This week we are studying the gift of prophecy and what it means to be prophetic. We started this conversation in on the Everyday Jesus podcast. You can catch up by clicking the play button on the player below:
Today I want to look at the second purpose of prophecy as stated by Paul in 1st Corinthians – exhortation. What is exhortation? Exhortation is defined as emphatically urging someone to do something. Another word for exhorting may be encouraging.
I’ve found in my life that sometimes I need some encouragement to go out and do things for God. I can easily get stagnant or self-consumed. When I’m focusing too much on myself and my agenda, God will sometimes send encouragement to me through prophetic giftings and people.
So what should prophetic words exhort people to do? Obey the word of God for one. James says to be doers of the word and not just hearers of the word (1:22). Being a doer of the word means following the commands of Christ. A good prophetic word will encourage others to follow Christ’s commands.
Jesus, throughout the gospels, uses prophetic exhortation on multiple occasions. When he encounters the rich, young ruler, he encourages the young man to sell all of his possession and come and follow him. That was an exhortation.
Jesus also said to those whom he encountered, “Go and sin no more”. This is an example of a prophetic exhortation. Jesus was encouraging people to break free from the bonds of sin. And while these people would not be able to fulfill this encouragement, it’s useful none-the-less because God sees the heart.
Over the years, I’ve had many people encourage me to write. So part of my journey has been to listen to the prophetic encouragement I’ve received and to write. And this encouragement has came over and over again and I’ve needed it over and over again. I’m personally thankful for those who continue to encourage me. I hope to be as encouraging as you are.