I grew up in Puerto Rico where we love rice and beans. The best rice and beans I have ever eaten was the one that my grandmother, Genoveva Mercado cooked. My dear grandmother died some years ago and to this day I don’t know how she was able to make white rice and pinto beans taste so good. I am able to cook, but I am, without a doubt, missing one or many ingredients.
That is how I feel about many of the churches I have attended through the years; they are good, good people, good Word, good preaching and teaching, but there is something missing! First Corinthians 14:3
“But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”
I believe that free flow of prophesy is one of those missing ingredients. Let’s look at a key word in this verse:
1. Edification: from the Greek word “Oikodomeo” meaning: “to build a house; to build; well built.”
Many people in the Body of Christ are walking around depressed with very little confidence in God and in the abilities God has given them. Through the years they have been told what they can and cannot do and it has now become their own reality. Many have parents that constantly speak curses over their lives, others engage in terrible relationships where they were told horrible things about themselves, and still others grew up without the personality, the charisma and all of those things the world seeks for. So, they walk around as literal losers; as destroyed houses in need of rebuilding. They have, or are, experienced the hurricanes and tornados of life that have totally destroyed their dreams and purpose. This is where the prophet comes to build up in the Lord and remind God’s people what the Word says about them! Glory to Jesus!
2. Exhortation: from the Greek word Paráklēsis meaning: “a calling to one’s side; to beseech. The act of exhortation, encouragement, comfort. All of Scripture is actually a paráklēsis, an exhortation, admonition or encouragement for the purpose of strengthening and establishing the believer in the faith.” (Vine’s Exp)
Have you ever tried-out for a team? You went to practice and went through the hard training hoping to make the team. Week after week you heard the names of the ones being cut, but then finally, you heard your name called out as one who made it. What an amazing feeling that is! When exhorting someone, we are encouraging that person who perhaps is distant from their call and destiny in God. This is not a passive call, we are earnestly calling or even begging someone to return to God, to walk in His ways and to pursue his/her calling. It is the cry of the coach at halftime as the team is losing; it is the boxing-trainer getting in our faces with only a few rounds to go as we find ourselves tired and ready to give up; it is Wallace in the Mel Gibson movie “Braveheart” telling his army: “They can take our lives, but they cannot take our freedom!” It is Balboa in “Rocky 5” getting a beating on a street in Philadelphia by a young boxer and finding himself almost knocked-out. Nothing was able to give him that adrenaline, that juice and that inspiration to get up, but when he remembered his old coach, Mickey saying “Get up you….” Beloved, this is indeed a passionate call, not just a normal quiet call, but it is almost like it forces us to raise our voices to be heard as our brothers and sisters find themselves so far away from their purpose in God.
3. Comfort: from the Greek word Paramuthía meaning “to console. Exhortation, encouragement. In the NT, consolation, comfort (1 Cor. 14:3). Paramuthía expresses a greater degree of tenderness, at least by word of mouth, than paráklēsis (, comfort, encouragement) which carries a more general sense of helpfulness and comfort.” (Complete Word Study Dictionary NT)
To be a prophet, you don’t have to be loud; even as I see the loud sound of the trumpet as we exhort. When the prophet comforts, he/she is actually very tender. This is when the prophet places his/her arms around you and speaks softly into your destiny. This is when the prophets actually cries with you and helps you carry your burden. Your heart is already broken; you can’t hold back the tears and you feel the infections and pains of your heart and emotions being healed with every word spoken into your life.
My dear brothers and sisters, this is the missing ingredient; we must restore the office of the prophet in the church; we must release edification, exhortation and comfort into the lives of so many that find themselves at the end of the road consumed with the lies of the devil. May the Lord help us to be built up in HIM. May the Lord call us straight into our destiny and may we all be comforted; not for ourselves, but for the glory of God and for the many that are waiting for our full manifestation in Christ Jesus!