No Tattletales!

Nobody likes a tattletale — an individual who makes it his goal to keep others straight.  They are self-made watchdogs. Snitches.  They are a pain in the neck!
I remember tattling on my brother Jeff when we were growing up.  He had snuck ice cream from our basement freezer and I felt it my duty to tell my parents.  Not only did my parents yell at me, but later Jeff beat me up.  He got a spanking, and I got a black eye!
Did you know that not even God tattles on us?
Since about the late 1980’s, the phrase, “prophetic word” began circulating in certain streams of Christian endeavor.  I personally felt uncomfortable from the very on-set of what is now referred to as the “Prophetic Movement.”  It seemed that everyone had a “word from the Lord.” 
I believe in the office of prophet, simply because the Bible tells us that “Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service…” (Ephesians 4:11-12).  And Amos 3:7 tells us that before the canon of Scripture (66 books of the Bible) was closed, God spoke nothing except through the prophets. 
Here’s where it gets sticky.  Many today run to prophetic meetings to get a word from the Lord.  People are taught to hear from the Lord and share what they hear.  While I believe the Lord certainly speaks to us, if we will listen, I don’t believe I need to rely on prophetic words to make it through life. 
Let me put it this way:  The Old Testament prophets foretold; prophets today forth tell.  In other words, we have the written Word of God and God certainly speaks messages through His five-fold ministers (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors-teachers), based on His already revealed Word.  I can in no way elaborate on this wide subject in this blog, except to summarize the overall purpose of each office with these gerunds:
Apostles – to send
Prophets – to see
Pastors – to tend
Teachers – to teach
Evangelists – to preach
Now, back to tattletales.  Like in any move of God, people tend to become imbalanced and even abusive.  The prophetic move certainly brings value to the body of Christ, but sadly some have used this wonderful gift to exploit and “tell on other believers.” 
Let me put it succinctly:  God never tells on His children.  He’s never going to tell one “kid something about another.”  We all have the same access to the throne of grace and God does not favor one request over another.  To see ourselves as personal spokesmen to/for others can bring them harm and confusion.  I believe that God can burden us to pray for others, but I do not believe He gives us a play by play on what other believers have done. This does not line up with the fatherhood aspect of God’s character. 
Even words of knowledge and words of wisdom come with great accountability – those times when God reveals information to specific individuals for specific purposes – when God allows us to “read someone’s mail!”  During these times God reveals His heart of love and calls upon us to pray for those to whom He lays upon our heart. But I personally draw the line with “assembly line” prophetic words.
When I pastored in Elyria, a certain lady kept asking me for a “word.”  She repeatedly said, “Pastor, I need you to give me a word.”  Finally, one Sunday I handed her my Bible and said, “Here’s God’s final Word to you. This is all you need.”  She became indignant at my suggestion!  Here was a woman who kept a prophetic journal, chasing after prophets to “get a word from God.”  I noticed she spent more time journaling and studying prophetic words given to her than reading and studying the Bible for herself.   
Like anything else God does, He desires that we walk in balance while benefitting from this gift. Let’s understand that tattletales have no place in the community of faith!



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