In my last post, I started to look at the grace gifts that each of has. These speak of the different motivations we use to distribute God’s grace to those around us.
I personally believe, based upon my observation of God’s people, that each of us has only been given one of these gifts. It’s the filter through which we see the world and our ministry.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
The first gift Paul mentions is prophesying. Remember, this is not the ministry of a prophet, but a “prophet’s heart.” This motivation is a heart that desires to speak for God.
This is probably the motivation that’s the easiest to spot in someone. A person with a prophet’s heart will manifest a very dogmatic personality. There are no gray areas with them. Everything is either right or wrong, black or white; there’s no middle ground.
What we need to realize is that each of these motivations can be mishandled. None of us are perfect. If we’re not careful, we can get carried away by the directions of our heart and cause conflict with others of a different heart.
Many times you’ll find someone with a prophet’s heart getting in trouble for what they say. People can easily misunderstand them and think that they’re too legalistic.
The fact is, this grace gift is motivated by a desire to see people reach their fullest potential in Christ. When they see someone missing the mark, they feel the need to warn them. Not to be mean, but to help them live their best life.
The fact is that we need dogmatic people in the body of Christ. They help keep us straight when we’re tempted to leave the path.
I know this from experience. My wife, Cheryl, has the motivation of a prophet’s heart. I find it a blessing to my spiritual walk. However, there have been those who’ve accused her of being mean because they don’t understand what she’s really trying to accomplish.
A great example of this in the Scripture is the apostle, Peter. He definitely walked in this grace gift. Look at his response to Jesus when the Lord tried to wash his feet.
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Peter was that person with no middle ground. His first response, thinking that this act was beneath the Messiah, was that it would never happen. Then, once Christ explained what He was doing, Peter jumps in “whole hog”, and tells Jesus to give him a bath. These are the responses of a prophet’s heart.
That’s why Paul exhorts this person to use this heart in proportion to your faith. Having already told us that faith comes by hearing through a Word from God, it gives us the foundation for this grace gift.
Someone with this gift needs to be careful to only be adamant about what they know they received from God. We have to rely on what God says as truth. That’s the only true foundation for our faith.
If not, we become dogmatic about the laws of men. Being hard-headed about the doctrines of man can cause a lot of unneeded drama in the body of Christ. This causes many to be accused of being self-righteous Pharisees.
Used correctly, this motivation is very much needed in the church. If it’s your gift, cultivate it as the Lord leads you to speak and act on His behalf. It brings God’s grace to keep His people on track with His will.
Questions: Do you have a prophet’s heart? Who do you know with a prophet’s heart?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi