This is the 4th and last post (for now) on 1 Corinthians 14:1, Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 'Especially the gift of prophecy'... how do we apply that to our daily life?
Even if we don't know anything about the spiritual gifts as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12, we can learn from the above mentioned scripture that we should at least desire the gift of prophecy. This is a gift that enables the believer to bring a word of revelation directly from God (who is in heaven) under the impulse of the Holy Spirit (who is in us). So, it is NOT the delivery of a previously prepared sermon and it is NOT the foretelling of the future. It is proclaiming God's will and exhorting and encouraging God's people to righteousness, faithfulness and endurance.
Many wild stories and ideas do go around the world when it comes to prophecy, I have collected some biblical basics, hope they will help:
- The speaking of prophetic words is available for all believers (Acts 2:17)
- The gift of prophecy will be given as God decides (1 Corinthians 12:10), but we are encouraged to eagerly desire this gift (1 Corinthians 14:1)
- The appointing of prophets to build up the church is done by God (Ephesians 4:11)
- Prophetic words are no longer infallible (as in Old Testament times) and must be tested (1 Corinthians 14:29 and 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21)
- Speaking prophetic words is a matter of using our mind. It is one of the few practices (maybe the only one) wherein the Bible tells us to keep our spirit under control of our will/mind (1 Corinthians 14:32)
How do we test a prophetic word? For example by asking ourselves whether it conforms God's Word, whether it promotes Godly living and whether it is uttered by a person who is sincerely living under Christ's Lordship.
How do we desire the gift of prophecy? I believe by asking for it in prayer and then by studying what the Word has to say about it. God has always desired and is still desiring to speak through ordinary people like you and me... through His Word, but also LIVE!