Friday, August 19, 2005

The Gift of Prophecy

One of the highlights of attending the Life in the Spirit Conference 2005 was hearing Dr Sam Storms preach on the gift of prophecy - it was Word and Spirit personified in my opinion. Not only did he bring a clear exposition of some key texts but afterwards ministered in power. However the one fascinating verse that he mentioned but didn't quite explain satisfactorily to me was 1 Timothy1:18 the focal point being: that BY THEM you fight the good fight.

By what? By the prophecies given to him!!Clear as crystal! So i am arguing that if we forget the words given us, if we ignore the words given us or if we deny prophecy is for today we will not fight as effective a fight as we should!! Why is this so important?

Well 1. Prophecy reminds me that i am significant!

We are all good at remembering not tothink of ourselves more highly than we ought. That has been my particular experience. My home church and indeed the SGM church I used to attend specialised in telling us that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. Indeed quite often they would remind us that we are far worse than we think. That is a correct observation in part because the follow through is that it opens up the pure grace of God and the marvel and wonder of 'sins forgiven and conscience cleansed'. But i suspect some of us are not so good at remembering by the grace of God i am what i am!! That too is a verse in the Bible! What about the fact that because of His great love for us God chose us before the foundation of the world that we should be regenerated, justified, sanctified and glorified? Prophecy tells us who we are! It tells us that God has turned the smile of His favour upon us!

2. Prophecy tells us we have a future of hope!

In His supreme sovereignity only God truly knows every step of the future. It is cloudy to us as that great Jedi Master Yoda would say. Yet from time to time He will draw back the veil and speak inprophecy to say, This is the way - walk ye in it.Pilgrim was taken up a number of mountains on hisjourney and shown the way ahead, especially the Delectable Mountains where he saw the celestial city. I think this speaks of the insight that the gift of prophecy brings! Surely this tied to vision will inspire us to those acts of faith! There is no song I love to sing more than that glorious New Frontiers song; "We will meet Him in the air! Then we will be like Him!". How can we truly grasp that truth without glimpses and tastes of that amazing future to come without the gift of prophecy?

3rdly Prophecy tells us of the Fathers passion for us.

In the poem Footprints he looked and saw one set of prints. Yet it was only when Jesus spoke that he understood. He was being carried! And sometimes our experience can mirror that of the one in the poem. We look back in our lives through the toughest experiences of all time that we know and see only one set of footprints. That is where I am at the moment. I look back and see how I was "disfellowshipped" from a church that carries the banner "grace" over it and still don't quite understand why it happened - I see only one set of footprints. My only crime was to be honest about my struggles. Yet I strongly believe that in time God will speak and explain in part. Even if He doesn't - then I will understand on that great and glorious day and to that end I have to be content.

I believe New Frontiers demonstrate each of these points so well. They have remembered prophecies from the past that have given them an insight into the future. That have spoken of their significance in their mission and how the Father is passionate bout them!! If it is true for them, how also for us! Yes some prophecies are instantly applicable and beneficial. But i think many need to be truly weighed and allowed to sink deep into our soulsand bear fruit! Thats why i have made a practice ofwriting down every prophecy given to me - right back to when i was dedicated by Alex Buchanan!! You neverknow when a word given will be given a NOW activation from heaven!! so in closing i would urge you not to beswift in writing off any words you may have given or words to you. You never know when it will make sense and fire your spirit into a furnace!! I wonder if theone thing we could learn is not to be hasty in putting time limits that we give to people. That isnt a problem! But lets be sure our time frame matches Gods!!

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