Speaking the truth in love as a warning to a wayward culture, and sadly, at times to a wayward Church, will sound abrupt and unkind to the tempered and passive masses who are not accustomed to conflict. It is not wise to dismiss such warnings out of hand simply because they contain unfamiliar content or do not align with our preferred style of delivery.
Taking time to offer a comforting metaphor or illustration before the content of a challenging message is delivered can interfere with the timing of the delivery of a prophetic word. These delays put the intended recipients in a place of unnecessary jeopardy. In seasons of peace, we have time to offer a metaphor or illustration to gain acceptance for what is being spoken. In a spiritual war, the time wasted on these preparatory comments can keep people in the enemy’s line of fire. Announcing imminent jeopardy in the heat of battle comes as a command – a succinct and to-the-point announcement of danger requiring immediate and decisive action.
Prophets standing on the wall of culture as watchmen are making stark, to-the-point announcements. These voices may appear to be overcome with emotion and too easily dismissed. What we are hearing is not human emotion. We are hearing the passion of God spoken through His prophets revealing His desire that none should perish.
“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand” (Matthew 13:9).