church's sanctuary. We are going to worship, pray, and invite the Holy Spirit to minister to us.
A few months ago, during one of my extended prayer times, I heard God speak to me about this: set apart March 20 (our normal Worship Intercession Night [WIN]) for an evening of worship and welcoming the prophetic.
Biblically ths is on target since we are to welcome prophetic activity. In the Old Testament God spoke through prophets. In the New Testament God gives his called-out people the spiritual gift of prophecy. We are told, in 1 Corinthians 14:1, that we are to desire spiritual gifts, and especially that we might prophesy. Why? Because, as Paul goes on to say in 1 Cor. 14:3 - through prophecy God can speak so as to strengthen, encourage, and comfort his people.
Last spring I had another one of those moments where a scripture that I had read many times became highlighted for me. It was 1 Cor. 14:1-3. At that moment my desire to prophesy increased. Here is how I now understand this.
Linda and I, every week, every day, help people who are struggling. We love doing this. Over the years we have seen many successes. These moments become the best moments of our lives. For us it doesn't get any better than to engage in redemptive activity. It has also happened, many times, that God has given us just the right words to say that do a redeeming work in the person we are helping. And, we've had our moments of felt incapacity and inability. Even now we have friends that we love who are in deep struggles, and lack the words and ideas that would set them free. So - God, can you help us?
At this point the gift of prophecy becomes sought-after. I want this gift, operating in my life, now more than ever. I do not want it to be some "prophet." I do want it because I long to see greater redemptive activity in the lives of people I care for and love. Surely God has the keys to a person's suffering heart. Surely God knows the way out of bondage and darkness. What if, instead of just using our intellects, God, out of his all-knowingness, revealed words that functioned as agents of freedom and hope? That, for me, is 1 Corinthians 14-type "prophesy." Who wouldn't want something like that?
I have a sense of expectation about tomorrow evening. It's been placed in my heart, by God. If either you or someone you know needs a word from God, I invite you to join me.