Embracing the Gift of Prophecy

God is in the process of restoring His church, and part of this restoration includes the genuine gift of prophecy being recognized and received by the body of Christ. Prophecy is listed in 1 Corinthians 12 as one of the nine manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Over the past several years, I have been encouraged and strengthened by prophetic words. When God speaks to us through another person, it has a powerful effect.

Once I was in a small meeting listening to a man I had never met before teach about the voice of God. As he was teaching I began to think about what a father’s heart he had and how I longed to be mentored by someone like him. I had been praying for this type of a mentoring relationship for awhile. At the end of the meeting I asked if he would pray for me. As he was praying he paused and then suddenly began to prophesy to me that God would begin to bring mentors and fathers into my life that would shape the course of my ministry. This word was such a “direct hit” that I began to weep uncontrollably. I have since begun to see that word come to pass.

The Need for Prophecy  

Prophecy is needed today not for the purpose of gaining new revelation to add to the Bible, but for the strengthening of God’s people. It is one of the ways that God reveals His heart and mind to individuals, churches, cities, and nations. The Bible is the Word of God and the final authority for all matters of Christian doctrine and practice; it applies to all believers at all times. Prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit that can speak specifically into situations in people’s lives, as well as giving direction to the church.

It is clear from the Bible that God is a God who speaks. One of the ways that we see Him speaking throughout the pages of Scripture is prophecy—God using a person to communicate a message to another person or group of people. Even though the important role of prophets and prophecy is intertwined throughout the Scriptures, many believers and churches have neglected the subject altogether. Wanting to avoid controversy and possible deception, much of the church has not welcomed this important gift.

On the other hand, in the segment of the church that has embraced the prophetic gift, there has sometimes been misuse, misunderstanding, and questionable practices done in the name of prophecy. Some ministers have used “prophecy” to manipulate their hearers, and others give prophetic words without any consequences or accountability when the words do not come to pass.

Given the extremes that exist on both sides, what are we to do with this gift? The Apostle Paul gives us a good admonition in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21: “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.” We are not to throw out prophecy altogether, and neither are we to blindly accept everything that is labeled prophecy without weighing it. On more than one occasion, Jesus warned His disciples to be aware of false prophets, but He also taught that there is a blessing associated with receiving true prophets: “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward” (Matthew 10:41).

Could it be that we have missed out on some of the reward God has for His church because we have neglected, misused, or misunderstood the gift of prophecy? Yes,we must use discernment; but it is time to fully embrace the gift of prophecy!

Questions: What is your experience with receiving and giving prophetic words? Do you see the gift of prophecy active in your church?

 

6 Responses to “Embracing the Gift of Prophecy”

  1. pastor,God created man to prophesy to see vision and to dream dreams.but how many christians do hav that spirit.the reason been dat we liv by our senses.we do not depend on God’s spirit for strengh.we should pray that God give us the grace to depend on Holy spirit.or else we are religious men bt not christians.thanx

  2. Thanks for another great article. My own life has benefited enormously from prophecy. Often, like you suggested, it comes from someone reinforcing a thought that the Holy Spirit already planted.

  3. Chuck Stevens says:

    Hello my Friend,

    I enjoyed this article very much because along with the Word of God, prophecy has played the most important role in shaping the ministry that the Lord has called me to. The very first prophetic word I received was from one of your former Pastor’s in Austin around 2007, it was a 20 minute extremely detailed word that the minute I heard it I became overwhelmed by the size and scope of what I was hearing. I knew when I heard it that it was a future word that would take place over the course of years, pieces of the word that I received have already come to pass and I am able to see even more of that original word over me hold true. I am opening our church this year because of a prophetic word that I received late last year from a very respected prophetic voice in the city. So needless to say the church absolutly needs this gift to be in full operation along with the other gifts of the Spirit to see transformation in this hour. I cried out for the gift of prophesy over and over and just in the last 2 years the Lord has used me to minister healing, edification and encouragemnet through that gift. There is a reason that Paul said to earnestly seek that gift even above the others, it has the power to release destiny over people.

    Your Friend,

    Chuck

    • Chuck,

      That is great to hear how the Lord has used prophecy to direct and shape your ministry. I can also look back and see how God has used specific prophetic words to speak into my life and ministry. I am excited to hear about the direction for you to plant a church as well, keep me posted on what is happening with that. And I am encouraged how the Holy Spirit is releasing prophecy through you as well as you have “earnestly desired” that gift. Thanks for your obedience in sharing what God puts on your heart; I have been blessed by your words!

      God Bless,

      Jake

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