Thursday, October 25, 2018

Are you gifted in the prophetic?

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Romans 11-12; Psalm 138

TO CHEW ON: “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.” Romans 12:6

When you think of “prophecy” what comes to mind? Are you of the opinion that a prophet is someone who can foretell the future?

Actually, the word “prophecy” in the New Testament doesn’t refer  primarily to predicting the future at all. This definition from my study Bible bears that out:

“Prophecies” - propheteia - means to speak forth. The primary use of the word is not predictive in the sense of foretelling but interpretive, declaring or forth-telling the will and counsel of God” - Dick Mills, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1689.

Artist Rebekah R. Jones (from whom I have learned much about Bible art journaling) also formerly administered a prophetic arts Facebook group (Prophetic Arts for Jesus). In an article on her blog, she explains the connection between art and the prophetic. Her helpful definition of prophecy and its function comes from Seth Dahl’s The ABCDs of Prophecy—a book for children. I quote her (quoting Dahl):

“The reason He (God) wants us to have this gift is because of what prophecy does. Look at what it says in 1 Corinthians 14:3: ‘He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” These lessons will teach your children that “edification” is “to build up,” “exhortation” is “to cheer up,” and “comfort” is “to draw near” - from “Prophecy and the Creative Community”.

Here are links to the three words in a lexicon, so you can check them out for yourself:

edification: oikodome (Strong's #3619)
exhortation - paraklesis  (Strong's #3874)
comfort - paramuthia - (Strong's #3889)

And here’s the 1 Corinthians 14:3 definition of prophecy in the Amplified:
“But [on the other hand], the one who prophesies—who interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching—speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation” - 1 Corinthians 14:3 AMP.

All that to say, I believe we all exercise the gift of prophecy as we build up, cheer up, console, comfort, and encourage each other. And I would submit we can use many means—direct teaching and preaching of course, but also friendship, and the arts (writing, music, the graphic arts) to exercise this gift.

How will you use your prophetic gift today?

Dear Father, help me to be in tune with the Holy Spirit as I use my spiritual gifts. Help me to faithfully use the gift of prophecy—speaking the will and counsel of God—using various means to build others up as well as cheer, console, comfort, and encourage them in You. Amen. 

PSALM TO PRAY: Psalm 138

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (

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