April 6, 2018
1 Corinthians 14:3… The one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.
This is the value of prophesy and also a description of it. When we prophesy, we are to upbuild, encourage, and console. That is a different definition than to predict the future. It makes prophesy more available to each of us. Think about your friends and family. Ask God for words of encouragement and consolation for them. What does that look like? I have received words of correction and adjustment that were given in love and I was encouraged by them. That seems to be the necessary consideration. Do everything from love.
‘Encouragement’ does not always feel comforting. Sometimes it is an adjustment that will lead to more comfortable circumstances. For example: If someone needs money, you can give them money or you can get them a job and they can earn money. Which one of those ‘feels’ more loving?
I just remembered an incident that happened several year ago. I was driving and saw a homeless ( I assume) man standing on the corner with a sign that said ‘Will work for food” I watched as all the cars ahead of me pulled past him and then it was my turn. He looked at me and quickly turned the sign around. The side he showed me said, “Need help.” I was driving my truck with ladders on the rack and tools in the bed. I guess that was not the work he wanted. Rather than ask me for work, he asked me for money. With that picture in mind, we can mistakenly define love according to the desires of people. Love is from God and flows to people. It is not the opposite. Encourage someone today, but according to God’s definition, not humans’.
Prophesy is also for consolation. Do you know how to console someone?
Figure that out before you see the need. If you wait, the need will define the consolation, and it might be selfish, in that picture. God comforts us with his love. Be an agent of God’s love to others. God’s love says, “I am with you wherever you go, but I am rearranging the path to me.” Selfishly, we might think, “That’s not where I was headed.” Lovingly, God says, “I know.” One dare not console a person on a path to destruction.