Driven to Apply the Word of God to a Situation
A prophet desires to apply the Word of God to situations wherein sin needs to be exposed or relationships need to be restored. Prophets can be viewed as “trumpets” of the Body of Christ who sound the alarm when there is sin or compromise in their midst.
A prophet calls attention to sin and wrong attitudes in his sphere of influence. The prophet is bold and courageous to expose sin, but not so sinners can be punished, but for the purpose of restoration. The prophet’s main motivation is love.
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels,
but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers,
and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians
Senses Compromises are Being Made
A prophet knows in his spirit when compromises are being made. It is in his nature to take action because of it. He would have the burden to correct the person with love. This action can be in the form of a confrontation, or it may be in the form of a private conversation or correspondence. Moreover, a prophet will not accept any solution that involves compromise. That is unacceptable.
The prophet’s spirit abhors sin. However, this prophetic nature can be misconceived as a judgmental spirit by other people. No one wants to be the object of judgment. Imagine how the Old Testament prophets felt. People usually want to kill the messenger.
The prophet usually has the spiritual gift of discerning spirits; he is able to discern true motives of people according to what the Holy Spirit reveals to him. Moreover, prophets are more inclined to discern the status of the heart, rather than the acceptability of the sin per se. Nevertheless, prophets are known to be outspoken, sometimes forceful, but they tell it like it is. Prophets tend to see and talk about issues as “black or white,” not “gray.”
According to the Apostle Paul, spiritual gifts are “activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses,” (1 Cor. 12:11). The Holy Spirit is the one who wills and gives the gift of prophecy to some, and not to everyone in the church. With the “spirit of prophecy,” every believer can prophesy, but not every believer possesses this motivational gift.Those who possess the gift of prophecy will frequently prophesy in the local church. They are able to shift from the realm of simple prophecy, through the “spirit of prophecy,” to the public prophetic ministry. These prophets are able to build up, to stir, and to edify the church, but God can use them occasionally to reveal portions of future events that are to come. Those who are operating at this level of prophecy need to submit to the authority of the local assembly—usually the senior pastor.
Furthermore, these prophets must not attempt to put themselves on the same level as those who are called in the office of a prophet. The purpose for ministry at any level is not to compete with other pastors or prophets—but to serve. Proper protocols are necessary for due orderliness because God is the God of Order (1 Cor. 14:33).
Believers with the gift of prophecy must be vigilant about undermining authority and going beyond the level of operation by which they are given. This believer must submit to authority so that he will not be tempted to manipulate others through prophecy, which is closer to the spirit of Jezebel, than to Christ.
Prophets stand in the second leadership office of the fivefold ministry in the church. The one with the gift of prophecy is also called to support the fivefold ministry, and soon he may mature as a member of the office. Prophesying does not automatically qualify a person for the Office of the Prophet.
The motivational gift of prophecy is manifested in a believer who moves in the gift of prophecy and in the “spirit of prophecy” more frequently than others. For example, Phillip’s daughters were “prophesiers” yet they weren’t “prophets” like Agabus (Acts 21:8-11). Moreover, in I Peter 4:10-11, some believers are equipped by God to move in vocal expressions. Others are gifted to serve in more practical “hands-on” expressions. As the leadership begins to recognize the gift of prophecy in individual believers, they can allow some room in the assembly to train the senses of these prophets (Heb. 5:14).
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Has any leader in the faith or in the prophetic ministry identified the gift of prophecy in you?