Once again, another song from the old 60’s-70’s rock band Three Dog Night comes to mind. (Again, my usual disclaimer that their lifestyle is not one to be emulated as a Christian). But they do have the song One is the Loneliest Number. The lyrics read “No is the saddest experience you’ll ever know. Yes, it’s the saddest experience you’ll ever know.”
With the rise of what I am dubbing as the “me too prophets,” an age-old problem has reared its head:
- “Many are independent evangelists who do not lead churches or other institutions. They operate primarily online and through appearances at conferences or as guest speakers in churches, making money through book sales, donations and speaking fees. And they are part of the rising appeal of conspiracy theories in Christian settings, echoed by the popularity of QAnon among many evangelicals and a resistance to mainstream sources of information.”
One of the reasons I bring this article to our attention is that the secular media has noticed the failure of the new prophetic trend. But I am not sure they are connecting the dots.
Most of these self-called prophets have no actual experience working with people. They believe that the call of the God is to perform a task instead of making disciples. So, they set out to do great things for God instead of reaching people. People seem to be a hinderance that keep them from achieving their goals. They fail to realize that making disciples is what it means to do great things for God. The unspoken theology is that to be a prophet does not require others to personally be in their lives. There is a world of difference between having a friend in real life and a Facebook friend or follower. There are no Lone Rangers for Jesus.
Without others who can speak into their lives, there is no one to not only be an emotional support but act as a sounding board to find out how their ideas come across to others, to help refine not only what to speak, but how to speak it. This goes against the very first thing that we find in Scripture that is not good:
- Genesis 2:18 NASB – 18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
Before sin even entered the world, God pronounced being alone as not good.
Let us look again at the life of Elijah. God spoke 5 times over 3 years to announce a national drought. He also was responsible for a power account that resulted in many deaths of the prophets of Baal. Yet when it was all said and done, he was running for his life from the threats of one woman. After God letting him catch up on his rest and have some well nourishing meals, the first task God entrusted him with but brining on an assistant. (Yes I am aware that there is no record of God specifically telling him that, but it was the first thing he did in attempt to fulfill God’s command, leading me to conclude that this was preconceived from his talk with God.)
Yes, he was entrusted with new tasks, but this time before attempting to accomplish God’s call his first step to accomplish those goals was to anoint Elisha as a prophet. Not just as a personal assistant, but as one for what happens after his ministry comes to an end.
- 1 Kings 19:14-19 NASB – 14 Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 “It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. 18 “Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs [of oxen] before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him.
As a result, we never see Elijah running for his life again.
Likewise, let us look at the life of Moses. When Moses first set out his call, he needed Aaron his brother to not only assist him, but encourage him.
- Exodus 7:1 NASB – 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I make you [as] God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.
When implementing the law, his father-in-law had to be reminded once again to appoint others to assist with the task.
- Exodus 18:17-18 NASB – 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18 “You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.
There is an old saying that goes “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” But I am reminded of another old saying, “If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go with someone else.” Or as scripture says:
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB – 9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm [alone?] 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three [strands] is not quickly torn apart.
There is no excuse to go at it alone. We can not fulfill the call to love one another if there is no another. So as always, love much my friends . . .