Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:1, 5, 24-25, 31, 39-40 ESVPaul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.
I don’t normally like to move things out of their direct context, but this chapter of 1 Corinthians is all dedicated to the subject of prophecy, tongues and interpretation, and order in the church. If you read the whole thing like a letter, which it was, it’s hard to miss this one point: Everybody can and should prophesy. Why then do we allow our gatherings to resemble a motivational speech with a rock concert included, when we are supposed to be hearing from the Spirit of God as He inspires the Body as a whole?
Part of our problem is we have lost our expectation that we could be used in such a way. Notice what Paul says, not to the Pastor, but to the church as a whole in verses 1 and 39: Earnestly desire to prophesy, and he says it twice. He starts and ends the chapter with this exhortation. He uses language that means to be passionate, zealous, even covetous of prophesying. We are supposed to be worked up about this! Maybe part of the reason we don’t see these things often is that we are not earnestly desiring them.
Let’s go to church today, not to watch the show and get the “feel good” message, but to allow God to move through us if He so desires. He wants you to want to.