Please read 1 Corinthians chapter 14. The chapter is full of great insight and some confusing topics. I will not be addressing the section on orderly worship because I cannot do it justice in a short blog. However, I will look at the topic of prophecy.
When reading the Bible we can never read it chapter by chapter as if one chapter of a book is completely independent of another. So, when we read chapter 14 we must remember that chapter 13 came before it. And when we read the passage about women in the church we must remember that chapter 11 is of the same book.
Chapter 13 is aptly described as the Love Chapter. The focus of the first part of chapter 14 flows smoothly out of chapter 13. Let's look at the first few verses.
"Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy." 1 Corinthians 14:1-5
If you want to learn more about why tongues are good but prophesy is preferred, go ahead and read Paul's chapter. I want to look more at how we can have the gift of prophecy. If prophecy is to be especially desired and beneficial to the church then we should find out how to have this gift.
Prophecy is speaking the words of God. Throughout the history of the Church and the nation of Israel prophets have spoken the words of God. Sometimes as warning, sometimes as predictions of the future, sometimes for encouragement and always for the benefit of others.
When we think of prophecy we get stuck on the predicting of the future. I want us to believe that that can and does happen, but I don't want to spend much time with that.
You can prophesy. I guarantee you.
You can prophesy from your computer, phone, in person... you can prophesy with the equipping you have now.
Remember prophecy is speaking the words of God. You are incredibly fortunate to have a copy of the Word of God. Even if you don't have a physical Bible I know you can download the Word of God for free on whatever it is you're reading this on.
Prophesy today by sending a text with a scripture on it. Make your Facebook status an encouraging word from the Word. Remind a friend of one of the promises in Scripture and that the promises in Scripture are for them in their life today.
Let's say your friend is battling depression. Google "Bible verses for people with depression" and tell your friend to look them up. Or restate the verses as a prayer for them and send that prayer in writing to them.
The well of prophecy is deeper than this for sure, but it starts at this level for us all to take part in the most loving gift of the Spirit. Think of ways to use the Word of God to strengthen, encourage and comfort those around you today.