What a boring title! Encouragement? Really?
1 Thessalonias 5:11 tells us that we are to “encourage and build one another up..”
Encouragement is quite important in the life of a Christian. The Bible tells us that we should greet one another with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. (Ephesians 5:19). The JB Phillips says that we are to “express [our] joy with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs… “ Although the purpose of everything we do is to honor and love Jesus, expressing our joy out loud is an encouragement to other Song People. The International Standard Version says to “recite to one another songs, hymns, and spiritual songs…” This lifestyle in Jesus that we have is an ecstatic one. Song People are drunk with love for the Lord Jesus (Song of Songs 5:1). Living in constant praise, telling others the good that God is doing, encourages others and builds the faith that is inside them. **Let me make one thing clear about building faith: building faith is not some striving thing; building faith should not cause you to pop a hemorrhoid. What I am talking about here is being around others who are choosing joy and choosing a lifestyle of thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:3-4; Colossians 2:6-7). When you are around a person who has clothed themselves with Jesus and praises God through everything, you are going to be lifted up and your faith will grow…all without you striving to make it grow. Jesus is your faith, Jesus lives inside you, He is Mr. Faith!
Song People change the Atmosphere
By building up those around you, you are creating an atmosphere of joy and faith. Song People get to change the very atmosphere by their presence in a room or area! We determine how things are going to go in any given situation. Choosing optimism, rather than negativity, will always produce good fruit. But Kyle, are you simply saying that we are to be positive and things will change? YES! That is exactly what I’m saying.
Don’t ignore problems or situations. Sometimes there are situations that are dire and simply showing a positive attitude won’t make it go away. Being positive and choosing joy is not about making your problem go away. Trying to do something spiritual, working in other words, in order to get your problem to go away is called divination. However, by choosing to connect with Jesus in your secret place and choosing to clothe yourself with joy and optimism (read this word as HOPE), you will change the very spiritual atmosphere wherever you are located. Jesus is Mr. Optimism, he lives inside you; therefore, you are optimistic. There is no room inside you for negativity.
The Prophetic and Words of Knowledge
I’m not going to spend a ton of time talking about the prophetic here. It will be a basic and very broad definition of it. However, if you are interested in learning more about the prophetic, I recommend Shawn Bolz’s book Translating God.
Prophecy, in a broad word, is for the building up and encouragement of God’s people. Prophecy, at its root, is not about telling the future. That’s not to say that prophecy cannot define the future. Prophecy, though, is mostly used to build up and encourage. The same is true of words of knowledge. Words of knowledge is in the similar spirit of prophecy; however, it’s not necessarily a prophetic word. It can become a prophetic word, but as a word of knowledge, it’s an encouragement that is meant to lead someone into God’s love. Giving someone a word of knowledge will often show them that God is thinking about them, that his thoughts are for them, that they are not alone.
Now I’m not going to go into how people get prophetic words and words of knowledge. I will say that there is no formula and “prophetic people” are not a special class of Christians. Although all can prophesy, not all are prophets. Some flow in the prophetic deeply while others splash around on the surface. Flowing freely in the prophetic takes time. Although it’s not an “elite” gifting, it does take time to hone prophetic skills. Like I said before, prophecy isn’t just future telling or “reading someone’s mail.” Prophecy is taking truths from scripture and speaking it over them. Nothing is more encouraging than telling someone that they are the poetry of God (Song of Songs 7:1 Passion; Ephesians 2:10 Passion). Praying scripture over someone, aligning them with the truth of what God says about them from his word, is the very nature of prophecy.
Although there are many prophetic encouragers out there, there are a few who stand out among the rest. One is Neil Vermillion.
He hears some of the most encouraging and uplifting things from God and posts them on his blog. Then he Tweets them out for all to read. These are words of knowledge for all of the body of Christ. He hits on an array of topics and you always leave feeling like you’ve just been exposed to heaven. This is because it’s all encouragement from prophetic skill aligned with scripture.
Song People encourage one another through staying in a constant state of bliss, praising God through everything. They meet together and tell of how good God is and instead of dwelling on their problems, they dwell on Jesus, the solution to problems. They also use the prophetic and words of knowledge and scripture to encourage each other. They stay in a steady stream of optimism because Mr. Optimism lives on the inside.
If you haven’t yet, download a copy of my free E-chapter of Romans 6. It’s called Mix Tape Bible because I mix various translations together, verse-by,verse, creating a new reading experience.