Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Prophecy; A New View

A change happened inside of me today and I want to tell you about it. For reasons I cannot really put into words, prophecy always kinda scared me, put me off and made me feel unqualified. Due to observing abuse and personal lack of knowledge, I was sure that I was not a Prophet and was just fine avoiding it.

Well, I'm changed. A solid day of Biblical teaching and meeting with God offered me a new set of eyes for this spiritual gift. I now know what Prophecy is and what the Bible teaches about it.

Prophecy is encouragement. Period. I Corinthians 14:3 says this: "The one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort." As a result of this discovery, I learned that I have operated in the Prophetic hundreds of times and never even new it. I just would have never called it that. Now that I know, I can increase in it and see it move to new levels in my life so that more people can be edified.
Watch this...

Here is what I thought prophecy was:
1. Prophecy is only for Prophets to speak.
2. A word of prophecy will often call people out in their sin (hence, causing embarrassment and discouragement). 3. Prophecy is a word or insight only for the future.
4. Prophecy is scary.
5. Most people that speak prophetic words are either whack jobs or way more spiritual than me.
(Note: None of this is actually Biblical-- it is just what I thought even after years of running in Pentecostal circles.)

Here is what the Bible actually teaches:
1. Prophecy is for all Christ Followers to engage in.
2. Prophecy is encouragement from the Lord. It is speaking up about what the Lord is saying.
3. Prophecy is to encourage and edify, not to embarrass or discourage. The Bible offers specific instruction on how to correct or rebuke, and it does not belong in a prophetic word. Example: In a service, some "prophet" says "Sir, in the blue shirt! The Lord is saying that you are in a immoral relationship!" This is NOT prophecy. This is condemnation, judgement and not of God. 4. Prophecy should be exciting and uplifting, not feared.
5. If normal believers would adopt a proper understanding of prophecy, they would do it much more frequently. You do not need to be a whack job or super spiritual to prophecy.

Today, during CPx, we actually broke into groups of 4 and practiced "spontaneous prophecy". I know it sounds wild, and it was. But, basically, we were told to finish the following sentence for each person in our group: "John, when I look at you I see........" That's it. And 40 people did it. And the room was full of the presence of God and encouraged and uplifted people. It was amazing. That is prophecy. And I did not know that until today.
Another was of looking at it is this: Prophecy is basically the human report of a divine revelation meant to encourage. It is also a reporting on something that the Lord had spontaneously brought to mind to build another up.
Caution: Never insert your questions or concerns about someone into a prophetic word. Ask the stinking question and get the answer. This may be about sickness or sin. Also, beware of people that separate themselves from the local church to run a "prophecy ministry"! The Bible says that Prophecy and the church are connected! Prophecy is for edifying the church, not some side ministry.
Also, take some time to study 1 Corinthians 14 thoroughly to learn for yourself. I will be too.

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