On what authority do you say that?! It's an odd concept to have someone in a room with you who is speaking on the assumption that they are bringing the words of God. 'God would say...' 'God says....' etc etc. In our Church meetings every week people stand and bring words with a real sense of confidence that they are bringing the words of God. Who do we think we are?! God?
Jesus promises that His people will have God the Holy Spirit living and active within them. The Holy Spirit speaks to us in many ways. One of these ways is to bring a spontaneous truth or impression from the Father that He wants to communicate in a specific moment. This is known in the New Testament as prophecy. Prophecy is when God speaks. The Spirit inspires a person, a person shares, and others are encouraged.
'L' plates are on
Learning to walk with the Spirit and sense His leading and promptings I have found is like learning to speak any language. You don't learn it all overnight, there is always more to learn and you enjoy breakthrough moments along the way!
Many brothers and sisters have brought prophetic words to me. Some have been very specific, others have been very simple. "God wants you to know that he really does love you and he will never leave you..." There have been times when I really needed to hear that. I have drawn strength from words like this on many occasions.
All Christians are called to pursue the gift of prophecy. Paul writes, "Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy." and again, "So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy." 1Cor14v39 & 1Cor14v1 Therefore we are to be running after this gift. We are to be asking God for something to share with our brothers and sisters.
The Bible is very helpful in helping us handle prophetic words. We weigh all that is given. How do we know if this is from God? We test it against what has been written in the word. We are all under the authority of scripture. 1Thess 5v19-21 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.
I find it helpful to ask the following questions in the sharing of prophecy...
1) Is this true? Where do I find this truth spoken in the Bible?
2) Will this edify? This is the purpose of the gift. It is given to build up others.
3) Is the timing right? In a meeting or when speaking to someone, when is the best time to offer what I feel.
If someone offers me a word I will ask the following questions...
1) Is this true?
2) What do my leaders feel about this? (Seeking Godly wisdom)
3) How do I apply this?
The more we are familiar with the character of God in the Bible, the more effectively we will be able to give and receive prophecy. As people grow in prophetic gifting they may share more specific revelation and speak specifically into the future. This is very exciting. Prophets operate under the authority of elders and are accountable in terms their character and the content of what is said. Trust and gifting seems to be built over time for a blessing to all.
Greg Haslam has written a great book on prophecy called, Moving in Prophetic which I would recommend. I have found this very helpful. You can also listen to some teaching online. 'Prophesying in power' could be a good place to start. For others Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere is a great read.
I long for more prophecy in our Church. I'm also keen for those with prophetic gifts to pursue a greater depth to bring 'weightier' words of truth and power which demonstrate that God is truly with us.