So want to see something fun? My wife Catherine and I went to the 2017 Kingdom Culture Conference in Green Bay. After teaching about prophecy most of the sessions, and especially on the last day, the speaker Bill Vanderbush decided to put it into practice by calling some people up front to “prophecy”. My wife Catherine was one of the first to share that night. Then our good friends Kyle and Emily prophecy over Bill!
Here is the whole definitely-worth-your-time talk with Catherine sharing at about an hour in (link to where she starts):
“Earnestly pursue love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, and especially that you might prophesy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 Berean Literal Bible
REVEALING THE HEART OF JESUS
So what is prophecy?
Well, Paul explains just a verse or so later:
“But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.” 1 Corinthians 14:3 NIV
Prophecy then is a divinely inspired word of revelation (which literally means unveiling – WOW! – that’s the very word Catherine received in her prophecy!) straight from the heart of Jesus that “strengthens, encourages and comforts”.
Would you be surprised if I told you that Prophecy has little to do with “telling the future” or “the end times” or giving a “thus saith the Lord”? (I would highly recommend not trying the last one. It is bad practice for New Covenant saints).
Revelation 19:10 actually tells us that Prophecy is to “reveal or unveil Jesus”, to speak what he is saying. It is giving a clear witness of Jesus. Listen to this:
“Worship God, because what Jesus is saying is the spirit of prophecy!” Revelation 19:10 ISV
Here are some other ways the verse is translated:
- “…the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.” NLT
- “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” NASB
- “For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.” NIV
Bill Vanderbush tells a story about how he once told a meeting, “You all have Jesus THE Prophet living in you. That makes you all prophets.” The empowered people of God he then brought up from the crowd to minister amazed him with the heart of the Father revelations they brought by the Spirit.
So, how can we learn to hone and use this spiritual gift? Well, desiring it seems a great place to start!
“Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives–especially the ability to prophesy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 NLT
As Aarron highlighted from his talk:
Why not start with just encouraging people! Loving people with our words! Building them up!
Yes there are those who carry a greater anointing in some of these giftings like Shawn Bolz. But it all begins with a decision to go after the thing that ought to be our highest goal:
Shawn focused on loving people well as he earnestly desired and went after, and practiced, and practiced some more, until the Lord released the gifting of Word of Knowledge and Prophecy in greater fashion than I have ever seen! Here Shawn is alongside Bill Johnson at Azuza Now Spring of 2016 giving several accurate words (they followed up) in front of 60,000 people!:
If you’re like me, this will send you on a search through Youtube for every Shawn Bolz video and will result in ordering several copies of his book “Translating God”. One to keep and some to give away. It was one of the best books ever. After I read it I tried prophesying twice and failed twice. But it provoked some conversations about Jesus… so it really wasn’t a fail at all. Shawn tells of a time he thought he had a word of knowledge for someone, approached them in a coffee shop and said, “Does —- mean anything to you?”
“No.” Awkward time passes… “Why do you ask?”
Shawn said, “Well, I’m trying to hear the voice of God for others.”
“Wow, that’s so cool, I’ve always wanted to hear God’s voice.”
They sat down over a cup of coffee and the man received Christ and joined the family!
Pursue loving people. Pursue sharing Jesus heart. Practice words of knowledge when you get them. I’m not sure you CAN fail!
PS: If you live near Green Bay, Please come to our free concert at the Cup O Joy music venue on Friday, March 3rd at 7:30!!! (232 S. Broadway St Green Bay WI)
Here is the facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/832044263600773/