Saturday, August 12, 2023

Fortune Tellers

 If you’ve ever gone to a prophet, and I use the term loosely, and have never left without a word being spoken over you, they are not real prophets. To presuppose that everyone who graces your doorstep gets a word from the Lord simply because they made the trek is akin to people journeying into Tibet hoping to get a blessing from a monastic monk that has not seen the light of day for three decades.

This may leave a mark, but we need to figure out the difference between prophecy and fortune-telling mighty quickly because the notion that the two are interchangeable has been building up steam, and it’s not a good thing. There is a difference between a prophet and a fortune teller, a prophet and a soothsayer, and a prophet and a diviner.

Going back to Balaam, he started out a prophet of the Lord, but at some point crossed the line into soothsaying because people with money showed up for a word, a word never came, but since they’d already paid their diviner’s fee, he felt obliged to tell them something.

Sometimes God doesn’t have a word for you. That’s just the way it is. I know. You’re special. He has to have a word for you, and if He doesn’t, you’ll get really mad, but even His silence is a message in and of itself if you know how to perceive it. God doesn’t owe you anything. That’s not unloving; it’s just the truth. He doesn’t owe you a dream, a vision, a word of prophecy, or a written declaration delivered by someone’s pet dinosaur, straight from the halls of heaven.

Most of the time, it’s because they don’t like what God already told them that people go searching for a fresh word, hoping that the fresh word will countermand the preexisting instruction. God doesn’t stutter, and He’s not double-minded. Don’t tempt God or his servants by making a sport of prophecy shopping and offering gifts to encourage a word from on High.

If God has nothing for you on that day, a couple of hundred bucks isn’t going to change His mind. Stop trying to goad a prophet into becoming a soothsayer, and go home and read your Bible instead. There’s plenty of instruction, direction, and correction in there to keep you busy for a decade or ten.

“Does the Lord have a word for me on this day?”

“No,” the man of God answers.

“Are you sure?” asks the man pulling a wad of crisp hundred-dollar bills from his pocket, “can you check again?”

But they’re men of God. They should be above all that. Balaam wasn’t, and he didn’t have a wife and seven kids to feed. No one ever stops to think that the devil may be using them to try and tempt a servant of God. The onus is always on the man with the gift to be stoic and reject the king’s gifts and favors.

In a perfect world, it would be so, but this is no perfect world, far from it.

Those who know me know my deep respect for my grandfather, not because he was my grandfather, but because of how he lived his life and that he would allow for zero compromises to shadow his service toward God in any way.

My mom cleaned homes, my dad held two jobs, and we lived in a run-down gang-infested neighborhood in Southern California when a well-known entertainment family flew us out to Branson, Missouri, where they had a theater at the time, offering limitless resources with which we could do as we saw fit if only we’d distribute the Book of Mormon in Romania. Easy Street was a yes away. What could be the harm after all? People could choose to read it or not; the onus was on them. You could make a case that, technically, you did nothing wrong, pocket some cash, and live in an actual house with actual air conditioning for once and not just a square box affixed to the wall that made a humming noise and belched out dust every so often.

The offer was summarily rejected, and we got sent packing, but looking back, I think it’s because of the things my grandfather went through at the hands of the Communists that he was able to remain steadfast when it wasn’t the stick that was being proffered, but a giant, picture-perfect carrot.

A fortune teller will gladly take your money and give you some general word about how God is smiling on you, and you’re going to rule the nations. A true prophet of God will speak what God tells him to speak when God tells him to speak, and no amount of money will compel him to speak from his belly and pass it off as a message from the Lord.

If someone insists that if you come to such and such a place, at such and such a time, you’re guaranteed a word from the Lord, it’s already a red flag. No man can speak on behalf of God or schedule when He chooses to speak to His servants. To insinuate or hint at the possibility of this happening is lunacy on its face.

Since when does a servant dictate terms to his Master? Since when does a soldier give orders to his commanding officer?

If God has a word for you, He’ll get it to you. One way or another, by direct message or via a messenger, if you need to know something, you’ll know it when He deems it appropriate. Chasing after people looking for answers that contradict what you already know to be the truth because the truth is too difficult a thing to contend with isn’t fleecing God; it’s tempting Him, and that’s not something you should take lightly.   

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 


meema said...

Years ago I volunteered to do some publishing for a man who seemed to be on the right track. He certainly had a fresh, no nonsense message. But once he gained a bit of recognition, being invited to talk on a "Prophecy' radio program, he began to slide downward, contradicting himself and the standards he once held to. He became godlike in his own eyes and therefore no one was allowed to question his all knowingness. Whenever someone chose to challenge him and leave his 'ministry' he published a curse on that person.

Eventually he decided the only way to keep his herd in line was to declare that there was a 'factious spirit' seeking to destroy his ministry so those who remained were not allowed to interact with anyone who had left the fold.

There are two morals to this sad story. One, no one, even someone who is on the right track in the beginning, is exempt from choosing the wrong way when the siren call of ego appears. And, those who are determined they need a flesh and blood leader in order to be confirmed in their beliefs, which often hover on the edge of paranormal and mysticism, will always make excuses for the charlatan when his prophecies and predictions don't come to pass. The most common excuse this liar depended on was that God had 'delayed' the time of his prediction. He is still broadcasting because his faithful followers still choose to believe him. I guess this is one way to recognize the wheat from the tares, the goats from the sheep.

His name is Legion.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this message. It prompted me to share this.

About four years ago you shared a story from when you were seven years old. A gypsy woman, part of a caravan traveling through your village, walked up, and said she would tell your future for a cup of water. You shared that “I extended my hand, palm up, just as she'd shown me to do it, but when she touched my skin, she recoiled as though she'd touched an open flame. Her eyebrows arched, she muttered ‘you're one of them,' turned around, and walked away.”

That stuck to me and I often question whether I would been seen as “one of them” should someone inquire. People seeking out ‘prophetic words’ and those issuing words seem to have no problem with one another, so both feel justified it is “of the Lord” of course. This made me wonder if I was judging in error.

Well, in reading Scripture I happened upon a verse that educated me. Ezekiel 14:4 - therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, (ESV). The NIV says it this way: I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. CEV says: I will give them the answer their sins deserve.

God gives us the desires of our heart. That should scare people. God will give you the desires of your heart - and if your heart desires idols, you will get them. Jesus IS truth and our desires should be for Him alone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you my brother for this. It is a blessing to me.