1 Corinthians 14:1
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification
Up until I received the Baptism of the Spirit I didn’t realise that prophecy was available today for us and that it is all around us for those that walk in the gift and receive words. Paul was telling Christians back 2000 years ago to seek especially the spiritual gift of prophecy. If he was around today he would be telling us to seek the same today. We don’t take the bible today and say these bits Paul taught are relevant today but those bits aren’t. The Holy Spirit through Paul left us all his writings for our blessing and benefit today.
Since I found out about prophecy and that it was available today I have been exposed so much to it that I could fill a journal or two. If fact I have been given the gift of prophecy and I prophecy over people all the time. The gifting I have been given is to give positive exhortation and prophecy over people and I do this constantly.
I believe prophecy is available to all of us as a gift and that is why Paul told us to seek it. He understood it was one of the ways that God prepared us and talked to us.
But prophecy is like a flower that can have a beautiful aroma but can also prick you and make you bleed as well.
I was sharing this thought with a friend who is a pastor last week that with what we now know about prophecy and the experiences over the last five years we have been through that we would now teach a lot more on how to handle prophecy than we have in the past.
What I mean by this is a number of us had walked in the word, understood the word but never knew that we could receive prophecy. So when we started to receive it five years ago (and with a lot of clarity) it was like receiving Christmas presents and we just jumped in and went with the words.
What were some of the things we did?
- Went out and immediately tried to step into the words that were spoken over us
- Stepped outside our level of authority into areas we weren’t ready for
- Tried to bring things and words forward
- Put our own interpretation onto those words of prophecy and got it wrong again and again and again
- Spoke out things that weren’t meant to be spoken out as they were for us and private and not for others to hear
Much of the sanctification process and the words written on this site speak of lessons from this area of misinterpretation of prophecy and that has been a benefit from these mistakes. However I am seeking these days the sweet aroma of the flower and not the pain and as I teach and spread prophetic words I need to do it in a way that those I give words to are prepared for them.
GOD SPEAKS TO US AND TEACHES US THROUGH PROPHECY
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
He completes what is said over us. He gives us words that will come into being. He doesn’t lie.
We are the ones that can muck the interpretation of a prophecy up.
In this chapter the people had been getting all these words about the bad things that were going to happen to Jerusalem and Israel.
“For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”
26 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
27 “Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’
28 “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”
These people were interpreting the prophecy to be in line with what they wanted. It was a bad word so they saw it as many days off.
If it was a good word then they would have wanted it now.
How often do we do that? Interpret the prophetic word in our favour the way we want it. It is this type of interpretation that causes us to feel pain and to create doubt in what He is saying. The Lord uses prophetic words to help us and correct us but we often see things through rose coloured glasses. We do this because we don’t want the discomfort of feeling any pain or problems. How do we grow in that place?
The Aroma of prophecy is that it is for our good to grow and to enable us to become more of who we are “one with Him”. If we are hearing Gods words then we know that the pain we can go through due to a word is for our own growth and that is good. If we muck up the timing or we sin then the pain from that is not from the word that God has given us but form our own actions. It doesn’t mean He can’t use it for good. I have experienced that many times where I have pushed into prophetic words over the last few years in error and He has used it. It often meant I have taken the long difficult way to get where he wanted me to get to. Going around that mountain again.
PROPHETIC WORDS PARTNER WITH US
2 Peter 1:19-21
19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
So prophecy brings a light into your heart and when the realisation of this prophecy occurs the morning star rises in your heart. The aroma rises.
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
It is Gods will that He is imparting through prophecy not our own. He releases words when he wants to and he does this at a time for His purposes.
When he releases a prophetic word it could be a word for twenty years out and I have had some of those words. We need to understand His timing as the timing of our will stepping in can be totally outside His will. The appointed time is His.
But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all.
16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known,
17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
Jesus knew the impact of free will and others actions on prophecy so He didn’t want it spoken out. He warned them.
Jesus accomplished the goal posts but I wonder if there were extra plans b-z that had to be done for when people put their own will on things. When they spoke out after He had asked them not to.
In This passage he was also working to keep things in line with the prophecy. He warned them not to speak.
How often have we interpreted words in our way and impacted the way a word has to be delivered. How much harder have we made it for God’s word to be performed in our lives.
So we see here that we need to step in faith and step out for prophecy to occur. But we need to be in His will in this. If you have a prophecy spoken over you that you are going to be a great TV commentator then you don’t accomplish this by sitting on your couch and waiting for God to do it. You can’t say well God has said it therefore I will wait for it to happen. I am not moving until he has done it.
No you need to start something. Now that doesn’t mean you go and step into this role straight away but it may mean you start doing more public speaking, or working shifting cables around for a TV studio. God expects us to do works in faith.
Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
Seeing Prophecy completed is about having faith in His words but it also needs works.
My wife just finished a book and she shared one of the lines from that book with me that captures this so well
“To live life today as it falls before you”
The Lord has been showing me that there is much written about us and He will accomplish it but we are to live life today and do what we can do today. Stay in His will and hear His voice so that what we do today is in His will.
He quite often asks me when I get to a point of no movement “have you done all that you can?” My answer will be yes. He says “Then you are waiting on me”.
But He expects me to have done what I can do.
He declares the end from the beginning
He knows it and it will be.
There is so much to write on prophecy and how to make it an Aroma and not a prickly flower. I will share more on this.
2 Chronicles 15:8
And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the LORD that was before the vestibule of the LORD.
Prophecy brings us to action and gives us courage to move ahead. It is as much for today as it has ever been in history.