Understanding the Prophetic Gift

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Other than the gift of tongues, no gift in the Bible has been more controversial and caused more confusion and disagreement. Yet God calls all Christians to desire this gift and even covet this gift (1 Cor. 14:1; 39). So why is it so controversial? Why is it often dismissed?

In Christian ministry, Satan will only counterfeit what is valuable. Therefore, this gift must be extremely valuable, or it would not be counterfeited so often. My experience with this gift has been much like an old Clint Eastwood movie. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I am from the South and an old cliché applies here: "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

Because of the confusion, frustration and sometimes weirdness seen with this gift, it has been dismissed, ridiculed and debated. I have seen people hurt deeply by the misuse of the prophetic gift. I have witnessed people use this gift for personal gain. On the other hand, I have observed people incredibly blessed by this gift and their lives changed forever, including my own life. If the gift of prophecy is God speaking to us, why is not more attention given to it? Because we have seen so many perversions of this gift, many have dismissed it or laughed it off. Sometimes however, amid the craziness, God does have a message that He is trying to get across to us, which is critical for our well-being.

We must understand the prophetic gift and determine if it is God speaking to us. Because if it is God speaking, we need to pay careful attention. This Scripture has spoken to me for a long time—1 Corinthians 14:1 (NASB1995): "Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy." I ask myself: Would God ask us to desire something that we could not have? And why is prophecy the one gift He tells us to desire the most and even covet?

I believe the answer is clear. This gift, when operating correctly, is God speaking to us. Nothing is more important to your life or my life or the world than hearing what God has to say. Some people would say that God spoke through the Bible and He doesn't talk again. I will remind you of the song lyrics by The Newsboys, "God's not dead. He is surely alive."

I know the author of the Bible is still alive and speaking to His people. The prophetic gift should be operating today but it needs to be working correctly. In the book of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul called for things to be decently and in order. In this show, Dr. Self explains this gift: what it is, what it is not, how to know when God is speaking and what to do if it is not God speaking. How do you handle a counterfeit operation of the gift or somebody using it for manipulation? This episode is essential. Don't forget to subscribe and rate this show.

Dr. Ray Self is the president of the International College of Ministry and the author of Hear His Voice, Be His Voice and Redeeming Your Past Finding Your Promised Land, both available at Amazon.com. For donations, please visit patreon.com/SelfTalkICM. For comments or questions, email Dr. Self at drrayself@gmail.com.

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