Elijah, Jezebel and the Bride:
Where Are We Now?
The Waiting Game
As courtship begins to bud between apostolic/prophetic and pastoral streams, a frustration of natural tension yet separates them. The two may now be on the same dance floor, but it is still a “singles dance.” There is still much to work out before the “marriage” of these streams is possible.
At issue is no longer jezebel, but the raw difference between visions, the historic paradigm of the pastor-led (“single-mother”) church, and the simple inability of the pastoral church to recognize true government. The catalyst for exposing this difference is the issue: What does it mean to be prophetic?
Numbers of masculined-prophetic “courtiers” have heeded the inner call to return and approach the prophetically-inclined pastoral stream. They have put themselves into position to be received and even serve pastoral-prophetic churches to the degree they can short of compromising their own identity and nature—all in hopes of finding the Lord’s true union for them according to their divinely gifted and designated place of authoritative leadership.
The pastoral recognizes these courtiers to some degree and welcomes them. She genuinely appreciates their other corporate ministries. But when it comes to what is acceptably prophetic, she makes her terms subtly clear!
From here, an enduring situation ensues in which, no matter how well the courtiers quietly serve, how long they wait, how much they allow for the mothering prophetic, or how tactfully they speak when their inward fire finally compels them, the pastoral shows herself unable to receive the courtiers’ governmental disciplining insight. She meets them with deafness, bewilderment or even offense—able to hear them only for the prophetic that falls within the parameters of her mothering vision.
- The Discovery Phase of Courtship
This seemingly irresolvable standoff introduces us to an unwelcome but indispensable phase of “discovery” in spiritual courtship that must be worked out across the prophetic body of Christ ahead of actual union. It is a period of “dating and waiting” requiring the walking out of cycles of relationship between governmental prophetic saints and various pastoral churches and movements producing a readying refinement of both. It is a “love/hate” phase in which both are inescapably attracted to yet repelled by one another at the same time!
Especially for the courtiers with their divinely masculine initiating fire, this phase of courtship severely tries holy patience. Upon return from the deserts, they find themselves unprepared for this unexpected deafness to their word. Since God has opened their own eyes to the church, they fully expect Him to have opened the church’s ears to them. Like Elijah, they know God has said, “I have prepared you a widow woman in Zarephath.” But when they get to Zarephath, the woman seemingly knows nothing about it!
As this cycle of approach and rebuff repeats itself, the courtiers are forced to assess how long they should wait and/or serve before determining they must move on. Once it becomes convictionally clear that there will be no room for their vision and to stay longer will force them into fundamental denial of their own nature, they must, like the beloved in the Song of Solomon, quietly withdraw and wait on the Father for leading to a new pastoral stream.
For her part, the pastoral stream faces perplexity as these courtiers dare to respectfully challenge her about her failings. She knows there is something about them that carries the scent of the Lord. But it is a scent she simply does not like! Part of her secretly wants it. But she can’t bring herself to receive it.
Yet she can’t in true conscience reject it either. Appreciating their other corporate giftings, she really does not want the courtiers to leave. Yet she secretly wishes they would leave! —only to be struck with a tinge of guilt when one finally does leave—only then to find a new prophetic courtier knocking at the door!
These cycles, which seem to end in relational failure, are ultimately not failures. They are a developmental necessity akin to the fermenting process by which bread and wine are made complete. They serve to further sift, purge, and prepare both the apostolic/prophetic and pastoral/prophetic streams for one another in a way that cannot be accomplished separately. (Anyone who has experienced the agony of dating until finding the Lord’s true appointed spouse can attest to this developmental aspect.)
Through each “failed” cycle, both the prophetic and pastoral natures come away with new insight, a further eye opening, a deeper work of heart toward the true union still to come. Each cycle of unresolved tension further prepares the teachable prophetic for the perfect exercise of the rod, prepares the teachable pastoral toward the final receiving of that government, and enlarges the vision of both toward the greatness of the Body beyond their own nature.
The key issue for both streams in this phase is endurance to the end. Verily, not all endure. In face of the obstacles, some prophet/apostles return to the desert. Others overly yield and sell their birthright of leadership to win unconditional pastoral acceptance. For their part, unbending resistance is causing some pastors to become permanently blind under their culture prophetic deceptions. Others are in danger of being reclaimed by jezebel.
The cycles of this discovery phase are now being played out over and over again in pastoral-prophetic interchanges throughout the prophetic body of Christ around the earth. Until this phase is completed, the enduring apostle/prophets must remain confined to a peripheral limbo on the edges of pastoral-prophetic churches and movements. Though no longer in the desert, they are unable to be embraced for who they really are and what they can bring to the governmental table.
Both find themselves between a rock and a hard place—the rock of divine grace that requires them to approach/receive the other, and the hard place of nature tension which prevents the joining of the pastoral into the governing foundation of the prophetic.
The union is simply not ready yet. The courtship is still too young. The big question remains, What will it take to open the pastoral church’s eyes to receiving and surrendering her historic autonomy to embrace all the Lord’s men?
While redeemed prophetic remnants from the outside desert have returned to engage a testy new courtship with the pastoral stream, the fledgling prophetic on the inside of the pastoral prophetic stream is also bumping up against the deficiencies of the mothering prophetic anointing. We’ll look at this and its meaning in Part 7.
Riverside, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created October 15, 2016