We often think of prophetic ministry as foretelling the future or speaking into important world events. This is certainly true, but it is also the responsibility of the prophetic people to speak into the roots of the destructive nature of humanity and release the restorative power of God.
For example, some 500 years before Christ, the prophet Malachi looked to the future and saw a broken earth—families destroyed, wayward sons, disconnected daughters and prodigal fathers ... the very fabric of society ripped under the diabolical pressure of the times.
As the prophet mused over the troubling revelation of the earth's end-times condition, he heard a hopeful proclamation rise in his spirit: "See, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreaded day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers" (Mal. 4:5). God's solution to a world in a family crisis is a global prophetic infusion—sons with visions, old men dreaming again, daughters prophesying and the Spirit poured out on everyone.
The Social Twilight Zone
It's no secret to most of us that the family structure in America, as well as abroad, is eroding. The sheer volume of children being born out of wedlock is staggering. Beyond that, the effects of absent fathers on a larger scale tower over today's society, casting shadows into morality that, if not stopped, will stretch until darkness covers culture and right and wrong become completely subjective and left to the whims of each individual!
Say No to Hell
Yet in the midst of all of this craziness, there is a promise, a powerful declaration of hope emerging from the backdrop of deep darkness: Elijah is coming! Elijah is coming and He will restore hearts and reconcile families! Shout it from the rooftops! Sing it from the highest mountains! Write it over the doorposts of your house! Elijah is coming to restore hearts and to heal families.
The Divine X-Factor
Could it be that just like Elijah was the prophetic answer to his culture's decay, you and I can also be the prophetic answer to the challenges our world, families and communities are up against today? I'm saying, is it possible that God's X-factor is once again His prophetic people? Could they be the catalytic tipping point of our time, the missing link to the master plan, and God's divine answer to man's deviant destruction?
I can hear the objections now: "Kris, you have fallen off the sanity truck! You have lost touch with reality! You are pulling your religious wacko, Jedi mind trick stuff on us!" I know, I know, but hear me out for a minute. Didn't God often use the prophets to alter the perverted course of society throughout history? Remember Moses the prophet, and Miriam the prophetess? They led the children of Israel out of slavery. They were the Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. of their day.
The Prophetic Catalyzes Reformation
How about the prophet Daniel, who spoke into the lives of kings of Babylon and the dictators of Persia, and consequently altered the destiny of two world powers? You know the drill, the list goes on and on. Elijah, Elisha, Deborah, Isaiah, Hosea and even the reluctant prophet, Jonah—they all had one thing in common. They all emerged in the darkest seasons of moral decay, and every one of them became a catalyst to the reformation of society.
The power of this last-day Elijah company of prophets is no longer in their ability to call down fire, as Elijah did under the Old Covenant, but now the full force of this mantle is to be laser-focused and divinely directed toward hearts. The message is clear: Fathers come home to your families, and children be reconciled to your fathers!
The Problem with Prodigal Prophetic People
If this is true—if the prophets are God's X-factor, His divine amen to the world's outcry, then two things have to happen: First, prophetic people have to stop playing the "elder brother of the prodigal son role" and start behaving like fathers and mothers. Let me explain: Like the prophets of old, prophetic people are one of God's most powerful agents of social justice. But unlike the prophets of old who often shifted cultures through the fear of punishment, New Testament prophetic people are called to transform culture from the inside out, turning the heart of the fathers to sons and so on.
The truth is that you might be able to punish people into morality (depending on what definition you use for the word morality), but you can't punish people into purity. Purity always begins with a pure heart.
Secondly, New Testament prophetic people need to understand that God "gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation." We are not pretending that people have no sin, nor are we ignoring the destructive nature of sin in the life of people and society. We are simply applying the payment for sin (the blood of Jesus) to their accounts. In other words, we are saying "Your sin account has been paid for in full. God put your sin on a virtual kingdom credit card. We no longer hold you hostage to this massive debt."
The Situation Is Dire
If ever a people need reconciliation, it's now! Countries spend billions of dollars to try to solve the plight of the powerless, the perversion of the virtueless and the oppression of the vicious. At home, our prisons are packed to capacity, our schools have become war zones, and our theaters and malls are shooting galleries. When does the madness stop?
Back to the Future
Many of us are hoping a new president or global leader will rescue us, or a shift in political power will save us. But what if God's answer is a prophetic movement—God's Spirit, solutions, revelation and clarity poured out on and through all of His children?
I'd like to propose that you have a distinct and purposeful role in this movement. Anyone who is saved and receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit can minister in the gifts of the Spirit.
Paul wrote, "For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged" (1 Cor. 14:31).
Luke echoed Paul's exhortation with his account of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the first-century church. Here is Luke's record of Peter's first message:
"'In the last days it shall be,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even on My menservants and maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17-18).
It is clear from these verses that the gift of prophecy is available to everyone! I am just saying ... what if, in the midst of this moral decay and social darkness, God is calling for His prophetic people, including you, to emerge from obscurity and be His divine X-factor? It's happened before, so why not here, and why not now?
What Is Your Answer?
By now you must be thinking, "What do I do, Kris?" If you're confident in your ability to hear from God, I exhort you to pray specific prayers for your family, your community and your nation. Listen actively, and ask for ears to hear and eyes to see what the Lord is doing, and for clarity on how to act. The time for deferring responsibility for our culture is over. We must ready ourselves, apprehend this catalytic moment, and speak the better word that flows from the voice of our Father over situations, souls and cities!
Grow Your Prophetic Gift
If you're hungry to grow in hearing God's voice for your life, I want to invite you to join me at the Bethel Prophetic Conference this Feb. 19-21 in Redding, California. Gather with us, as God's prophetic people, to co-labor with heaven to experience a worldwide reformation that touch will your family, your story and your world! I'm excited to have Graham Cook and Dr. Michael Maiden speaking with me, and worship led by Bethel Worship; we're expectant for God to move powerfully! We'd love to have you.
What do you feel God is speaking in this unique moment? How have you seen the prophetic bring cultural reformation or personal transformation in your own life?
Kris Vallotton is the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and co-founder of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. He is an author, international speaker and culture leader.
For the original article, visit krisvallotton.com.
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