Guest article by Marc T. May
International economic crisis demands that prophets prepare themselves to move beyond personal prophecy into marketplace authority.
Recession and economic uncertainty is all around us. Wall Street panics every time The Dow Jones Industrial takes a deep dive. The value of the US Dollar is also at an all time low and declining. The unrest in the middle east is driving gasoline prices sky high world wide. All this while liberal socialists promise to eliminate vital tax cuts that would strengthen the economy to fund their earmarked projects instead. But God’s people need not fear because there is no recession in heaven. God knows where the provision is – and He tells secrets to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
Indeed, the prophetic mantle carries with it more than just a Word in due season. Old Testament prophets often had a hand in history-making natural and supernatural events. Their prophetic utterances changed natural weather patterns, spiritual climates – and even defied current economic conditions.
Prophets bring life to individuals and refreshing to local churches through personal prophecy. But this is not the end all of prophetic operations. Rather it is a stepping stone to the deeper things of God. The Bible shows us that prophets have a role in the economy and with governments.
For example, prophets of old often worked with government leaders of their day. Much like Old Testament prophets that served kings of natural governments, New Testament prophets serve apostles, which are types of kings in terms of spiritual authority and spiritual governments in the Kingdom of God.
Just as Old Testament prophets influenced cities, regions, nations – and their governments – God’s modern day mouthpieces should aspire to the same level of prophetic ability. Like Elijah, Elisha and Joseph, New Covenant prophets should prepare themselves to go beyond personal prophecy to impact personal, regional and national economies.
Let’s look at how Elijah interacted with the personal economy of a widow woman (1 Kings 17). We know that Elijah prophesied that it would not rain according to his word. It was a prophetic word that had major implications on the local economy because nothing grows in a drought. It is important to remember that the prophet did not speak the will of man rather the will of God.
After making this prophetic announcement, God sent Elijah to meet a widow woman who was preparing a last meal for her and her son. She expected to die of starvation. Her personal economy was in ruins. Elijah offered personal prophetic instruction: Give me the food you and your son were going to eat. She obeyed and that obedience, as we know, unlocked a blessing in her life.
In effect, the prophet released a word that changed the widow’s economy. He declared that her meal and oil would remain until the Lord sent rain once again. His prophetic utterance changed her financial situation. It was a provisional blessing that lasted three years.
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Elijah’s spiritual son Elisha carried the same prophetic grace. His double portion anointing impacted the economy of an entire region. You’ll recall that during the days of Elisha’s ministry a great famine was in the land. It was so extreme that a donkey’s head sold for 80 pieces of silver and dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver at the local meat market (2 Kings 6:25). This vivid illustration demonstrates the severity of the region’s economy.
Enter the Prophet Elisha. He prophesied a turning in the economy that some found impossible to believe. He prophesied that by the same time the next day, a measure of flour would sell for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel. According to the word of the Lord, the economy of the city was transformed in a single day. He used a prophet to change a regional economy.
Let’s not forget Joseph’s prophetic dream – the one that sent him into family conflict and left his life in turmoil. Joseph’s dreamed symbolized his family bowing down to him. His father rebuked him for it. His brothers tried to kill him for it. Indeed, Joseph was tried by the word of the Lord until the time his vision came to pass (Genesis 37).
Still, the favor of God was on his life and his prophetic gift catapulted him into the purposes of God. After being in the pit and the prison, Joseph found himself in the palace. It all started when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream. The dream revealed seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Soon thereafter Joseph was elevated to second in command of the nation. No man could lift his hand or foot without him. He ruled over all Egypt.
Joseph’s prophetic wisdom revealed a strategy that prepared the nation for the times of famine. He stored all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt. The Bible says he stored so much that he had to stop keeping records because it was beyond measure (Genesis 41). When all of Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food and he told them to go to Joseph and do “what he says.” So we see that a prophet sat in a position of governmental authority, which eclipsed the ranks of personal and regional prophecy, and impacted an entire nation’s economy.
Where are the Elijahs, Elishas and Josephs today? Has the spirit of isolation and one-man-show mentally hampered New Testament prophets from achieving the effectiveness of their Old Testament predecessors? Or are we merely satisfied with personal prophecy?
With the potential for economic crisis all around us, it’s time for the Church to resist recession. It is time for the righteous to reap the wealth of the wicked. And it is time for prophets to pursue the King for prophetic insights into the economic times and seasons in the world and make a godly impact on Wall Street and beyond.