Of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, prophecy is one of the most prone to sensationalism. A prophetic person who is sensationalist is a person who presents prophetic ministry and prophesies in a way that is intended to provoke public interest or excitement, at the expense of accuracy.
One of the obstacles I face when I travel in ministry is the damage that sensationalist prophetic people have caused. The instability and erroneous spirit from where they minister leaves a sense of abuse that is difficult for saints and ministers to shake off and move on.
Prophecy reveals “secrets” (1 Corinthians 14:25) That does not mean we compromise our integrity by employing a mechanism to rouse the people or play into their emotions. Prophecy should always lead people to worship and communion with God. Prophetic Ministry is not showmanship, don’t devalue it.
A.W. Tozer shared on “God Tells the Man Who Cares”: “I heard of one graduate of a theological school who determined to follow his old professor’s advice and preach the Word only. His crowds were average. Then one day a cyclone hit the little town and he yielded to the temptation to preach on the topic “Why God Sent the Cyclone to Centerville.” The church was packed. This shook the young preacher and he went back to ask his professor for further advice in the light of what had happened. Should he continue to preach the Word to smaller crowds or try to fill his church by preaching sermons a bit more sensational? The old man did not change his mind. “If you preach the Word,” he told the inquirer, “you will always have a text. But if you wait for cyclones you will not have enough to go around.”
Practical Ways to Avoid this Pitfall:
1. Base your ministry on the integrity of your communion and relationship with God. (Be real, authenticity means being sober-minded about where you really are, don’t work things up)
2. Guard the character of God through demonstrating and remaining teachable, accuracy of prophetic ministry is in heart first, details second. (Be teachable, you will miss the mark sometimes)
3. Learn to wait, prophetic authorization is not an emotion, but rather a clear prompting of the right heart and attitude that can most effectively deliver the word of the Lord. (Many prophetic people are trigger happy, ready to shoot, but wise and mature prophetic people know how to wait on the Lord)
4. Like John the Baptist, we must decrease in order for Him to increase through our prophetic ministry expression.