Building People of Substance for Works of Power
When I first started in ministry, I knew very little about gifts of the Spirit. Through a series of interesting circumstances, I found myself serving in a small church as Assistant Pastor. I was expected to sit on the platform and look spiritual, though I had no idea what I was doing. One Sunday morning, a lady in the congregation burst out with a tongue. The pastor glanced at me, thinking I might have an interpretation. I did not. He then stood up and began to give a prophetic message to the assembly. After service I inquired about how he knew he had the interpretation of the tongue. He informed me that he wasn’t sure it was the interpretation, but that, “I can pull down a prophecy almost any time.” Now that intrigued me. I pressed him, but he was not able to give me much explanation.
Now, nearly 38 years later, I understand much more. The simple gift of prophecy is available to every Spirit-filled believer. (1 Corinthians 14:31, 38) Though every believer can seek to prophesy, some are more consistently and powerfully used. (Romans 12:6) The simple gift of prophecy is a word from God, given by the prompting of the Spirit, that brings edification, exhortation, and comfort. (1 Corinthians 14:3) Most of us have experienced this, though we may not realize it. All those times when we are sharing our faith, or praying for someone, or just trying to console a grieving friend, and something pops out of our mouth that surprises us – a Scripture we didn’t know, a word that brings insight or solace, an answer to a question that was not in our knowledge base – those are prophetic moments. Learning to recognize the sometimes very gentle promptings of the Spirit and then being obedient to speak whatever He gives us is a big step on the road to supernatural power in everyday life. Simple prophecy along with praying in tongues, are the two universally available endowments that mark the doorway to miracle power.
Somebody Said: “Many saints cannot distinguish inspiration from emotion. Actually, these two can be defined readily. Emotion always enters from man’s outside, whereas inspiration originates with the Holy Spirit in man’s spirit.” Watchman Nee
Scripture Reading: Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:39-40 NKJV)
Maybe the best description of the inner bubbling of the Spirit that prompts us to prophesy is in Job. Elihu said, “For I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on. I am like a cask of wine without a vent, like a new wineskin ready to burst! I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers. (Job 32:18-20 NLT)” Join me as we desire to prophesy, listen attentively for the promptings of the Spirit within, and allow Him to use us to be the supernaturally powerful Body the New Testament envisions.