And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.
- Acts 15:32
Sorcery. Magic 8 balls. Ouija boards. Fortune Tellers balancing giant turbans on top their heads. These are things that came to mind the first time I heard the word prophecy. Eeeeeekkkk….no thanks. My religious background is one that gave prophecies given by the prophets of the Old Testament historical reference and respectfully left it at that. Considering prophecy as a spiritual gift for the now was stepping into sorcery territory and that was a huge no,no!
So, being the rule follower that I was (any other enneagram type ones out there), I took in the scriptures mentioning prophecy as I was taught to do. I considered them as a part of history that simply doesn’t apply anymore.
Now, somewhere along the way the Holy Spirit got a hold of me and replaced my way of thinking with the Truth from 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
If I believe this to be true, which I do, then I can no longer accept the habit of glancing over scriptures with the word prophecy; regarding such scriptures as dated historical artifacts meant to be on display in a museum, not in our hearts.
Looking back, I can see how and why the enemy used my growing up experience to keep me far from knowing much about prophecy because the more I learned about what the spiritual gift of prophecy was, the more I realized and was affirmed in it as one of my Spiritual Gifts.
Prophecy is the ability to receive messages through the Holy Spirit to share with others for the purpose of encouraging, comforting and building up other believers and the church (who believe in Jesus) as a whole.
This gift grew in me as I continued to grow closer to the Lord. So often I would, and still do, get specific messages, dreams and visions I know are from God. Messages He urges me to share with other believers. Steps of obedience He asks me or our family to live out.
I’m not always obedient to do so because I’m human. My insecurities and fears so often get in the way of what I feel God pushing me to say or do, but the times I have been obedient to deliver, to share, to move, God has honored it.
It was a dream that led me to be obedient to the Spirit urging us to adopt.
It was a message that led me to quit my job which eventually led to me answering my calling here at Lane of Roses.
It was a vision that led me to know a friend needed encouragement in the most desperate of ways.
It was a knowing that led me to realize my brother needed his family in an exact moment. A knowing that more than likely saved his life.
It was a discomfort that told me the man in front of me was not of the Lord and was not safe.
Prophecy has played out so many different ways in my life, none of which have been creepy or ouija board-esque. All of which have been divine and can only be explained by and through the Holy Spirit inside of me.
But the biggest prophetic word of my life wasn’t spoken directly to me, but over me.
I was seven and full of faith. My uncle had just passed away making Heaven and God more real to me than ever before. Riding in the car with my grandmother, I was a gumball machine of questions. Popping out one Jesus question after another. We talked about Heaven, love, and eternity with Jesus. She told me why she held so tightly to her faith and how Jesus was her everything. Then, in a moment of silence, she said, “Rebekah I’ve always felt like one of my grandkids would be a leader in the church or a ministry of some sort one day, and I think it’s going to be you.”
Twenty-eight years later and here I am leading a women’s ministry. In that moment with my Mimmie I never could have dreamed this up. I could have never pieced together the future. That's not the point of prophecy or speaking a prophetic word. It’s not to know the exact future or sequence of events. Often times prophecy is more about affirming. It’s more about faithfully delivering the message or faithfully acting upon the message given to you. Sometimes it will seem crazy to do so. Radical. The world may think your nuts, but if God is entrusting you with a specific message, one that can only be described as divine, and you can back it up with His word, and affirm it through His people then you can trust it to be true and you can boldly live it out.
1. When you first heard of the gift of prophecy what were initial thoughts?
2. List 2-3 ways you see the gift of prophecy building up the church or fellow Believers?
Lord, Thank You for giving us different gifts for doing certain things well. Thank You for the gift of prophecy in the church. For using specific people to deliver Your divine messages so we can walk more obediently in your calling of our lives. You are such a good God. Much love, Your daughter
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Want to know more about the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy? Check out this RESOURCE from Shepherds of the Lost.