"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." —Jeremiah 29:11
Prophecy is where God speaks through a person that which He wants spoken at a particular moment. It could be something to do with the present, so you could say that a preacher who expounds God's Word and applies it directly to his congregation is prophesying. Sometimes we want a sensational word about the future, but what we need is knowing what to do now, and God speaks through the preaching of His Word. Yet there is such a thing as predictive prophecy, when we predict and God fulfills what is said. Isaac and Rebekah prayed, then a prophetic word came to Rebekah: "The Lord said to her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger'" (Gen. 25:23). Prophecy is God's idea. He not only determines things in advance, but sometimes He also reveals things in advance.
It is no accident you were born when and where you were. There was a reason. You may say that your parents didn't want you, that you're an "accident," but you are wrong. God wanted you to be born, and He chose the womb from which you should enter this world. I understand if you have a low view of yourself because you feel you were never wanted. You've grown up with a feeling of rejection. But consider this: God wanted you. You are here on purpose. God determines where and when a person should be born. He alone gives life, and those who are born to us aren't ours, but His.
Equally important, God also determines our new birth. Jesus said to a man by the name of Nicodemus, "You must be born again" (John 3:7). The phrase born again has been abused, and people laugh at it. But the truth is, you can be born of the Spirit and come in touch with the true God. He put you here, and there is a plan for your life.
Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).