A church recently interviewed me concerning the prophetic. Here are 5 of the questions they asked and the answers that I gave to them.
1). Q: What is the most important thing people can do to activate the prophetic in their daily lives?
A:The most important thing people can do to activate the prophetic in their lives is spend time with God. He's a great Father who loves to speak to His children. Take some time to listen as you pray, practice living in His presence, ask The Lord to show you His heart for people. God is always speaking but we must practice listening.
2). Q: What are some of the greatest misunderstandings about the prophetic ministry in the church today?
A: The greatest misunderstandings about the prophetic ministry that I've seen in the church today have to do with its purpose and function in the local church. Some people are afraid of the prophetic because they think that the person flowing in the gift will reveal all of their sins, short comings, and "dirty laundry". When in reality the true function and definition of prophecy according to 1 Corinthians 14:1-3 is to build up, push forward, and bring comfort. Others confuse the gift of prophecy with the office of the prophet. All prophets are prophetic but not all people who prophesy are prophets. The gift of prophecy is given by the Holy Spirit to every believer to edify, exhort, and strengthen the church. The office of the prophet is one of the 5 fold ministry callings described in Ephesians 4:11. Others view prophecy as a gift that predicts future and fortune, however the true nature of prophecy speaks to our identity and reveals the heart of The Father to His sons and daughters.
3). Q: How can Pastors and Leaders can foster a healthy prophetic ministry in their church?
A: Pastors and Leaders can foster a healthy prophetic ministry in their church by equipping, empowering, and encouraging the church to flow and operate in their gifts and callings by creating a safe place for people to hear the voice of God. When we celebrate and honor the prophetic, The Lord will release more revelation of His heart and thoughts to us. I would encourage pastors and leaders to teach what the bible says of about the prophetic, demonstrate it in your daily life, allow The Holy Spirit to move and activate prophecy in your church, and then give the people permission to operate in the prophetic. If the gift is celebrated, used, and governed well by leaders the church will be greatly blessed and built.
4). Q: How can Pastors and leaders help people avoid some of the pitfalls and abuses of the prophetic ministry?
A: Pastors and leaders can help people avoid some of the pitfalls and abuses of the prophetic through sound biblical teaching on the prophetic. Teach what the gift is and is not. Talk about the proper function of the prophetic in the New Testament Church give examples of how it was used in the scriptures and what we should expect from the gift operating in our local church. Establish proper protocol for those operating in prophetic ministry. Be clear on how the gifts should be used and operate in the life of the local church.
5). Q: What is the gift of the Word of Wisdom? How was it used in the Bible and what are its uses today?
A: The gift of the Word of Wisdom is the supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit of Gods divine purpose. It is the supernatural declaration of the mind, will, and command of the Lord. The word of wisdom is the supernatural communication of His plans concerning, people, places, things, communities and nations. It was a word of wisdom that came to Noah about the flood coming and how he was to build he ark to preserve his family and creation. The word of wisdom also came to the wise men warning them not to return to Herod after they came to present gifts to Jesus as a child. God also gave Paul a word of wisdom during his Damascus road encounter. In 2004-2005 my city of Pensacola, Florida had experienced the destruction of two major hurricanes and we preparing for the effects of Hurricane Katrina. As we were gathered praying at our local church the Lord gave me a word of wisdom: "if the churches of this city will come together in unity and build a canopy of prayer, praise and worship this city will not experience another hurricane." A friend of mine who is a businessman grabbed hold of that word and for the the last 13 years has brought the "church" of Pensacola together in prayer and unity and for the past 13 years every hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico has been diverted away from our city even when the forecasters had predicted that storms were coming straight towards us. God sees up ahead. He doesn't just tell us what's coming He also gives us His wisdom to thwart the plans of the enemy and things that could harm or destroy us.