“Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy" (1 Corinthians 14:1).
Paul urges each one of us to cultivate the spiritual giftings placed in trust by the Lord into our lives -- especially that of prophesying. He goes on to explain why this one gift is so important.
"For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying” (1 Corinthians 14:2-3, NASB).
The Message defines prophesy as “proclaiming the truth in every day language.” In other words, it is straight talk from God straight into the heart of His people. And more often than not, the majority of prophetic words which are spoken in public serve as a confirmation of what the Lord has already told you privately, in your heart.
The Lord speaking through the prophetic ministry can happen any number of ways, but it is always unmistakable to you when it occurs – even if no one else knows it is going on.
You can be in a casual conversation with a friend, or even a stranger, when something they say somehow echoes deep inside your heart and takes on a far greater meaning to you than they even realize.
Or, you might be watching a movie and suddenly the Lord speaks to you through the scene in ways often too personal to even explain. A song on the radio can also become much more than just a song on the radio. These, and a thousand other ways, are all tools in the Lords capable hands – the various means He often employs for talking to His girls and boys.
In short, the prophetic ministry pertains to that which is written, spoken, seen, heard , or experienced. And, according to Scripture, it will always be marked by love. “The one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding, encouragement, and consolation.” (1 Corinthians 14:3). And the result will be an experiencing of God’s presence.
Look for every opportunity you can find to build someone up, rather than tearing them down. To encourage them in their gifts and abilities, and to console them in their struggles and defeats. To speak in such an affirming, loving way that they actually experience God’s presence because of your touch!
This is what it means to “desire earnestly to prophesy.” And our world would be so much better if everybody made this their personal pursuit. How about making it yours today?