Some Basic Thoughts About Prophecy
Before we continue to delve into some of the many aspects of prophecy, let us remember the Word tells us we know in part and do not have the full picture and because of this we need the whole body (1 Corinthians 13:12). In learning to prophesy, this truth is very important to remember as it will build confidence and eliminate pride. It keeps us from being fearful of not knowing enough or from feeling like we have to have the whole answer.
We must always walk in humility as we endeavor to hear and speak His heart. When we do this we say no more than we hear, nor do we try to explain beyond our revelation what we have heard or seen. We simply do what we hear Holy Spirit saying or see Him doing. We will discuss in detail some of the different ways one can receive from the Lord in days to come.
Remember, we are only responsible to give…to share what He speaks to us…what He shows us and no more. Once we release what we hear, the receiver is then responsible to search out the heart of God on the matter. One thing to bear in mind, it is not up to us to determine if they receive or reject what we share. We are to simply give what we have heard.
Three Purposes Of Prophecy
Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation (1 Corinthians 14:1-3 NASB)
Prophecy or “hearing God” as we discussed before is something we should all pursue for many reasons. However, today we are going to discuss three important and beneficial reasons much needed in the world we live in today.
In a world of hopeless, downcast, unloved and needy people, the three purposes mentioned in the above scripture are in great demand. As we explained in the first article, prophecy need not be difficult or complicated and can be as simple as a phone call or sharing a Scripture.
We could paraphrase the verse above to say, “Desire to earnestly hear God and speak in order to edify, exhort and console or give comfort to all men.” In doing this, we further simplify prophecy just as we did by using the words “hearing God” removing so many barriers and fears. We demystify the prophetic and as we reveal the mysteries of God for a person’s life. After all, who does not want or need to be edified, exhorted and consoled or comforted. How can we go wrong when we do so with a heart of humility and love? We can’t.
To edify is to enlighten, inform, or build up. When we are in a less than admiral or positive place a well timed word of encouragement becomes a life saver, a joy builder, an impartation of wisdom, or a light of revelation and understanding in a dark or indecisive place.
If for example, you feel like you should share an edifying Scripture with someone and aren’t sure you can be rest assured sharing the Word of God is never wrong. So be free to share the Word in an edifying way. It may be for the present moment or for a future day. Trust Him and be obedient. Edification is always good.
To exhort is to urge, to press, to encourage, to entreat, or to urge someone strongly to do or believe something and carries with it a foundation of comfort and solace. According to Webster’s 1928 Dictionary, it can also mean to warn or caution or to incite or stimulate or provoke another to good actions. The primary sense of the word is to excite, give strength, spirit or courage…to embolden, to cheer or advise (c.f. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary).
Quiet a mouthful, but an amazing truth full of leeway and grace.
For example: maybe you have a friend…a co-worker and yes even a stranger who is in need of advice, comfort or good cheer and Holy Spirit reminds you of something you learned in your own life…Holy Spirit reminds you and you are obedient to share it with your friend…your co-worker…and so on. What happens? Life is released and they are stimulated in their emotions, their thoughts unto good works and right attitudes.
Maybe you feel led to tell a story about your life when you received a caution from the Lord and how you responded with great benefit. And they in turn receive understanding into their own situation. There are so many examples and variations of how the Lord can use you to prophesy or release exhortation into the life of another. Don’t be afraid or make things too complicated. Step out and you will grow line upon line all the while going from glory to glory.
To Console Or Comfort
To console is to provide comfort or give cheer to a mind in distress or depression, to alleviate grief and give refreshment to the mind or spirit. It is to share what you hear from the Lord in order to bring consolation to the hearer that the evils of life are temporary. Its primary sense is to give rest or quiet or in a sense to strengthen (c.f. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary).
This reminds me of the 23rd Psalm and how we can be those who cause others to rest beside His still waters. We are called to grant consolation to those who mourn in Zion…to give them the oil of joy instead of mourning (Isaiah 61:3). For this reason and many others we must desire to prophesy and release what we hear the Lord speaking to our hearts through a Scripture…our own life experiences…thoughts and revelations…Scripture…inclinations to get in touch with someone we know…when we pray for someone…and the list can go on and on. The time has come to prophesy or speak what we hear God saying and what we see Him doing. The time has come to edify, exhort and console.
Be sure and join me over the next few weeks as I blog some of my thoughts in relation to prophecy and the prophetic gifts.