Prophet & The Principle of Design – Friendship with God, is the first of many introductions to the Prophet redemptive gift. Ongoing posts designed to unwrap this gift bit by bit is not unlike initially meeting someone, sharing more time together, and engaging in continued conversation. Along the way you develop a sense of who they are, things they like or dislike, what they are passionate about and what gets their goat, their hopes and hesitations, and much more …
Friendships come with a caveat, though: if you think you really know someone, you might be surprised at what you learn when you actively choose to relate with them. That choice is itself a stepping-stone for building and maintaining relationship, especially with consistent care.
Friendship with God and You
Apply this not just to relationship with others, but with God and yourself…and understanding slowly dawns.1 Have you ever considered God + yourself as relating friends with whom you like to spend time?
I believe this is part of God’s design from the beginning: the more time we spend in cultivating relationship with Him, the more we also learn about ourselves – as described in the opening paragraph.
Again, the study of the redemptive gifts is really about who God is, what He is like, and how we reflect His nature. Abraham, the father of many nations, was recorded in scripture as being “a friend of God.”
Few would argue that Abraham left a legacy that has far outlived him. “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”2 The covenant God made with Abraham is irrevocable. As a believer in Christ Jesus, you have the same covenant-keeping Father God who has placed eternal value on being a friend of His. No one can match His passionate desire for you to learn of Him and live out who you are.
The First of Seven Pillars
Prophet & the principle of design is the first of the seven pillars hewn out by Wisdom as she set about to build her house.3 Hewn out one by one, the collective yet uniquely different pillars, would comprise the canopy under which the pattern of seven would unfold throughout Creation’s design, including ours.
Read Lady Wisdom – The Voice of Understanding for a beginning foundation, weave it together with the Spirit of Truth – a key essence of the Holy Spirit, and the redemptive gift of the Prophet portion of your human spirit begins to come into focus. Following are some of the characteristics of this redemptive gift, described in a way to unpack a bit more the behavioral strengths and weaknesses listed on the Redemptive Gift of Prophet Checklist.
Over several posts, we’ll look through a combination of who / what / when / where / why / how lenses. Unless otherwise inspired, a similar model will be followed in unpacking the other six redemptive gifts.
“to help others live in their destiny by providing vision on God’s design”
What: The principle of design is engaged as the Prophet portion takes principles of truth and applies them to problem-solving. Prophet uses principles of truth to explain purpose, plans, strategy and the building blocks of design. The Prophet portion is a rebuilder and restorer of that which is broken or in chaos. Excellence in design, purpose, and strategy is a hallmark of the gift. Prophet is passionate about holiness (sincerity and purity to God’s standard). As well, Prophet likes to prod others forward toward excellence that they might become all God designed them to be and to fulfill what they are capable of.
Consider Jesus, who embodied the ‘redemptive’ fullness of this gift and embraced redemptive living. In spite of the pain He endured, He saw the joy of the Eternal’s design that awaited Him. In doing so, He became the Way, the Truth, and the Life for all who will, to receive Him. As we follow after Him and embrace our design for redemptive living, we participate in His joy. ~ ncb
The brief description above points to Prophet’s foundational essence, ie. “start here.” Without a firm foundation based on God’s truth (biblical principles in God’s Word and the Spirit of Truth), Prophet will flounder or fall.3 The result is hindrance or shutdown of the subsequent six portions of the human spirit, rendering them unable to fully develop their redemptive gift and wisdom principle in which they were designed to function. Prophet stands at the head for a reason. Though it may not be your dominant redemptive gift according to God’s design of you, Prophet’s weaknesses must be addressed in order that Wisdom be able to firmly establish this essential first pillar in the foundation of who you are in Christ.
Prophet’s Major Areas of Struggle
While the redemptive gift of Prophet is inherently noble and necessary as the first pillar of Wisdom, one of Prophet’s struggles is forgiving oneself and others. A major weakness noted on the checklist is ‘not willing to overlook the failures and weaknesses of others.’ Prophet is equally hard on self. As a result, Prophet tends to become non-relational; instead, valuing principles and truth as more important than relationships. Fractured relationships began in the Garden; they remain a stronghold for many today.
Left unconfessed and unrepentant, bitterness takes root, springing up to cause trouble and defile many.4 With possessing our birthright at stake, the writer of Hebrews both encourages and warns us all:
14-17 Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness “without which no man shall see the Lord”. Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others. Be careful too, that none of you falls into impurity or loses his reverence for the things of God and then, like Esau, is ready to sell his birthright to satisfy the momentary hunger of his body. Remember how afterwards, when he wanted to have the blessing which was his birthright, he was refused. He never afterwards found the way of repentance though he sought it desperately and with tears. Hebrews 12:14-17 (J.B. Phillips)
You are precious and unique in the facets of Himself that God has imprinted within the Prophet portion of your human spirit. A gift you can give yourself is to cultivate friendship with God as Abraham did.5 As he walked in obedience to the Lord, though imperfect, he stayed in covenant relationship with Him, to be known eternally as “the friend of God.” Jesus, the Word, offers the same to those who receive Him – “No longer do I call you slaves, but I have called you friends …” (John 15:15)
Until the Next Installment…
Contained within the links in this post, this initial introduction, your Bible, and a prayerful heart, you hold in your hand resources to aid you in your spiritual growth and development. And not least, my prayer that you will be inspired to embrace your design for redemptive living, even when it involves growing pains. Possessing your birthright and a fruitful harvest will, in God’s perfect time, be worth it all.
*A. Burk/C. Wales description of Prophet’s birthright
1 Proverbs 4:18 – The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. (NIV84)
2 James 2:23 – 3 Proverbs 9:1 & Matthew 7:24-27 – 4 Hebrews 12:15 – 5 Genesis chapters 12-25 relate Abraham’s covenant life story
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