“to another prophecy”1 Corinthians 12:10
There is more to come on the word of prophecy as we move forward in I Corinthians as I told you in an earlier gem. But some have asked this question – How are words of prophecy received? I thought I would answer at this point. While Paul spends more time on prophecy and tongues in Chapter 14 he doesn’t specifically address the issue of how the word of prophecy happens. So permit me to make some observations from my own personal experience. I know some of you will protest at this. “This is not from the Word of God”. “God doesn’t say anything about this, therefore if it is not in the Canon of Scripture it is not reliable.” Well you judge for yourself the following testimony – receive it if you will, if it helps; reject it out of hand if you wish. This I say not the Lord.
In my experience when God has worked through me to give a word of knowledge or prophecy it comes with a clear impression of what to say. The thoughts form in my mind along with the impression that I have to speak it out. When it first happened I ignored it. I felt “how do I know if this is me or the Holy Spirit”. It’s probably a good strategy to err on the side of caution. But over time it is like God has honed the Word that forms in my mind to the point where I have a sense that this is indeed God and it is to be spoken for the person or people before me. I then need to speak it out in faith. But like I said in Bible Gem 371 – This I say not the Lord // This the Lord says not I (1 Cor 7:6,10,12) “Maybe we should all begin “prophetic statements” with the proviso “I sense a word from the Lord for you but I strongly suggest that you check it out to determine if it is from Him or from just my thoughts.” A more balanced approach.” We need to be balanced and remind people to check the “word” out for themselves. In fact we are admonished to do just that.
Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.1 Thessalonians 5:20-21
I have asked the same question some of you have asked me – how do you know it is Word of Knowledge or prophecy for another person. And how does it come that you know you can be certain. I asked that question of a friend at Bible College who clearly had this gift. Her answer astounded me. She said it is like I am looking at a TV set and there is a text scrolling across the screen. All I have to do is read what I am seeing. Wow. Now that is pretty definitive, but I have to confess that has never happened to me. How like God to have many different ways of working with us. It can be different for each person.
It is like the issue of healing, God is rich and varied in the way He deals with us. I like that we don’t get stuck in a formulaic pattern. I love the segment in 2 Kings 4:32-34 “when Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet’s bed. He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the LORD. Then he lay down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. And as he stretched out on him, the child’s body began to grow warm again!””. I find it fascinating that Elisha lies down on the boy like that. How did he know to do that? It is simple to me; the Bible says he prayed to the LORD, then he lay down on the child. I assume the Lord told him what to do. But first he would have had to overcome his Jewish roots. No self-respecting Jewish prophet would want to lie down on a dead body. He would have had to have had a strong conviction that God wanted him to do that.
For that time! I reckon we humans would end up starting the First Church of the Lying Down. Do you know what I mean? We want to institutionalise everything. If God did it that way once then that is the way we do it for ever and a day. NO, keep flexible and find out what He wants each time. But that is harder being fine tuned to Him all the time. Same thing with Word of Prophecy and Words of Knowledge or Wisdom. It appears that God does it differently between individuals and also differently for a particular individual from one time to another. Just learn to rest in that. The bottom line is that we must be in touch with Him rather than knowing the formula and repeating it. There is no magic formula; but we do have an incredible, personal, supernatural God.
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees & flowers & clouds & stars.Martin Luther
No one is perfect – each of us is a work in progress.Joyce Meyer