Do you want God’s best for you in every way, including in the spiritual gifts? Do you want everything He says you can have? Then you want the gift of prophecy.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to share things that will help you gain a foundational understanding of the gift of prophecy.
However, please understand that there’s no way one blog post could teach everything there is to learn about the gift of prophecy. Prophecy is a huge subject! However, I do want to do several things:
1) Dismantle any hesitations about prophecy you may have, because those hesitations come from the enemy’s lies, when he tries to tell you you aren’t good enough. We’re doing to dismantle those lies that tell you that you can’t operate in this gift;
2) Show you how the Bible says YOU can both HAVE the gift of prophecy AND operate in it, even if you’ve never used this gift before;
3) Caution you about some of the traps the enemy likes to set by lying about this gift. Ephesians 6:12 says: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” … and
4) Show you in video format about how prophecy comes in handy in everyday life and relationships. 🙂
Related: Here are some additional posts I’ve written about prophecy:
- The Difference Between the Jezebel Spirit and True Prophecy and
- How to Pray Against the Jezebel Spirit and WIN.
And here are a few examples of prophetic words the Lord has given me for you in the past that are encouraging, equipping, and comforting, as I discuss below:
- Prophetic Word & Prayer: The Limiting Spirit Is Off
- 4 Prophetic, Encouraging Words About the Father’s Heart for You
- 5 Encouraging, Prophetic Words About Rest
(And just because those were published in the past doesn’t mean they don’t still apply. The Word of the Lord stands forever. So if the Lord speaks to you out of one of them, it’s really Him, and it’s really for you.) 🙂
Side note: I’ve been studying and learning the prophetic ministry for over 15 years. There’s always more to learn. I truly believe it’s one of the most important things that we need to see released in the Body of Christ in order to see souls won to Jesus and believers living victoriously, the way Jesus died for us to live.
Therefore, I pray that you would fully embrace this gift; that you would ask the Holy Spirit for it every day, from now on; and that you would begin to study it diligently from reliable teachers.
I recommend studying the books/materials/YouTube videos, etc released by John Paul Jackson, Kris Vallotton, Doug Addison, Ray Hughes, Graham Cooke, and others, if you want to learn more about prophecy for every believer.
First, we’re going to talk about the two myths most people believe that make them hesitate when we talk about the gift of prophecy.
Those myths are based on lies of the enemy.
Myth #1 about the gift of prophecy:
Sometimes people think prophecy is some kind of mystical, spacey, pie-in-the-sky gift that God gives to people that we imagine to be the spiritually-elite, who look like super-Christians–like Dutch Sheets, John Paul Jackson, James Goll, and the late Bob Jones, who regularly had heavenly beings show up in his room and talk with him.
Truth #1 about the gift of prophecy:
Prophecy is not reserved for people that we think of as the spiritual elite. Prophecy is for every believer. It’s a spiritual gift, not a reward.
What’s the difference between a gift and a reward?
A GIFT is given free of charge at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit gives you a gift, you don’t have to work for it. You don’t have to pay for it. All you have to do is receive it.
A REWARD, on the other hand, is an affirmation you receive for good behavior or faithful service. The Bible is full of rewards, and we need to believe God for rewards. But rewards are for you to enjoy, and gifts are for you to use. God gives gifts to equip and empower you. He gives gifts to build you up and help you.
I thank God that so many of His best things are GIFTS, not rewards! Just like salvation, which is a free gift—Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” The spiritual gifts are given to us by grace, by God’s sovereign choice. They are not rewards for good behavior, but are rather gifts that He gives us just because He wants to be good to us. He’s a good, good Father!
Because prophecy is a GIFT, not a reward, we should all want it!
1 Corinthians 14:1 states: “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
Prophecy is not mystical or mysterious. It’s not only for people who have fasted and prayed ten times a year for the last four decades. Those people get rewards; absolutely. But the gift of prophecy is not one of them. Prophecy is a GIFT. It’s one of many, but it is one of the most important ones, so it’s something we’re all instructed to pursue.
Myth #2 about the gift of prophecy:
Sometimes people think that prophecy is hard to do, mysterious, or difficult to understand … and nothing could be further from the truth.
Truth #2 about the gift of prophecy:
Having and using the gift of prophecy does NOT require you to speak from a national platform or make national predictions. You don’t have to talk about what’s going to happen at the next blood moon, foretell the future in any way, or become an expert on the beasts and trumpets in the Book of Revelation.
So what is the gift of prophecy?
Prophecy is hearing God and saying what He says. Period. And that’s ALL prophecy is.
Everyone can prophesy because everyone can hear God’s voice. Jesus said in John 10:27: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
Does God talk to different people about different things? Yes, so everybody’s prophecies will be different.
Those people who are called to disciple and speak to nations WILL sometimes have God speak to them about things that apply to larger people groups—like nations or governments. God will give prophetic words to people according to their ability to steward them. Having a national platform often results in God giving prophetic words for the nations!
If you were to take all the prophecy that God is downloading in the world today and put it in a bucket, those national prophecies, words of warning, and forth-tellings of the future would be only a few drops in the bucket. Very few people are called to prophesy like that, but ALL of us are called to prophesy.
So if the President and members of Congress haven’t called you lately to ask for a prophetic word, why should you desire the gift of prophecy–and for what will you use it after you receive it?
1. We should want the gift because Scripture says that we should desire to prophesy.
So, if we’re going to obey God’s Word, that means we should desire this gift for simply the reason that God said so.
2. Prophecy is hearing God and saying what He says… and THAT is what Jesus did, all the time.
In John 12:44-50, Jesus is teaching one day, and He tells us a key about intimacy with Him. This passage says:
Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.
I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (emphasis mine).
This passage tells us that Jesus only spoke whatever He first heard the Father speak. And John 5:19 tells us that Jesus also only DID what He first saw the Father doing:
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19).
We know from Scripture that our ultimate calling is to become like Jesus. Romans 8:29 says:
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
There are other verses that all tell us that God’s ultimate will for our lives is for us to become like Him. So if our ultimate destiny—that thing that is God’s highest and most perfect will for our lives—is not to be rich, or famous, or happy, but rather to become like Jesus—then it follows that we should want to be exactly like Jesus in our words and actions; that we would hear what Father says and say only that, and see what Father does and do only that.
That is the second reason we should earnestly desire the gift of prophecy: because using that gift of hearing what God says and repeating what God says—will help us become more like Jesus.
3. We should desire the gift of prophecy because the purpose of prophecy is to edify, exhort, and comfort, and we should all want to encourage and build up others.
1 Corinthians 14:1-5 says:
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
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. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
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.”
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “edify” means: “to teach (someone) in a way that improves the mind or character.” The Greek meaning of the word is to build people up, like a building.
“Exhort” means “to try to influence (someone) by words or advice: to strongly urge (someone) to do something” and exhortation means “language intended to incite and encourage.” The Greek meaning of this word is to implore, to comfort, to console, and to entreat.
“Comfort” means exactly that. Comfort. 🙂
So … if you want to build people up, encourage them when they’re at their lowest point, speak life and hope into dark situations, and inspire them to follow Jesus …
… then you want the gift of prophecy—because that’s what prophecy is for. It’s to encourage, build up, inspire, and comfort.
4. Reason #4 we should all desire the gift of prophecy is so that the lost would be saved. God gives prophecy in the Church to save lost people.
First Corinthians 14:20-25 says:
Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.”
So what is prophecy? Prophecy is hearing God and saying what He says. Period. And we should all prophesy for four reasons:
1) Out of obedience to God;
2) To emulate Jesus;
3) To edify, comfort, and encourage others; and
4) To see people give their lives to Jesus.
Recommended resource: If you want to learn more about prophecy and how to operate in it in the Body of Christ, I encourage you to get Kris Vallotton’s book Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry. He has another book called School of the Prophets: Advanced Training for the Prophetic Ministry too, which is excellent. But start with basic. :)(Amazon affiliate links; you can read my disclosure here.)
Now, there is a difference between the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet in the church.
Just because we operate in the gift of prophecy doesn’t mean we go around calling ourselves prophets. It’s two different things.
Here are the two primary differences:
1. The gift of prophecy is for every believer. Office of prophet is only for those called to that office in the five-fold ministry in the Body of Christ.
Anyone can operate in the gift. But people are generally COMMISSIONED into the office, after the call that is on them becomes evident and is developed through much time and practice.
2. With the gift of prophecy, the anointing to prophesy is the gift. But with the office of prophet, the PROPHET–the person themselves–is the gift to the Body.
Ephesians 4:11-16 says:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
Now let’s look at what prophecy looks like.
The Word of God tells us that specific things ARE from the Lord, and specific things are not. And unfortunately, the enemy has an unholy perversion of every holy thing that he would just love to offer us. But if we know what the Word of God says about any subject—prophecy included—we will be immune to the tricks of the devil!
So what does prophecy look like? It looks like Jesus in action.
Revelation 19:10 says:
And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. If you need the prophetic word to come forth, you just start testifying about Jesus, and it will.
So prophecy looks like Jesus, and let’s examine God’s Word to see how that looks in practical terms, ok?
1. Prophecy will always line up with the written Word of God, because Jesus is the Word of God.
Isaiah 8:20 says: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Period. End of conversation. If something doesn’t line up with God’s Word in every facet, it’s not from the Lord and it’s NOT prophecy or prophetic.
2. Truly prophetic people and true prophetic words will bear godly fruit.
Matthew 7:15-23 says:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
As I taught about in Kingdom Authority 101, trying to operate in power without being intimate with the SOURCE of that power is called lawlessness. And people who don’t bear godly fruit are NOT intimate with Jesus, so stay away from them. If they claim to be prophets, don’t believe them!
3. True prophecy will always be Christ-centered, Christ-glorifying, and Christ-magnifying.
Prophecy will draw attention to Christ, not to a person.
4. True prophecy will be completely dependent on the Holy Spirit.
It comes from the Holy Spirit, is confirmed by the Holy Spirit, is burned into your heart by the Holy Spirit, and requires the power and will of the Holy Spirit to carry it out. If someone tells you that you can do XYZ supernatural-sounding thing on your own, of your own free will, without the help of the Holy Spirit, THAT’S THE OCCULT, NOT PROPHECY.
NO one has ever been able to prophesy without being moved by the Holy Spirit. Second Peter 1:16-21 says:
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
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; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Remember what prophecy is in the first place: hearing God and saying what He says, and that’s ALL prophecy is. 🙂
5. True prophecy will never manipulate or control.
Prophecy will teach and impart freedom, but ONLY freedom that lines up with the written Word of God. (See point #1.)
6. Prophecy should always be released decently and in order.
In 1 Corinthians 14:29-33, where the apostle Paul is talking about maintaining order in the church, he wrote:
Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.
For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
7. True prophecy and those who operate in it in the church should always submit to authority.
You can only have authority if you’re under authority, and to the degree that you’re under authority. Anything else is called lawlessness.
Like I said above, from Matthew 7:15-23. You can work the gift and do wonders in the name of Christ, but if you’re not aligned with Him in intimate relationship, He calls that lawlessness. Trying to operate in power without submitting to the source of that power is LAWLESSNESS. And why should we submit to authority? For a lot of reasons, but the most important one is because the Bible says so.
Romans 13:1 says:
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”
And Hebrews 13:17 says:
“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
Prophetic people always have to be under something. And honestly, that’s where they function most efficiently; because so often, their role is to come up under people who are hurting:
- to strengthen the weak;
- to defend the helpless;
- to push and pioneer from behind;
… and God, who uses the foolish things to confound the wise, somehow in His wisdom sees fit to use these people who choose to place themselves under, to make themselves the lowest of the low, to actually pave the way for the others.
But, uh … doesn’t that thing about being low and under sound familiar? How about from Philippians 2:5-11:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Again… the purpose of the prophetic is to be like Jesus. The purpose of the prophetic is to make oneself a servant, so that Christ may be exalted.
And when you come up under someone like that, watching their back and defending their weak spots, you never get in the way of someone’s unobstructed view of Jesus.
That’s why the office of the prophet is the SECOND office in the church, not the first. Prophets weren’t made to be first. They’re made to come alongside, to come up under. That doesn’t make them unimportant; they are like the walls that hold the roof up. It simply means they have to be under authority in order to fulfill their call.
8. Operating skillfully in the true gift of prophecy takes time.
It’s like riding a bicycle. You receive the bicycle and it works perfectly well, but you have to learn how to ride it. You have to learn not only how to stay on that bicycle, but where it drives well and where it doesn’t. You have to learn how to take care of it, how to fix it when it breaks, and how to keep it safe. It takes time to train yourself and become an adept cyclist.
All the spiritual gifts work the same way. Prophecy is a gift, but it comes to you in raw form. You have to assemble it, learn how it works, and learn how to apply it in daily life.
You have to learn how to take care of it and how to fix things if you mess up–because we all mess up sometimes. We’re all learning; so when we’re learning, we simply couch things in soft terms and say, “I felt like the Lord wanted me to say XYZ to you… does that mean anything to you?” … and if we mess up, we simply admit that we’re learning, admit our own humanness, and apologize.
As long as what you said was encouraging–which you should never say anything under the guise of prophecy that was not to upbuild, comfort, or encourage–the Lord isn’t going to be mad at you because you tried to bless someone, and you’re not going to do any damage.
By the way: how is it that we can say that we’re learning? I’ve heard some people say that they shy away from prophecy because the Old Testament prophets were stoned if they were wrong. And it’s true; the Law stated that should happen.
However, here’s why Old Testament prophets were stoned if they were wrong, but WE can learn and occasionally make mistakes:
WE are under grace. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit had NOT been poured out upon all of God’s people in general. The Holy Spirit sat on people with a prophetic word or in order to do a task.
You read this all the time when the Scriptures say, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon me and …” The Old Testament believers, therefore, were completely dependent on the prophets. They had refused to hear the voice of the Lord for themselves.
But in the New Testament, it’s totally different. In the New Testament, after Jesus was glorified, the Holy Spirit was poured out on ALL believers. John 7:37-39 says:
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
AFTER Jesus was glorified, the Holy Spirit was given to abide with us and remain—to dwell in our hearts. And since we ALL now have the Holy Spirit, that’s why the Apostle Paul wrote (in 1 Corinthians 14:29-33, see above) that we should “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.”
BEFORE Christ was glorified, other believers were not equipped to judge. But after Christ was glorified, the Holy Spirit was poured out on all believers, and now we can all judge between truth and error because the Holy Spirit of Truth leads us into all truth.
John 16:13 says:
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
9. True prophecy will always operate in Christ-like unity.
Since prophecy is hearing what God says and saying that, and since God is One and Jesus prayed for His followers to be one, prophecy will always point toward oneness with the Body and oneness with the things God cares about—namely, God’s church and His leaders.
Let me make this clear: If ANYTHING or ANYONE tries to divide you away from godly leaders and the godly Body of believers at your local church, it’s demonic—not prophetic.
The key word there is GODLY. Always examine everything based on the Word of God. If something you’re seeing doesn’t line up with the Word of God, you definitely should NOT be in agreement with
But most of the time, when you’re discerning between the demonic and prophecy, the issue you will see is that the true prophetic will remain with your leaders and point toward your leaders and the local church. However, the demonic will try to divide you away from your leaders and away from the local church; and if that doesn’t work, they’ll occasionally leave themselves.
Beloved, I can’t say this enough: BEWARE OF THE FRUIT! WATCH THE FRUIT! LOOK AT THE FRUIT!
10. True prophecy will encourage you and build you up—but it will not flatter you.
Oxford Dictionary defines “flattery” as: “Excessive and insincere praise, especially that given to further one’s own interests.”
Flattery happens by inspiration of an unholy, familiar spirit who knows where your weak spots are and it sows strategic praise into you right in the areas of those weak spots—using them as openings into your life so that it can win favor, influence, and ultimately CONTROL over you FOR ITSELF. The demonic flatters you to further its own interests.
Encouragement, on the other hand, is defined as “The action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.” When you’re dis-couraged, you lack courage. Someone or something has robbed or stripped you of your courage. But when someone en-courages you, by the Spirit of God they help you get your courage back.
Real encouragement will cause you to feel the love of Father God. Real encouragement happens when the Lion of Judah roars over you and breathes life back into your spirit, soul, and body. Real encouragement will lift your chin and help you look up—not into the eyes of the person who is encouraging you, but rather right into the eyes of Abba Father. Real encouragement will pull you closer to God, not to a person.
11. True prophecy will set you free and help you stand on your own two feet.
The true prophetic will help you walk on your own. With accountability and under authority, yes; but still standing on your own. The demonic, on the other hand, will try to make you codependent on the false prophet so they can control you.
But remember the Word of God, which says:
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
And John 8:36:
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
People who are operating in the gift of prophecy will build you up and launch you out into your destiny. They will give you wings.
12. Prophecy will resonate in your spirit because the Holy Spirit in you will bear witness to the prophetic word. The prophetic word will burn inside your heart and your heart will burn for Jesus.
The best example of this that I know of is found in Luke 24:13-32, when Jesus met the two disciples on the Emmaus Road after He rose from the dead. This passage says:
Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.
But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (emphasis mine).
While these two disciples were walking on the Emmaus Road, they had an encounter with Christ, the Word of God; and Jesus Himself chastised them for not believing “all that the prophets have spoken;” then “beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
And what was the disciples’ reaction when they finally realized who they had been talking to? They said, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Prophecy will always affect you like that. The Holy Spirit will take His Word and burn His prophetic words into your heart. And you will see Jesus, for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. Prophecy will always reveal Jesus to you.
13. Prophecy must always be given in love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-2 says:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
If you’re out there giving national prophecies and hitting it dead-on every time, but you don’t operate in love, your prophecy is useless. Nobody will listen to you, and your ministry is ineffective. The #2 goal of prophecy–after hearing God and saying what He says–is to LOVE PEOPLE.
So, in summary, real prophecy, prophets, and the true prophetic will resound with the testimony of Jesus and with the fruit Jesus commands us to bear in our lives.
So what’s the application? How do you use the gift of prophecy in daily life?
It would take many more blog posts to teach that in detail, so I’ll just give you some quick snapshots:
When someone comes up to you and tells you how discouraged they are, and you feel the Lord inspiring you to speak His words of comfort, encouragement, and love into their hearts—and you see their tears fall as the light comes back into their eyes—that’s prophecy.
When you speak to someone who’s down in the dumps or walking in a life of evil, but you see them with God’s eyes and call forth the greatness in them—that’s prophecy.
Prophecy speaks light and life into dark places. It looks to see what the will and purpose of Jesus is in any situation and for every person, and it speaks that will into existence.
Prophecy is love acted out. It’s the voice of Jesus speaking life into a person or situation.
Beloved, people are hurting and dying all around you right now. The people you work with; the people you Facebook with; the people who sit next to you in church, right now, are:
- Facing terrible depression and have lost their will to live;
- Dealing with broken marriages and broken hearts; or are
- Drowning in sin, desperately desiring to get free but not sure how.
But beloved, here is the function of the prophets. I saw the video below awhile ago, and it preached to me. In this video, 30 dolphins beached themselves on the sand. They were going to die.
But you know what? People saw them. At first they just stared, but then they took action. They started grabbing each dolphin by the tail and pulling it back into the ocean, where it was deep enough for them to swim to freedom.
Here’s the video if you want to watch it. Start about 45 seconds in:
And all around you and me right now are people who have beached themselves on the sands of sin. They’ve beached themselves on the sands of hurt, hopelessness, and despair. And the reason we all need the gift of prophecy is so we can grab them by the tail, speak life into their heart, soul, and spirit, and tow them back into the ocean of Father’s love.
God’s heart is to encourage hurting people.
Papa wants to put hope back into their eyes. The Lion of Judah wants to roar over their hearts and spirits and breathe new life into them, so they can swim into the deep waters of His love and purity.
But He needs you to do it.
He needs you to be His hands and feet and voice. He needs you to listen with His ears, love with His heart, and speak His words to others.
Will you do it? Will you get alone with God and ask Him to give you the gift of prophecy?
Will you then invest the time in learning how to use it properly?
Holy Spirit is eager to give you this gift. His Word says so. All you have to do is ask.
What questions do you have about the gift of prophecy? Leave your comments below, and I’ll try to answer them as best I can!
Read all posts in this series about the power gifts!
- Diverse Tongues (Speaking in Tongues)
- What Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (and How To Receive It)
- My Story: How I Received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Words of Knowledge
- How I Learned to Use My Prayer Language
- The Gift of Prophecy
- Discernment of Spirits
- How Words of Wisdom Accomplish the Impossible
- How Interpretation of Tongues Helps You Know Father’s Heart
- Miracles that Bear Witness for Jesus
- Easy Faith for the Impossible
- Healings That Change the World
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