by Wade E Taylor
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” I Corinthians 2:4
The Words that I speak for the Lord must be anointed and contain spiritual substance and purpose, which is beyond mere intellectual comprehension or ability. These words should have the “ring” of spiritual quality and convey life, healing, and deliverance.
“But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God… neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:14
The Lord seeks those who are willing to exchange their reliance on intellectual ability for a complete dependence on the operation of the Holy Spirit through them.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom….” I Corinthians 2:7
For us to speak this “hidden wisdom,” or, the “creative word,” we must become “prophetic.” The key to the ministry of Jesus was His prophetic anointing, as expressed in Isaiah 50:4.
Notice the progression.
“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakens morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4
This ability to speak with “the tongue of the learned” is a “prophetic” gifting – “The Lord God has given….” We will then have the ability to speak the right word (that I should know how), at the right time (a word in season), to the right person (to him that is weary).
The preparation for this prophetic enabling requires that we spend quality time “waiting on the Lord,” in His presence. Each morning, we should set apart time (He wakens morning by morning) in which to “cultivate” this prophetic quality in our lives, and then throughout the day, “maintain” our sensitivity to hear, and our willingness to turn aside, should the Lord desire to speak to us.
For us to be spiritually “awakened” means that we are being “lifted” above the limitations of our natural sense perception and understanding, into the realm of the supernatural, as we are quickened by the Lord. When we seem to come short of this, or are distracted, we must not become discouraged, but continue to hold our “spirit” before the Lord in expectancy, that we might become more sensitive and available to Him.
The Lord greatly desires a prophetic people. When we also greatly desire, and ask Him for this abiding prophetic anointing, He will respond and bring us into an increasing degree of prophetic sensitivity and ability. No matter how sensitive and available we are, we can become more spiritually sensitive and available.
“…Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them.” Numbers 11:29
In Amos 2:12-13, the Lord also expresses this desire.
“But you gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, prophesy not. Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.”
Because the prophetic word was restricted, the Lord expressed Himself as being a “voice” that desired to speak, but was suppressed. Thus, He felt as if He were pressed under the weight of a cart full of sheaves. This pictures the intense desire of the Lord to speak to His people.
John the Baptist said, “I am the voice of one crying.…” (John 1:23). He did not merely speak a prophetic word: he also gave expression to the feelings of the Lord in relation to the word spoken. John did more than prophesy; he “became” prophetic.
There is a place of “prophetic identity” into which we are called to grow.
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings….” Philippians 3:10
The “fellowship of His sufferings” speaks of our coming into a “prophetic identity” with the heart intent and feelings of Jesus, in which we become vessels through whom the Lord might express Himself, as He desires. This involves our knowing the Lord beyond the realm of knowledge, ministry, and gifts. We are to come into a personal, experiential identity with Him, that His thoughts and desires might find expression through us (the voice of one crying).
There are five levels of prophetic development in our spiritual life and walk.
- Inner Revelation.
“My soul cleaves to the dust: quicken You me according to Your Word.” Psalm 119:25
We were formed from dust. As “dust,” there is no structure or order within us, to enable us to function in spiritual things. We must be “quickened,” or lifted above the earthly (quicken me according to Your Word). This word, “quicken,” means “life empowering” (including our emotions). To be “quickened” is the first level of inner revelation, which comes through the lifting power of the Holy Spirit. He “wakens” our spirit, morning by morning, and lifts us into this dimension of prophetic vision.
- Our Testimony.
“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives….” I Peter 4:11
An “oracle” is a divine communication. This means that the Word we speak in behalf of the Lord must be a “quickened” word, not our own word or thought. It is not through the “letter” of the Word, but rather, through the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit that life is conveyed. Words are understood by the “image” they convey. A true prophetic word goes beyond this mental image, and imparts “spirit and life.”
III. The Gift of Prophecy.
“For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be comforted.” I Corinthians 14:31
The “gift” of prophecy is available to all, but is limited in its purpose and use (for we know in part, and we prophesy in part. I Corinthians 13:9). It is given for “edification, exhortation, and comfort” (I Corinthians 14:3). The gifts should operate through a life of holiness, that Jesus, not the vessel being used, will be seen, and should edify the Body of Christ in an attitude of sacrificial love.
“…desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy.” I Corinthians 14:1
The word “gifts” is in Italics, which means it was not in the original text, and should read, “desire spirituals.” Or, “desire the prophetic realm” in which we are enabled to both see and speak prophetically. To do this, we must first edify ourselves by “waiting on the Lord,” and by our “speaking in tongues,” as we are quickened by the Holy Spirit.
- The Office of the Prophet.
“And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets….” I Corinthians 12:28
The Lord needs prophets in our day. A “prophet” is one who speaks a specific word, in a specific place, at a specific time. He speaks for God, as His mouthpiece. The prophetic office is a limited ministry (are all prophets? I Corinthians 12:29), and is distinctly different from the gift of prophecy. This is a very costly ministry, as those called to this ministry must submit themselves to a life of discipline and guidance.
- The Spirit of Prophecy.
“…For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” Revelations 19:10
This is the highest realm of the prophetic and functions through “relationship,” rather than as a “gift.” The “gift” of prophecy requires only our being yielded to the Holy Spirit in order to function, but is not necessarily an indication of right living, as is the “Spirit of prophecy.” As we mature spiritually, our lives reflect a greater quality of spirit with its resultant expression transcending the gift realm of ministry.
The Spirit of Prophecy expresses a life that has become a “witness of” the Lord, not merely a “witness for” Him. It goes beyond words, as our life becomes the expression of His thoughts and feelings, as if we were Him.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:18
As we become one in union with Him, our lives will become as a “mirror” that reflects the person and the presence of the Lord Jesus. Now, “the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of prophecy,” will be both seen and heard, as we “mirror” Him.
The Lord desires to bring “overcomers” into this level of relationship, in which the “Spirit of prophecy” will become a creative force that will greatly affect the world in the outworking of the end-time purposes of the Lord.