The environment of a growing word
By Lars Widerberg
A prophet; why does he appear on the stage of reality? What constitutes his frame of existence? For what purpose is he brought fort? What is the driving force of his activities, what animates and sets the course of his life?
A prophet, a man appointed. A prophet, a man appointed for apprehension. A prophet, no longer his own. A prophet, laid hold of for the sake of purposes eternal. A prophet, brought close to the heart of God for reasons hidden in the very heart of the Father. A prophet, an ordinary man apprehended, set apart to make careful search and inquiry as to matters dear to God.
He is what he is because God made a choice. He is going where he is going because God ordained him and structured a formula for his days on earth. He is there solely to minister to Him who is and is to come. His fundamental occupation is fellowship; he is set apart for the sake of togetherness. He belongs to God. He is because God wants him to be. He exists to be saturated by, absolutely sunk into the things of God. God wants this absoluteness to be seen, for men to be attracted to or to be offended by. The prophet is a touchstone of reality.
This type of man, so rare, so genuine, so original in a pure and constructive sense, is brought to the side, his hands taken away from generalities and brought into a place of seeing. His eyes must get used to the light of the prophetic word. His vision ought to be aligned and adjusted to what is real - fantasy and the will of man compromise perception. A prophets perspective is other than mens. Heavenly perception and perspective are prophetic qualities that need to be trained and strained unto the level of propensities a discipline of otherness.
There is no possibility for man to lay hold of this status; no way of teaching himself or being taught by earthly teachers that which belongs to the art of seeing. God chooses the man and brings him up. A prophet is brought fort in solitude, in places and in ways hidden to man. There are no patterns to copy. A prophet belongs to God.
The sovereign choice of the Lord and the necessity of a hidden history with God are fundamental pertaining to the environment of a growing word. These parts cannot be replaced or in any way negated or compromised. These very real and recognisable parts of the prophets constitution open for a testimony among men and for a process related to the particular word from the mouth of the Lord which He sees fit for a generation which does not prepare its heart.
I will praise the LORD with my whole heart in the assembly of the upright. Ps111:1, MKJV.
I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart in the council of the upright. Ps 111, ASV.
The environment of a growing word is bound up with worship which includes sacrifice and exposure of the inner man. One or two questions may help sharpen the issue. What is wholeheartedness? What does the singer speak of when he uses the phrase with all my heart? A few small things to indicate an answer: No part hidden. A walking in the light. A worship which borders humiliation of the man. A standing naked before God and men. A putting off of all that is me before men.
This is what I am, what I am reduced to, and this is what God is like. A vindication of the Lord amidst the company of the upright. A heart given away to God before the council of the upright. Wholehearted thankfulness is an act of utter submission.
The company of the upright plays a vital part in the environment of a growing word. There is a cross at the center of a prophetic fellowship. The collegium, the college provides a safe place for the word to grow, for the man who is chosen to carry the burden of the word. The aim of the company of the upright is defined as the fellowship in which a common testimony is brought forth, correction and discipline is set forth for each participant, and confirmation given in the final round unrelated to any manipulative or self-seeking effort. A cross at the core of the college produces a genuine testimony. The cross brings uprightness. The cross defines and establishes the Council of God.
Perplexity is a secret source of true spiritual growth. Willingness to be sought out begins and sustains every new sector of development unto truth. Worship which substantiates a vindication of the Lord in the midst of the company of the upright holds a thorough emptying of man and thereby is a true testimony secured. Perplexity aims at a surrender which substantiates a growing reliability, mature stickability, a trustworthiness which dare to move on beyond any hurt caused and every offence produced. This fellowship is the prophetic testimony and brings the word of God needed at this hour.
What can we bring into the Council of the Lord but our willingness to be formed by His hands and thoughts? What do we have to present in this gathering but human frailty and weakness to be taken care of by His saving grace? The ones allowed to enter are there solely to seek the mind of the Lord which immediately will contradict anything and everything which man stands for. Perplexity. No vested interests. Nothing to preserve. The Council of the Lord is not just an inconvenience to human efforts, it is death to any item which stems from mans capacity. The issue of the prophetic realm is the issue of the Cross.
The environment of a growing word, the prophetic environment holds an all consuming absorption of the word of the Lord. The prophetic mind is a mind wholly given to the study, a thorough investigation of the word of God. The singer, the scholar who gathered the massive statement which we label Psalm 119 sets the standard. Anything below this impressive mark is substandard in the prophetic realm. Anything presented as a prophetic utterance which floats somewhere below this level of quality are words with very little relevancy. The primary word stands. It stands any test. It stands as absolutes. It cannot be countered by any secondary utterance.
The prophet seeks out the word of the Lord, this word of the Lord seeks out the prophet. A prophet is for ever caught and apprehended by the word.
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 1 Pet. 1:10-11.
Prophetic research is fully aimed at understanding salvation. Prophets become deliverers because they have taken the pains to allow a word of deliverance to grow towards fullness. The prophets words are never shallow and general. It has the mark of the sender. It knows its receiver. It reaches its address. It never returns void. It is worth regarding and to be taken to heart. It is a word from the furnace.
The secondary words from a prophets mouth bear the insignia of the primary word. A secondary word is a word from the Lord, but it never replaces the primary word. Seeing, a functional perceiving of reality precedes speaking. A thorough looking into the word of the Lord in the midst of the company of the upright precedes speaking a relevant word, bringing the burden of God before men.
The environment of the growing word holds qualities only to be found in the company of the upright. This community is an open fellowship, men walking in the light. The college never closes its doors; prophetic words which contains power to bring correction to a community hold this power because they are born in a fellowship who dares to be open to correction. A leadership which cannot stand a corrective vehicle denies the power of the cross and reduces itself to spiritual irrelevancy, even to falsehood. Uprightness is a criterion; openness, light, humility constitutes the company of the committed. Verity and stickability defines the environment of a growing word.
The company of the upright is the place of listening. The Council of God is the place where one is sought out for the sake of the vindication of the Lord. The assembly of the upright is established and set up for Him to be a setting in which His throne has a proper fundament. The assembly of the upright is the prophetic setting where the Holy Spirit displays absolute rule.
Who will be able to come into such a setting? Who dares to stir himself to enter the Council of God. Clean hands needed. An undivided heart required. Who dares to invite the necessary sifting? The college is a place of listening, a position of silence. The company itself constitutes the place of holiness where the Ark of God, the instrumentalities of reconciliation and revelation are established in mens hearts.
The establishment of such a council is a worthy cause to pursue. It is an endeavour which will bring maturity. Preparing ground for such a searching and such a penetrating of the limits of human frailty for the sake of something heavenly to come in and overtake belongs to the prophetic realm.
The environment of a growing word is the appropriate gift of a Church to all men.