No longer pulling back
by Pastor Chris Pye
In a church service a lady stood up, and said, "Thus says the Lord, Just as Moses built the Ark to rescue my chosen ones, so I will build my church to rescue many in this city." She then sat down, many people in the congregation, even those with an elementary Bible knowledge were confused. Ten minutes later the lady stood up and said, "Thus says the Lord, I made a mistake, it was not Moses that built the Ark, but Noah, please forgive me." She then sat down again.
This may seem like just another funny story, but imagine what damage may be done to a congregation's understanding of the use of prophecy in the church.
The experience of the majority of Christians is either a total lack of the prophetic in their lives, or abuse of it as in the above case. Very basic teaching by the leadership on prophecy would have been very helpful in this case, and also would prove beneficial in the lives of all Christians so they might understand the purposes of prophecy and also the pitfalls that seem to negate the power of prophecy.
The person who uses this gift in such a way finds fulfilment in feeling that God is using them, therefore, "Their Gift" must be protected at all cost, they will place barbed wire around their gift, as it were, and if their gift is approached in any way, they will feel it is a personal attack on them. Therefore they feel their gift cannot be submitted to the church leadership, it is their personal property.
We must understand that if we take the O.T. prophets as our model to understand the place of prophecy in the church we are effectively making it impossible for any prophet to function in any way whatsoever, (certainly the threat of being stoned to death unless your predictions were always correct would deter most from putting on the prophets mantle). No, it's only as we examine the N.T. can we understand and grasp the purposes of God in the use of prophesy.
To try to teach you about prophecy would be foolish, as I continue to need to learn, but I have learnt and am still learning, undoubtedly the most important lesson has been to see prophecy used in the way the Lord intended, to build up and encourage the body of Christ.
My experience of prophecy, prior to the churches joining together has usually been negative; the consequence of this has been I have always pulled back from receiving prophecy as a legitimate vehicle of God's purposes.
You will find many people in leadership who should know the very basics of prophecy, but don't; many of them will even try to convince you that they do. Do not allow frustration into your spirit because of this, because the Lord wants to use the repository of knowledge he has placed in you so that prophecy can take its rightful place in the Church.
You will find more and more you will step out in the anointing that God has placed on your life, this will challenge and stir others up, for there are many who have this calling upon their lives who have not moved out into their ministries.