While I believe our world is getting better in certain ways due to improved healthcare, access to knowledge, and technology, all those advancements do not change human nature. In this generation of history with all our advancements, people can be just as barbaric and inhumane as someone swinging a broadsword in the Middle Ages as they rape and pillage an adjacent village.
We tend to think with all our modern improvements and elevated standard of living those things have improved our character. They haven’t. Only a life lived in submission to Jesus Christ can experience such a deep change.
Of all the prophets, the book of Isaiah seems to have been written in both a present and future context. Perhaps that is one reason why the Lord quoted Isaiah frequently. Isaiah’s message applies across time. Isaiah wrote the following words writing about his generation and generations to come. “These people are stubborn rebels who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions. They tell the seers, ‘Stop seeing visions!’ They tell the prophets, ‘Don’t tell us what is right. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies. Forget all this gloom. Get off your narrow path. Stop telling us about your Holy One of Israel’” (Isaiah 30: 9-11).
When a person has adopted and believes a comfortable and controlling lie and someone comes along speaking in the name of God words that remove the fog of their illusion, they will do anything they can to stop that contradictory voice from speaking.
At this critical time in our generation, for an unredeemed culture and for some within Church without discernment, people are seeing their illusions crumbling. They are saying, “Stop with the visions. Don’t tell me what is right. Tell me only comfortable lies. I have no room for your gloom. And above all, stop telling me about Jesus, He can’t be the only way.” It is into this mass of confusion and unbelief that the voice of the prophets will speak and stir controversy.
In some circles of faith, the prophetic ministry has been reduced to a happy, positive kind of speech. Some have taken it so far as to say a New Covenant prophet should only speak words of encouragement citing I Corinthians 14:3. That verse describes the outcome of a prophetic image or word, not always its message or form of delivery. If a challenging word is received and acted upon, the by-product will be strength, encouragement, and comfort because an uncomfortable word of warning was heeded.
Those with ears to hear and eyes to see the heart of God will welcome uncomfortable visions, challenging words of correction, a raw interpretation of reality, and most importantly a fresh understanding of aspects of Jesus Christ their illusion may have blinded them from seeing. Words of prophetic adjustment will challenge all of us no matter who we are or what assumptions we have adopted.