This week I was reminded of how the prophetic gift works (the working of the Holy Spirit). I have a friend that I talk to a least a few times a month, and have from quite a few years. We don't see each other often, but God seems to have a purpose in this relationship. And God seems to give me knowledge of certain situations in his life. I find it enriching and fascinating what God has done over the years as we have talked, prayed and thought of each other.
I know there are some readers that don't believe people actually hear directly from God; I have gotten a few e-mails. What I find interesting is this: I am very certain one of the skeptics has been to a psychic. They told me they were dually impressed that the medium knew exactly how many children they had given birth to. The truth is this, even this person believes in supernatural "hearing". However; what I find funny is that once you wrap the word Jesus, or church around that type of hearing, then people want to call it something else. It also falls under a different standard so-to-speak. The psychic can be anyone; even someone in jail, but the church person has to have been perfect their entire life (see the story of Joseph, you can prophesy from jail! See the story of King David, you can do it and be a murderer.).
There are some very good Bible passages that talk about the prophetic gift and the use of diviners, oracles and psychics. Look at the story of King Saul. He relied on the prophets of his day and when they didn't come through, he went to the oracles (which was sin). I honestly think that they in their functioning, they are all the same. The spirit perceives that voice of a supernatural being, it could be God or the Devil, but the same "internal speaker." I also think that people in church should be of good character, but I am certain they are not always. The Bible speaks of the New Testament gifts, and prophecy is just one of them. The fact that people get fairly clear messages from God doesn't surprise me all that much, there is a lot of information in the Bible about it. That is enough rationalization for the reality of prophecy, now on to the story.
I called my friend one day while he lived in Texas and simply asked, "what do you know about Jacksonville?" He replied, "well the company I work for has a office there." I think we were both wondering why I asked the question. Then I felt impressed to say "I think you might be transferred there." He replied, "oh I don't know about that." A few weeks later a position opened up there and he had a couple of interviews, neither of which he felt confidant in, but he got the position anyway. I don't remember all that details, but he was there for a few years before God brought him back to TX. We laugh about it from time to time because it was a tough time for him there in FL.
I have another friend that this happens with too. It was a similar situation. He was working with a small company and had been for some years. I called one Sunday and said "I don't know how much longer the job is going to last." That Friday they called him into the office and basically said there wasn't enough work to keep him on. We talked about the end of the job on the phone that Saturday. As we spoke on the phone I saw a picture of a building in my spirit that was orange and black and white. I decided that it was a big chain building supply company. My friend seemed interested figuring that if God knew that his job was ending that he would at least go and fill out an application. We had previously worked in carpentry together so this was not really a stretch for him; he knew the building materials industry well. He stopped in and filled out the application but didn't' hear anything from them. We decided that maybe I had missed it, so he applied at, and took a job at, another big chain building supply store. It didn't go well, I think he was there a week and just didn't fit in. We spoke again and felt impressed that the first one, was that place. I saw that picture of a man in my spirit and described him in detail. When my friend finally interviewed with the manager, it was the man that i had described. Needless to say, he got the job and has been there a almost 10 years. Once in a while we talk about those days when God amazed us both.
The prophetic gift should be available for those that need to hear from God. It is not the only way that it happens, but it is certainly one that will usually encourage you. The Body of Christ works with all of the gifts complimenting each other. There are 15 or 20 gifts to the Body described in the Bible (1 Cor 12, Romans 12 Eph 4). They are not parlor tricks, they are not for us... no they are a gift to the church. Used with discernment, love and humility, they are of great value to all.