The Voice of Prophecy – Prophets Listening and Speaking Truth

How clearly does the voice of prophecy resound today? Are prophets still listening to God and speaking His prophetic truth in our generation? Has their voice diminished or is it strong? Prophets throughout the ages have been mocked, ridiculed, crucified and burned. Few people, if any, stand in line saying, “Pick me, Lord! Pick me to prophesy!”

Just before Stephen was stoned to death, he asked,

“Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? . . .”
Acts 7:52

Of all the spiritual gifts, why does prophecy get such a bad wrap? Undoubtedly, there is a lethargy toward spiritual gifts, an absence of mature mentors and misguided notions of prophecy. All, perhaps, put this beautiful and important gift in dim light.

Gifts of Perfume

Yet, prophecy remains among the gifts God gives to the church.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them . . . To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Six times Paul states that the gifts are given by the Spirit “as he determines,” including the voice of prophecy.

Gifts of Love

‘Charisma’ (singular) or ‘charismata’ (plural), commonly translated as gifts, means ‘gift of God’s love.‘ God beautifully lavishes His church with gifts of His love. Another word, ‘phanerosis,’ we also find translated as gift, means manifestation.

Child's ear

For the church to experience God’s love, His gifts must be seen and known. Without the gifts, His love remains hidden, not just from the church, but from the entire world.

For All

The gift of prophecy encourages believers while convicting those who neither know nor acknowledge God.

“. . . prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers . . . But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted . . .”
1 Corinthians 14:22-25

The voice of prophecy bridges the gap between those inside and outside the church. Both declare, “God is really among you!”

“. . . they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!'”
1 Corinthians 14:24-25

Eyes to See

Honestly, I’ve approached the prophetic praying the secrets of my heart would forever remain hidden. Nonetheless, the unveiling of the heart draws one closer to our loving Father. Whatever God exposes, He redeems!

The Voice of Prophecy

When Jesus, the perfect Prophet, met the woman at the well and told her everything she ever did, worship was her predictable response.

. . . You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
John 4:17-18

Jesus spoke to her privately, honoring and elevating her to a place of dignity while exposing the real pain and giving her the hope of an intimate relationship with God.

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

One prophetic word brought a woman out of a hopeless situation and an entire town into knowing Jesus the Messiah.

True Prophecy

The honest voice of prophecy encourages those who hear and points them not to the prophet but to God. Prophets precisely tune their ears to hear God’s voice and focus their sight to heavenly realms to accurately relay what they hear and see to others.

“But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”
1 Corinthians 14:3

Although most prophecy adheres to this principle, not all. One doesn’t have to read the Bible long before realizing that the voice of prophecy often brought necessary correction from their loving Father.

Child and Adult

Earthly fathers who refuse to correct when necessary, harm those entrusted to them. Every loving father, including our Heavenly Father, loves enough to speak correction. He invites the listener to strength, courage and comfort.

Covet Prophecy

Paul commands his listeners to covet and zealously pursues prophecy.

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy . . .”
1 Corinthians 14:39

Why such a strong admonishment? Why does he encourage everyone to prophesy?

Microphone

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”
1 Corinthians 14:1

What is it about the voice of prophecy that brings substantial “strengthening, encouragement and comfort?”

Whenever I have prophesied over others or God has spoken to me through a prophet, the awareness that God knows, sees and loves, even in the midst of personal messiness, inspires greater faith and trust, motivating to godly purpose and calling. Why?

“. . . the one who prophesies edifies the church.”
1 Corinthians 14:4

Testing Prophecy

For this reason, the voice of prophecy must be tested to ensure it agrees with the heart of God and the Word of Scripture, the Bible.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.”
1 Thessalonians 5:19-20

The scrutinizing of the voice of prophecy ensures the purity of the word spoken. When God gives His gifts, it is the recipient’s responsibility to exercise and develop those gifts to reach their fullest potential and greatest benefit to His Kingdom.

Positive and Negative Image

The prophet requires a safe and loving atmosphere to hone the prophetic gift. Godly prophetic mentors, solid in the faith and established in the Word guide the maturing process.

We often see groups of prophets hanging out together in the Old Testament. For good reason! Here they developed, became accountable and grew in their gift (2 Kgs 6:1). Elisha followed Elijah, learning and growing in his gift. The disciples followed Jesus, watching and training as prophets.

The Prophetic Office

Testing the voice of prophecy is especially essential in regard to the office of the prophet. Few prophets mature to a recognized place of holding the position, or ministry, of a prophet, which is different than operating in the prophetic gift.

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:11-13

Many people today create business cards identifying themselves as apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. How God labels a ministry matters far more.

Sound Studio

Though many operate in the gifting found within the five-fold ministry, few hold the true spiritual office of that position. One of the frustrating aspects of any ministry is being pigeon-holed under a title, not God-given — frustrating for the individual and for the people under his or her ministry.

Avoiding man-made labels and maintaining a humble, godly attitude ensures the free-flow of the gifts God gives. He calls each of us to pursue spiritual gifts, test and hone them, then use them for His Kingdom purposes.

Prophets and prophetesses boldly arise! May your senses be open to perceive the currents of heaven releasing the prophetic voice once again for the strengthening, encouraging and comfort” of all.

The 3 Keys of Effective Ministry! Secrets of Success!

3 Keys to Successful Ministry

If you were to ask five people for the keys of effective ministry, you would probably get five different answers. So I didn’t ask! I went straight to the bible looking for examples of effective ministry and asked God. Novel idea, right? Here is what I discovered!

This quest for answers was spurred on by a question from a friend. Honestly, I didn’t have a response! I have witnessed God heal many people through my prayers. I have seen others delivered from personal bondage, hearts mended, and marriages restored. Yet, there is an acute awareness that my ministry is far from successful!

What is successful ministry? Rising high!

I’m not referring to being successful in the eyes of people; I am talking about hearing “well done, good and faithful servant”. I want to know I am doing what God wants me to do, in the way He wants me to do, in the place He has called me.

Key #1 – He Called

One training method say:

  • I do. You watch.
  • I do. You help.
  • You do. I help. We talk.
  • You do. I watch. We talk.
  • You do. Someone else watches.

With Jesus, His method seemed to jump from step one to step five rather quickly!

“When Jesus had called the Twelve together…”
Luke 9:1

This isn’t the first time Jesus called the twelve apostles and sent them out. Luke 6:6 tells about the beginning of such journeys. The apostles already had experience both in watching how Jesus ministered and in activating those principles in practical ministry settings.

When Jesus called, it means, He called them to Himself. He invited them to draw near. He called them not just into ministry, but more importantly into relationship with Him.

The first secret to successful ministry is responding God’s call to intimate relationship.

An eye for successful ministry!

Jesus remained close to the Father. He was close enough to see what the Father was doing and hear what the Father was saying.

Desire an intimacy close enough to hear God's whisper! Click To Tweet

Unless I consistently draw near, I won’t be able to receive His direction. I desire an intimacy close enough to hear God’s whisper.

His call over my life must be unquestionably real! When I know what He is asking me to do, I can go in full confidence! Knowing His will, I am able to walk in His directive! It is the sweet spot of ministry!

My desire isn’t sufficient! My way will lead me off course! Ministry must always be on His terms! I must guard against being lured outside of that call.

Key #2 – He Gave

“He gave them power and authority
to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases.”
Luke 9:1

I can be in the right place at the right time, but if I am going in my own strength it will get me no where fast!

Power for successful ministry!

As a matter of fact, the more natural ability I have, the greater the temptation will be to begin doing things in my own strength. I may be able to fool those around me, but I sure won’t be able to fool God or the demons of hell! Trouble is just around the corner!

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’
says the LORD Almighty.”
Zechariah 4:6

More than any other factor for successful ministry, this one cannot be forfeited! Without the power of Holy Spirit, I can do nothing of significance for God’s kingdom.

Jesus later added,

“And now I will send the Holy Spirit,
just as my Father promised.
But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes
and fills you with power from heaven”
Luke 24:49

“Stay here!”

Holy Spirit brings all the power and authority we need to minister successfully. People may want to promote you too soon! Don’t move! Stay! Stay where you are until the Holy Spirit fills you with everything you need!

Everyone in the will of God, doing the purposes of God, is marked for success!

Key #3 – He Sent

When Jesus says, “Go!” It is time to go! Without excuses! Without hesitation!

Aiming for successful ministry!

Wherever God calls, He equips for sending!

If His call is into your home, go! Be the best Spirit-filled husband/wife, father/mother, peacemaker, child-raiser, and homemaker you can be!

If His call is in the workplace, go! Be the best employee or boss, servant and worker, you can!

Don’t waste any time looking over your shoulder at someone else’s call, or try to fill someone else’s shoes. Be the best you can be, wherever God sends!

Perhaps God is sending you into full-time ministry. Go!

Let’s each do our very best to be all God has chosen us to be, wherever He sends us!

Successful Ministry! Proclaim and Heal!

Wherever He plants us, it is with purpose! He has given us what we need to proclaim the Good News of the gospel, Jesus saves! His mandate still stands! Proclaim the good news of the Kingdom and heal. Let’s faithfully take the presence of Jesus everywhere we go.

The prize of successful ministry!

His divine power has given us everything we need! Click To Tweet

To be successful, we don’t need to be the biggest, the best or the strongest. We don’t to be wisest or the most beautiful.

“His divine power has given us everything we need
for a godly life through our knowledge of him
who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
2 Peter 1:3

Being successful in ministry means far more than seeing lives changed and transformed. Some day, it will be an honour to lay every gift and ability at His feet. Then…

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
You have been faithful in handling this small amount,
so now I will give you many more responsibilities.
Let’s celebrate together!’ ”
Matthew 25:23

The apostles demonstrated successful ministry when they

obeyed His call,
used what He gave them,
and went where He sent them.

That, my friends will be our seal of successful ministry as well!

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