If you want your
voice to make a difference, let it become a consistent sound of hope. Many
people misunderstand the nature of prophecy. The highest form of prophetic
ministry is not revealing undiscovered facts about someone or making a dramatic
proclamation about a coming event. These words do get our attention, but the
real impact of prophecy takes place in another context.

The most
significant impact we can have takes place when we release words of hope that
begin to influence the way people think. From time-to-time, God will share with
me a hidden truth known only to the hearer or something that is about to
happen, but these are rare. Don’t pursue those kinds of words as the single
proof of your prophetic validity. Some have held this assumption and in doing
so have tried to make the next word more dramatic than the last one. That
pursuit can put you in a place of potential compromise.

Perhaps, the most precise definition of prophecy in the New Testament was
shared by Paul, “But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them,
and comforts them” (I Corinthians 14:3).

If your words
strengthen people when they feel week; encourages them when they are
discouraged and comforts them when they feel discomfort, you are moving in the
prophetic flow of God’s Spirit. If the dramatic words given by any of us do not
accomplish those three things, we need rethink what we are doing in the name of
prophecy.

God did not call
us to be dramatic. He called us to be a faithful – a faithful sound of hope to
those in need. That is a life-long investment. In that long view of prophetic
ministry, don’t be surprised that occasionally God might give you something
dramatic and amazing to share. Whenever that happens, immediately get back on
track with hope. That choice will keep the content and delivery of your voice
pure and usable by God.

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