I am overwhelmed by how much God thinks of me – of you – of us! Next time you are at the beach grab a handful of sand. Did you know that is how much God thinks of you? Actually, His thoughts are like the whole beach. Get the picture? God thinks about each of us – a lot!
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; Ps 139:17-18
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer 29:11-12
His thoughts to us are precious; His thoughts are more than we can count: His thoughts are for a future and a hope. God uses men and women of God with a prophetic gift to reveal His thoughts of us, to us. It is an incredible experience when you hear a prophet speak God’s thoughts over your life and sense an incredible witness in your own spirit that His words are true. To some prophecy is not for today – to others, who might be skeptical, prophecy is a type of fortune-telling based on personal research and secret relationship. I want to assure you that prophecy is real.
1 Cor 14:1-5 Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.
Prophecy is still relevant and useful for the church today. The implication from these verses is very clear. (1 Cor. 13:8-12; Acts 2:17-18) There is a distinct difference in Old Testament (OT) prophecy and New Testament (NT) prophecy. In the OT prophets had the singular role of bringing God’s word – instruction, warnings, and direction – directly to the people. By contrast, in the NT, all believers have a relationship with God and can hear Him speaking to them personally. Prophetic ministry is meant to bring confirmation, clarity and empowerment to our lives and the vision of the church.
The OT prophets pronounced warnings and judgement. The NT is an era of God’s grace and is designed to bring strength, encouragement and comfort. In the OT, if prophets did speak a word that proved untrue, they were condemned as false prophets. In the NT church prophetic ministry knows only in part and prophecies in part. (1 Cor. 13:9) New Testament prophecy flourishes in an environment of humility, cooperation and grace. A couple of the key questions to ask yourself are; “Does the prophetic word reveal the Father’s heart for my life and this church? Is the spirit of this prophecy a testimony of Jesus?
The elders and I want to commend Charlie Sweet to you as a man of godly character who is completely submitted to the local church. Charlie has proven himself as a prophet whose heart’s desire is to build up the local church. (Eph 4:11-16)
Southgate Prophetic Gatherings – Saturday, February 23 – 6:00 PM; Sunday, February 24 – 10:00 AM & 6:00 PM