Pastor Miles thanked the church for praying for his mom, who is much better now and was back to church with us today! He reflected that as she was in the hospital, there were times when she was really suffering and was close to death, and times when the medicine and care she received seemed to give her life. This brings us to the message today as we continue in the Kingdom Warrior series, for today we examine how a kingdom warrior speaks life with his/her words.
A KINGDOM WARRIOR:
prophesies or speaks life into people.
When we use the word “prophecy” in this context, we do not mean predicting events of the future. Rather, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prophecy is speaking life into others.
The words are not discouraging, but encouraging.
Prophetic words bring order and life, just as God does. Remember in Genesis 1-2, God brought life and order by speaking them into being. When the devil spoke in Genesis 3, he brought doubt and destruction.
prophesies or speaks to give voice to the Holy Spirit.
When you participate in a conversation, you have two influences in the spiritual realm: the influence of God (life, peace, hope, joy), and the influence of devil (shame and destruction).
Do you have the urge to cut someone down or feed the gossip in a conversation, or the urge to steer the subject away from gossip, speak life-giving words, and remind people of God’s goodness? Don’t be the “devil’s advocate” - be Jesus’ advocate!
If you want to give voice to the Spirit of God, you need to be walking with Him and immersing yourself in His Word so that you can recognize and respond to His voice.
prophesies or speaks to what God is doing, not what Satan is threatening.
People who are hurting speak hurtful things, and people who are discouraged speak discouraging things, but people who have the joy of the Lord speak joyful things.
Kingdom warriors focus on what God is doing, not all the negativity of the destruction Satan is bringing into the world.
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit, he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 1 Corinthians 14:1-3
“But I don’t have the gift of Prophecy!”
You are called to prophesy - to speak life - into the lives of others, simply by being a follower of Christ.
Someone with the gift of evangelism loves to evangelize and may see many people come to faith through their testimony, while someone else may have the gift of generosity and may practice giving abundantly and frequently, but we are all called to share our faith and to be generous in our own way. Similarly, though you may feel you don’t have the gift of prophecy, you are still called to prophesy - to speak life - into the lives of others, simply by being a follower of Christ.
When you prophesy, you do three things:
1. EDIFY: Holy Spirit, what must I say to build up a person’s identity in Christ? Ephesians 4:29
Imagine if everything you said was designed to edify others!
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29
Think about your own thinking and what words you let escape from your mouth. Wherever you go - work, school, the store, the doctor’s office, etc. - don’t allow yourself to speak words that are back-biting, nasty, divisive, shameful, condemning, or corrupt. Instead, let your words only edify, build people up, and encourage their spirits.
2. EXHORT: Holy Spirit, what must I say to instill encouragement and hope into a discouraged heart? Revelation 19:10
As the Holy Spirit, “What must I say to instill encouragement and hope into a discouraged heart?”
And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10
Your testimony is what Jesus has done and is doing in your life. Having a spirit of prophecy is being able to speak God’s light and life into the lives of others.
3. COMFORT: Holy Spirit, what must I say to bring relief and joy to a heart that has been hurt? 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When God comforts you in your pain and trial, are you taking that comfort and applying it to yourself lie lotion that you then put back on the shelf until you need it again? God comforts you so that you will have compassion for others; having received God’s comfort yourself, you can then share His comfort with someone else who is hurting.
Think about your recent sufferings, heartaches, and trials and what God has done to get you through them. Know that you are not the only one experiencing that pain - and now that you have been comforted, you can reach out to someone else.
Pastor Miles led us through an exercise in which we practiced prophesying - speaking life - into others. We begin with God’s Word, because:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The idea of practicing prophecy is to read or quote a life-giving verse to someone, and then make a declaration to the person based on that verse. For example, if you read,
The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17,
then you can declare the truth over the person, by saying, “That means that God delights in you and He is pleased with you.” If you ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about what kind of encouragement the person needs, He may give you more life-giving words to speak over them as well, such as, “Whatever you’re struggling with right now, I feel that God wants me to tell you He is with you and you’re going to be okay.”
If words come to mind that are condemning, judgmental, or negative, (“You’re messing up, and you need to get your life right!”), they are not from God, and you should not say them.
STEPS TO HEARING GOD
1. Ask God, “What do you want to say to this person?”
2. Listen. Everyone hears differently. Listen for a small still voice.
3. In faith, believe that the next thought that comes to your mind is from the Holy Spirit answering you (as long as it is biblical, edifying, encouraging, comforting).
4. Share with the person.
5. Ask for feedback.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF IT’S YOU, GOD OR THE DEVIL?
Devil - negative, shaming, condemning, self-promoting
Me - you only know by testing it out to know if it is your thought or God's by its accuracy
God - it is Biblical, it exalts God, not a person, by the fruit it produces, it is accurate
Take this practice out to the world this week, wherever you are!
1. Read the verse to them.
2. Declare the truth over them. (Prophetic encouragement)
3. Ask for feedback, “Does this verse apply to you right now?”
Here are some verses to try:
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
- Declaration: God delights in you, and He is pleased with you!
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
- Declaration: You are not alone. God is always with you.
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord. Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
- Declaration: God is giving you renewal and refreshment. You are strong and will be strengthened even more by the Lord.
Isaiah 41:13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
- Declaration: God is helping you and is very near to you.
Luke 12:7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
- Declaration: You are valued and treasured by God!