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What It Means to Prophesy Today

July 19, 2018

“I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…” Joel 2:28

To prophesy is to be prompted by God to speak the right word at the right time in the right way. You may know this from your own experience. Someone said something that was exactly what you needed to hear, and you knew that God had brought this about.

You sit in a meeting and there is long discussion, then some wise person who has hardly said a thing says, “Well, it seems to me that the nub of the issue is this, and so it would be wise for us to do that…” Everyone knows that what has been said is right and good, and then we wonder, “Why didn’t you say that half an hour ago?”

This is not a gift that belongs to a few people, as if it was their possession. The whole point is that every person who has received the Spirit is in a position to do this with the help of God. But God uses people who walk most closely with him in this kind of way most often.

Former chaplain to the United States Senate, Lloyd Ogilvie says, “The most dynamic one-to-one evangelists in my congregation are those who ask for and receive the gift of prophecy. They do not have canned monologues to bore people. Rather, they know how to listen, how to care, and how to empathize with love. The Spirit gives them insight about what to say, timing for when to say it, boldness to be honest, personal, and incisive in helping people to respond.”

Have you received a timely word from God through a fellow believer? How might you become more open to the Spirit using you to speak to others?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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