photo by ecstaticist's - Creative Commons

At Christmas time it’s always easy to think about gifts. Of course the most important gift given to us that we reflect on during this season is Jesus Himself. His natural birth, life, substitutionary death and resurrection are what every human must be most thankful for. We will inherit eternal life because of them.

But are there other gifts from God we can be thankful for? I think so. There’s actually too many to list, so beyond Jesus Himself, what other gift do we have to be most thankful for?

I believe Paul answers that question in 1 Corinthians 14:1:

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Why would Paul, after spending a full chapter on the importance of love, tell us to pursue prophecy above all other spiritual gifts God gives? The reason is simple: prophecy is the voice of God Himself.

We all have to make decisions we’re unsure of on a regular basis. In fact, most of the big decisions in life are a huge risk for each and every one of us. We never know how things are going to turn out because we can’t see the future. Most of the time we can’t even make sense of the past. But God sees it all.

He knows our end from our beginning. He knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Who better to ask for help than the One who knows it all. I can personally attest to the value of Paul’s statement on prophecy. I’ve lived with it and without it and I can whole-heartedly say that I don’t like living without it.

God doesn’t speak about every little decision. He doesn’t even speak to us about a lot of big decisions, but He speaks more when we ask Him more. That’s why Paul says “eagerly” or “especially” desire prophecy. We must ask God to speak to us. We must seek Him to hear Him.

God may speak to us if we don’t ask, but He speaks way more if we ask Him to. We can’t make His voice happen but we can eagerly desire His voice. And when we do, we hear Him much more often.

What could be better than to hear directly from the God of creation? Imagine how it would change your life or those around you to hear that God knows you. He sees you. He cares about you. Not in the churchy way where a pastor or friend tells you God knows you, but in the radical, life-changing way where God tells you Himself.

There’s nothing so helpful to God’s people as His voice. He will lead us, guide us and correct us. That’s all called prophecy. Above all else that we do, we should especially desire to prophesy.

Take this season to thank God for all the good gifts He’s given you and commit to asking Him to speak to you this next year. Trust me, you’ll never be the same again once you hear God speak to you.

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