The Motivational Gift of Prophecy

5 Oct


The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

    • Rom 12:3-8
    • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
  • The word “Prophecy” can bring about many different reactions in people. The main reason is because it is misunderstood. Some of the misunderstandings include the belief that prophecy passed away after Jesus came. Others just simply believe that prophecy is not necessary today.
  • The dictionary gives us a couple of different definitions: 1) A statement of something that will happen in the future; 2) The power or ability to know what will happen in the future; 3) An inspired utterance of a prophet; 4) the function of a prophet; specifically: the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose. (Merriam-Webster)
  • I am extremely interested in this particular gift because it is my Motivational Gift. As you might imagine, I don’t like being misunderstood, any more than anyone else. But, since I have lived it, I am hoping that I can enlighten those who many have questions about it.
  • We are not discussing the “Prophet” as in the ministry gift; nor or we discussing the ability of some to “prophesy”, as discussed in I Corinthians, 12:6-8. There are many gifts spoken of in God’s Word. We are discussing the motivational gifts as given to us by God so that we can help others. The gifts are all given by the Holy Spirit. They are given as God determines.
  • To clear this up a little more – a prophet was (and I believe still is, at times) called by God to speak of things to come. In the Old Testament, God used His prophets to speak to His people. The Priests were delegated the task of speaking to God for the people – and the prophet to the people from God. Today, as Christians, we can talk directly to God and His Word tells us He speaks to us. ( . . . my sheep hear my voice).  There are some gifted with the ability to prophesy (rhymes with amplify). This means that they are given a divine utterance by God to His people, usually in an unknown language (called “tongues”). If God calls on someone to prophesy, there should be someone to give an interpretation. The interpretation can come from the same person who gives the prophecy, or by another.
  • Our subject is somewhat different. We are talking about a different kind of gift when we talk about the motivational gift of prophecy. So, for now, that will be our focus. I will write more on the other gifts after we complete this series.
  • Now, for the Gift of Prophecy – it is one of the speaking gifts.  Today, it is associated more with powerful preaching and teaching. This doesn’t mean that every teacher or preacher has the gift of prophecy, nor does it mean that every person with the gift of prophecy is a preacher or a teacher.
  • The person with this particular gift goes “out of their way” to exercise one or more of these basic points:
    • An analysis of the current situation from God’s perspective
    • The consequences of continuing in that path
    • The need for change/repentance
    • The promise of God’s grace and restoration if the change in direction is made
  • A person with this gift, if they are dedicated to obedience to God, will do everything in their own power to walk in obedience to God. They will hunger for God’s Word and they will want to make sure that whomever they are listening to (spiritually) is staying in line with God’s Word. They will spend much time in God’s Word and it will become their standard for everything. (This obviously won’t happen over night!) Along with this gift is usually a strong gift of discernment – the ability to determine truth.
  • It is important to say that many of us have seen and/or heard of some things that are just not proper when it comes to things we see or hear in church. I believe that is why many are fearful when the word “gifts” or “prophecy”, etc. are used. In other words, we are all human. We are not supernatural – it is GOD who is supernatural. But, we are His body on this earth. We yield ourselves to Him and we walk with Him and learn of His ways. We are not just “all of a sudden” zapped with the ability to operate in God’s gifts. We also need to know that we cannot use these gifts from God just anyway we want to. There are definite characteristics of using God’s gifts in the Spirit or in our own flesh. If your Spirit is in tune with God’s Spirit, then He will help you and guide you. Your inner spirit will be taught of the Lord, by the Holy Spirit and through His Word. Also, the things you do will be in line with God’s Scriptures. If they are not – you are definitely not following the Spirit of God.That being said, let’s move forward.
    1. Prophecy does not usually involve foretelling – predicting the future – as much as it does forthtelling – forcefully speaking the truth.
    2. The word “proclaim” is perhaps a better word than preach to describe what a person with the gift of prophecy does.
    The person with the Gift of Prophecy will show obvious signs in the following ways:
    • Typically their ministry is a public one (Again, not every public ministry has the gift of prophecy).
    • They are not as comfortable in smaller groups as others
    • They prefer speaking to larger groups than ministering one on one as do those with other gifts
    •  They are tuned in to how God views situations, especially if evil or hypocrisy is present
    •  Issues-oriented; usually have an opinion about everything! Not fearful to tackle tough issues.
    •  Proclaim God’s truth with a passion, even if they must do so alone.
    • Their message is one of urgency; tend to expect an immediate decision or response (Repent NOW!)
    • Deeply concerned about the reputation of the church
    •  Quick to give advice; sometimes impatient with people and their problems
    •  Speak with authority, especially about the Bible
    • Sometimes viewed as negative; have to work to be positive
    • They edify (build up), encourage (exhort), and console (comfort)
    • Their message is incomplete if it stops short of these goals
    • This gift is intended primarily for believers, though an unbeliever who hears their message may come under conviction
    • Often accused of talking too much, but just can’t seem to help it!

    In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

    • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
    • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
    • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
    • Biblesoft Libraries
    • Sandy Trice
    • David Francis

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