Mercy/Prophet Conflict


On the Sapphire Training Center forum I am in dialog with a Mercy leader who is struggling with a Prophet follower (well, kind of, sort of, supposed-to-be follower, anyway) who is described as lacking empathy.  Imagine that.

The question from the Mercy was whether all Prophets come with a no-empathy virus in their software.  I pointed to the problem of the mesmerizing spirit and how that hardens the Prophet.

It occurred to me that Sterling North’s great novel “So Dear to My Heart” would make a great case study here.

The protagonist is a Biblically grounded female Prophet who is one dimensional, thinks win/lose situations are the epitome of holiness, and who consequently has the mesmerizing spirit all over her.

We have a vicious cycle of her being a certified flame thrower in her few surviving relationships, resulting in an even deeper activation of the negative sixth head of Leviathan which causes her to dig in harder to defend her positions, since she can’t make any progress in life.

The story begins as she was inflicting herself on a Mercy who lacked the ability to exit stage left and get away from her, so he recruited his best bud, also a Mercy, and the two of them embarked on a wild ride to humanize the Prophet.

In the end, the Prophet discovered that other people’s lives are a movie, not a single incident.  The broadening of her perspective thawed the mesmerizing spirit, led her to receive the honor that had eluded her for years, allowed her to start walking in the positive sixth head, and, incidentally, got her in touch with her heart, not just her flame throwing theological soul.

In the end, the Mercy duo won, but talk about being porcupine huggers!!!!  Those redoubtable warriors got several Purple Hearts in the process as it got pretty ugly.

It is a well written story, enjoyable just for the story line, but when you impose the redemptive gifts, the mesmerizing spirit and Leviathan on the story line, it is quite the educational experience.

Copyright March 2012 by Arthur Burk

From the Quarterdeck, in Anaheim

This entry was posted in The Redemptive Gifts of Individuals. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Mercy/Prophet Conflict

  1. Doris says:

    My Fred is giving me some challenges. As a prophet I am a problem solver and as a woman, love to give, even when it hurts me later. i am learning to choose my “targets” but this case in hand felt perfect. I arranged for my Fred to get a ride to the airport in my absence. He doesn’t drive because of vision problems and had wanted to catch a bus but a friend offered to take him to the local shuttle where he could get a ride to the airport and not have to transfer so many times. (He lives about 50 miles from the airport) So I left town pleased that the Lord had intervened and answered my prayers for a more direct way for him to get to the airport. I confirmed and re-confirmed to Fred that this friend, Joan, was going to pick him up and deliver him to the hotel where the shuttle I had reserved for him would take him the rest of the way. She even called him the day before to confirm. i told him if anything happened I had her phone # and would call her. He is vision challenged and can’t see phone buttons so we do this relay communication, Alas, the morning of, she failed to show up. I only know this because I called him when he didn’t call me to say he had made it onto the shuttle. So rather than call me to find out what was going on, he proceeds to take his packed back, head out to the freeway and hitchhike. I have called by this time several times and begun to worry something was seriously wrong, but I am 3000 miles away. So when I call Joan, she is in tears realizing she had totally spaced it. (She is a ruler and never forgets such thigs – I was floored). So she rushes over to the house to find him to no avail. After the 10th call, he finally answers and says he is on the freeway. Come to find out he hitchhiked to the airport. I have been trying to figure out his Redemptive Gift. Your description of the Exhorter who never means to hurt fit Fred well. Is this classic Exhorter – totally oblivious to the people who want to support and help and resorting to his own resources rather than make anyone else accountable for their mistake? When I called Joan she was on the spot ready to take him all the way to the airport but he never called me to tell me she hadn’t arrived. I was hurt that he didn’t call me but mostly floored at his insensitivity to the people who had rallied around to be of service. What gift do you see in Fred?

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  2. Chris Mills says:

    I just saw this today. I had to laugh when I first read just the title — mercy/prophet conflict — because in 3 words you have just described my experience with prophets. I’m a mercy. And most prophetic people I’ve dealt with over the years, have been harsh, critical, judgmental, and don’t listen to anyone but themselves. And most of the prophetic people I’ve known have been leaders in the church.
    Back in the 90s I was in college, and one prophetic leader had the attitude that I’m basically just a sinner going to hell, because of my habitual sin I was struggling with. And I lived in so much fear since then, up until recently, of just that — that God would send me to hell. That I would “lose my salvation” as this leader believed one could do. Maybe a year ago I was talking to someone & this came up — the little boy in me finally crying out (to another person) “why can’t I be loved (by God)?” “Why can’t I be forgiven?” “Why am I going to hell?” That prophet produced more fear than anything else.
    In my experience with prophetic people, they only see things in black & white, and they don’t see the pain that they cause or the pain a person is already carrying. I know my own pain (hurts & wounds) rarely show up on the prophet’s radar.
    My question is this — why is the prophets the experts of the world? That’s what it seems like. And why are they the only ones going to heaven?

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    • Caleb says:

      I can’t speak for everyone, but the prophets I know well (including myself) tend to see themselves more harshly than you. Are you going to Hell? I’m going to it’s darkest depths. That’s the attitude of the ones I know. But showing that would be self-pity, and self-pity is a sin and a luxury. So be extra harsh on others so that maybe you can help them overcome their sins so that they can be saved. That is the (heretical, immature) view of a lot of prophets.

      And Chris? You don’t know prophets. We see in black and white, but when God opens our eyes we see in full, living, High-Def color. You don’t see the passions that drive us, the tears that drown us, the despair and sorrow for the lost and enslaved and hurting that tears us apart inside so we fall before the King weeping in anguish. And you don’t see that it is a wrong response to this pain and agony and despair (not to mention our anguish and despair at our own sins we see in full harsh reality!) that we may allow to erode us, change us, and make us harsh, stern, and seemingly cruel. It’s wrong of us, yes, but it is so much easier to see in black and white and live with limited pain, than to see in full color and risk being drowned in a tsunami of pain and a hurricane of broken dreams and idealism.

      Did I express the heart of any of my fellow prophets out there?

      Chris, please don’t judge us by the pain we’ve caused. We’ve become insensitized to pain because of the sheer quantity of our own and others we’ve seen. It’s not right–God knows it’s not right!– but by the grace of God, as we mature and grow closer to Him, we dare to open ourselves up to it again, and start to live in full, High-Def color.

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    • Doris Chapman says:

      I was a bit confused by your post, Chris. Am I sensing some confusion between the Prophet Redemptive gift and prophetic gifting in people? I am well aware of the prophetic movement causing a lot of pain and heartache for people because they believe God has spoken thru them and they most deliver this message no matter what the effect on your life.( I recommend Graham Cook for a more true view of what the prophetic gift should look like.) On the other hand there are those of us who are Redemptive Gift of Prophet and while some may be, all are not prophetic. I can certainly see that this person who prophesied so condemningly over you was out of line, that does not mean he or she was Prophet Redemptive gift. The fact is, as a Prophet Redemptive Gift, I more quickly than not will focus on my bad before I confront someone else’s. Yes we are very good at judging imperfections, and when immature, may believe we are helping when we point out those imperfections in a not so gentle way. But the heart of a Prophet is to see you reach your full potential, and while that person, whether they are Prophet gift or not, was harsh and insensitive, I pray that you would not judge all Prophets by his color. No man holds the keys to your redemption, only Jesus does.

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  3. Derech says:

    Arthur you are one of the greatest and wonderfull assests that Jesus has placed in my life i praise Him for you and for what you have brought to my life, your persistent encouragement to live life to the fullest and your humility walking with your God is indeed a blessing!

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  4. Annie says:

    Ha, what a good time to read this post!

    I’m slap bang in the middle of this exact battle, having to manage (or at least try to manage) a first-born prophet and the collateral damage his harshness has on the vulnerable people we work with.

    What a job to ‘humanize’ him…not to talk of all the bites I’m receiving in the process!
    But I’m completely convinced that God can make it work! Because what he brings to the table is invaluable….it’s just the packaging that sometimes drives me crazy.

    Thanx for pointing out the resources…looking forward to listening to it.

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  5. Janis says:

    Expectations of what one will receive from other people or situations can cause us to act in what amounts to manipulative ways, actually but without realization trying to force another to become what we expect to experience, to fit the mold It is very painful and confusing to the other person, can create much frustration and anger. As a Prophet, I really hope that I have put those small-mind (wounded) self-centered judgmental ways behind me, meeting people with a Big Picture awareness of their personal lives and potential, and empathy not sympathy. Wisdom, not what I think.
    It’s time to revisit ‘Joy Unstoppable’ and ‘Life, Dominion & Honor’

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  6. Dawn Leichty says:

    What material do I need to read or listen to that explains more about the mesmerizing spirit, the leviathan and positive 6th head? I think I am a mix of prophet/servant and some of this hit me pretty hard. I have always been a very black/white person. This article feels like there is something here I need to understand.

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      The whole teaching on Leviathan is in the album called “Joy Unstoppable” and the mesmerizing spirit is one of the big three, and it is covered in “Life, Dominion and Honor.” Both of these are available as a CD album out of the Product Store, or you can go to the Download Store and access them immediately.

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  7. Dana says:

    Thank you. Wow, you sure can unpack something. I would not have seen this, but after you explain it, it is so obvious. Hurray for porcupine huggers! I will be reading this book with new eyes soon. Also (hopefully) learning to read others with these eyes as well!! At least eventually. (What an inexpensive educational experience, once we learn to decipher it! )

    In the mean time, here’s to humanizing those “flame-throwing theological souls” ! LOVE IT!

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  8. Deborah says:

    Arthur, I am reminded of when I first listened to the RGI teaching on the Prophet four years ago.
    You talked about how the Prophet is like a piano with a wide range of notes where the other gifts are more like other instruments with only a few notes to play on. You also spoke of how a wounded prophet will narrow down to only a few keys to play on rather than the wide range–hence a hardness–one dimensional–right/wrong–black/white. As the Lord matures the Prophet we learn to play from the wide range of notes that we have been gifted with. Such a journey with our King to become who He created us to be.

    It is good to have received a couple of blogs lately!

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  9. Kerrie says:

    I am having the opposite problem. I’m the prophet and the other is the mercy. I’m feeling like they keep hurting my feelings…I pressed through and I had a good convo; but then 2 more times of hurt feelins. Wondering if I’m taking something personally that’s nothing or if there is an underlying issue…HS says talk to her before it escaltes. She is typically a non nurturing mercy in a supposed to be nurturing relationship with me.
    Thank you didn’t know about mesmerizing spirit n 6th head leviathan…
    Also have another mercy in my life who feels non safe but I’m supposed to be in relationship with but don’t know how. I make overtures now n then….
    Sometimes I wonder if I’m the Mercy…
    Kerrie

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  10. Renee Herman says:

    When the expression of the prophet trumps the expression of mercy in a person’s life, the sting to those around them is often quite painful, but a sense of “doing what had to be done…saying what had to be said” often nudges any sense of wounding others to the background. It’s rather like a dog with a devouring bite who sets out to protect it’s own backyard. The owner knows that the dog has the best of intentions, but the neighborhood around that yard sees only the sign on the fence that says “get too close and this dog bites.” The dog senses that in it’s most basic of callings, wounding sometimes happens as part of the call.

    When mercy trumps the prophetic in a person’s life, it is much easier on those around them, but to the individual, the internal pain is often unbearable, so much so that there is a rather self defeating mechanism that undermines either gift being used to it’s fullest. It’s rather like having a dog that is a trusted companion, though still fiercely protective. The neighbors knows that though this dog has a vicious bark, the bite isn’t that bad. This dog rears up to protect, but in the end feels overly responsible if anyone gets hurt. The wounded one heals, but the dog who administered the bite, hurts even more. The backyard was protected, but the wounding that results internally often affects how the dog obeys the call to attack the next time.

    As a person who knows the difficulty of having both gifts, I can attest to the fact that I have met many prophetically inclined people who seemed to lack the basic call to human decency, often fulfilling their own need to be heard and reigning in any shred of common sense of what is quite simply, rude. They say what they feel has to be said, of course under the presumption of “being obedient” and seem to lack the maturity at times to simply maturely ponder what the Spirit seems to be showing them. The basic premise of 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us all that it isn’t as important to be the sound of the cymbal as it is to be the deliverer of the message with love. No doubt there are times I have been that clanging cymbal, but more often, the mercy gift has trumped the prophetic in my life. I guess that it would then come as no surprise that my career calling is as a registered nurse, would it? The bearer of the truth, carried by the one who is called to care with mercy. The burden so much greater internally as I watch those whose lives are about to be changed by the words that need to be spoken. My struggle is not to “get out the word that is aching to come forth from within” like with many prophetically gifted ones, but rather to get the word to come forth at times, as I weigh the potential consequence of wounding upon those whom the words fall. God and I walk closely afterwards too, as He reminds me that in obedience, there is blessing. I have been blessed so often by people who have shared with me that they appreciated the spirit with which I shared sometimes difficult words.

    God in His wisdom has spoken to my heart to use the gifts He has given me wisely, administering them always bathed in prayer and covered in the fruit of His Spirit. Prophetically driven people may need to slow the urge to speak by asking the Holy Spirit for a prophetic picture of the end result of potential delivery of their message…perhaps God may even call them to quell the “unction” to speak with an obedience to learn the art of “ponder”. Mercifully driven people may need to reve up the Spirit’s unction to share, in order that they not cripple themselves or the people around them by over-pondering the result of a message, and simply let the words to be spoke be done so in love. Is that maturity? smile.

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  11. Having actually read “So Dear to My Heart” and laughed and cried my whole way through it, I can so see the concepts that you are illustrating above. Something else stands out to me too, and that is how much the freeze framing of one situation can cause a person to fit everyone else into the same mold. She was hyper-sensitive to the people in her life turning into the thing she abhorred – the behavior that she had also misinterpreted. Not only does that bring in the mesmerizing spirit and 6th head, but it can even drive the people into that behavior because of the pressure and expectations.

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