1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 – “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. NKJV
I don’t usually skip over a part of a verse, but today, in obedience to the Spirit of God, I must! We are living in a day and time when our trust factor isn’t very high. People can be very smooth and deceptive in the way they operate, and we may have fallen prey to some of their many tactics, causing us to have a negative response to prophecies. But God is still God, and if we will learn to trust Him, we will find ourselves encouraged and strengthen to continue in the race!
In both the Old and New Testaments, God spoke to His people through the prophets. Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel in the Old Testament; Peter, Paul, John, Barnabas, Agabus, and Silas in the New Testament. And in 2020, God is still using prophecies to encourage His people
Unfortunately, because there have been false prophets in our day, just as in Biblical times, many have grown weary and suspicious about modern day prophets. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “do not despise prophecies,” and that can be translated, that we are not to despise His prophets! It’s okay to try the prophet by the word of God, and to even come to the conclusion that something isn’t right about an individual, but the prophetic is beautiful when God is in it! I’ve experienced it many times!
However, today, God is not just using the prophet to prophesy, He is using His people. I want to share some prophecies that I have received and some that I have given.
Years ago, when I was about 18, a minister I knew visited Israel. He brought back with him some water from the Holy Land. One day, in his home, he took the water, poured some over my hand, and spoke to me about my hands be healing hands. At the time, I didn’t place any faith in that because I had little understanding of the prophetic, but today, I can tell you, that was a word from God. I have laid my hands on many and they have recovered. Not all! Not from everything! But those words came to pass as surely as I sit here.
God made a believer out of me, for I was one who despised prophesying. I was even embarrassed by it, thinking that people should be ashamed of themselves telling others that God said this, or God said that! Yet, God has used me to do the same thing. I thought that the prophetic was always about God, and what He was saying, or going to do in the church! I didn’t realize at that time that God would really give a “prophetic” word to an individual, for someone else. So I thought those people who did so were unbiblical. But I was wrong, and I am so delighted today that God has delivered me from myself, from wrong teaching, and from wrong thinking!
When I woke up this morning, one of my first thoughts was of a prophetic word that God had sent to me. We were attending a bible class at Living Word Christian Center in Oak Park, Illinois. Can I be honest and say I don’t remember what the class was about? I do remember that I went to turn in my assignment, and as the instructor took my work, he began to prophesy to me. He said something like this, “I see money all over you. There’s money in your purse, and in your right pocket, and your left. Every where you turn there is money.” At that time, I was so far from “money everywhere” it was almost laughable. Recently, I went to the grocery store, and as I was looking for money to pay the cashier, I took money out of my purse, my left pocket, and my right pocket, and I heard his words. Another day, I was at home cleaning, and there was money in my laundry room, money in my living room, money in my bedroom, and money in my family room. And again, those words came to my mind. Don’t start thinking I’m a millionaire! The point is, I was concerned about finances, and God sent me a word of what my future finances looked like, that He already saw!
Another prophetic word, that came from a neighbor, and not a “prophet” surely came to pass. My husband and I wanted to add a second floor to our home. We hired an architect, went through all of the paperwork, then ran into a snag and wasn’t able to start the project. One day, I was in the yard, when a neighbor (whom I was discipling) came outside to talk with me. She said something like this, “I saw your second floor on your home, and I just had to come out and get a better look at it”! I looked at the house and I thought, “What second floor”? I’m sitting in my second floor bedroom right now! God sent her to encourage me. It was many years later for both prophecies to come to pass, but they came to pass! God is awesome like that!
Why does God even use people to prophesy one to another? He tells us in His word:
“But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” 1 Corinthians 14:3
One day a young lady came to our church. She was looking for a prophetic word as she was making a decision about her life. She was told that I could prophesy into her life, but I didn’t think that at all. According to the word, I should have been thinking that, for the Bible states:
“For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.” 1 Corinthians 14:31
As I listened to her, I sensed by the Spirit, that she was looking for validation to do what she wanted to do, in spite of the counsel her parents had given her. So I talked to her as a “wise woman” instead of as a prophet. Later on, the words of wisdom I had given her turned out to be truly prophetic. She learned some things, but I’m sure at the time, she wasn’t encouraged! But God loved her, and wanted her to know that. Even though I didn’t think I was prophesying and she didn’t like what I shared, it was still God! He supernaturally overrode my thinking and spoke to this young lady! She went contrary to all advice given to her, and later, she didn’t even want to acknowledge that time in her life. Hearing a word from God, and receiving a word from God is two totally different things.
God doesn’t use the prophetic to control us. He uses it to encourage us to keep trusting Him and His word! He uses the prophetic to comfort us when we are in need of comfort! And He uses it to exhort (strongly encourage us, or push us) into being the best that we can be. That reminds me of a minister who came to our church to do a worship conference. He had just had death in the family. We were told to pray for him. As I was praying, I heard a word from God. Really, and truly, it’s not my favorite thing to do, telling someone that God told me to share something with them! I can be wrong!!! It’s a fear I am constantly overcoming! As I watched him in rehearsal, that word came strongly back to me, so I went over and shared it. He confirmed it to be a word from God! It truly touched his heart and encouraged him, and he encouraged me! Had I disobeyed, there’s no telling how that grief would have affected him!
Everyone is not a prophet! But everyone can prophesy because the word tells us that God says:
“And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:18
As believers, we should endeavor to cooperate with what God is doing! Whether God use us to prophesy to someone, or use an individual to prophesy to us, we should not be despisers, haters of what is happening! Are their false prophets and people who taint this supernatural form of communication from heaven? Yes! But there are people who taint every area and experience of life, from marriage, to employment, to raising kids, and yes, to the things of God!
Don’t walk away thinking that I’m trying to promote myself as a prophet! Far from it! However, He supernaturally interrupts my life to bless those around me, and interrupts others to bless me! Time and time again! God placed this on my heart this morning, and I just knew that I needed to share it. If you’ve been despising the prophetic, simply because you have not understood it, or seen it misused and abused, then this word is for you. Don’t continue to despise a way that God Himself has designed to bless your life! He wants to encourage you, to comfort you, and push you to winning in this life! And He chooses to do so through prophesying! Not only that, it’s His will for you life!! Start receiving today! Wonderful Jesus!