We need the Prophet.
Acts 21:10 “After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.”
Paul and his team had been in Philips home a ‘number of days’. What was happening in that time? Luke doesn’t say but I can imagine them enjoying the environment of prophecy as the daughters engaged their gifting. We know prophecy is given to edify, encourage and comfort the people of God (1 Cor 14:3). They needed words that did this. They were heading to Jerusalem uncertain of what their fate would be. To have words that would stabilise them was so important. Paul had known for some time that prison and hardships faced him in the future but I am sure the team were hoping for a positive outcome. Maybe they received words that strengthened them, “God is with you” etc.
But then something shocking happens. Agabus arrives, the prophet. The one who in chapter 11 accurately prophesied a famine is standing amongst them.
A prophet is not only someone who can edify, encourage and comfort but they will warn of impending doom, bring correction and direction to the Church and do it all in love. The Church needs them. In a moving changing world the Church needs the office of prophets alongside teachers, pastors, evangelists and apostles to hold her steady and to remain faithful.
Prophets are before the face of God continually.
Prophets protect His presence by operating their lives in love and grace and have set in place appropriate boundaries.
Prophets minister under authority.
Prophets are not the same, each one is different to the other.
Prophets equip the Church with the ability to see and hear the mind and will of God.
I am sure the list is longer than this!
But the sight of Agabus meant that God was about to speak. They would know what was going to happen. If Agabus heard that a famine would happen he wasn’t afraid to declare that. So what would it be this time?
There are times when the Church needs more than edification, encouragement and comfort. We need the prophet.