“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”
Our God is a God of revelation. He is not a God of riddles and muddles. He wants us to know. He wants us to know his; He wants us to know His ways; He longs for us to discover the obedience that comes by faith. How do we discover this? The Bible gives us many checks and balances to discern the will of God: the revelation of Scripture; the spirit of wisdom; the counsel of many wise advisors and the spirit of prophecy. These measures taken together, give us a wonderfully secure framework for discerning the will of God for our lives.
The ministry of prophecy is so very important personally, corporately and strategically and sits at the heart of a healthy and mature culture of Spirit-led life together. Paul urges every one of us to earnestly desire to prophesy (1 Cor 14: 1). Sadly, prophecy is so often abused and misused and I believe we have a significant opportunity and responsibility to model a responsible and healthy culture of the Spirit in the life of the local church, and in our shared life together as a family of churches, especially as we prophecy.
The ministry of prophecy is one of the very great gifts of God to the individual and to the church; to know the will of God, to give courage to people making godly decisions, to bring reassurance and affirmation, to help demolish strongholds, to shine a light in the darkness for people and in situations. All prophecy is for our “upbuilding, encouragement and consolation” (1 Cor 14: 3). For me personally, the ministry of prophecy has guided and guarded my life, helped me make leaps of faith, helped me avoid poor decisions, strengthened my heart and soul in times of trouble, made my heart sing with joy and relief, drawn me very close to the heart of my Father, to the mission of my King, to the comfort of his presence by his Spirit.
I am so grateful to Angela Kemm and David King and others who stir, inspire, encourage and equip us all in deepening our own gifting and ministry of prophecy, all in the atmosphere of love – so important to Paul – as we minister to one-another (1 Cor 14:1). We long to build ‘Word and Spirit’ church communities wherever God gives us the opportunity. So often, churches can be faithful in the Word yet hold ministry of the Spirit at arms length. Or the pendulum swings and we find an unhealthy or immature spiritual, charismatic culture that has lost connection with the Word of God and discredits the precious work of the Spirit among us. The nations of Europe urgently need demonstrations of mature, healthy and loving, Spirit-led culture and the ministry of prophecy is central to this.
Let’s learn and grow together as God’s prophetic people, for such a time as this.