I've had the opportunity to receive prophetic words a few times since we arrived at Bethel. "Prophetic" is a new word in common usage in my vocabulary. Five years ago, if you'd said the word "prophecy" to me, I would have assumed you were talking about the Old Testament prophets, or possibly John the Baptist.
But amongst the crazy Christians I'm now acquainted with, "prophecy" has taken on a different significance. It means God speaking into the here and now to communicate to us what His plans and purposes are.
After all, if we have the mind of Christ and we're His sheep who hear His voice, we should be able to hear what He has to say about the world and the people in it, right?
Also, Acts 2 talks about how we're living in a time when sons and daughters prophesy. No longer is the function of a prophet just left up to the dudes who wear animal skins and eat locusts, it's for all of us.
The other day at school, we had an opportunity to receive prophecy from second-year students here. I sat down with a young couple in their late twenties. The guy took one look at me and said, "Do you write, at all?" I nodded. He said, "I feel like you have a strong gift for writing and God is really going to bless that... maybe it's a book." K. This guy just met me. How did he know that?
They went on to speak really encouraging things about me. About all kinds of areas of my life -- from home to ministry to social situations. And about how God plans to bless those areas.
God is so interested in speaking to us. He longs for a living, active relationship with us in which we hear His voice. And He understands that there are so many negative voices -- in our heads and in the world -- that are discouraging. Coming here has been tough on an identity that rested for years on the laurels of close friends and a small church community that knew me well. Now, here, with no job, ministry, friends, family or even familiar faces, hearing how God sees me and my gifts and my life is even more powerful.
I believe He wants to encourage us by how He sees us. In His eyes, we are righteous, holy, powerful world-changers. We are His sons and daughters. He wants to tell us about His plans and gifts for us so we learn who we really are.