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Disqualification and Accountability
Some prophetic people live in constant fear of making a mistake that will cause them to become disqualified and loose their anointing. Did you know that God wants to give them victory over that? I know of many prophetic people who are terrified of "falling" or "making a mistake" because they believe that God will take away their prophetic anointing if they do. They may not realize it, but they are equating "prefect performance" to the anointing, as if they earned this anointing through their behavior instead of as a grace and gift of God. This is a wrong perception that God would like to fix.
Conversely, there are times when someone with a very powerful anointing will do something that seems very wrong. You think, "if ever there is a time when someone should loose their anointing, this is it!" And yet, God does not lift their anointing from them. And many of us wonder why.
A theology has been developed to explain this, derived from Romans 11:29, which says "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." (KJV) Some take this to mean that once God has given a person a spiritual gift, that He will never take it away from them. This theology holds that it does not matter how bad they are or how much they sin, or if they misuse the gift for their own gain.. once God has given them a gift, He will never take it away from them. And they use this single scripture as the basis for this belief.
Unfortunately, that thinking is in error; that is not what Romans 11:29 means. Let's look at this in context. Chapter 11 deals with wrong thinking concerning the Jews. Paul develops how the Jews rejected Christ and were "cast away" in favor of the gentile believers. He goes on to say that we must not think God has thrown away His chosen people in favor of the Church, for God has not totally discarded them. He talks about how the believers and the Jews are all grafted into the same tree. In verses 25-27, he goes on to explain, from Old Testament scripture, how the Jews will eventually be saved as well. Then Paul goes on to talk about God's mercy in salvation. Let's look at this verse in context, from the NIV translation:
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
So we see clearly that this verse is not talking about spiritual gifts given to individuals. It is talking about God's calling on people groups... He will not cast the Jews away forever. They will be saved and redeemed, many Jews will come to know and accept Jesus just as the gentiles have.
In fact, we do have scriptural precedence of individuals loosing their calling and anointing for misbehavior. For instance, we see the kingdom taken away from Saul for disobedience and given to David (1 Samuel 15:26, 1 Samuel 16:1). Eli's sons lost their anointing to serve as priests of the Lord for gross misconduct (1 Samuel 2:22-36). The adults who God delivered from Egypt lost their access to the Promised Land (except for Joshua and Calib) because of their constant murmuring and unbelief. There are many other examples in the bible of people loosing their anointing for unbelief, disobedience or sin.
Yet, we see others who misbehave just a severely and do not loose their anointing. David was a murderer and adulterer. He lusted after Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah murdered to cover up his own sin (2 Samuel 11). Then God sent the prophet Nathan to David to convict David and speak judgement against him (2 Samuel 12:1-12). David admitted his guilt (verse 13a) and the Lord forgave him (verses 13b-14). Saul merely offered a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel and God took away his kingly anointing. David did something much worse.. he murdered someone and committed adultery. And yet God did not take away David's anointing. Do you know why? David's heart was set after God and his general posture was to obey God. So God did not disqualify Him when he made a very bad mistake. God did punish him for that mistake, the baby died (1 Samuel 12:14-23). But God forgave and restored David, and David continued to serve God in the anointing that God had placed on Him.
Saul, on the other hand, had a rebellious heart. God exposed this in 1 Samuel 15:23: "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
Both kings sinned. One lost his anointing and was disqualified. The other was forgiven and restored. The difference between the two was the attitude of their heart before God. The person who was rebellious and self-sufficient was disqualified. The person who had a heart after God's heart and a predisposition to obey God was restored. In fact, this is what God says about David in Acts 13:22: "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after Mine own heart, which shall fulfill all My will." (KJV)
There are other examples of people after God's heart sinning and being restored instead of disqualified. Abraham, in fear and a lack of faith, lied and said that Sarah was not his wife. Yet God protected her and caused her to be restored to him, and God increased his material wealth at the same time. Jacob (Israel) cheated and stoled his brother's birthright, deceived his father and stoled the firstborn's blessing. And yet God did not disqualify him, but was with Him and prospered Him.
This same principle applies to those with a prophetic anointing. You are human and not yet perfected. Because of this, there will be a time (maybe more than one) where you "blow it big time". This may be an overt sin, or it may be an attitude or perhaps an omission or even an intentional disobedience. I guarantee you that this will happen at some point in your life, because you are not yet perfected and fully transformed to the image of Christ. But if you have a heart after God, if you are committed to obeying Him, then chances are very high that God will restore you instead of disqualifying you.
It is not a single incident or behavior that causes a person to be disqualified or to have their anointing taken away. Rather, it is the attitude of their heart before God. Those who are rebellious and self seeking will be disqualified and those who have a heart to honor and obey God will be corrected and restored.
That does not mean that if your heart is right, you can get away with anything. God will hold us accountable for our actions. That is a separate issue from Him disqualifying us. The bible makes it clear that we will one day account before him for every action/word (Ro 14:12, Heb 4:13, 1 Peter 4:5). We are under the blood of Jesus and our forgiveness and salvation is assured. But God still holds us accountable for our actions and decisions. 2 Cor 5:9-10 makes this very clear. It says, "9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." And 1 Cor 13:12-15 says, "12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (NKJV)
Sometimes God holds the accountability until after we have died and appear before Him. Other times, He holds us accountable in this lifetime. We already saw an example of this with David. His sins of adultery and murder were forgiven but he had to suffer consequences for his actions. These consequences were twofold: 1) the child born from this adulterous relationship died and 2) strife and adversity in his own household (2 Samuel 12:11-12, 14).
Let's look at one more example of accountability. We know that Moses was a very godly man, one who God called His friend (Ex 33:11, Deut 34:10). Moses was a very anointed prophet and he had an incredible track record. But there was one thing he did wrong. The second time that the people of Israel cried out for water in the desert, Moses acted on his own initiative. He knew that the last time, God commanded him to strike a rock with his staff and water flowed out of it (Exodus 17:1-6). So this time when the people threw their tantrum, he lost his temper and struck the rock to give them water. But God had not told him to strike the rock this time, God told him to speak to it. He disobeyed God's direction, acting in anger and falling back on what worked before instead of having faith to obey God a different way this time (Numbers 20:1-13). You might say he abused his anointing, since he used it contrary to God's direction. God held him accountable for that and would not allow him to enter into the promised land. Instead he was instructed to climb up Mt Nebo and view the land and then die (Deut 32:48-52). God did not lift Moses' anointing after that incident; he remained the prophet, leader and law-giver. However, God did hold him accountable for his behavior and would not permit him to enter into the promised land because of it.
As far as I can tell, there is an increased accountability for increased anointing. Luke 12:47-48 says, "47 And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."
This means that the higher your level of prophetic anointing, the more accountable God is going to hold you to do His will in His way and with a good attitude. However, if you are a person who is sincerly serving Him with all of your heart, one who has a lifestyle of obeying God and doing His will, God is not going to disqualify you for your mistakes. Instead He will correct and restore you. He will not take your anointing away, instead He will help you get back "on course" and in the center of His will.