for the impartiality of the reflection in the prophet. This is not about the message. It is about ownership. The prophet who owns his prophecy and is carnally partial to what he has prophesied has neither humility nor authority—even if mercy is his message. The prophet who merely reflects His Master's Nature has both—even if judgment is his message. For this very cause Jesus declared repeatedly, "I speak not of myself."
What then? If we are to come to that Whole view of God, and so to prophesy the rightly divided nature of Christ, we must "steward"—not own—our encounters with the facets of Christ's nature in the inner man. We must prophesy with godly certitude from a position of teachability.
We have all been called into the complete image of Christ—not a part of His image. We have all been called into the stewarding of the complete revelation of Him—both in Scripture and in the inner man. And it is from this Wholeness of embrace that we have been called to prophesy—both to judgment and to mercy—in their right alignments and in their appointed seasons and settings.
There is yet much more to say about the prophetic imbalances in the church due to our partial views of God, but for the present, this is enough.
May these thoughts set our feet on straight paths, and bring healing to that in us which is yet lame.
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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