According to 1 Cor. 14, all the believers should pursue, seek, and even desire earnestly to prophesy for the building up of the church(1 Cor. 14:1, 12, 39). We all have both the capacity / ability to speak for God and speak God forth, AND we also have the obligation to prophesy for the building up of the church! Many times believers are “scared of prophesying” because they honestly think that they either have nothing to speak, or they don’t know the Lord enough, or they don’t have “the inspiration of the Holy Spirit”. But just like in speaking a language, we can learn to prophesy by practicing and exercising! This morning I appreciated in a fresh way what are some of the elements for the composition of a prophecy according to 1 Cor. 14:
- First of all, for us to prophesy in the sense of 1 Cor. 14 we need to have some knowledge and experience of God, Christ, and the spiritual things. Before we speak, we need to know God, we need to know Christ, and we need to know the spiritual things. To prophesy is to speak God and Christ into people – before we can speak, we need to read the Bible, pray over the Word of God, and study the Word and the spiritual books, so that we may obtain some spiritual knowledge! And not only to know or have knowledge – we need to experience these things, and seek spiritual experiences of God!
- Secondly, the composition of a prophecy comprises the utterance to speak forth what we know and have experienced of God, Christ, and spiritual things. We need to learn to speak spiritual things with spiritual words – this involves our practice and continual learning! We need to learn to speak, even compose a summary of what we enjoyed and then speak it out loud to either ourselves or our companions, so that we may be perfected in our speaking. We are not “natural at prophesying” and we cannot use any natural eloquence in this – we all need to learn to speak by practicing! Speak what you know and you enjoyed with the exercise of your spirit! The more you speak, the more you are perfected in your speaking!
- Also, the composition of a prophecy comprises the sight under the divine enlightement concerning the situation and the environment… we don’t just speak the portion we prepared in any kind of meeting or environment – we need to have the sight to see the things taking place in the church life and the situation of all the saints! It helps to pray to the Lord, “Lord, show me the real situation! Shine over me and enlighten me. Give me the full enlightenment that I may know the intrinsic contents of the present situation“. In this way, we can speak according to the need and we can build up the church in the present situation. We need to be open to the Lord for any kind of environment or situation – to speak under His enlightenment.
- In addition to this, we need the instant inspiration of the indwelling Spirit that stirs up our spirit to speak! We don’t speak because we want to speak but because the Spirit stirs us up to speak. And regarding the Spirit’s inspiration – we are no longer in the Old Testament age where the prophets had to wait for the Spirit to come and inspire them – we now joined to the Lord as one spirit(1 Cor. 6:17). Whenever we exercise our spirit to touch the Lord and say, Lord, I want to speak for You! – He is there with us and inspires us! What a secret! We can exercise our spirit, and the Holy Spirit indwelling our spirit will be moved by us – and we will have the divine inspiration! In this way, when we speak with the exercise of the spirit, we will impart not only “spiritual knowledge” or “doctrine”, but we will impart life and the Spirit!
Hallelujah for such simple ways to prepare ourselves to speak for God and speak God forth! It will take our whole life to learn to speak not just human languages but also to speak for God and to speak God forth! This is why daily we need to get into the Word and into the ministry that opens up the Word – in the way of life and in the way of studying it! As we study and acquire the spiritual knowledge, we also need to seek to experience these matters(by mainly praying over them and telling the Lord to make them real to us, even to make these visions our experience). As we go on with the Lord in this way, we can even write down something of what we enjoyed and were impressed with – the knowledge and the experience we had in the Word and in the Spirit. We can practice to speak – speak to yourself in front of the mirror, speak to the nature, speak to the objects in your room – just practice to speak God and speak the word of God! And when the need arises, as we see under the enlightenment of the Spirit, we can then speak something for the building up – with the exercise of our spirit! Our purpose is to build up the church as the Body of Christ – for this we seek the Lord to show us the real situation and condition of the church, and we exercise our spirit to have the instant inspiration of the Holy Spirit in our speaking! O, Lord… – how much we need to practice this! [enjoyment from the book, The Practice of Prophesying, by brother Witness Lee, as quoted in the morning revival, The Need for a Fresh Vision of the Lord’s Recovery]
Lord, we want the building up of Your Body! Make us those that prophesy and seek to prophesy! Lord, even those who earnestly desire to prophesy in the sense of 1 Cor. 14! Make Your Word so real to us, so open, as we endeavor to enter into the Word and have spiritual experiences and revelations! Lord, keep us practicing to both exercise our spirit over the Word and to speak what You reveal to us! Enlighten us concerning the situation of the church, Lord, so that we may speak for building up! In all these, Lord, we want to exercise our spirit and speak in oneness with You who indwells us! Have a way in us, Lord!