The Bible tells us, in 1 Corinthians 1:4-5 AMPC, that we are, through the Holy Spirit, enriched in full power, in readiness of speech, in complete knowledge, and illumination or insight. When you look at these verses carefully, you will not find limitations on your spiritual ability in Christ Jesus. Nowhere within these words does it limit your ability to speak the prophetic Word of God. Throughout the Bible holy children of God spoke as they moved by the Holy Spirit, and you can too.
You may be wondering how do I activate this gift or where do I start, or maybe you’re a leader within the fellowship and want to stir some of your people to the prophetic. Well, as I have learned over the years that the best way to start is to speak the truth in love from Ephesians 4:15; prophecy in its simplest form is speaking truth in love so that we may grow up in all things. Simply, beginning to speak the Word of God over someone’s life for the purpose of encouraging and comforting them is powerful and is the foundation for the prophetic. Now this is the basis for which you begin to grow in this gift, you do not obtain the office of a prophet on this alone. You must first learn to speak edification, exhortation, encouragement, and comfort through the Word of God.
The next step, is to rely and wait on revelation from the Holy Spirit. When most Christians hear the word “wait”, they begin to groan: thinking that this thing, in relation to the waiting, is going to take forever. The issue here is not so much God as it is us. You see, the real issue is with our souls, as in 1 Corinthians 1:7. It has to do with our soul catching up to who we really are in Christ Jesus and the perfection of Christ working in us. Therefore, there is a revealing of the mystery of Christ in you, the hope of glory that is taking place (Col. 1:27). I know that I have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies (Eph. 1:3), and I know the timing issue is with my soul because my spirit is eternal, timeless, and chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). That revelation brings with it a higher and more powerful operation in the prophetic.
Why is it important to make room for and build up the prophetic in the body? To start with, our fore fathers thought it important and made room for it. Moses even says that he desires all God’s children to prophesy (Num. 11:29). Paul has much to say about the prophetic, and encourages us all to prophesy for the building up of the body (1 Cor. 14:22,31). Joel prophesies that it is a sign in the last days and of the new covenant with God (Joel 2:28-29). The key in many of those verses is “all”. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for all God’s children. Now some receive more of a calling in those gifts than others, but all who receive the Holy Spirit can operate in those gifts in varying degrees. So then, prophesy is essential to the health of the body. The body is edified and strengthened through clear and powerful prophetic utterances. When the culture in the body is tuned to the prophetic and submitted to moving of the Holy Spirit, God moves mightily, and the body grows.
How do we create an environment that cultivates the right culture for the prophetic to grow and mature? Through a loving, family unit-like body of believers. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 that spiritual gifts without love are useless and worthless. Paul continues in this chapter to tell us what love is and what it does. Love is paramount to the prophetic and is even a seed for it. Love always makes the voice of God become clear. Love is fostered and flourishes in a strong family unit. Even now, there are prophets with a strong prophetic gift, but absent of the family unit. The prophets in these situations are not operating in their fullest potential. Look at the example the apostles left us in Acts 6:1-5. When a body comes together in Christ, being of one accord, working through love as a family unit, the prophetic Spirit thrives and any problem that comes can easily be resolved as a family in agreement. This type of body is healthy and cultivates good ground for the spiritual gifts, namely the prophetic. The understanding here, is that everyone is built up and grows strong. The idea that we need to see is that we need that glory carried on the shoulders of plurality of ministry. It’s not about one man or woman. If you have this environment in your church, it doesn’t matter if the preacher is preaching far off or is there: the church still thrives and grows, and God is glorified.
If these things are cultivated, promoted, and acted upon, then the prophetic Spirit moves powerfully. In this environment, everyone is activated in the prophetic Spirit; there is prophetic evangelism, prophetic preaching, and signs and wonders. I cannot see myself a New Testament prophet and not move in signs and wonders. There must be a demonstration of the Holy Spirits workings in you. If you don’t have these experiences, but want to grow spiritually and prophetically, I encourage you to start by speaking the truth in love, begin to share the gospel with people, and pray in the Spirit. Do this daily or as often as you can, and watch God move. Get in the Word of God and let its revelation wash over you. Then speak the Word and let it encourage somebody else. Find a way to do these things, and look for God to speak to you. Be bold! Do this and you will be strengthened in the Spirit. I pray the love of God overtakes you, and your mouth be filled with God’s own words.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC): Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation