I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and now, I am convinced, is in you also. Therefore, I remind you to rekindle (fan into flame) the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. – 2 Timothy 1:5-7
When prompted by the Spirit to ministry, whether here or outside the walls of this building, don’t request or expect a defined explanation on how, just follow that prompting and allow the Spirit to enable you to take the next step in the direction He would have you to go, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). We cannot allow anything to stifle/quench the Spirit, to render us lifeless in the Service of God and His Church. Worldliness, pride, attitude and the fear of what others say -or may say – can stifle the Spirit and must be put to death. Ego must be crucified (Galatians 2:20).
When you allow the Spirit to lead you, following His promptings, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, you will not follow a selfish, self-centered path; for He leads us into paths of righteousness that lead to that narrow gate, that one true way, the only way; Jesus Christ. The path that you are following is different than mine with its own hills of suffering, valleys of depression, and pits and pot holes of doubt and despair; but there will also be mountains of joy, vast plains of forgiveness, and plenty of love to fill those pits and pot holes. The best part is God will, and does, use all those things to get us home (Romans 8:28-29).
The next thing we are not to do, is to despise prophecies. Back then they did not have God’s written Word, so, missionaries/prophets like Paul, Silas, and Timothy were how they received teaching and instruction from God. A prophet came and spoke from God all that they were instructed to by God, which is what Paul was doing, having been instructed by Jesus as we learned from the letter to the Galatian Church. So, a prophet is one who speaks forth the word of God. God gives a word to His prophet and they speak it forth to the people. Often this was the foretelling of what would happen but it is also the teaching or preaching of what was already foretold like it is today, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
It seems that in the Thessalonian church the gift of prophesying was being despised by some. Therefore, Paul gives a direct command that believers were not to despise what the prophets said. They might not like it, they might not agree with it, but they were to receive it for what it was: God’s Word to His people. To despise the speaking of God’s Word from male or female…
In 2 Peter 1 we are told, “Above all, you know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” This is still true for the teachers, pastors and preachers today we are given through reading, study of the Word, prayer, guidance and inspiration of the Spirit, the message we should preach. That all comes from God’s Word.
But none of us are like the prophets of the Bible. We are merely foretelling what they foretold, teaching what they taught, and preaching what they preached, expounding and explaining without taking away or adding to what is written. But what is preached and taught must never contradict God’s written Word (1St John 4:1-3)! This is why it is so important to know the Word of God!
You should be testing everything that is taught, preached, and said through and by the completed Word of God. No one should be telling you that they have received something that goes against what God has clearly already told us. No one, no matter their office or rank or title, is to add to or subtract from God’s Holy Word (Revelation 22:18-19). Proverbs 30 tells us, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Don’t add to His words, or He will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.”
Deuteronomy 18:21-22 – A true prophet’s future prophecy will come about – their predictions will come true. A true prophet only seeks to bring glory to God, never seeking glory for themselves
Matthew 7:15-20 – A true prophet will show good works and bear forth the fruit of the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:3-4 – A true prophet will look to strengthen, comfort, and buildup the Church body by their testimony as well as encouraging them to keep growing in their knowledge of God and in their faith. They will be seeking for the good of the Church and the local congregation to which God has called them.
1 John 4:1-3 – A true prophet believes and preaches that Jesus came and walked this earth in the flesh as a man but that He was also fully God who put on flesh in order to redeem all those who choose to believe and follow Him.
Are you ready to start a fire in our communities? It has to start here! The fire must spread form the local Church. We must fan into flame, or rekindle, the gifts God has blessed us with! Take your next step…. Do not stifle the Spirit, instead, “stifle yourself” – Deny the flesh, put to death what belongs to the flesh… God has called us, His Church, to go into their communities, to prophecy, spread the Gospel, and be a witnesses of God’s love.
Don’t stifle the Spirit, step out in faith, be obedient to the promptings of the Spirit and the Written Word (which is Spirit inspired).
- Do you want to see the fire of revival?
- Is the fire of the Spirit burning inside you?
- Are you ready to start a fire in our communities?
Further Reading: Ephesians 4:30, Matthew 3:11, Acts 2:3, 17-18, Acts 21:8-9, Romans 12:11, Romans 16:7, Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:16-18, Matthew 28:1-7, Judges 4:4, 2 Chronicles 34:19-28, Ephesians 2:19-21, Ephesians 4:17-32
For more on women in ministry, check out this sermon. Do not quench the Spirit…