“You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not fear him.” Deuteronomy 18:21-22
That is a passage of scripture that I take very seriously. Not being one to claim the gift of prophecy, and who is extremely cautious to make certain that what I say I’ve heard from the Lord has genuinely been tested, I also tend to want to put the same test forth when I hear someone make the same claim. Prophecy, to me, is generally defined as proclaiming the Word of the Lord, and that is manifested far more frequently in the ability of a preacher to take the scriptures and interpret them, allowing those listening to come to a complete understanding of them. I’ve heard some gifted prophets in my time, most of whom are humble of spirit and give the credit and the glory to God. I’ve also heard many posturing charlatans who use the ministry of preaching to gain a following and accumulate financial wealth. They are generally not humble of spirit, and God has to compete with their name and face recognition to get much glory.
I also believe that God does gift people with a prophetic word, intended to be spoken in the right time and place to deliver a message, or to move someone to action. Sometimes, I have a sense, in the course of a message that is being preached, that there are things in that message intended specifically for me and the spiritual situation that exists in my life at the time. There are other times when I believe someone is gifted to speak a word from God directly to someone else. These things must meet the scriptural tests for discernment, but if they do, they should be taken as valid.
That being said, looking ahead to 2009, it is always fun to make predictions and see where they wind up. Nothing, and I repeat, absolutely nothing in this post should be considered to be anything near what the first couple of paragraphs are discussing.
I came across these predictions I made at a New Year’s Eve gathering last year:
2008 NBA Champs: Phoenix Suns
2008 World Series Champs: St. Louis Cardinals
2008 Super Bowl Winner: New England Patriots
2008 NHL Champs: Chicago Blackhawks
Who is your favorite NCAA football team, and what will they do in 2008?
Arizona Wildcats, will win 9 games, and win the Holiday or Sun Bowl (They actually finished 8-5 by beating BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl, so that wasn’t bad!)
So now, for 2009:
Super Bowl: Going out on a limb, I’ll say Tennessee vs the Giants, and the Giants pull it off again.
NBA: A Lakers-Celtics rematch, with Boston getting this one too.
World Series: All Chicago, Cubs vs. White Sox, and the Cubs finally get it all.
NHL: I couldn’t care less, but I’ll pick the Phoenix Coyotes for the Stanley Cup
And as for my favorite NCAA team, Arizona, the Wildcats will win 10 in the regular season and go to the Holiday Bowl as the Pac 10’s second place team.