A Brief Word on Prophecy II – Ray E Horton
Much is taught about the gifts of the Spirit for the building up of others, as found in 1 Cor. 12. However, there are aspects of those gifts for our devotional life that, along with prayer and time in God’s Word, build us up for our Christian walk and prepare and empower us to be used. These aspects may be even more relevant for our daily lives.
There are aspects of those gifts for our devotional life that, along with prayer and time in God’s Word, build us up for our Christian walk and prepare and empower us to be used.
If we have been Baptized in the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Cor. 12 are available to us, and He will manifest in us through the various gifts as the need arises in ministry. Vs. 7 tells us their purpose is for the common good, not just ourselves: “to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
It is the Holy Spirit who decides what gifts are manifested and through whom: “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Cor. 12: 11). Even so, vs. 31 tells us to earnestly desire them, implying, I believe, that He will honor our desire for the supernatural gifts needed for the task if we are in faith and have the maturity to handle them. I see it as a matter of faith. Some bury that desire because they do not think God would use them in a particular gift. Of course, different people are open to different gifts in differing amounts, depending on where their faith is.
Devotional Tongues – Our Prayer Language – to Edify Us Individually
Now, while the gifts are distributed as He wills, and are for the edification of the church, I believe 1 Cor. 14 also talks about a devotional gift of praying and singing in tongues for our prayer life, which builds us up in the Lord and doesn’t require interpretation (although sometimes He will give it). I do not see that as one of the 1 Cor. 12 gifts.
In all the instances when they received tongues in the book of Acts, it was said that they spoke with tongues. The Bible doesn’t call it the gift of tongues in these instances. The new prayer language of “devotional tongues” received during baptism in the Spirit is for our personal use and everyone can have it if they will ask the Lord for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. And all that ask receive, even if pride or ignorance or whatever keeps one from stepping out using tongues until they gain more understanding. It is a private prayer language for self-edification (1 Cor. 14:4) and for you to communicate with God. I believe that is also what Jude 20 is referring to: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.”
Devotional Prophecy for Our Prayer Lives
And, while you do not hear it called that often, I am certain of devotional prophecy as well, which is available to Spirit-baptized believers at all times to be an integral part of our prayer life. What is being spoken forth in our hearts is God’s heart on a matter. It cannot get any better than that! And we all need a spirit of prophecy. “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). We have the testimony of Jesus, and He wants to reveal Himself in constantly fresh ways to our hearts. I believe this is so important for the development of strong, effective Christians, and our ability to communicate with God this way should be explained to all newly spirit-filled Christians, as well as others who haven’t been walking in it.
One caution! We need to judge such prophecy that comes to our own minds for our own benefit in the same way we judge public prophecy. It must never contradict Gods written Word, and we should have an inner witness of God’s peace. It will never condemn, and for anything beyond encouragement and exhortation, e.g., something directional, we should seek further confirmation, since our hearing can be clouded by our natural minds and emotions.
Devotional prophesy for me is often God waking me in the middle of the night to share something to my heart. It is akin to what some would call inspiration. Often what He says is just for me. Other times it is for me to write down and share with others. In any case, Jesus is always central.
My whole point is that the things of the Spirit are typically under-valued, even among spirit-filled people and in spirit-filled churches. There are aspects of supernatural giftings that will build us up in the Lord and help empower us to live the Christian life, to walk the walk, and there are the gifts that are for the building up of the church, supernatural signs and wonders that follow and validate to the world the preaching of the Gospel.
Let us not quench the Holy Spirit in our lives or churches.
For more on prophecy, see my earlier note at: https://www.facebook.com/notes/ray-e-horton/a-brief-word-on-prophecy-ray-horton/10151319006016076