If people only did what we told them, life would be so much easier. At least, that’s what we tend to think. This is not limited to prophetic people. However, I do think it’s more pronounced in prophetic people.
Think about it for a moment. We get a “word from the Lord” for someone. We are eager to tell it to them. Now they have to do what it says, whatever “it” may be. Whenever their life does not turn out well, it is a reminder to us that they didn’t follow the word of the Lord for their life and that’s why they are in the predicament they’re in. I know this sounds severe, but let’s be honest, some of us think that way some of the time, or most of the time.
We have a word from the Lord. We give it. The people receiving it have to decide what to do with it. They are either obedient or disobedient, and after all, we have plenty of examples of disobedient people in the Bible who did not obey the Word of the Lord spoken to them by a prophet.
We forget the truth of I Corinthians 13:9: “ . . . we prophesy in part.” What this means is that we don’t have the corner on the truth. Yes, we may have a piece of the puzzle, but it may only be a puzzle piece. So often people liken it to feeling different parts of an elephant while you are blindfolded. Depending on what part of the elephant you feel, trunk, leg, butt, ear, tusk, etc., your guess maybe very different as to what it actually is. You can be 100% convinced of what you feel but it does not take into account that you are only getting part of the picture.
Why is this so hard for prophetic people to grasp? Because we are people of strong convictions and we are so convinced that we heard (clearly) from the Lord. You very well may have, but often times we don’t have the complete picture. So, we should not pretend that we do. Even the Bible says so . . .
I wish the Lord would give us the whole picture. Life would be so much easier. But yet, this is not how it is, and we have to live with that reality. After all, “we prophesy in part.”
To know that “we prophesy in part” helps to keep us humble. We may have a piece of the puzzle to contribute to someone’s life and we should humbly hold it out as such: “Here’s a piece of the puzzle. I don’t know exactly where it fits. Maybe you do. Maybe someone else does. Maybe you have to wait until you get so more puzzle pieces. Maybe this is the key puzzle piece that completes the outline or the whole picture. Maybe it’s the missing piece.” We don’t know. More about that later . . .
By Ralph Veenstra