The Gift of Prophecy!

I bumped into the prophetic ministry the first time I preached as a teenager. During and after my message, God showed up and revealed himself powerfully through the prophetic word with dramatic results. For me prophecy is very intuitive and for many years, I just had the ignorance and the boldness to share with people what I saw and heard God saying. Since those early days I have grown in my understanding and maturity in operating in the Spirit of prophecy.

Prophecy is a gift, not an award. The Holy Spirit distributes individually as he wills, not as we earn (1 Cor 12:11). The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of our spiritual maturity. The gifts of the Spirit are evidence of God’s grace lavished upon us.

Prophecy is to be earnestly desired. Paul exhorts us, ‘Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy’ (1 Cor 14:1). Anyone who is saved and baptised in the Spirit can receive grace to prophesy.

The purpose of prophecy is to encourage the church. ‘The one who prophesies speaks to people for their edification, encouragement and comfort’ (1 Cor 14:3). Edification means to build up. Exhortation means to call near. Comfort means to cheer up. We’ve got to prophesy the answer, not the problem.

Prophecy is both foretelling and forth telling. Foretelling is to know the future  as in Acts 11:28 when Agabus prophesied a famine before it actually happened. Forth telling is to cause the future as in Ezekiel 37 when the prophet prophesied to the dry bones and a creative miracle took place. Prophecy has power within it to create that which has been declared. A word of knowledge is not the same as a prophecy as it is a revelation of supernatural knowledge about the past, or present or an unknown fact.

Prophecy reveals God’s heart and mind. Prophets are known as God’s friends because God shares his secrets with them. Prophets are associates of God, an active extension of Yahweh himself. Too many people look for a word from God, rather than a relationship. Look for a relationship with God and the word will take care of itself.

3 parts to Prophecy = Revelation is the first part. God’s revelation comes through a variety of ways (dream, vision, words, angels, creation, scripture, tongues, impression). Interpretation is the second part and is often the part that the prophesier won’t always get. The last part is the application, so what? What is the person to do with what they have received.

Revelation 19:10 The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.

The Oracle!


Transformation is a Journey, not a Destination!

2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image (of Christ) from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

We have become very good at approaching life in linear form and with fixed points in mind but God has designed life as a journey, not a destination. From God’s perspective, the quickest way forward from where we are now, to where he wants us to be isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes it’s full of twists and turns.

Never more is this true than in spiritual transformation. The journey of our transformation can be rough. We are challenged, lovingly confronted, tested, exhorted, encouraged, edified and comforted. Everything is about movement and momentum. Before we can become constantly victorious, we have to become the biggest loser. We have to learn to lay aside weight and encumbrance. We must say ‘no’ to what would entangle us and learn to run with endurance the race that has been chosen for us (Hebrews 12:1).

In all of His dealings with us, the Holy Spirit has to overcome the flesh and establish Christ. We are babies, children and rebellious teenagers before we become fully mature in Christ. There are many memories, hurts, wounds and betrayals that require new health and wholeness. There are sin habits, personality problems, fears, doubts and unbelief to overcome. A spiritual mindset that is not rooted in logic, rationale or reason must be established. The supernatural over the natural lifestyle must be developed or high levels of trust, faith and power are simply not possible.

So here’s a couple of questions to consider today: What part of your life is under conviction from the Holy Spirit at this time? And what Scriptures is He using to support the change He wishes to introduce? If you don’t have any, search the Scriptures and ask God to reveal to you some personal promises and prophecies that will be released to you to help you embrace change joyfully.

Insight!

Defining your Call!

One of the most important aspects of calling is definition. How would you define your call? Have you even thought about defining your call or are you just wandering through life, hoping to bump into your call along the way? Too many of us leave our call to chance rather than intentionally pursuing it.

Jesus had an understanding of his call. Jesus did not begin his ministry in a random way. In the Gospels, I read a lot of intention and purpose to his words and actions. Because Jesus is our example to follow, I think we should, likewise, have an understanding of our call.

If you are reading this and starting to get anxious because you are struggling to define your call, please stop because that’s not going to help you get clarity. My purpose is simply to provoke within you a desire to begin the journey of thinking, praying and hopefully better understanding what God has called you to.

As you go on this exciting journey, I want you to think about summarizing your calling in ONE BIG IDEA. Don’t think in terms of paragraphs of information but define your calling in one, simple, compelling and clear sentence. If you can narrow the focus of your call to ONE BIG IDEA that could fit on a T-shirt, you are well on your way to living out your call with definition.

I’ve narrowed my call down to ONE BIG IDEA, “To activate the call of God in people’s lives”. I would unpack this ONE BIG IDEA by saying, my assignment is activate people for their assignment. My holy discontent is seeing people not walking in their God-given call. I have a burning passion and desire to fire people up about living on purpose and using their gifts and time to make a difference in the world. This passion bleeds through in my preaching, my blog, my writing, my relationships and my ministry.

Recently, I attended the Planet Shakers Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Planet Shakers is a movement that God is using to impact thousands of people around the world. They have a clear understanding of their call. They would define their call as “Empower a generation to win a generation.” They have narrowed their call to ONE BIG IDEA.

So, what is your call? How would you define it? Is it simple enough to fit on a T-shirt but is it complete enough that it encapsulates all that God has put on your heart? I’m interested in hearing what your call is. Reply to my comments section and send me through your ONE BIG IDEA. Remember, it’s not about right and wrong but about definition. We all have different callings, what is yours and how would you define it?

Insight!