Be Eager To Prophesy
Why do believers miss this assignment?
I think most believers don’t do it because today’s Pastors fail to teach it. I’m certain Pastor’s recognize how ‘seeking to Prophesy’ helps them personally, but they fail to see that this is God’s call to his flock. This is one of the ways God grows and transforms his flock.
I think Pastor’s mis-understand the general call to Prophesy, but it is right there in our Bibles. The Bible tells us to seek the gift of prophecy; That those who prophesy are greater than those speaking in tongues (unless someone can interpret the tongue).
1 Cor 14;5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy . He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified…
1 Cor 14;31 For you can all to prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. …39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
People today tend to limit prophecy to predicting the future, but the Bible gives us another definition:
AMP 1 Cor 14:3-4 But [on the other hand], the one who prophesies [who interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching] speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation. [v4 he] … edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness].
I felt God’s call to prepare a Ministry website. I call it “The Big Picture Ministry”. As I prepared articles for the web site, I noticed a very significant by-product. As I spent time and effort trying to understand and share what I was hearing from the Lord, he was better able to get thru, to transform, to change, and even to grow me.
I think God wants all believers operating in this mode. I don’t think that this should be a one-way street. We should constantly be seeking feedback. For us to confidently remain submitted to God’s Holy Spirit the Word asks us to share what we hear with our brothers and sisters, seeking correction and confirmation. Peter gave us a great example before he attempted to walk on water in NIV Mat 14:27. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Peter was a bold guy but he still took the time to check w/ Jesus. We need to be sharing with our fellow believers, open to both confirmation and correction. Often we need only small adjustments. I think it is Ok in those cases to trust what we hear directly from the Holy Spirit, but when large adjustments are called for we should consult with other believers and seek confirmation just like Peter did. Some folks are pretty good at determining if what we hear is from the Holy Spirit, and what is from the enemy. If we are not great in that area, we probably should seek confirmation even for these small corrections.
So How Do I Seek to Prophesy? It’s really not complicated. I think there are really only three steps:
1. Spend quiet time seeking the Lord. I’ve discussed this more deeply in “The Missing Link – Silence”.
2. We also need to be attentive listeners, following thru where the Spirit Guides us. Looking for related lessons in the Word, in what we’ve already heard from the Holy Spirit, regularly stopping to pray and claiming the promise of God’s Wisdom in James 1:5.
3. Share and seek confirmation/correction
Verses on How God Speaks to Us:
NLT Job 33 [Elihu speaking]14 For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. 15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. 16 He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. 17 He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. 18 He protects them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death. 19 “Or God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds, with ceaseless aching in their bones. 20 They lose their appetite for even the most delicious food. 21 Their flesh wastes away, and their bones stick out. 22 They are at death’s door; the angels of death wait for them. 23 “But if an angel from heaven appears— a special messenger to intercede for a person and declare that he is upright— 24 he will be gracious and say, ‘Rescue him from the grave, for I have found a ransom for his life.’ 25 Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s, firm and youthful again. 26 When he prays to God , he will be accepted. And God will receive him with joy and restore him to good standing. 27 He will declare to his friends, ‘I sinned and twisted the truth, but it was not worth it. 28 God rescued me from the grave, and now my life is filled with light.’ 29 “Yes, God does these things again and again for people. 30 He rescues them from the grave so they may enjoy the light of life. 31 Mark this well, Job. Listen to me, for I have more to say. 32 But if you have anything to say, go ahead. Speak, for I am anxious to see you justified.
NLT Heb 10;21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God ‘s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near
NLT Heb 1;1 ‘The Son Superior to Angels’ 1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
NIV John 14;25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
NIV John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
NIV John 16;12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
I’d like to end this article with these verses on prophesy;
NIV Act2;17 ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
NIV Luke 22;26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
MSG 1 Cor 5;13 God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house.
NIV 1 Peter 2;9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy
Help us to seek the gift of prophesy, to seek you, and to teach each other your ways. Help us to return to worshipping you in spirit and in truth. Amen.