Elements of the prophetic
Prophetic words are so encouraging and helpful, whatever situation you face as an individual or as the Church, but the plumb line always, is the Bible.
We have to come to that place where what prophetic people are renowned for more than their abilities and gifting, is love, respect and whole-hearted commitment to the scriptures.
At the heart of prophetic ministry are what I would call the 'elements' - building blocks that are essential if you are to see, encounter or 'grow' in the prophetic. There are just a few of these, but without them nothing much is going to happen.
God’s Word is eternal, inerrant, infallible, incorruptible and true. For the prophetic person the problem is that their interpretation of scripture can be open to dispute. We all need to learn how to handle God’s word correctly and with integrity.
The last thing the gifted or prophetic person would ever want to do is mislead the Church by abusing scripture, but it happens. We need to keep the scripture and our interpretation of it, consistent with the general tenure of scripture.
“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” (Psa 119:160)
King David had a real love and respect for God’s word. The first instance of his heart is not to apply scriptures to others and their predicaments, no finger-pointing or accusative undertones, but instead the cry of David’s heart is one for protection, and is a prime example for us to embrace;
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you”. (Psa 119:1)
The prophets of the Old Testament were convinced about the importance of God’s word, and personally wrote much of it under the inspiration of God. Many of the prophetic people in our churches struggle with the word of God, and with it one of the first casualties is doctrine and theology. Which is why false teachings can arise so quickly.
Get to know the word of God! Immerse yourself in it every day, Old Testament as well as New! Learn what you believe - anyone who dismisses doctrine as getting in the way of our ability to encounter God is at best naive, and at worst, foolish.
These three scriptures emphasise the importance of getting to grips with God's Word, and speak for themselves. They are pregnant with promise, warning, encouragement and hope;
- Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
- 2Ti 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work
- 1Co 2:10-16 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Written with prophets and pastors in mind . . .