Ephesians 2:18-22 – Through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

As we give our attention to the five ministry gifts it is important to keep focused on Jesus. Each of the ministry gifts is a manifestation of the ministry of Jesus and does not stand alone on its own merits. Paul reminds us, “through Him we have both access in one Spirit to the Father” (emphasis mine). The Godhead determined for Jesus to build His church upon the apostolic and prophetic ministries. It is through apostolic teaching and prophetic vision God’s will and purpose is communicated. John the apostle declares in the book of Revelation that he “fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’” (Revelation 19:10).

As with the apostolic gift, the prophetic gift is still needed. Today, the prophetic does not bring new revelation or anything “extra biblical,” but helps to restore the Lord’s church to His original intent. Throughout history, men have distorted the truth of God and have built their own systems. The writers of the New Testament warned God’s people that this would happen. Consider what Peter said in his second  letter, “False prophets arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves” (2 Peter 2:1-2). The true prophetic voice points to Jesus. The true prophetic voice is anointed of the Lord to envision God’s people in God’s purpose for current times.

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22). As we draw near to the Lord through the Holy Spirit and the study of His Word, our expected result should be “prophetic vision” for our life and service to Him. When listening to the preached word and as you pray for God’s guidance in your life, expect to receive through the prophetic gift, what the Lord wants to reveal to you. Praise God for the apostolic and prophetic gift He has made available to His church.

When I listen to preaching and teaching, when I read articles and books, I am asking the Lord to reveal to me understanding for my life and what is being spoken and how it  relates to culture and what the Lord is doing today. I am listening for His Spirit to give to me prophetic understanding about His church and the culture in which I live.

Father, thank you for the prophetic gift You have given to Your church. Thank You for prophets who hear Your voice and deliver to the church Your message for contemporary times. I ask for You to increase prophetic awareness in me that I might walk in a stronger relationship to “the testimony of Jesus.”