To whet our appetites even further, let’s look at a passage where the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian church about the impact a prophetic community can have on an unbeliever.
In the fourteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he gives them some practical instruction regarding their gatherings. Specifically, he instructs them on how best to cultivate and operate within a prophetic environment.
Following the bulk of his instructions, Paul introduces a hypothetical scenario in verse 24 in which the community is assembled, worshiping and prophesying, and an outsider, or unbeliever, enters. Being familiar with King Saul’s encounters with Samuel’s company of prophets (1 Samuel 10 & 19), and what occurred on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), it shouldn’t surprise us what happens next.
In the midst of Paul’s hypothetical prophetic environment, he describes the unbeliever as being, similar to Saul’s experience in 1 Samuel 10 & 19, ambushed by the Holy Spirit. Responding to the revelation of their sin from the Holy Spirit they end up on their face worshipping and giving one of their very first prophetic words, “God is really among you!”
Do you realize that the day you turned to follow Jesus you gave your first prophetic word? All prophecy is, is speaking to others what God has shown you by His Spirit (i.e. revelation). For most of us, our first revelation was the Holy Spirit showing us our sin and our need for forgiveness. Our first prophetic word was probably something like, “Jesus, You are Lord.”
Back to “God is really among you.” Can you imagine better feedback from an unbelieving guest regarding your church or small group? I simply cannot.
May your church’s comment cards and Yelp page be filled with such statements. May your church be known by believers and unbelievers alike as “a place where God dwells.”
God’s people are a prophetic community. When we function in the way He created us to function we create prophetic environments. This doesn’t just happen at “church.” These anointed atmospheres can be created in the corner of a Starbucks, on a dormitory floor, in an office break room, and any other place where two or more friends come together to share what God is doing in their lives and give Him glory.
Are we willing to expect this whenever we come together? I say yes!