September 2008

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be outnumbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!
—Psalm 139:17-18, NLT


God delights in sharing His innermost thoughts with His people. The Scripture passage quoted above seems to imply that His thoughts are constantly directed toward us—it says “they outnumber the grains of sand.”

According to the prophecy recorded in Joel 2:28, the revelatory thoughts of God will abound in the last days, serving as a guiding force for the people of God.

Someone has said that prophecy is “the verbalized expression of God’s thoughts through a Spirit-inspired person to a particular individual or group at a precise moment for an exclusive purpose.” In order to understand the prophetic nature of God, one must trace the term “prophecy” or “prophetic” through the Word of God. The first prophetic word recorded in Scripture was given after the fall (see Gen. 3:14-15). It was spoken by God Himself to Adam, Eve and the serpent.

Later God introduced the term “prophet” (see Gen. 20:6-7). It was a descriptive term used to describe Abraham and his role in blessing the nations.

The next reference to the prophetic in Scripture appears in descriptions of Moses’ ministry. The thoughts of God were given to Moses and then spoken to the people in the form of commands and statutes. The exodus out of Egypt had left the Israelites without laws or ordinances to live by, so God prophetically inspired Moses and commanded him to write down His laws for them.

In the middle of the exodus God made an interesting statement regarding the use of the prophetic gift. When He was addressing the elders on the mountain of God, the spirit of prophecy fell on them (see Num. 11:24-25). Seeing this, Moses made a remark that reveals the heart of God concerning the prophetic word: “‘I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them all!’” (v. 29).

Centuries later, the prophet Joel emphasized the importance of God’s communication with us by revealing that the Spirit would be given to all people in the last days, opening the way for all people to receive prophecy and special thoughts from God (see Joel 2:28-29).

Are you open to the prophetic? Do you see yourself receiving and speaking forth special thoughts from God? Go ahead; allow the prophetic to blossom in your life. It is God’s purpose for His people.


John Chasteen is the assistant dean of Southwestern Christian University Graduate School in Bethany, Oklahoma. He writes a weekly blog at


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