Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
1 Corinthians 14, 1
Some think that spiritual gifts have long since died out, but the church has long shown that this is not so. The prayer language is practised, the sick are prayed for for healing and miracles are reported. Only prophetic speech is not very common as yet.
And yet it is so important, because the prophet builds up the church, he consoles, gives new goals, shows the heart of God, edifies and admonishes. Paul believes that not only teachers and evangelists should sit in church leadership, but also prophets.
Prophecy is certainly a maturing process. It begins slowly and small and grows into maturity. There are the “little prophets” who feel what God has on His hearts and express it in their own words. And there are some great prophets, who hear God’s word and express them literally. And in between there are all sorts of voices.
I summarise all revelations of God under the generic term “prophecy”. Visions, dreams, hearing God’s voice and also feeling what God means and wants to say. I think a lot of people feel what God wants in their hearts. They should be more courageous and practice speaking about it in small groups.
We sometimes make mistakes. When we wish someone well, we sometimes confuse it with God’s will and say it as if God is saying it. These are then false human prophecies. Or we add something to what God means, but it comes from our heart. In this way, the recipient gets it wrong. This is where we need the gift of discernment, which in turn is exercised by other brothers and sisters. We need each other!
We are learners, and God has much patience!
This gift is very important for the church and for the individual, which is why Paul – and also Jesus – wants us to strive and be zealous for this gift.
Thank You Jesus, You do not leave us alone in our questions, but give answers through our brothers and sisters. Oh Lord, give us Your Spirit and please speak to the people, awaken the gift anew in Your people!