God’s beauty hovers over everything good and pure. His lovingkindness dwells in whoever would seek his presence. In any kind of situation, he is there to shield and protect. He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (ever-present), and omniscient (all-knowing); the three Omnis: power, presence, and perception. Three aspects of God reminiscent of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Truths to bear us comfort and nurturing from the Creator of the Universe.
If there are different aspects of God, and from that trinity hosts of characteristics outflowing, then surely the witnesses of his believers come in an assortment of styles. I think too often the religious mindset would rather put the operations of God in a box, be it for control of others, luxury of familiarity, or appearance. So would you blow up boxes for the sake of Creator if he asked you to step out and do something different?
History has given us a number of prophetic examples; legendary individuals thought of as a bit off, weird to their general populace. Yet, I admire the risk they took for doing something it took courage to do. By shedding man’s judgment rather than miss out on God’s blessings, we grow further into his kingdom and in the gifts of the Spirit.
Just as there are variances in personalities and mannerisms, there are manifestations of holy messages and expressions of the divine meant to edify and encourage. There’s a place for every body and a slant from each person but not one angle for everybody. Because we’re all created distinctively and are not the same body part; we are multiple parts working together for one purpose.
Growing up, I had way more exposure to loud or fiery prophets in evangelistic spheres. The more the spirit came upon these saints to speak, the volume went up—megaphones not needed! It exhilarated sometimes, but often I felt this: I’m touched by the Lord, gifted by the Lord in the prophetic, as we all are or can be. We all have access to the voice of God and to his gifts. 1 Corinthians 14:1 says, “Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the spirit gives—especially the ability to prophecy.” Another version of this scripture I favor comes from the Aramaic Bible in Plain English, “Run after love and be zealous for the gifts of The Spirit, but especially that you may prophecy.” But I’d thought many times that if I didn’t behave as these fiery prophets did, or my exhortation didn’t match the volume, then I wasn’t excited enough, impassioned enough, or touched enough. And with that, I tended to withdraw or hide. Because I also didn’t know that other styles of prophets existed in my generation. Why wouldn’t they? When the Bible gives us such a diverse picture of the various prophets in stories of old?
Prophesy isn’t available to only foretell the future, or warn, but it’s God revealed through someone for someone. God is speaking a message and if the prophecy is of God, it will affirm what the Lord already spoke to your heart. It’s personal. Prophecy, and Word of Knowledge (of which I most operate), are meant to encourage and edify. Love is primary. And the Lord loves each one of us as each one of us.
I’ve since discovered those who operate in the gifts of the Spirit who deliver in a reflective, gentle way. This speaks to me the most and ushers in healing properties, something to which I’m perhaps more receptive. I’ve learned that there is tenderness in prophetic boldness, too. Prophetic boldness doesn’t have to mean loud or authoritatively imposing; it can be quiet boldness… or prophetic quietness (calm). A confidence to speak, do, or act out—but acting out doesn’t have to mean waving arms and shouting loud—because sometimes loud isn’t motivating to those on the quieter side of perception. If I’ve considered this, then there are others who have wondered about it, too. So I wanted to encourage those who have prophetic tendencies or desires, and want to step out, take a risk, yet you are on the introverted side of humanity. Sure, we’re a minority (it’s estimated that 25-50% of the population is introverted), but we matter.
If you are extroverted, great! Express how the Lord gifted you to express. But if you’re a soft-spoken one, and tend to tread gently through life, you are as much needed to communicate to others God’s message of love. If you prefer to dive into the silent deep, and in the depth of the waters to still a person’s soul and speak only what the Father wants you to speak, sing, or write to them, then… Most likely, your receivers are those who don’t find extroverted extensions as reassuring or effective as others might. God’s communication is his communication… and his message will be proclaimed. Still, there’s a reason (many reasons) why we are uniquely and wonderfully made. You might reach a person through your style or format or understanding that nobody else can reach. And that matters. Leave the 99 to find the 1 (Parable of the Lost Sheep, Matthew 18:10-14 and Luke 15:3-7).
I knew of an elderly lady who had a green thumb. She loved plants and had a way with them. This dear lady lived on a hill that I drove by almost daily on my way out to the mountain stables where I kept my horse. She’d cut shapes into her hedges, and arrange flower pots, large and small, into images symbolic of telling the Bible story. She was an artist, an artist of plants. She was also prophetic, because more often than not, I’d see a peace dove, or the cross, an angel, the ark, or what looked like a scribe bent near holy flames of fire—Moses’ burning bush! —and more. And it confirmed the voice of the Lord having whispered to my heart either earlier or later that day or even that week or month or season—and I’m not even much of a fan of manicured landscaping. Yet, seeing the images shaped from hedges and plants of her lawn and field speaking a carefully laid out message, well, it was affirming, healing, comforting, and directional. Inspired. I’d say anointed. Love poured off that hill by the hands and heart of that godly elder woman I’d never met. How many more lives had she touched than just mine while she used what she was gifted with, right where she was, to share this meticulous beauty, the emblematic Spirit reminders, with others?
I now often think of those walking in faith, and in the prophetic, as conduits for God’s Word in different shapes, sizes, colors, polishes, and purposes. When you’re right where you’re meant to be, and you create, express, arrange, and stir in the way God created you, then your style of the Lord-inspired prophetic boldness is refreshing as rain to someone who needs it; one who needs encouraged by a message from God through your participation of love. As lovely as a hedge of green under somebody’s skilled and thoughtful hands.
Called to plant seed, grow, sculpt, or harvest? Do it your way in God’s way.