The True Prophet

The True Prophet

“How do we tell the false prophet from the true prophet? The true prophet seldom predicts the future. The true prophet warns us of our present hardness of heart, our prideful presuming to know God's mind. And the final test of the true prophet is love.

A mark of the true prophet in any age is humility, self-emptying so there is room for God's Word.”

 Madeleine L'Engle, A Stone for a Pillow


We owe so much to Madeleine L’Engle and her books for children which are even better for adults. Perhaps what I will remember the most, however, is the fact that her award-winning 1963 Newberry selection, A Wrinkle in Time, was rejected 26 times before it was published and became an instant science fiction classic!  L’Engle is telling us how we recognize authentic prophets and also how we know we are speaking with a prophetic voice. But there is more. I never know with any certainty when I am doing God’s will at the time, but I can sometimes realize that this was God’s will afterwards. L’Engle’s thoughts can be helpful here. If my action is all about me, I must ponder if this is really God’s will. Being at a place of humility, self-emptying is where we most hear the voice of God. If my action is done in love or comes out of love, this is a good sign that it may be God’s will. But most of all she is telling is that if we think we are doing God’s will, especially if we feel pride that we are on the right track, we need to stop and reconsider. So, it’s a great mystery. If we think we have it, we don’t. If we don’t think we have it, we may. I keep remembering a helpful quote, “the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty.”