The Spiritual Gift of Prophecy
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10 ESV)
At a time when the prophetic word of The Lord was rare, God chose to speak to a boy – a young man named Samuel, whose parents had dedicated him to The Lord, bringing him to live and serve among the priests.
Samuel had never heard or sensed the voice of God before, so when he heard this Voice he assumed it to be the priest Eli. Once Eli realized that Samuel was hearing the Voice of God, he instructed Samuel to listen carefully.
God did not take it easy on Samuel just because he was a rookie. The word from The Lord was direct, precise, and caused a heaviness of heart. God told Samuel that his mentor and father-figure, Eli, along with his sons, were about to die because of their disrespect toward God.
Despite the sobering message, Samuel proved faithful to the Voice of God. Therefore God trusted Samuel with His Voice. Samuel became one of the most influential prophets/priests of the Old Testament.
Although God speaks directly to people through His Word and His Spirit, He still speaks through others. The gift of prophecy can be exercised by any Spirit-led believer; and the office of Prophet still functions today.
I have experienced the blessing of prophetic words being spoken to me, confirming God’s direction for my life. I have also given prophetic words to many people.
I am more convinced than ever that God loves speaking to and encouraging His people, and that He loves to utilize people to bless other people.
Certainly we must never abuse this precious gift by either blindly trusting every word uttered to us, or by using the words “God told me” to manipulate people in any way.
Discernment and judgment must be exercised in weighing every prophetic word against the revealed Word of God (Scripture).
But when this gift flows in alignment with the Word and Spirit of God, it is a tremendous blessing to others.
Like Samuel, may we be people who hear and declare the Voice of God!
And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. (1 Samuel 3:19 ESV)