Prophecy is a spiritual gift clearly encouraged in the New Testament of the Bible, to be eagerly sought after by every follower of Jesus Christ. It is available to all, not just the few, this side of the cross. Every believer can seek to use this gift, if they want to, and develop and be trained in it.
Specifically for encouraging, strengthening and building people up, it is a gift that can cause breakthrough in people’s lives, and be effective also in inner healing. Prophecy in the New Testament, unlike in the Old Testament before Jesus died on the cross, is not judgmental. Believers are called to use it to draw out the gold in others, not to encourage fear. It can also be expressed through art, writing and creativity, not only through speech. Something can be ‘prophetic’.
Prophecy is a direct result of a relationship with God. When we speak to God about people and situations as believers, we can ask Him what He thinks. He will tell us, and give us information that we can use to develop a word of encouragement for someone. Sometimes this will be as simple as telling them of the Father God’s love for them at that moment, or it can be much more detailed.
Prophecy is to be tested, for in the New Covenant we do not speak the exact words of God, like the Old Covenant prophets did. In the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit came UPON the chosen man or woman, as God’s prophet at the time, but in the New Covenant, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us all of the time. So sometimes our own feelings or agenda can get mixed up in the prophecy.
Testing is for the recipient of the word of encouragement to do. For instance, what did the word feel like – if it was constricting then it was likely to be from a source other than God. Or, did it have the agenda of raising up Jesus in the person’s life? Was it biblical? Seek confirmation if it is a directional word.
Although the gift may be received and used by all believers who ask, it can be developed and trained. Those who continue with the gift, receiving training and undergoing character transformation to match the gift, move into a prophetic ministry, mentioned in Scripture in Romans Chapter 12. Those who, after many years, are called by the Holy Spirit to become a Prophet, will be disciplined in character and gift – they become the gift, and are given to train up God’s Church in the gift, and this is called the Office of Prophet, mentioned in Scripture in Ephesians Chapter 4.
A misunderstanding of the purpose and operation of the gift can cause confusion, therefore training and understanding is important, so that it may reach its full potential as encouraging, building up, and strengthening, receiving the full acknowledgement and value it is due.
This is a very brief overview of this gift. Do ask questions if you are interested. More information and teaching on this important subject can be gained via @School4Prophecy on Twitter – Mark Iles is my Mentor who has taught me and encouraged me into the journey I am taking. He is a seasoned Prophet, Teacher and Mentor running School4Prophecy, and is currently writing a manual called Developing Your Prophetic Gifting. His teaching is clear, practical and encouraging.
I responded to this challenge on The Daily Post, WordPress, as I feel that the topic suits my aim to pursue prophetic principles in my life and writing, and promote them (link below). It is a matter high on my heart in my own book writing on the importance of Identity, “Who Am I? The Identity Key.” This is the first of my “Eagle Wing – Releasing to Rise” series of books. I use some of my own experiences and story to lay out keys to release us to a fruitful and free life. See me also on Twitter, @Selahalways .