In my generation, the prophetic ministry plays out through identity. That is, it is a more Jeremiah type mission, in which identity is part of the message (the medium is part of the message!), or at least foregrounded to deliver it–to carry the spirit of the testimony of Jesus in the unique person-emphasized vessel. The unique identity of each person carries the prophetic symbol or sign–much and perhaps most like King David.
This is unique in that, as the prophetic ministry began, it de-emphasized the vessels carrying it–there was almost an anonymity–a donkey could have said those words. And still that is true. But God is now also emphasizing the nature and style of the donkey–one from Turkey or Belgium; from Paris or Africa, America etc. My generation has a unique gift of identity over it–something that is self aware but also able to name the identity of other generations. This is unique and part of God’s pattern in the stream of the generations of His Purposes. It is just one part, but the one we are given to carry.
How prophecy plays out in our generation is unique, and goes something like this:
It has moved from, “thus sayeth” to each person’s style of sayething it–what I call a prophetic orientation–not just a prophetic word; but more holistic, involving the whole person delivering the message, and the whole identity of that to which one is delivering God’s mind, heart and body. Where the whole prophetic person stands in the orientation of God towards that person, place or thing that they are prophecying into. I give an example, of a girl I was prophecying to outside a café. I got a word for her about her grandfather, but God told me just to go up and touch her boot. So I did, and she started weeping deeply–and talking about her grandfather’s recent death. I only had to listen–that was His orientation for her that day. It is like that with us.
Each generation carries a unique part of His Story, and is given a unique commission. I believe mine has been given the Joshua commission–to help the levites, and then the rest of the church to get over and possess their land; but also to go in ourselves and occupy and possess our land–in our case, this land is in the art world, for others it will be differently contoured.
The fact that the spirit of Christ’s testimony (the spirit of prophecy) would have unique expressions or emphasis in each generation is a given in His Way. You see this in the Old Testament prophets. Each was called uniquely to a specific situation; which, if looked at from above, formed a metanarrative, or story through which the generations of His Purposes can be discerned!
For Jeremiah there was an emphasis on his autobiographical details-not unlike our generation. His own story was part of what God used to carry His message. It was the same with Paul. Their autobiography was something God used to carry the message to that generation. Their personal story became a vessel of God’s larger story. In our own generation, He is emphasizing His own identity, and that He is One, but also diverse. That His oneness is not homogeneous, but a unity in diversity! He is choosing to say, identity matters to Him! That each person, city, nation is not the same, but works together as a mosaic in His Expression of Himself! Globalism, then is not “flat”! But a dynamic conversation between unique reflections of The Great Creator
I think our father’s generation had a foundational role, more like Moses. There have been many books written on this–there was a downloading the law and basic ways of salvation etc–a Billy Graham style way of carrying it. Then there was the diversification of the container or styles of church that was carried by the boomer generation–opening up diverse ways of expressing or being the church, and also evangelizing through lifestyle.
Then came our generation, smaller and unique–a clarification generation. One in which people could name what they were doing as they were doing it–a sort of self aware teacher type of prophet, or an autobiographical prophet, where one’s story is part of the message–a generation of signs, and perhaps, at our most stellar, of wonders! David asked to be a portent–that is a way, or symbol for others to see how God is moving on the earth in this moment. This is part of our calling. We were meant to interpret the times from a spiritual context, and to do so authentically! You should be able to “read” our generation as one reads art–as a symbol of where things are at–that is our gift to offer His Body and the world.
We offer a type of transparency through which to view the purposes of God. God wants to be readable in a time of great confusion globally! We are meant to be not just ironic, but aware of ourselves in a way which can model to the world and the church what it is like to be truly ourselves IN HIM! Thats our goal, if we reach it, and we should! We are also meant to be interpreters, which is one of the reasons He has given us such hyper-awareness of the other generations. We should be helping them name themselves to themselves, so they can grasp God’s big picture. We were not just meant to be exhaustingly clever! But to be prophetically great namers of the whole sweep of His purposes over the generations.
Each generation is given a specific way to carry Jesus, a specific emphasis in His Personality, a unique nuance of His Personal Story of restoration. I think, in a very general way, my generation is prophetic. But it also plays but one part–one emphasizing the uniqueness of identity and diversity of expression. It needs to know this part and do it, or become it, and then it also needs to know what came before it, and what will come after it, in order to keep our focus on–“until WE all come to the fullness of Christ”–and this will take all the generations! This is why the saints are leaning in!
For the fullness to come, we must see the whole stream of His generational purposes across time–His whole body of work–in order to know what He is saying about Himself.
You see this in the Joshua story, which is preceded by slavery in Egypt. There was a liberation generation ( emphasizing salvational aspects of God-the deliverer); then they were trained by Moses on the mountain (teaching, emphasizing knowledge, rabbi aspects of God). There is the knowledge coming in the wilderness, so that once they got to the land, they would be solid. They struggled, as each generation does, to fulfill their call. Then Joshua takes their kids over–the death of the Jordan comes, the levitical rituals (artist go in first!), and then the mustering to go in and occupy and possess their lands (which is where I think we are at!) Then the move towards getting the whole land not just possessed or captured, but occupied (cultivated, bearing fruit!) and eventually with David, unification culminating in Solomon’s reign which emphasized wisdom. There is a mighty prophetic picture in this pattern. And a generational map as well for the Church.
Of course, the generations are meant to work together! This is in order to make the whole picture, the entire film, or the whole novel, visible, readable, knowable–ie to complete the whole expression of God! There are commas in between sentences–and in many ways, I personally have felt like a comma, and want to become a better one! So that the previous chapters of His book can connect into this present chapter and then the next! So that the whole novel can be downloaded! I am like a transitional paragraph. Or like in the TV shows we watch, an episode which forwards the plot!!! I am meant to help get us from one chapter to the next and then enjoy the book! And in this way, I am still a joint in the Body of His Story, connecting one generation of His Purposes to the next. This is a prophetic role, and I believe it is one of the roles of my generation!