Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
Florence shows the redemptive gift of prophet. She was from a wealthy British family and lived at a time in history where the expectation upon her was that she would marry into another good family.
However, to her parents disapproval, she bucked the system and became a nurse at a time when the nursing profession was not looked well upon. She clearly didn’t worry much of what other people thought — she was driven by something else.
She “saw into” the medical system, discerning problems such as a lack of sanitation, for example .
Florence, as a woman in the 1800’s, was able to institute many changes. She went on to fight for justice for the marginalized in many parts of society. We know her name to this day because of all she accomplished in her bold pursuit of excellence and justice.
Let this sink into your spirit now. Does this resonate in you? Do you have this kind of boldness? Do you burn for truth to the point of turning your back on relationship with others? Do you know people like this?
Jireh is Ra’ah in Hebrew (Strong’s 7200): to see, observe, perceive, examine.
1 Samuel 9:9 actually translates Ra’ah as “seer or prophet” matching perfectly with the first redemptive gift listed in Romans 12. There are many passages of scripture where we see God acting out of this aspect of His nature (the subject of another blog series one day).
So what makes a Prophet tick?
Drive – to see into. To see the design components of a thing, to see motives. To call forth excellence.
The characteristics of prophet flow from this drive:
- Sees things in black and white
- Takes initiative
- Goes against the status quo
All these characteristics exist because the prophet so easily sees what makes something work.
Strength – Boldness. This boldness is because the prophet operates off of the design of something, not off of what others will think.
Weakness – The prophet’s weakness is trying to fix what God has not called them to fix. Prophets tend to continually look for the design in things, both in principles and in people. Unfortunately they seek to get their needs met in this way when trusting God in an area of their lives becomes difficult.
Simon Cowell is also a good example of a wounded prophet. When he was on American Idol (and in Britain’s Got Talent), he would often hurt people’s feelings under what he considered “telling people the truth,” so they could either improve or get on with their lives in some other way. He would unpack people’s design flaws regardless of how it might hurt them.
Prophet is a wonderful gift. They give a clarion call to justice. They are able to give answers to people as to why they are stuck. However, to be successful, they must overcome their compulsion to fix what God has not said to fix. It feels counterintuitive to prophets, but sometimes they need to put certain battles for justice and desires for excellence on the altar because God has not called them to do that at this particular time.
Next post in series Servant