By Sarah Williams
Have you ever received a message from God through another person? Did it make you wonder how they found themselves in a place that they could confidently articulate a divine word? Perhaps you have pondered the selection of these servants of God and what path led them to become His messengers. While some are chosen to fulfill a function within the spiritual office of the prophet, we are all called to walk with God as His prophetic people. In order to embrace this truth, it may help to demystify the meaning of the word prophesy. Simply stated, to prophesy is to hear God’s voice and to share it with others. An invitation awaits you to do both these things. It’s true! As a follower of Jesus, you can and you should prophesy. It is part of the great privilege we have in representing God in the earth. Still need convincing? Read on for five proofs you are called to be prophetic.
- Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice.” In John 10, Jesus teaches using an analogy of Himself as a shepherd and His followers as sheep. He is depicted as a trustworthy leader who speaks to His sheep and leads them to safety. Jesus states that the sheep know His voice and can distinguish it from a stranger’s voice. His sheep follow Him and find security. If you have become a follower of Jesus, you have access to His voice. If you haven’t yet discovered this truth, the first step to hearing is to quiet yourself and listen. A beautiful promise awaits your discovery! “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life” (Isaiah 55:3, NLT).
- God has poured out His Spirit upon all people. Before Jesus was on the earth, God’s Spirit came only selectively upon those whom He chose to convey His words. However, before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He instructed His followers to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Upon their obedience, this promise was fulfilled with a mighty outpouring. That day Peter referenced this prophecy given over 800 years earlier: “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29, NIV). God chose a period of time in which He would use all people regardless of age or gender, and they would receive messages from Him and prophesy. You are living in the age where the Spirit has been poured out, and you are included in this promised company that can hear and release God’s words in the earth!
- The Bible instructs you to eagerly desire to prophesy! It is God’s nature to encourage, uplift, and strengthen us. He is looking for conduits of His heart who will prophesy in His nature of love. 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3 says, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. . . . But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.” You are invited not only to participate in prophesying, but God actually wants you to eagerly desire to prophesy! Your voice is a way that His love and encouragement can bring hope and strength to the world.
- You have the Holy Spirit inside of you. Hopefully you are starting to become more convinced that you could be one of God’s prophetic people. But maybe you’re looking at yourself and thinking of all the reasons you don’t feel adequate to be used by God. Remember that the Holy Spirit is your Helper! He has not only been poured out upon you, but He lives inside of you! “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16, ESV). Your ability to be used by God comes only because of His Spirit, who is the source of prophecy and of all the spiritual gifts. If you have invited Him in, He indwells you and has all the power you need to carry God’s message; He is just waiting for your yes to partner with Him.
- The world needs hope, and your voice carries the message that it needs. Until Jesus returns, He has left the world in the hands of His people to continue after the pattern He set while on the earth. The book of Revelation says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. This means that when we speak by the leading of the Spirit, our words will always be consistent with God’s great love for mankind, which was revealed by His Son, Jesus. Jesus is the hope for the world, and we are His mouthpiece. By the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, our job is to spread the Gospel and to convey God’s heart to a desperate world. Are you convinced now? Will you join me? Friend, we have work to do!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV).
Sarah and her husband, George, have been in ministry together for over fifteen years. They began their journey as urban missionaries, which led to planting and co-pastoring CityLight Church. Sarah’s passion is to see people saved, healed, and delivered. She and her team run the Transformation Center, which offers personal prayer ministry to help people receive heart healing and freedom. Sarah highly values her ministry to her family and to the Lord. Her delight is in raising her two daughters and being a friend of God.