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Letter to A Reluctant Prophet

by Chip Brogden

Dear Friend,

It is with a certain fearfulness that I respond to your inquiry, for I am not an authority on such things. I can certainly relate to your reluctance at being identified among the company of the prophets when so many false apostles, prophets, and teachers abound. I wish I could point you in a proper direction, but I can only point you towards the Lord. It is He who selects His messengers, and I have nothing to offer you by way of what to do.

At most, perhaps you can look upon me as an example of what NOT to do, and take some word of counsel from a weak brother who has made many mistakes and endured many failures along the way. Perhaps you too will have to make even the same mistakes in order to learn, yet following my advice could perhaps help you to avoid the unnecessary heartache and cruelty inflicted upon yourself and others when thinking that you are doing God a service.

I would counsel you, first of all, to be a Christian. Do not spend too much time focused on that which is prophetic. Do not come to others as a prophet, but as a child. Let Christ be your obsession, not the prophetic word. For “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” There need not be turmoil in your heart about your calling; it is clear that you are among those that are “the Called, according to His purpose.” And what is His purpose? That you be “conformed to the image of His dear Son.” That, above all, is your first calling.

Many are eager to wear the Prophet’s mantle, but are reluctant to bear the Christian’s cross. This cannot be. Given the choice between Christian or Prophet, choose Christian. Serve God as the earthen vessel you are, in the place you find yourself to be. Perhaps the Lord will indeed use you in some prophetic way, but if not then at least you have been faithful with the “one talent” you have been given. God will not give five talents to those who cannot be faithful with one, and will not give ten to those who cannot be faithful with five.

If you are a Christian first you will remember that you should walk softly, with meekness and humility, while esteeming others as better than yourself. Then the prophetic word, when and if it comes, will be seasoned with the appropriate amounts of mercy and grace. Remember that without love you will inevitably become as sounding brass – all judgment. If we cannot or will not stay in Love, God will set out to humble us shamefully before our brothers and sisters that we may know the depths of our hypocrisy and self-righteousness. That is evidence of HIS great love for all of us.

Now, concerning the prophetic word itself. God will give you the “what”, but the “when” and the “how” are left up to you. “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” You can be right on target with the “what”, but if you screw up the “when”, and especially the “how”, you do yourself and others unnecessary harm.

Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you (this speaks of RESTRAINT on the way WE want to go) and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” What then? He gives us liberty to speak, but allows us to suffer for speaking out of ourselves. He bids us to be restrained, to take our liberty and give it back to Him, knowing that we can do nothing of ourselves. He does not force us to wear the yoke, but invites us saying “take My yoke.” By giving up our freedom, we will receive it again.

No, we cannot just do what Jesus did, because Jesus bore the yoke of His Father at all times. We cast off the yoke so quickly. We are untrustworthy, but He is faithful. Let us not just imitate Him, but let us learn of Him. Let us not only be familiar with His Word, but let us become acquainted with His Ways. It is not enough to memorize what He said, we must take His yoke upon us and walk in tandem with Him.

Since Christ bids us to “learn of ME”, beware of those who will try to gain access into your life with an inordinate desire to mentor or shepherd you. We may certainly seek the advice, prayers, and counsel of other mature believers. Even the little children in the Kingdom of God can teach us much. But people can only carry us so far, and there is a certain human pride which results in the teachers trying to form the students into their own image. This will not do. The Anointing, Who is the Christ, will teach you all things. His Spirit will lead you into all Truth. His grace is sufficient. There is no man or woman who can give you anything apart from what you have already in Jesus, for we have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ”.

Do you see dear friend, that God is more concerned with the messenger than the message? Do you see that the minister is more important than the ministry? If the messenger is wrong, the message will be wrong too. If the minister is wrong, the ministry will be wrong. And do you see that the Lord of the work is more important than the work of the Lord? Meditate on these things.

There really is no famine of the Word of God. If God is able to find the right vessel the Word will come forth in abundance. Therefore, He takes much time to mold, fashion, train, refine, purge, break down, build up, discipline and create His prophets. Yield to that process. It cannot be rushed, but it may certainly be hindered. We cannot force the Spirit, but we may certainly quench Him.

Ah, your gifts are given to you in a moment’s time, but your fruit, your character, YOU, develops over many seasons of God’s dealings. Do not be thrilled with your gifts, only observe if you are fruitful in Spirit, bearing much fruit, abounding in love, joy, peace, faithfulness, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, and self-control. You can be sure that there are more gifted people in the world than you, yet the fruit is what will remain when the gifts pass away. Never neglect the place of abiding in Him, and you will remain a fruitful branch in the Vine.

Expect misunderstanding. Expect persecution. Expect ridicule. Expect mistreatment. Expect suffering. Expect rejection. Then, you won’t be surprised when it comes. And when it comes, shut your mouth, go to the cross, and die so you can live. Learn to kiss the hands that nail you to the cross, for as you are decreased, He is increased. It is not a better living we need, but a better dying. We cannot reach Pentecost but by way of Passover. There can be no resurrection without a crucifixion. There is no crown without a cross. To live, is Christ: to die is gain.

So if you want to boast, take pride in the things that make you weak, for when you are weak, you are strong – in Him. Be afraid of the praise and acceptance of others, for they are the fertilizer for the self-important and grandiose thoughts that are yours by nature anyway, which spring up in the shallow ground of your carnal mind. Carry about the Death of the Lord so you may have the Life of the Lord. Be ready to suffer with Him, that you may reign with Him.

And now, some practical advice:

As much as possible, stay away from money. Freely you have received, freely give.

Have no part in foolish and unlearned questions, either in the asking of them or in the answering of them. Give up your opinions and go to the cross.

Refuse to promote yourself, “your” word, or “your” ministry. If God gives you something to say, let Him see to the promotion of it.

The loftiest spiritual service will never take away from the most mundane earthly responsibility. Take care of your family, your pet, your lawn, your business, your neighbor. Keep your teeth brushed and your hair combed.

Don’t be afraid to make tents. If you want to eat, work.

Be slow to anger and quick to forgive.

Before, you would never apologize even when you knew you were wrong. Now, be willing to apologize even when you know you are right.

This is my counsel, dear friend, and perhaps something I have said in this brief letter will bear witness with you. With these words then, I commit you to the care of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is able to complete the work which He has begun in you and see you through to maturity, as you are rooted and grounded in Him, being thoroughly equipped and strengthened by His Might which works in those who have taken up the cross to find power in weakness.

Of course, if I may serve you in any way, I hope you will call on me without hesitation, for

I am your brother,

Chip Brogden

17 Comments

  1. John David

    Dear Chip,
    I really appreciate this write up and more also it ministered unto me. I know ”the calling” is not the subject but ”the Caller”; the focus is not on what I am called to do but who I am called to be. It has never be the calling, all along it has being me becoming Christ.

    And to be a Prophet is not something one will really desire for after knowing what may like befall such a person as he grows in it.

    I know it not that easy but often it get more complicated when you shared ”on” what the Lord told you either in your closet or in a meeting and the question came as ”How did you received it, where, and are you sure?”Sometime, I wish this gifts wasn’t there; maybe I would have escaped somethings but, the more I try to pretend as if it was not there the more it manifested in my sharing, write-up even in a meeting as a speakings. I’m still trusting God for help in this area.

    I really desire to love my God and be deeper in Him, to lay all down before His throne and embraces the cross He brings my ways but It is not easy dying!!

    I hope one day I will be able o grasp all that the Lord desire for my life.

    Those are the little I can write here; hoping to hear from you and communicate well with you.

    Thanks for the message and God be bless. Amen

    Reply
    • Olivia

      Humbled to tears .. thank you

      Crying out to Jesus ??

      Reply
  2. eve

    Hi Chip,

    This teaching stunned me into silence.

    It is like it is written from the pen of God to those whom he calls.

    Thank you for your willingness to be so used by the Lord to convey his wisdom on such a controversial subject.

    I remain, His servant

    Eve UK

    Reply
  3. Vicki

    Wow! Thank You!

    Reply
  4. FresnoJoe

    Amen!

    “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” James 3:17

    Be Blessed Beloved Of The KING

    Love, Your Brother Joe

    Reply
  5. Jan

    Chip, thank you so much. I cried when I read your letter. What you’ve put forth in your letter is exactly what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach me. He called me and my husband into hiding 7 years ago. Many reasons for this, most of all to teach us the very things you wrote about. I remember clearly hearing the Holy Spirit say, “If you ever have to choose between more anointing or love, choose love.
    Thank you very much for this encouraging letter.
    Lord bless you bro.
    Jan

    Reply
  6. Carolina Ricci

    Wow!!!!! Thanks so much. This spoke directly to my spirit and resonated with me in such a massive way, especially in the season within which I find myself. Thank you thank you thank you. And most importantly Praise and thanks to God who led me to this letter and led you to write it – I dont even know how I found it but the Lord promises that He guides us continually….Isaiah 58:11….

    Bless you
    Carolina Gold Coast

    Reply
  7. Doris Kimongo

    Wonderful words!!! Goodness, the prophetic ministry is quite deep. These words were surely meant for me “And when it comes, shut your mouth, go to the cross, and die so you can live. Learn to kiss the hands that nail you to the cross, for as you are decreased, He is increased. It is not a better living we need, but a better dying. We cannot reach Pentecost but by way of Passover. There can be no resurrection without a crucifixion. There is no crown without a cross. To live, is Christ: to die is gain.” It’s more more of Christ and less of me, I must decrease so that He can increase. Amen Amen. God Bless.

    Reply
  8. Carmen

    WOW I have read this letter, over an over, I’ve been blessed by it!

    The Lord began to deal with myself and my husband 8 years ago, He moved us away from our family, away to a lonely land, we’ve been through so much rejection, financial need, lonely times, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. But I have learned that time alone spent with HIM is worth more the money, friends, family! It doesn’t compare with anything on this earth.

    I am finally at such a place of peace and just accepting this is who God has called me to be and it has been 8 years of purging, dying to self, much rejection and financial distress, but today I finally know who I am and althought these gifts are never easy, I am content and honored to be chosen by Adonai to serve! It’s so refreshing to read that we are not alone, that there are many of us that God is preparing in secret for the end times.

    Just wanted to say Thank You, for sharing this wonderful letter it has ministered myself and my husband abundantly.

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Carmen

    Reply
  9. bart

    Chip, I have been struggling with self for quite some time now as I have been blessed with a poetic/lyrical ability that astounds even myself at times.That,coupled with the spiritual journey and nothing less than a miracle I received from God prompts me to share it and do it now!!!…..My heart tells me that God is calling….but I’m not an expert as most of my life was spent in rebellion.Thank you for those words of wisdom….and any correspondance and/or resources would be very welcome!

    Reply
  10. Star

    Chip, you could not have written this with such wisdom without having gone through much suffering in the honing process of God’s plan for your life–it shows! Thank you for your sharing!!

    Reply
  11. Garry Ballard

    I am a nurse and just recently used this analogy to explain what to do with a Word from the Lord. When nurses administer drugs to a patient in hospital we have to follow a protocol we call the “5 R’s.

    1. Is it the Right patient?
    2. Is it the Right drug?
    3. Is it the Right dose?
    4. Is it the Right time?
    5. Is it the Right route? (Oral, intravenous etc)

    If we slip up with any of these R’s the consequences can be dire!

    This can be applied to a Word from the Lord.
    Are you talking to the right person or are you just scattering it about hoping the right person gets it? ie Do you know if its for a particular person or group of people or just a general word for everybody?

    Is it the right word for that person? A word from God not just a thought we had that we think might help them

    Is it the right dose of that word? ie sometimes we get carried away and start adding in a few words of our own and not just simply sticking to the Word God gave us.

    Is it the right time? This is essential as the scriptures talk about timing (Proverbs 15:23) We have to be sure its the right time!

    And most essential, the right route!! Can it be a phone call or an email or does it need to be person to person? ie what I have just wrote is a word that is suited to a blog or a message in general but if it was of a particular personal nature its NEARLY ALWAYS best in person..

    Reply
  12. Mary

    Good stuff Chip.
    I heard someone say once that she could “pull up a word” in any situation. It troubled me. She meant that as she had identified herself as a prophet, she could function as a prophet in all things if necessary, and speak what she had a mind to speak. I felt it was a short step from there to say that, if anyone didn’t agree with her, they were disagreeing with God, since she already believed that every word that she deliberately spoke was from God. There is a whole world of false authority wrapped up in the self-appointing of prophets, and to make things worse, there is no shortage of people with a carnal inclination in the Christian setting who are ready to ladle on the praise and “agree” that “we have a prophet among us”.
    The test comes when we have to speak a serious word of warning and admonishment,and in this situation, frequently those who found us praiseworthy will desert us and declare us “false prophets” because we said what they didn’t like to hear.
    For these reasons we will find ourselves alone with the Lord, sometimes for years, so that we might learn to distinguish His voice, and to allow Him to tell us what our role is. I feel that the equipping of God for the prophet involves as you say, the rejection of the praise of men, and also the developing of a heart to serve. Nowhere in the world is toilet-cleaning, for example, considered proper training for anything but toilet-cleaning, except in the prophetic. I don’t mean this literally, I mean that humility is a major requirement, and pride a major obstacle to progress in the Lord.
    The proof of our ministry is not in the praise of men but in the praise of God, so that we lay down all entitlement to authority and influence in order that God might more fully work through us, showing His authority and His power.
    If this comes out in a small stuttering word of encouragement for someone beaten low, we will see by the result if it is God that worketh in us to will and to do. If, on the other hand, we find ourselves in any sense elevating ourselves to deliver a “word” from some lofty position of lording it over the flock, we can be sure this is not God’s working.
    Making mistakes is humbling: I see we need to allow each other to do that as we learn. But if it is God’s hand upon us, the humbling will bring a good result.
    Love, Mary

    Reply
  13. Dennis

    Chip, thank you for taking the time to present your thoughts. This is the most humbling, sobering, and at the same time exciting thing I’ve seen written concernng the process of dying to self, to live for Christ. An amazing woman, who has spoken into both my and my wife’s life over many years, says it succintly, “Die Well”. To me, you’ve shown a shaped and molded heart that that is healthy, useful, and beautiful in the sight of our Father. Blessings

    Reply
  14. wynne maynor

    God is awesome. Isn’t it an honor to be chosen by God? It is a beautiful thing. Let the Lord continue to kill you so that you can stay humble as you are. Your writing has God’s hand all over it. I pray that as you stay humble before the Lord, He will continually lift you up.

    Thank you for this on-time article. God is awesome.

    Wynne D. Maynor

    Reply
  15. Mark Cox

    To Chip Brogden and to whom the letter was addressed – As one who has been called to a prophetic service, I can testify as to staying low. Meekness and charity and love and obedience to my Lord Jesus Christ are the essentials to the service I provide. I grew up in chaos, but was called at young age. Then, after accepting Jesus Christ as my savior, receiving water baptism, and accepting my call – I rebelled. I was a nomad wondering in the desert. In my mid-20s, the Holy Spirit came to me and convicted me of my lifestyle (outwardly nice and sweet, full of peoples praise, but inwardly a snake in the grass). Along with the haunting from the Holy Ghost, I had new insight into the Word of God. Insights I had desired so much when I was younger. Insight that were more obvious and written about than my ignorant mind knew at the time. I begin with this preface because – it went to my head. I became a roaring lion. There were people in my life who encouraged this behavior. I feel that Yahweh was very disappointed. I was crushed under the weight of my prophetic disobedience.

    I am now 40. I spent another decade and half wandering. I am now home – resting from the storms about in the presence of the King. For that I am willing to live for Christ & die to Christ. I am a prophet in my church. When I was younger, I felt that meant correcting the Pastor! Pointing out where he was wrong! Pointing out when teachers were wrong, the lay leaders were wrong etc. etc. It is not.

    2 thoughts – take them if you will; 1) Some historical political leader (I forget maybe Teddy Roosevelt): Speak softly and carry a big stick. That is a great mandate for a prophet – I find that when I find ideas, spirits, people who are dissonant to God’s Word in the local church I attend, I offer those no resistance when the perceive and wish to challenge…only a servant’s willing offer to serve. The big stick you carry is your prayer. Mighty & Glorious is the plea to the Father… not by your strength, nor by an army of strength, but by my spirit… says Yahweh.” Christ stands ready to intercede on your behalf. Amen to that!!!! Pray it like you mean it as instructed in James 1.

    2) beware of teachers who offer the prophet instruction or mentoring. Hearken to Micah 7:5 and remember who you real teacher is… the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment that is sharp enough to separate the soul & the spirit.

    Thank you Chip for your wise counsel on these matters. Yahweh’s prophets are bombarded by all sorts of charlatans. Shalom be with you all who read these words.

    Reply

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