This is an excerpt from Yvonne's Book, Healing the Wounds Prophetic Leadership Transformed, Chapter 32.
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A prophet must operate as a military sniper. They must abide in the secret place, be accurate, be able to identify the enemy and fire at long range. Operating in prophetic precision minimizes friendly fire and is a requirement for a skilled and mature prophet.
1 Kings Chapters 13:1-25 are an outline of prophetic accuracy. Bethel, meaning “the house of God,” was the resting place of the altars built by Abraham (Genesis 7:8) and Jacob (Genesis 28:18). At the division of the kingdoms, Bethel became known, under the leadership of Jeroboam, for its corrupt priesthood. It was located roughly ten miles north of Judah, the capital city of Jerusalem. The following elements are the keys to prophetic precision.
The Prophet Promptly Obeys the Voice of the Holy Spirit
Upon hearing the word of the Lord, an unnamed prophet came to Bethel. He entered the temple when Jeroboam was conducting his priestly duties by offering up incense. The man of God gave no sign of resistance or hesitancy to God’s directives. I Kings 13:1 says, “And behold, a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.”
The Prophet Speaks the Word as Given and as Directed
The man of God did not address Jeroboam. His instructions from the Lord was to speak directly to the altar, and he did as he was commanded.
Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, “O altar, altar! Thus, says the Lord: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you, he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.
The Prophet Understands Prophetic Timing
The word of the Lord is specific to prophetic timing. The prophet came, and he spoke. When God is not speaking, the prophet is silent (I Kings 13:1). When God is speaking, the prophet opens his mouth in bold declaration. Everything you hear or see is not to be declared at that moment. It is important that the mature prophet seeks God for timing. A word spoken out of season can bring more harm than good, especially if the Holy Spirit has not yet dealt with that person. Proverbs 25:11, 12 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.” As addressed in previous chapters, New Testament prophets often confirm what the Holy Spirit has already spoken to someone. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “You cannot change a person if he has not first heard my voice.” True prophets bring understanding and teach; they do not mesmerize or confuse.
The Prophet Understands the Difference Between Spiritual and Natural Authority
Jeroboam was obviously the king but, at that moment, the prophet overrode his natural authority. There are times when God will have His prophet speak to people in authority although he does not hold a position. I have had many encounters when God used my relationship with a leader to bring correction. The caveat is that this correction must be done from a position of respect and honor because we are to obey those who have rule over us. Romans 13:1 (NLT), “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” The other forewarning to consider is that God is always after divine order and His plans take precedence over the plans of men.
The Prophetic Anointing Will Always Confront False Worship
The prophetic anointing abrogates false worship systems and idolatry. In John 4:23, the prophet Jesus confronted the woman at the well concerning her theology of worship. He declared to her, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”
1 Kings 12:32-33 documents the elaborate worship structure Jeroboam had instituted.
Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So, he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. So, he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense.
Interestingly, in 1 Kings 13:2-9, God did not directly speak to Jeroboam’s sin at that moment but spoke directly to the object of His affection. He cursed the altar, which represented the entire system of worship.
The Prophet Understands That God Always Has a Plan
Even as this nation’s systems decline, and society shuns the true and living God, He always has a plan. Debauchery and false worship have been a part of the world system for as long as it has been in existence. A prophet of God can never be discouraged by the condition of society. He cannot allow his message to be altered by the clear majority because God’s plan of redemption is always in motion. As Jeroboam was offering his sacrifices on the altar, God was already one step ahead of the king. The providence and foreknowledge of God were establishing His will and future lineage. The man of God began to declare in 1 Kings 13:2, “Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.”
The Prophet Knows God Will Always Confirm His Word
The man of God declared that God would confirm His word by a sign. Right after He had declared the word, the altar was split in two; the ashes poured on the ground. If we are declaring the word of the Lord, the Holy Spirit will always confirm His word. Mark 16:20 says, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” The word “them” in the original text is italicized, which means that the word was added by the translators to bring clarity. Therefore, removing the word “them” confirms that God did not work with the disciples; He worked with His word.
The Prophet Must Operate in Love
Jeroboam was incensed at the man of God’s bold declaration and sought him arrested. As Jeroboam extended his hand toward the prophet, it immediately withered. But out of the bowels of God’s mercy and the plea of Jeroboam, his hand was restored to normal at the word of the man of God. Regardless of the weight of our message, we have a moral obligation to pray for people. The results and outcomes are up to God—not us.
The Prophet Understands God’s Divine Protection
Jeroboam’s attempt to harm the prophet was to no avail. God quickly stepped in and thwarted him because God will always protect His prophets. One of the enemy’s deadliest tactics to use against a prophet is fear. After Elijah’s greatest victory, he fled in terror from the threat of Jezebel.
1 Kings 19:1-3, And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
1 Kings 13:4 exemplifies God’s divine protection over His messenger. As Jeroboam extended his hand to apprehend the prophet, God conclusively intervened.
The Prophet Obeys God’s Divine Instructions