In an interview with Charisma News, Emma Stark unveiled the purpose of the prophet and how to tell if they are being honest or if they are only telling someone something they want to hear. The first thing she points out is that most people don’t go in with the intention to lead people down the wrong path. Unfortunately, not everyone fully understands what the position of the prophet really is.
“Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, ‘how can I get things wrong today?'” Stark said. “First of all, we have got to have some very honest conversations about what a prophet is, and what a prophet is not.”
One of the clearest signs Stark gives for a true prophet is to realize that their job is much different than the job of the pastor. Pastors are to guide the flock to go deeper and grow closer to Christ, while the job of the prophet is to help the people turn from their wicked ways and trust in the Lord so that they and their families can get into alignment with God’s perfect will.
“Prophets are to love ferociously. But the love is not the love of a shepherd. It’s the love of a prophet,” Stark said. “Prophets, therefore, are never going to speak just to make you feel really gooey, pander to your ego. So, if you receive a prophet and you feel your ego or your agenda is pander to, and you feel able to cheer everything they say, they’re probably not purified by fire. Because the prophet is somebody who makes you uncomfortable.”
Stark believes that the job of the prophet is much less about comfort and more about correction.
“Because the shepherds in the body of Christ, the great lifelong nurturers, make you feel safe. That is not the job of the prophet,” Stark said. “The job of the prophet in Scripture is to make you feel uncomfortable for your edification, in that you will choose better.”
Prophets also do not simply tell people what they are desiring to hear the way a prosperity gospel minister would. Prophets never have, and never will, only tell us the good because if we are to be more like Christ, we need to die daily to self and conform more and more to the image of Jesus.
“Never once do they just say, ‘you’re doing brilliant! Just you keep going, amen! We love everything about you, no need to change, you’re going to get exactly what you want. You’re going to be a success, you’re going to break through, it’s going to speed up, you’re going to get promoted, you’re going to get wealthy,'” Stark said. “Never is that the model of prophecy in Scripture, yet that’s the model of most prophets in the earth.”
However, just as the job of the prophet is harness in the flock toward a corrected, holy path, there is a grander plan and a purpose for the prophet.
“Prophecy is always about redemption,” Stark said. “But that redemption in Jeremiah, you know, says ‘is not my word like fire, declares the LORD and a hammer that breaks the rocks to pieces.’ And so I love you, but I love you robustly well enough to say, ‘Come on people, there’s a holy God, I love you well enough to put you into a process to choose better.'”
Prophecy is not for the faint of heart, and it is not meant to be taken lightly. In fact, the job of the prophet is to be God’s mouthpiece in a clear and precise manner. When prophets walk outside of this to deliver the messages that they want to share instead of the ones that God directs them to, it leads to disaster for them and for the people who heed false messages.
Abby Trivett is a marketing copywriter and coordinator for Charisma Media.