- Category: About Susan Mulford About Susan Mulford
- Published on Monday, 08 April 2013 03:17 08 April 2013
- Written by Susan Mulford Susan Mulford
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When you read 1 Corinthians 12, you will see that Paul is describing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 14, he describes how to prophesy in a group with others taking turns. So if we read it in context, 1 Corinthians 13 is really describing how to prophesy with the love of God. Paul wrote it to teach the church how to interact with one another when using the gifts of the Spirit in a loving way. Most examples of how to prophesy were in the Old Testament consisting of harsh prophets who thundered God’s judgments in a spirit of anger. Since we are on the New Testament side of the cross now, prophetic people are now called to prophesy (which is to encourage, edify and comfort) with a spirit of love and mercy and grace. Prophesying without the love of God is misrepresenting God because it says in 1 John 4:8 that God is love. In the New Testament, the love of God is the true prophetic motivation. Perhaps the Corinthians were prophesying in angry harsh tones like the Old Testament prophets did. Maybe this is why Paul wrote the famous love chapter.
Knowing this, Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13 which says (NIV): “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that I could move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
This is my commentary of what I believe Paul was thinking when he wrote the following section:
Love is patient. This means that love is long suffering as well. When you read 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 you will see how much Paul suffered for the Gospel, but God’s love suffers long. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 “to love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those who hate you and to pray for those who persecute you” and that takes patience. If there are several prophetic people present, then you must be patient to “wait your turn” to prophesy.
Love is kind. To be kind means to be sympathetic, forbearing, of a pleasant nature, benign and gracious. Prophetic people need to phrase their prophetic words in a kind way because prophesying is encouraging, edifying and comforting.
Love does not envy Love does not envythe evangelist that does mighty healing miracles. Love does not envy another’s prophetic gift or anointing. In 1 Corinthians 12:11 the Lord gives the different gifts of the spirit to each one, just as He determines. It is His decision and His will. The Lord showed me that when you envy another’s gift, you are questioning God or striving with Him. Isaiah 45:9 says, “Woe to the man who strives with His maker.”
Instead of complaining and envying in your heart, you need to repent and be thankful and content with what you do have and concentrate on developing that. When you are faithful in the anointing that you do have, God will give you more. Love does not compare itself to others in a competitive way. He who compares himself with others is not wise (2 Cor. 10:12). Many people do not understand the trials, the attacks, and the persecution that prophetic people go through because of the anointing they carry that the enemy so hates. God requires them to make much higher sacrifices as well. So be happy being who God made you. Paul said in Phil 4:11:
“ I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Love does not boast. Do not boast in having a prophetic gift. You must remember that when you have any spiritual gift, that it was given to you by His grace. You did not work to get it. You did not earn it as a prize, therefore there is nothing to boast about. Do not boast of how much you gave in the offering either. Love testifies and boasts of what God has done. When you lay hands of the sick and they are healed, God gets the glory.
Love is not proud. I imagine Paul might have been thinking of the prideful pastor saying to a prophetic minister in I Corin. 12: 20-21: “I have no need of you.” We need every part of the five-fold ministry working together in order for the church to operate at its maximum potential.
Do not be prideful that you have a prophetic gift or anointing or even that you are a pastor, evangelist or teacher either. Remember Psalm 75:6-7 and I Peter 5:6 – “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under that might hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” The more grace you receive, the more anointing you will receive to minister on His behalf. If you are prideful, you will pollute your prophetic gift. Pride is what caused Satan to fall. To tell you the truth, I think it is hard to be prideful when you prophesy because many times I am in as much awe as the person receiving the prophetic word because in all humility we both know that the prophetic word did not come from me, but from God and so we give Him all the glory.
Love is not rude. To be rude means to be impolite or discourteous. It says in 1 Cor 14:32 “for you can all prophesy in turn.” So be mindful or others and be courteous so that everyone can contribute what God puts on their heart. If you are upset with someone, forgive them before prophesying over them lest it comes out in a rude manner.
Love is not self-seeking Love is giving and self-sacrificing. Your motive for prophesying should be to serve others, to edify, encourage or comfort others seeking nothing for yourself in return. A few prophetic ministers that I have watched seem to prophesy with the intent to seek money in return. Only the Lord knows their hearts and so I would not judge them with a ten foot pole. When ministering, just check your heart knowing that God knows exactly why you are doing what you are doing. Walk in the fear of the Lord. God will supply your financial needs by His spirit not through prophetic control or manipulation.
Love is not easily angered. If you are a Pastor that gets a flaky or strange, or false, or judgmental prophetic word, remember that love is not easily angered. It would be best if you would gently say: “I appreciate you trying your wings and stepping out in faith. That did not make sense to me, but I will put it on a shelf and it may make sense to me later. I encourage you to continue seeking God and use your gifts for His glory.” Also you cannot prophesy in love if you are angry or in unforgiveness. You must repent of any bitterness and get free in this area if you want your prophetic words to come forth untainted and pure as gold.
Love keeps no record of wrongs. You must forgive everyone for everything if you want to prophesy with purity and with accuracy. When you think about all the terrible things that Paul went through in 2 Corin. 11:24-29, it is amazing that he wrote this love chapter at all. If you are having difficulty forgiving, ask God for grace through showing you something about that person or something about their past that will help you understand them more. Paul understood his persecutors because before he was radically saved on the Road to Damascus in Acts 9:3, he was the same way. Imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes. I believe that the more you understand someone, the easier it is to forgive them. Remember that hurt people hurt people.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. I have found that many people who “delight in evil” enjoy judging someone who falls into sin, especially if it is a pastor, and then capitalizing upon it. Pastors are notorious for cutting down other pastors in their city to build up their own church especially if they committed some kind of moral failure or sin. We need unity. The army of God is the only army that shoots down and tries to kill their own wounded. How? With their wicked reckless words that pierce like a sword (Prov. 12:18). Judgmental insecure weak pastors seem to forget that we are not fighting each other, but we are fighting the devil in our collective battle to win the world to Jesus Christ. It says in Gal 6:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The problem is many Christians and even pastors are not truly spiritual, but are still walking in the flesh. Let’s do what the Bible says and walk in love.
Love always protects In 2 Cor. 11:33 the Christians protected Paul and let him down in a basket through a window so that he could escape his persecutors. Now aren’t you glad that love protected Paul? If they had not protected him, we may have lost much of the New Testament that we have today. If you have a prophetic anointing, God may reveal to you the sin of a pastor or church leader, but remember that love protects. The purpose of God revealing it to you is for you to pray or intercede that they will get right with God. It is not for you to gossip about. I would not even tell another intercessor. If God wanted them to pray, then He would tell them too. I believe that telling others (even other intercessors) about some sin that God has shown you in a church leader’s life borders on “touching God’s anointed.” So just pray for the Pastor or church leader in question. If they hurt you in any way, forgive them and trust in God to bring about restoration or vengeance for you.
If you have a correcting word for the pastor in the area of (moral failure, financial impropriety, teaching heresy or uncontrolled emotions) don’t tell him in front of his congregation, for that would bring him public shame and could scatter the flock. Remember that love protects. Pray and pray and intercede first and if God tells you to, then obey God and set up an appointment and tell him in his office with an elder there.
If when you are ministering at a service and God shows you a sin in someone’s life, turn the microphone off and then quietly address the issue and minister the prophetic word or vision so that no one can hear. After you quietly deliver it, be sure to ask, “Does this make sense to you?” Do not assume that you know what the vision means. Some prophetic people get visions, but they get the interpretation wrong of what that vision really means. For e.g., if you see a vision of a stethoscope, you may assume he is a doctor, but it could also mean that he sells medical equipment. Prophetic ministers, find out exactly where your on/off switch is on your lavalier mic because love protects.
Love always trusts Trust is relying on God and putting your faith in Him. You have to trust the Lord in prophesying. It is a walk of faith. You not only have to trust Him to give you the prophetic word, you also have to trust Him in how you will you be able to deliver it.
The winter of ’98 the Lord prompted me to go to a Rick Renner meeting and prophesy over him and his wife Denise. The only problem was it was very icy and I hate driving on ice. I prayed Psalm 91 and drove only 15 – 20 mph, but I finally got there. Because of that treacherous drive, I was determined to obey God and prophesy over them and not wimp out. I told an usher that I had a prophetic word for them and so he closed a couple of French doors to get me alone with them and away from the crowd. I got my little tape recorder out and started prophesying in song. They were so receptive and so encouraged by the prophetic word, which was all about remaining in the peace of God in the midst of the storm. Then they encouraged me that I had a precious gift and to keep prophesying.
Trust in God’s favor for you to prophesy to another minister. For example, my friendship with Rev. Curry Blake and his wife, Dawn Blake, (who is the overseer of John G. Lake Ministries) gave me favor to prophesy over his friend David Hogan. He is a missionary to Mexico and has raised over 25 people from the dead. That intimidated me, but I bound up the spirit of the fear of man and then prophesied over him in song. He was so touched and encouraged by the word that he had tears in his eyes. I am so glad I obeyed God. If you trust God, He will make a way and He will make room for your gift to prophesy.
Love always hopes. A prophecy should always give hope. Hope is so underestimated. It is the anchor of the soul. You have to have hope to even be able to stir up your faith. Hope is where it all begins. When all else fails, when you have hope, you will make it.
Love always perseveres. In the face of persecution, love perseveres. In the face of horrific persecution, Paul said that the love of Christ compels him (2 Cor. 5:14). When you are walking in the prophetic anointing, you need to persist in spite of difficulties. The healing of this wound between pastors and prophets takes perseverance. I thank God for those who champion the cause of restoring the desire and the operations of the prophetic ministry back to Jesus’ Bride.
Love Never Fails If you say a prophetic word with the love of God, it will not fail to strengthen, encourage and edify the person receiving it, even if it is a little off.
One prophetic word from God can change your whole life – for the better!
Remember that in 1 Corinthians 14:1 and a couple verses later in verse 3 it says:
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. He who prophesies speaks edification, and exhortation and comfort