It is thought by many that prophets have a mandate from heaven to discern the mind, will and intention of God. Realistically, the mandate if any, is to be listening for God’s voice as they attend to Him in a life style of prayer.
If the former idea was true, it would carry the idea that God is to be interrogated by prophets until He reluctantly unveils His divine, and eternally protected secrets. Perhaps this is why some teach that prophets can prophesy at will, at their own discretion and timing.
When God speaks we can hear Him, and discern the mind and will of God – beyond that, if God is not choosing to be manifest then He can simply hide Himself in thick darkness and be beyond visual and audio range! (Ps 97:2, Exodus 20.21)
Biblically speaking, prophets have only ever heard what God is saying because He has actually spoken, if He has not spoken then none can hear! Jeremiah and many of the prophetic writings often talk of this, ‘And the Word of the Lord came to me saying,..” The writer to the Hebrews makes it clear in his opening statement that God clearly has communicated with us, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son”. (Heb 1:1-2)
Such a revelation is the very certain heart of God. God has spoken to us so that He may be heard, and that we may discern His will and intention, and all this because God Himself, chooses to reveal Himself.
And the reason He chooses to show Himself in a multitude of ways is that, as already mentioned, we may know the certain sound of the heart of God. God is not the author of confusion, and in a world where chaos seems to be the norm, and where everything is subject to decay and change – He Himself is the same, yesterday and forever. His heart for His people in their moments of triumph or in the valley of deep distress, is one of tenderness and affection, God is strong, and He is loving.
It’s easier said than done, but learn to sense the certain sound of the heart of God – that is the real mandate of the prophetic. If you love God and love people you really can’t go that far wrong!