“Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different results, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all. For one person is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, and another the message of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.It is one and the same Spirit, distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things .” ( 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NET)
” And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” – (1 Kings 19:12-12 KJV)
The key to learning, or discerning the “still small voice” of God is to have a daily devotional time of meditation in the Scripture, and to pray for others. And to learn the lost art of silence. The best way I know to develop the gift of prophecy is in small group meetings. This is a safe place to develop your gifting. Just as someone with the gift of teaching needs to practice, the same principle applies to all other spiritual gifts. God often reveals things that bring encouragement in these meetings. He desires to reveal himself in our present circumstances, and over the years, I have heard words given that have impacted lives powerfully. Many of these words have been simple words of encouragement, some have been very specific, but the result is always a sense of awe that God is truly among us.
God still speaks apart from, but not contrary to his Word. And yes, I believe in the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. But it’s actually contrary to the Word of God to teach that the Spirit only communicates through the Bible. Spiritual gifts as well as providential circumstances are means that God uses to communicate to us.
While Scripture is the way we learn sound doctrine, he still likes to guide his children by the Holy Spirit, in very personal ways. We must seek to operate with discernment, (not suspicion) and within Scriptural guidelines. God didn’t give us supernatural gifts just to study about them, but to use them! I believe those who have fed on the Word of God, and embraced sound doctrine, are good candidates to receive prophetic gifting. These believers can better discern true prophecy from false prophecy. Fear of being lead astray can hinder our ability to hear the” still small voice” of God. I would encourage anybody that would like to grow in their ability to hear from God more clearly, to pray for the gift of prophecy.(1 Cor. 14:1) As Dr. Sam Storms says:
” My prayer is to those who have such a high regard for the written word of God would come to see the importance of the “still small voice.” This gifting is meant to be practices . It’s meant to bring comfort and encouragement to believers and to open the hearts of unbelievers to the supernatural God. This gift can be best used in our intercessory prayers for others. Storms also says:”I believe that when people pause and pray, when they linger over one another with intercessory cries, the Spirit is more inclined to speak to them than if they simply pat each other on the back with the standard Christian cliché: “I’ll be praying for you.” Don’t promise to pray for people. Practice praying for them. Just do it! ” – Sam Storms, Practicing The Power, Page 46.
I would recommend reading commentaries, and books by those who believe in the present day operation of spiritual gifts. Wayne Grudem, Craig Keener and Sam Storms are three of my favorites. I will be posting Part Three soon.