Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.
These are the closing words of what we know as the 14th Chapter of First Corinthians. In these writings, Paul uses this particular chapter to address Prophetic gifts and the much needed instruction for the church. Even though this would be a problem then, it is still a problem to this day. We still live in a culture that has to be reminded from time to time about the importance of walking from a place of prophetic maturity.
Grace that Matures
When you begin your walk in Prophetic Ministry you quickly learn that the journey ahead will be one of many errors, mistakes, and "should have never said" moments along the way. Yes, you will get a lot of words correct, but the accuracy will often be developed through an intense growth process. This is where many simply throw their hands up in surrender, as they can't handle the difficulties that come with prophetic ministry. Today, many have been groomed to think that we are never to make mistakes, but the reality is, we will. This is the beauty that is often discovered in your walk through Grace. Not only has God mandated your life in prophetic ministry, but He has also equipped you with the grace that is necessary to mature your walk with Christ. It's sad that many who exercise the gift of prophecy fail to see that Grace is there to help you mature, and not simply a part of your life to excuse your error.
When we are baptized in Holy Spirit we have the gift of prophecy operating in our lives. As great as this is, I am very concerned with the recklessness that I often see demonstrated within the Body of Christ. Although concerned, I am also encouraged at the hunger that many have to walk out the fullness of Holy Spirit in their lives. This is why Grace is so valuable in the prophetic. The only way that we will ever see others developed in the Kingdom of God is to see them step out from time to time. We have to be willing to let others make mistakes and at the same time, instruct them through growth process. Grace should never be the reason of a mistake to be overlooked, rather it's the opportunity to see others developed into maturity.
Grace that receives Correction
When we release words through the gift of prophecy, we have to also be willing to allow the same Grace to position us for the necessary correction from time to time. In our current culture, correction has become a very toxic word where it seems to offend the multitude. Truth is, correction is a part of the Kingdom and therefore a part of our growth. I will be the first to admit that there is a right time and a right way to go about correction. I strongly believe that you should never correct those whom you do not have a personal relationship with. Correction without relationship breeds anarchy. Although there is error and mistakes made in prophetic ministry, it does not give anyone and everyone the right to be the correction monitor of the church.
In order for correction to be fully received, it will be necessary for it to come from someone who cares enough to take the time to help through the error and mistakes. I cannot stress this enough...YOU need accountability in your life. Whether it is a spiritual father/mom, a mentor, a Pastor, an Apostle, etc...you need someone who can take the time to sit you down when needed. It will be because of this relationship, you will be able to receive correction. Oh it won't be easy, and often it will be extremely painful (personally), it will be needed in order to develop you. This is why Grace will be so valuable to you as it's Grace, in the midst of the pain that causes you to open up to correction.
It's because of the accountability in your life that will cause you to question, "Why are they correcting me?". Even though your flesh will want to rise up (immaturity), Grace enables you to try to understand where they are coming from. We cannot forget that Paul, although distant at times, had developed a relationship with those who he wrote correction to. It's because of that, his correction would be received with the understanding of maturity for their walk in Christ.
Grace Welcomes Instruction
No matter what the circumstance requires in correction, there will always be the need for instruction. It's here where many who operate in Prophetic Ministry simply walk away. It does begin at the moment of correction, however, it is a spirit of offense that easily develops into pride in prophetic people. Prophetic people will often battle a root of pride. It's just a reality of the nature of the call. We have to be aware of how easy pride roots its way into our mindset and transforms you. Prophetic people, whether they recognize it or not can take a spirit of offense at the hem of correction. Although they ultimately receive the correction, if they don't internally deal with the offense, it will manifest into pride. Pride will immediately create in you the mindset that no one will tell you what to do or how to do it. Pride will position you for your downfall, but take your reputation with you as well.
Grace permits your heart to be open to the instruction that is necessary through the correction. When you open your heart to instruction, your mind becomes shifted in the proper alignment of wisdom. Yes, you are prophetic, but you are not beyond instruction from those around you that can give you wisdom. Prophetic people will often have understanding and knowledge about certain things, but often they will lack in the importance of wisdom. Prophetic wisdom is an outward manifestation of inward prophetic maturity. This is what Paul is doing in these letters to the Corinthians. He wasn't just bringing about correction, but also implementing instruction. Grace develops within prophetic people the willingness to walk out the instruction for growth. Not only growth as individuals, but for a corporate body of believers as well.
Glory Follows Order
Through it all, the greatest understanding of Paul's letters is that Glory follows order. We may never have the big picture of how it all works, but the Kingdom of God can be discovered through greater levels of outpouring when we are in alignment with Heaven. There is absolutely, positively, no doubt that our generation needs prophetic people more than ever. What we don't need is a bunch of hyped-up, pacified, under-achieving, offered, and pathetic-prophetic people. We need those who are willing to surrender their lives to prophetic ministry, to also surrender their self desire and will to the development of maturity. The beauty within the maturity is that God has given you Grace to develop into the Son/Daughter that He always intended you to be.
We can no longer be just Weird, Over-the-Top, Reckless, and Lone Ranger prophetic Sons/Daughters. There is a purpose to your identity and through that purpose will come maturity developing you into someone that God doesn't occasionally use, but someone He can continually use. Allow Order to develop you into the flow of His Glory. It's time for the Prophetic to Mature that the nations of the earth will recognize the Glory of God's Kingdom!