Not everyone is a prophet, but here are 2 great reasons why prophecy is a gift to you, even if it’s not your calling.
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”
Not Everyone Is A Prophet But Prophecy Is A Gift To You
One of the first questions new Christians ask themselves is: “Which spiritual gift has God given me?”
And when it comes to the gift of prophecy, many Christians ask themselves, “Am I called to be a prophet?”
In 1 Corinthians 12:29 Paul describes how spiritual gifts are distributed through the church, particularly in its leaders. He asks, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?”
In other words, different people have different gifts and different callings on their lives. That much is common sense.
However, as I discussed in a previous article, everyone can hear God because it’s an intrinsic ability, not a gift. (If you’re yet to be convinced of that then go and read the article to discover 4 reasons why it’s true.)
Today, I’m taking that argument a step further:
“Prophecy is a gift to you regardless of whether you are called to be prophet or not.”
How can that be? Let’s find out!
Two Sides Of A Coin: Prophecy Is A Gift To You Even If It’s Not Your Calling
What we’re looking at is really 2 sides of a coin:
- 1On the one hand, there are Christians who aren’t sure if they have the gift of prophecy or not. Or they haven’t asked the question in the first place.
- 2On the other, there are Christians in many churches who are called to be prophets but feel like they don’t fit in. They feel like they’re a bit different to everyone else, as if they’re a little odd or they don’t belong.
Whichever camp you fall into (you may be somewhere in between), there are 2 reasons why prophecy really is available to everyone.
Reason 1 applies mostly to the first category and reason 2 mainly the second. But there is a truth in each that applies to both groups:
Reason 1: Prophecy Is A Gift To You Because All Partake In Spiritual Gifts
In Acts 2:17 Peter speaks to the crowd on the Day of Pentecost. He explains the outpouring of Holy Spirit that they have just witnessed by quoting the prophet Joel:
“…I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”
- Apostle Peter
This tells us that Holy Spirit works differently in the New Covenant, compared to the old.
In the Old Covenant, the Spirit anointed the few. He rested only on a small number of specific leaders and prophets (the majority of them happened to be male).
But in the New Covenant, God is pouring out his Spirit on all flesh!
Specifically, there is an outpouring of prophecy, visions and dreams. And it really is for everyone: male and female, young and old.
Office of Prophet vs Prophetic Culture
There’s a difference between the Office of Prophet (someone called to be a prophet) and what we might call “everyday prophets”.
Someone in the Office of Prophet has a ministry in prophecy: they prophesy regularly and consistently, throughout their lives. Prophecy is fully assimilated into their lifestyle, becoming almost as natural to them as breathing.
However, since we are in New Covenant times, we are all children of God. So, those not called to the Office still inherit the same promise that “your sons and daughters will prophesy”.
We can all prophesy in the same way that we can all pray and can all heal. So we’re not all prophets (in the Office sense) but can all be an active participant in prophetic culture.
“…anybody who’s in Christ can hear the voice of God for themselves.”
Reason 2: Prophecy Is A Gift To You Wherever You Are In God’s Church
As I mentioned earlier, there is a second group of Christians: those called to be a prophet. Prophets often feel like they’re a bit different to everyone else, as though they’re somehow out of place.
In fact, most Christians will feel this at some point or another. I believe this is a natural outworking of a spiritual truth: that our true home is in heaven, not on this Earth. But I’ve observed that those called to be prophets tend to feel this more keenly than others.
The good news is that Jesus had something to say about this phenomenon. When he told his disciples that he was going away, on the eve of his crucifixion, he said this:
My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2)
Be Encouraged That Prophecy Is A Gift To You
This was said to encourage them that they would meet him again and that he would send the promised Holy Spirit to them while he was gone.
But I think he also has a message for us, for you and me. That message is two-fold:
The reality is that whoever you are, there is a place for you in Jesus’ Kingdom.
It’s a place of belonging, of uniqueness and acceptance, no matter what your gift, how “out of place” you feel, or how God expresses himself through your unique personality.
And that’s the best news of all!
“The New Testament is completely different [to the Old]: it’s a ‘habitational’ culture because now God lives in us. So now there’s a prophetic distribution of the gift because anybody who’s in Christ can hear the voice of God for themselves.”
(Care of Eternity News)
If you’d like to find out more about the gift of prophecy and whether it's your calling, then a good place to start is here.
If you’re wanting to know the basics of prophecy, then this free short course will help.
And if you’re serious about learning all you can on how to grow and get truly accurate in the gift of prophecy, then join the school here.