Friday, January 29, 2010

The secret-teller

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Corinthians 14:20-40

TO CHEW ON: “But if all prophesy and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so falling down on his face he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.” - 1 Corinthians 14:24-25

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say something like – Who told the minister about my life? He was talking about me!

At other times when the gift of prophecy is operating, through the leader or members of the congregation, someone will later say – That message was perfect for my situation.

This supernatural aspect of prophecy – God’s way of giving thoughts and words to a speaker that relate perfectly to a listener in the congregation or crowd – is what makes it so powerful. God does this not to show up the speaker as super-spiritual, psychic, or weird and flaky. Rather, it’s to show the listener that He is aware of his life and loves him deeply.

PRAYER: Dear God, make me a mouthpiece of Your words today. Amen

MORE: Decency and orderliness
In addition to putting value on spontaneous and unscripted prophecies, Paul stresses the importance of orderly and peaceful church services. Churches where prophecy is encouraged support these easily conflicting values in different ways.

In our church when someone has a prophetic word, they must first go to the “front row pastor” – the pastor who is in charge of the service that morning. That pastor will look for an appropriate time to bring the speaker on stage (our church is large and the speaker needs a mic to be heard) to deliver his/her message.

Often these messages are encouragement, or a reminder of what God is like, or a recitation of His promises from the Bible. One Sunday a few weeks ago, someone told of a spiritual dream she had had. She came to church and no one welcomed or acknowledged her. She likened it to the little cliques and groups one sees in elementary school. The message she brought to us that day was, “Grow up.”

Does prophecy have a place in 21st century churches? What do you think?

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