Eph. 4:11-12 KJV –  And he [Jesus] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Notice this verse includes the ministry of pastor, which is the preeminent office of leadership in Christianity today. Prophet Kitty and I served as full time pastors for many years and understand the place of this gift and it’s purpose in the body of Christ. The gift of pastor we must have and we must also have the other four equally necessary and non-optional giftings.
If someone came to you suggesting you did not need a pastor or that the gift of the pastor had no place in the life of a believer what would be your response? You would no doubt consider it heretical to reject the place of a pastor in our lives. However there are four other ministries given equal importance in Ephesians 4 including that of the prophet.
You need the gifting of the prophetic in your life as much as you need a pastor. For 500 years the modern idea of a pastor has been the very foundation of what Christianity has become. Yet as important as this gifting is how much different would the church look like if all of the office gifts were equally accepted and given freedom to work in our lives?
In the last century there have been strides made toward acknowledging all of the “five fold” giftings but unfortunately these gifts are more oriented in modern thinking as titles of privilege than roles of servanthood.
Further the giftings of God for service are not limited to the clergy but include every believer through the availability of the nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians chapter 12:
1Cr 12:2, 7-10 KJV –  Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. …  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
Notice Paul speaks by contrast of “dumb” idols in teaching on the gifts of God that are resident in the life of every believer. God has a voice. He wants to be heard. He wants to be heard in the individual believe not just the clergy. God is a speaking God who expects His gifts to be present and persistent in your daily life both to bless and guide you.
The Purpose of the Prophetic:
2Ch 20:20 KJV –  … Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
The Father wants us to be established AND prosper. The prophetic is a means by which this happens. When you believed in the Lord God your eternity was then assured. Believing in the Lord God secures your eternity. Believing the Prophets and accepting their place in your life secures your present and launches you into your destiny.
The Practice of the Prophetic:
Jer 1:5, 9-10 KJV –  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. …  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.  See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
The prophetic tears down wrong thinking, roots out unbelief, pulls down lies of the enemy, destroys doubt, throws down illegitimate authority in order to build up the saints and plant the seed of Christ in you the hope of Glory. (1 Cor. 14:3; Col. 1:26)
The Personal Application of the Prophetic:
Gen 11:31 KJV –  And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
Prophets prophesy to nations, people groups, cultures, families and individuals. Abraham’s father Terah moved his family toward Canaan because of a personal prophecy that Noah gave to Terah’s progenitor Shem.
Gen 9:25-26 KJV –  And he said, Cursed [be] Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.  And he said, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Terah moved to Canaan because his forebear Noah prophesied that his lineage would rule over the Canaanite people. This was a personal prophecy in action. The end result of Terah’s obedience and his son Abraham after him changed the world. A faithful response to a prophetic word will not only bless you but has the potential to change the lives of millions. Personal prophecy always speaks to your potential in God and your potential in God is limitless.
The Power of the Prophetic:
1 Ti 1:18 KJV –  This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
We all know about the armor of God in Eph. 6:13-18; The prophetic is also a weapon we should not allow ourselves to be without. (1 Thess. 5:20). Many who are familiar with personal prophecy wrongly suggest “just put that word on the shelf, if it is of God it will come to pass…” That counsel is contradictory to God’s word. Paul said that personal prophesy is something we WAR WITH against the contrary circumstances of life. Graham Cooke said “don’t war against your prophecies with your circumstances – war against your circumstances with your prophecies!” We echo that declaration.
The Principles of the Prophetic:
Act 14:22 KJV –  Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
The apostle Paul understood the need of speaking not only the general word of God but also the prophetic word. He taught people that the means of dealing with the pressures of life involve leaders making the effort to “confirm” believers through the laying on of hands in prophetic gifting. The word confirm describes “leaning on” someone with laying on of hands and prophecy.
1Cr 13:2, 9, 12 KJV –  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, and have not charity, I am nothing. …
Prophecy is about supernatural understanding and knowledge. Paul understood the need for moving in the love of God in all things. The above verse emphasizes this but it also shows us anecdotally the role prophecy plays in our lives from Paul’s perspective. Prophecy brings understanding to the confusion and mysteries of life. Prophecy brings knowledge that transcends natural limitations. Prophecy provokes faith in the hearers to fulfill their destiny in God. Prophecy destroys unbelief.
 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. …  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
It is true that prophecy and the prophetic gifts are filtered through imperfect human instrumentality. The gift is pure and powerful but it flows through imperfect human instrumentality. God knew this when He imparted the prophetic gift in the first place. But the power of the prophetic is not mitigated by human weakness. God designed prophetic gifting to be all He promised it would be IN THE CONTEXT of the humanity and frailty of the persons He chooses to use to impart this gifting.
So don’t be put off by the fact that prophets are not perfect people and don’t know it all. Even though prophets “see through a glass darkly” they are however commanded to speak boldly and audaciously:
1Pe 4:11 KJV –  If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God;
If you have every prophesied you know what it is to feel after what the Lord is saying. You know you are attempting to filter through thoughts that are merely human and to faithful release the DIVINE HEART of God. Be bold in this. Speak as the oracle of God in the midst of your humanity. God will breath on this process and impart the transaction of heaven that delivers His truth and breakthrough to your hearers.
Prophecy is For Every Believer:
1Cr 14:31 KJV –  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
Prophecy is not just for an elite few. Prophets who treat the prophetic as a “trade secret” are sadly misled and misleading. As Moses of old said “would God all His people were prophets!” You have the gift of God within you. The prophetic gift is simply put about hearing God’s voice and articulating it for others.
So be encouraged to covet the prophetic gifts. Covet the voice of God in yourself and proceeding through others to your own life. The prophetic will prosper you as you act upon the potentialities this important gift will bring over your life.
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