The concepts of prophecy and spiritual warfare often seem mysterious, overwhelming or downright strange to many believers. There can be a misconception that functioning in these areas is something reserved for the “super-spiritual.” Lack of understanding and solid teaching causes many people to miss out on some of the most powerful--and most fun--aspects of our relationship with God.
Why the Prophetic?
We believe and have experienced again and again that God still speaks to His people today. In its simplest form, prophecy is seeing what God sees, hearing what He’s saying, and speaking His truth into a person or circumstance; it is the privilege of delivering His messages. In teaching about spiritual gifts, the apostle Paul said that we should eagerly desire to operate in all the gifts, but especially the gift of prophecy, because when we prophesy, people are strengthened, encouraged, and comforted (see 1 Corinthians 14:1-3).
Prophecy is unique in that it conveys a message the speaker would not have known without God revealing it. It is especially powerful when people who do not know God realize that He sees them, and that He knows and cares about the intimate details of their lives.
Prophetic words can announce something God is going to do, confirm something He has been saying, reveal the solution for a question or struggle being faced, bring correction to an area out of line with His will, offer encouragement to a weary soul, and much more.
This gift offers Christians the opportunity to truly be a body--to function in unity and love in order to build each other up and encourage each other into God’s destiny, individually and collectively.
Perhaps you are reading this and thinking, “This has not been my experience with prophecy at all!” Unfortunately, this gift does get manipulated and misused at times because of both the enemy’s deception and our own flawed humanity. That is why growing in our understanding of the prophetic is so important. We want to always handle the sacred trust of speaking on God’s behalf with humility, wisdom, and most importantly, love (see 1 Corinthians 13:2).
It does not take much to recognize that there are clashes between good and evil taking place all the time in our world; what we don’t always recognize is the bigger picture or our role in it all.
When Jesus died on the cross, He broke the power of the devil once and for all; Paul even writes that Jesus made a public spectacle out of the powers of sin and death (see Colossians 1:13-15). Where Satan was determined to separate God’s most precious creation--His people--from their Father through sin and destruction, Jesus made a way to redeem us and bring us back into relationship with God.
But final judgement and punishment for Satan is still to come (see Revelation 20:7-10); in the meanwhile, the enemy works relentlessly to turn the hearts of men away from God and to sabotage God’s plans and purposes in the earth.
Through prayer and through the insight of the prophetic, the Holy Spirit allows us to see the reality of this struggle and to be part of pushing back darkness. We are able to clearly recognize that people are not the enemy; there are spiritual forces of evil at work in our world (see Ephesians 6:12).
We are given the metaphor of warfare to highlight the reality of the conflict, but we are reminded that our “weapons” are not what the world would consider weapons at all (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
We don’t have to be afraid because when we accept the work that Jesus did on the cross, God gives us authority over darkness. Our prayers, words, actions and spiritual gifts all have power to rescue people from sin, to expose Satan’s deception, and to bring the light of God’s love and truth into dark places.
Sometimes spiritual warfare can seem harsh or militant; the language itself understandably carries negative connotations, especially in our war-torn modern world. But the positive implications of the term are found in a healthy understanding of strength, unity, and strategy. God desires to give His people the power, insight, and tools to invade darkness with His light and bring freedom to people’s lives.
Through the prophetic and spiritual warfare, our relationship with God takes on a whole new dimension. We become aware of a purpose and story unfolding that is bigger than just us, and we get the opportunity to actively partner with God in redeeming the world. This is why we are committed to teaching and equipping the body of Christ about these things--we don’t want you to miss out!