A few nights ago, I had one of those God-infused dreams—a message that God was giving me to give to the body of Christ. This dream, the message, is a little meatier than what I am used to sharing. I believe it is a “current state of the church” message, a warning to the church and a message of guidance and hope for the body of Christ.
But first, I am reminded why God gives us dreams, correction, edification, and guidance. The reason is summed up right here:
“whom we preach, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present them perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28).
The Aging Prophet
In the dream I was sitting in a pew within a very large sanctuary that was filled to capacity for a church service. Next to me was my invited guest. Suddenly, an older, seasoned prophet appeared behind the pulpit, and I noticed that he was fumbling with his notes. Due to his age, he wanted to be prepared—tried to be prepared—but his aging body would no longer allow it, which deeply troubled him. This became more obvious as he scrambled around behind the podium. I could tell he was thinking: This is all I have left, Lord. I can’t retire because I have no retirement. I don’t want to take a dead-end job at a convenience store at my age. A larger corporation won’t hire me because of my track record of service as a full-time traveling prophet for You, Lord.
As he aged further, he became even more frustrated about how he would survive in the years ahead. This man had served the Lord faithfully as a traveling prophet for decades; his time was coming to an end, and I could see that he did not know how to navigate the final season of his life. The aging prophet was stuck doing what he knew to do, but he could no longer do it well.
We are on the soon-coming edge of an entire generation of prophets about to “retire” and come to an end. They are the ones who left everything behind and went by faith. They gave us supernatural words, spoke timely messages, and chose to guide us, in many ways unconditionally. They built the foundation that we are now walking on. We must not forget about them; we must make an effort to honor them in their final seasons of life. The aging prophets shouldn’t die begging for bread!
“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40).
While the aging prophet struggled behind the podium, two people in the congregation stood up at the same time, one near me and one across the aisle, and started speaking the words of the aging prophet as he began speaking. Though they meant well, it wasn’t time for them to speak yet and some confusion arose as to what was really supposed to be going on in the service.
Unfortunately, not everyone noticed this slight disorderliness. Instead of listening to the man of God speak, several people were busy talking, playing, or texting unnecessary messages to each other. Others were absorbed in their phones and other misguided priorities. (This isn’t referring to taking notes or sending a quick, urgent text; this was focusing completely on that which was not truly important at the time.) I could easily perceive that all of the unnecessary distractions with other priorities could have waited until after the service.
When the two people finally sat down, someone with a drunken stupor about them (which seemed somewhat drummed up to me) decided to enter my pew aisle, even though they knew it was already full. This person fell over on top of my guest and me, actually hurting my guest and making my guest extremely uncomfortable. The person who fell didn’t mean to hurt my guest; unfortunately, my guest was upset to the point where they were probably not going to come back to that church ever again. Living supernaturally doesn’t have to look like a catastrophe!
Suddenly, another well-known, international prophet stood behind the pulpit and said, “If there’s order in this house, it’s gone by the time I leave the church.” Laughing and cutting it short, the well-known prophet left the platform and headed toward the back foyer.
While still in the dream, I realized it’s not supposed to be like this. Traveling prophets and evangelists are not entertainers in the name of a “hyped-up supernatural meeting.” Prophets and evangelists are sent by God to equip the body of Christ. Equippers will cause people to fit where they truly belong in the kingdom of God, not where we think the person should fit based on our own selfish desires.
“But, speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, Christ Himself” (Eph. 4:15).
After the well-known prophet left the podium, a person standing in the aisle suddenly looked at me and said, “The prophet is taking pictures back in the foyer with people now. You can go get a picture with him with all of his beads on around his neck.” I immediately saw the well-known prophet in the back foyer with “special, anointed beads” around his neck, sitting in a photo booth that he had made so that others could get a picture with him. (You would have to pay to get the picture, of course.) The beads around his neck were “anointed,” he would say. While pictures were being taken, he also promoted the beads that were for sale on his table because they were “special, anointed beads.” At one point, this prophet’s table had offered all kinds of teaching books, timely messages and important information from the Lord to share with the body of Christ; now, the table was filled with rosary beads that “were anointed” and now for sale.
Sadly, the well-known prophet also was losing his focus while still in his latter days of traveling ministry. He didn’t have much to write about or say anymore. His best-selling books were no longer best-sellers; his schedule wasn’t as full. His prophetic gift was still spot-on but, regrettably, he had been to so many of the same venues over the past several years that the people were starting to take his gift and calling for granted and even idolize him instead of honoring the Lord as the One who sent the prophet to them. In the dream it was clear: our focus was more on what was going on (the excitement of the meeting) and who elicited the excitement (the prophet) than on the giver of them both: Jesus!
Andy Sanders had an encounter with God just before his high school graduation that altered his life forever. He has since devoted his time to preaching the gospel and writing. He co-authored the Capturing the Supernatural series (capturingthesupernatural.com). Andy has a B.A. from Central Bible College and carries a master’s degree and a doctorate in Christian education from Freedom Seminary, graduating with honors. His family resides in Syracuse, New York.