“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.”
Dear prophetic people, I’m excited to write this series because I’m really not sure how it’s going to go, which is kind of ironic considering it’s a series about being prophetic! I’m really passionate about you and so I’ve done lots of reading and have been calling on some friends more seasoned in prophetic ministry and those involved in church leadership both young and…erm, blessed…to help me write this series for you. Thankfully most have said yes and who knows, maybe we’ll get some more along the way!
Dear prophetic people, I’m writing this series because our churches, our friends, our families, our neighbours, our cities and our nations need to hear the voice of God. On the Day of Pentecost, when the Church was being presented to the world for the first time, Peter the apostle stood up and told everyone that the ability to prophesy i.e. speaking the heart and mind of God, has always been God’s desire for His people and that that ancient dream of God that was whispered about throughout the Old Testament and declared plainly in Joel 2:28 was now being fulfilled in the Church.
First Corinthians 12-14 (although very controversial passages) tell us that prophecy is a necessary part of the life of the Church whether it’s in the building up of people and encouraging or comforting them (14:3) or in demonstrating the presence and reality of God to people who don’t know Him (14:24-25). We know Paul was really keen for prophecy to be a major feature in the life of the Church because he elevated it above 8 other Spirit-empowered abilities he’d also mentioned (14:1), all of which he instructed us to eagerly desire or as I’ve read is a better translation: to “zealously lust after”. Strong words.
Today, prophecy has become an area of confusion and fear for a lot of us. In a sincere effort to avoid deception in some of our churches we run from the words “prophecy” “prophetic” or “prophet” if we’re not only reading them from the pages of our Bibles. In other churches we spread those words so thickly on everything and permit many things under their banner that end up creating a very unhealthy atmosphere and a dangerous, unbiblical environment.
A friend told me that the title makes this series sound like a great big rebuke. That’s not what it is. Or at least I hope that’s not how it comes across! This series is a very small attempt to shed some light on some of the issues that prevent the effective use of the prophetic gift and the growth of prophetic ministry (and people) in the Church and to suggest some solutions on how to combat them. The PeopleBeingReal blog focusses on us developing ourselves and our relationships with God and each other in order to produce a culture that reflects God’s kingdom among us. It’s my observation that some people seem to move in a greater measure of the prophetic gift than others. These people often have a tough time living in church community and the community can hugely benefit from or be severely damaged by their presence, activity and ministry.
This series (I think) will be mostly directed towards these people but it’s not exclusively for them. I believe that as sons and daughters we’re all called to prophesy to some degree and that we should all receive from prophetic ministry in our lives at some point because the Bible says it builds us up! I hope that we all want to grow in hearing God and communicating His heart and His mind to others and the purpose of this series is to better understand God’s purpose behind prophecy in the Church and the importance of having a culture that fosters prophetic ministry. After all, where there’s no prophetic vision… (Proverbs 29:18)
In his 60th chapter the great prophet Isaiah spoke of darkness covering the land and deep darkness covering the people but the glory of God rising on His people that would cause nations to be drawn to them. Light in the midst of darkness. In a time and an hour where things seem to be looking bleaker in a lot of ways and as confusion seems to be increasing inside and outside the Church, we really need to hear from God. It’s not about a single, lone voice rising up like we classically saw in the Old Testament, it’s time for the Body of Christ to hear His voice and declare it to each other, building one another up in love (Eph 4:16). This will make us ready to step out into the world to do the same, empowered by the Holy Spirit to declare His words, His heart and His mind to people with clarity and authority as John tell us “the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” (John 3:34)
Dear prophetic people, prophesy!
Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll keep up with this series and share your thoughts with me! It may be easier if you subscribe…
Read on to Part 1