Strengthening and encouragement come first - a prophet also reminds you that God is there and is interested in us. I find this helpful! To be used prophetically is just to say, ‘God wants to speak to me and He wants to use me - and use me in a spiritual gift to encourage and comfort others.’ That’s a good place to start, rather than coming out with ‘The Lord says...’ We don’t do that at King’s. ‘The Lord says that the church should do this and this...’ Christians aren’t generally given a big directional word for their church to start with. It’s likely to be a word of encouragement first.
We probably have one or two people at King’s that we would recognise as having prophetic gifting. We haven’t got anyone in our church that has a prophetic ministry or prophetic office at the moment. It would be great to have someone - but at this time we haven’t.
Another way of looking at this is when you’re at the end of the spectrum where we are dealing with what are mainly words of exhortation and encouragement, then there are likely to be more of man’s words than God’s word! It says in 1 Corinthians 13 that ‘we prophesy in part’ and that means, in my experience, when people prophesy, most of the time the word is, at the very least, for them.
What I look for when anyone brings a prophetic ‘word’ is the little nugget of gold that makes me think ‘Ah! That leads me towards God’. This is a useful check and it’s helpful because sometimes strange things happen to people when they contribute in this way... you know, their voice changes – that dreaded ‘prophetic’ tone of voice! Sometimes this makes it difficult to weigh what is being said and probably within it there is something of us and something of God together.
To be continued...
One Hundred and Forty Years in Cape Town
4 months ago