Embrace the Gift of Prophecy - iBelieve Truth - June 7, 2024

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Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 

A few years ago, my church held a Holy Spirit weekend. During this time, my husband and I taught people about the Holy Spirit, helped people deal with emotional baggage, and then talked about listening for the Holy Spirit and enacting prophetic words. Prophetic words were new to us, and just a few years prior, we needed to figure out how to deliver these words to others, according to what we heard. Through the help of a leader in our denomination who had written a book about how to deal with prophetic words, we could teach our congregation how to hear and deliver words from the Holy Spirit. As we prayed about listening for the Spirit and asking if there was anything the Spirit wanted to say to the people, the Lord gave me a word for a gentleman in our church. The first was a picture of a truck. The second was a picture of a cross. 

When I asked the Holy Spirit what this meant, he wanted me to tell this gentleman to quit his truck-driving job and enter into ministry. When I gave him this word, he was very encouraged because he had been struggling with when was the right time to pursue this calling he had in his life. We prayed about it together, and he was eventually ordained with our denomination. He is now pastoring a church and has been pastoring for the past three years. 

In both the New and Old Testament, prophetic words held great weight for those who heard them. Prophets had a great responsibility. They had to deliver words they believed the Lord said to them, even when they were unpopular. There were false prophets all around them who chose to twist the words that they received. They would hear something specific from the Lord, but because they didn't like the word, they twisted it and pretended the Lord said something else. True prophets from the Lord had to be the ones to deliver negative or harmful words to the people as a warning to them. Prophetic words, especially in the Old Testament, typically point people toward repentance. The Lord could act on their behalf when the people repented from their evil ways and idol worship. 

The New Testament also had prophets but were not as heavily relied upon. Prophets of the Old Testament could be put to death if they delivered a wrong word. 

In today's world, prophets are few and far between. Few people can be trusted for a word from the Lord. While these prophets still have a great responsibility, the above verse tells us that we should all desire to exercise the gift of prophecy. Scripture tells us to desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 

Although all spiritual gifts have a place within our lives, prophecy will help us in our spiritual lives like never before. Because of prophetic words, we not only increase our intimacy with the Holy Spirit, but we also, when we deliver a word that comes to pass, receive a great reward when it comes to encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

In today's tumultuous world, people need to hear from the Lord now more than ever. The need for prophecy and for delivering these words is greater than ever. However, it still carries with it a great responsibility. The above verse appears in the Book of Joel, and Peter refers to it in the Book of Acts. 

We should encourage those in our churches to practice the gift of prophecy. Teach people how to be in tune with the Holy Spirit, hearing from him often. Ask the Holy Spirit if there is something he would like to say to someone. Be obedient and deliver that word. Allow the person to interpret it and apply it to their lives. Nothing grows our spiritual growth more than hearing from the Spirit and obeying his voice.

Father, help us embrace the gift of prophecy. May we allow the desire for this gift in our lives. Help us to be in tune with you so that when you speak, we are quick to listen. Help us be obedient by delivering the word you have for us. Amen. 

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Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.

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Originally published Friday, 07 June 2024.