When John the Baptist was crying out in the wilderness the people of Jerusalem and the surrounding region ventured out to hear his message. In that advancing crowd were people from all spheres of cultural influence. It would not be the innovators of a new product or the producers of a new media project or a promise made by the government that would get a culture moving toward change. It was the voice of a prophet who offered people an opportunity to change the way they think that sparked an entire culture to consider something new before any resulting creative process would begin.
John said to the approaching crowds, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” (Matthew 3:2). The word used for repent in the original language throughout the New Testament has been defined as, “to change one’s mind.” More specifically in its usage in Matthew 3:2 three more words are added to the definition to read “to change one’s mind for the better.”
The prophetic message of repentance uttered by John told people something better was coming and they needed to change the way they think in order to receive a new life-assignment. He was asking them to change the way they think so that the corresponding decisions about their lives and their assignments within the various spheres of cultural influence would manifest a repentant life – a life that entertains a better reality. A repentant mind would be required to align people with the message of Jesus and His Kingdom. That alignment would change how people crafted their mission statement and it would change how they used their unique skills in the marketplace of culture.
Every reformation has a prophetic voice calling out from the unexplored wilderness of a fresh revelation extending an invitation to people to consider something better. In times of cultural transition, a prophetic voice will be heard as an invitation to consider something better rather than a condemning voice of the status quo. The later is something anyone can do. It takes no real prophetic insight. To be a prophet of reformation requires that we wait to hear the better thing God wants to accomplish before we raise our voice and assume we are speaking in the name of God.