"now hear the word of the lord!" (am 7:16)
"The Lord took me from following the flock, and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to My people Israel.' " —Amos 7:15
The gift of prophecy is to be sought above all other gifts (1 Cor 14:1). We need to hear prophecy because, like a two-edged sword, it will penetrate and divide soul and spirit (Heb 4:12). Prophecy will judge "the reflections and thoughts of the heart" (Heb 4:12). Because prophecies are messages from God, they are not easily dismissed. We naturally resist God's words, for His ways and thoughts are as different from our ways and thoughts as the heavens are high above the earth (Is 55:8-9). However, prophecy resists our resistance.
Prophecy stands up for itself. It fights against our hardness of heart. Because prophecy cannot be chained (2 Tm 2:9), easily brushed off, or forgotten, it is easier to throw the prophets out of town or to kill them than it is to dismiss their prophecies (see Am 7:12). This shows how powerful and undying prophecies are. This helps us understand why prophecy raised the dry bones of a sinful nation from the dead (Ez 37:4) and why the Church is founded on the apostles and the prophets (Eph 2:20).
Instead of rejecting prophecy and persecuting prophets, pray to receive prophecy. Pray: "Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening (1 Sm 3:9). Lord, penetrate and purify my heart with Your prophetic word."
Prayer: Father, only say the word and I shall be healed (Mt 8:8).
Promise: "Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven." —Mt 9:2
Praise: St. Anthony healed both bodies and souls, having studied both theology and medicine.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on A Prophetic Lifestyle on audio AV 75-3 or video V-75.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2012
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