David Ash
Learning to be flexible & growing in the prophetic

I was so stirred by what John Batten spoke about a couple of weeks ago (Church of Word and Spirit) where he highlighted a number of areas in church life which are missing due to the way we are currently meeting. His message really got me thinking and wondering how can we help each other share what God puts on our hearts in this season?

One of those areas he felt is missing at the moment is the spontaneity of church life, of being able to bring prophetic words or praying for breakthrough in the moment. The current style of our services can feel quite structured and the danger is that we forget that God wants to break through and speak to us as a church through the gifts of the Holy Spirit especially words of prophecy, encouragement and wisdom.

A Big Thank You
One thing to say at this point is a big thank you! Thank you, to those of you who have stepped out and shared prophetic words and encouragement both during our recorded meetings and on social media or during your Lifegroup meetings, we have been so encouraged! Thank you for trying new things and for being faithful with what you felt God speaking to you.

There is no doubt that God can speak to us during our times of spirit led worship and through a well brought and spirit led preaching but there is a danger that because we can't be spontaneous that we rule out prophecy totally.

So I'd encourage you as we have in the past to prepare your hearts for our times of online worship and to think about what the Holy Spirit may want you to bring to the church as a whole.

How can you share a prophetic word at the moment?
If you believe God has given you a prophetic word, a picture or a word of wisdom or encouragement, please do get in touch with the church office by phone 01332 322655 or by email info@jubilee.org.uk or get in touch with me direct. The earlier in the week the better! Let's see what God is saying to us.

Please don't worry if you aren't confident to film something yourself. We'd encourage you to write it down, draw it but most of all simply to share it with us and we can help you work out a way of sharing what God is speaking to you!

If you do find God speaking to you in the moment during our meeting, why not hit the 'Live Prayer' button to the left or above the chat and share it with one of the host team? They will be able to help you know the best way to share this with everyone.

Learning to Be Flexible
What if God is trying to teach us a new flexibility in this season?
So whilst there is no doubt that our times can still be spirit led even though they are being pre-recorded, it's easy to dismiss prophecy because we aren't able to bring something spontaneously.

This concerns me as I wonder if part of the reason we may be feeling that, is that actually the only prophetic we have experience in is spontaneous and in the moment, on a Sunday morning. We have no concept of listening to or seeking the Holy Spirit during our day to day. Have we moved something which God intended to be a gift for all of life, into something which only really impacts an hour or two a week on a Sunday morning. This means that we're not even thinking about asking God to speak to us during this season because we can't be spontaneous like we would usually be.

John is totally right we miss these spontaneous moments but God has so much more than this for us as a church family especially at this time. Could God be wanting to teach us some different gifts in these days, which will bless us in the years ahead? Maybe he is teaching us something about the importance of other sorts of gifts, of not relying so much on the spontaneous?

Remember the excellent message which Andy Robinson brought to us entitled "What if?" (What if?). What if through this season, God is simply re-positioning us for success, for greater breakthrough? What if, He is teaching us to work with Him in different ways.

You see, you don't have to be spontaneous to be prophetic! Whilst prophecy can come spontaneously in the moment, when we feel God's presence during a meeting, it can also come over the course of a couple of days. God can also speak to us whilst we are simply going about our daily lives, if we are open to the Holy Spirit speaking into our hearts.

You see if the goal of our spontaneity is to hear God's heart and respond in the moment, then we also need to be developing a listening ear to God's voice throughout the week. Often people expect God to speak and move during a time of worship but have neglected listening to His voice in their home, office or on their journey to work.

Sometimes it's really hard in those moments to know what God may be saying, what His prompting may be and what is just a wild but very human thought. But what if it's the very wisdom of God, slipping into our day to day, may be a word of encouragement or breakthrough for someone? What if we miss this?

We all have lots going on in our lives, work, study, may be children, relatives or friends, the next Zoom call or our favourite TV show and may be you even want to squeeze in some time to relax! I'm not really asking for you to fit something else into a busy schedule but rather wanting to remind all of us, me included, that this should be part and parcel of the outworking of our walk with God. It's asking Holy Spirit to speak into our lives in our day to day, being ready to listen, even in the midst of the chaos around us at the moment.

A great time to practice and encourage one another, in this, is during our small groups or when spending time time with trusted friends who can encourage us to grow.

We believe that God can and will use all of us in our community in the gifts of the spirit and we are taught in the Bible to eagerly desire these gifts especially the gift of prophecy. These can also be words of wisdom and timely words of encouragement. What we have to remember especially in this season is that we need to be flexible and use wisdom as we grow in these gifts in different ways.

You don't have to always use the same method
If you spend any time in the gospels, you'll see that Jesus rarely prayed for people or healed them in the same way twice. He was very much attuned to the environment, situation or person in front of Him. The Bible speaks of this attitude by saying that Jesus 'saw what the father was doing'. As we grow we need to be able to be flexible, not rigid in our style. If you are used to bringing prophetic words spontaneously, I would encourage you to spend time praying and seeking God during the week and asking Him what He would have you share prophetically, or who you should encourage during the week.

It can be so easy to step out in a moment, but get stuck in a style of sharing, which whilst it may speak to us, may totally miss someone else. Just think about it, the youth of today would find you sharing a prophetic word in Old English out of touch and verging on the irrelevant but you could bring what God has spoken using modern and relevant language with the same underlying meaning and find that it would be more readily accepted because you would be immediately understood. We don't want to alienate our audience!

What I'm trying to say is that the thing we should be dependent upon is not 'our way of doing things' but on the Holy Spirit. Growing in wisdom when referring to spiritual gifts, is learning to know what to do or not to do and when to do it or not. Wisdom enables us to be both loving and flexible, allowing our gift to be expressed in different ways, for different people, whilst still allowing God's character and power to be ministered to those around us.

As we grow in gifting, especially in prophecy we need to always be aware of our purpose. It is not about a role or a title, nor is it about looking good in front of people. It's really about being fruitful and faithfully representing Jesus to a hungry world. Our purpose is to help others connect to God and become true worshippers and followers of Jesus.

So I'd encourage you as we have in the past to prepare your hearts for our times of online worship and to think about what the Holy Spirit may want you to bring to the church as a whole.

What if one of the areas God is wanting to shape us in, is learning to seek him in a different way, at this time.

So if you think you've got something or you want help weighing it or aren't sure how to share it then call the church office, speak to your LifeGroup leader or another leader in the church but please don't keep it to yourself!

I trust you find this helpful in encouraging you to step out, if you've already been doing this, treat this as a well done and an encouragement to keep going!

Thank you so much Jubilee!