Prophecy and You (Part 2)

prophecyLast time, I shared with you the apostle Paul’s admonition not to despise prophecy, but to discern it (1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21). Paul also said to desire to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1, 39). Today, we’ll look at some ways we can fulfill our call to prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:3 mentions three reasons prophecy is important: it builds people up, it encourages or exhorts them (spurs them on), and it brings comfort.

It convicts its hearers of their need to change. 1 Corinthians 14:24 says, “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all” (ESV). This is especially true if the prophecy points to Jesus and His holiness. While  this verse addresses prophecy’s effect on those who don’t yet know the Lord, God uses it to convict believers as well. Consider chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, where Jesus spoke prophetically through John to correct sin areas in local churches.

Some prophecy foretells future events, so that God’s people know how to respond and be ready. Jesus prophesied many futuristic things about His death, resurrection, and the last days before His return to earth. Agabus foretold a coming famine, so the Church could take necessary steps to prepare (Acts 11:28). Amos 3:7 tells us, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, without  [first] revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.”

God also uses the prophetic word to tear down anything opposed to His plans and to plant and build His purposes in individuals’ lives and nations. “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10).

While some of these aspects of the prophetic happen largely through those who hold the ministry function of a prophet, we can all be used at times in each of them, if we allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us. Remember, prophecy is simply uttering aloud what God has spoken to us or shown us. And keep in mind that prophesying is not confined to congregational settings. It can be part of our daily life, as we go about our Father’s business.

Encouragement

This is one of the easiest ways we can prophesy. It can either be on a personal, one-on-one basis or directed toward a group of believers. It’s not prophecy if you are only attempting to help people feel good by sharing your own ideas, but when the Spirit of the Lord is impressing a thought upon you, it will carry weight and bear fruit in others’ lives.

A word from the Lord doesn’t have to feel like fireworks going off inside. It is more likely to manifest as a gentle, persistent sense of what God has for someone. Even if you aren’t entirely sure, take the step of faith to share what you are receiving. You might be surprised at how it blesses someone, once you have the courage to speak it.

Sometimes we don’t realize in a moment of encouraging others that the phraseology we are using is a prophetic word for them — until they tell us they heard the same thing from God or from another person.

Prophetic encouragement isn’t always warm and fuzzy. Some words are meant to stir people up or spur them on into God’s purposes for them. God isn’t into just making His people feel good; He wants us to go deeper with Him, too. Don’t be afraid to share these exhortational words. Just do it in the spirit of love, not criticalness.

Prayer

Maybe you’re praying with someone, and words pop out of your mouth you weren’t anticipating saying. You are in the flow of the Holy Spirit, speaking forth His understanding of the situation in the moment. This is actually a form of prophecy, and it can be powerful.

Or, perhaps God puts a burden on your heart for a region, and you begin to pray things by the Spirit that you couldn’t know on your own. Years ago, I found myself suddenly praying our Pledge of Allegiance, but it was for North and South Korea to be united as “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Later, I found out many Korean Christians were also praying for the reuniting of the two nations. Since then, I’ve heard several prophets say that this is what God will do. But my first revelation of God’s heart on the matter came through prayer proceeding from my own mouth — and it surprised me at the time. Praying the thoughts of God, as He gives them to you, is a key way to prophesy.

Counsel

Maybe as someone shares his or her problems with you, you know exactly what to say to bring help  — but you realize the thought did not proceed from your own intellect. That is the word of wisdom, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8, and it is closely allied with prophecy.

Testifying to God’s goodness

When we proclaim God’s goodness, testifying of what He has done for us, sometimes prophecy gets intermingled with that. How? For one thing, God will use your testimony to personally speak to others, to encourage, build up, exhort, convict, or comfort them.

You may also find that as you testify, your words begin to  shift from just telling your story into applying the truths you have learned to the lives of those in similar circumstances. You feel the Lord’s urging to say, “God has miracles for you, too. Trust Him, and watch Him work out your circumstances beyond what you could have imagined.” It’s a subtle form of prophecy. The more you proclaim the goodness of the Lord, the more you open yourself up to prophesying, because “…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

Prophetic writing

The Internet is a wide-open window for anyone who wishes to be used by God in this way. When I write books and articles, I seek the Lord for what He wants me to say. I rarely do it any other way. Do you have a blog? Use it to share what God is speaking to you. You don’t have to be a blogger, though. How about using social media to encourage others with what He is saying to you? How much better is that than the opinionated wrangling so many get caught up in!

Does God bring a particular Bible verse to mind for someone? Communicate that. It may be just what the person needs to hear. You are giving them the word of the Lord for their situation.

Wherever you go, be open to the Lord’s promptings to share insights, personal words, ideas, encouragements, and Bible verses God has spoken to you. As you are faithful to do that, God will increase what you have for others. You will end up prophesying blessing to those around you.

personal prophecy

 

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

prophetic teaching

 

 

Growing in the Prophetic,
by Lee Ann Rubsam
(audio teaching)

 

 

6 responses to “Prophecy and You (Part 2)

  1. Dear Lee Ann,

    My name is Aliel Cunningham. I am a linguist and TESOL professor and I just stumbled across your blog some months ago and I have really enjoyed reading each installment. Your words have a balance, a wise restraint, and godly insight that I have rarely seen in pentacostal / charismatic circles. While this is my background, I also have a lot of interactions with those from other denominational backgrounds and I struggle with knowing how to advocate for pursuing the gifts of the Spirit and taking time to listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice. I recently had a former student ask me about what I thought about the legitimacy of speaking in tongues and how you could tell when someone is speaking an actual human language and when it seemed to be “made-up”. I prayed before I responded to this student, but then when I started writing my reply, I realized I had a lot more to say than I initially thought. The response was almost 10 pages long. I have thought about turning this document into an article of some kind, but I would really like the feedback or input of someone like you who has wisdom about how to speak about the things of the Spirit without sounding too dogmatic or extreme for those who are coming from a different denominational background.

    Please let me know if you might have time to look at it. If not don’t have time, no worries. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your blog posts and the resources you offer Spirit-filled believers who want to grow in the grace and love of the Lord.

    Thank you again! Aliel Cunningham

    Like

  2. Lee Ann,
    Just a couple of “growth” notes.
    “Or, perhaps God puts a burden on your heart for a region, and you begin to pray things by the Spirit that you couldn’t know on your own.” This seems to be my experience for current affairs when certain O.T. scriptures just make an “extreme” impression on me. Of course, the battle begins – is it me, or is the Holy Spirit speaking. I lean towards the Holy Spirit speaking.
    Another area from the N.T. is sending out workers into the Lord’s harvest, but adding that they may be truly called, taught, equipped, skilled, and of course, anointed mightily by the Holy Spirit. I do keep a list of names I bring before the Lord. -)
    Thank you for all you do!
    1 Samuel 25:6 “Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.”
    Blessings and continued prayers!
    Costa

    Like

  3. Thank you for the advice, Just ordered the two books (used). I’ll keep you updated. One last note: Since my time is really occupied, I find myself having to use the little time I have in declaring the scripture verse or verses in spurts – Frustrating to say the least.
    Blessings! Costa

    Like

Leave a Reply to Lee Ann Rubsam Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.