Despise not prophesyings (1 Thess. 5:20 KJV)
The Lord gives us a clear commandment in the verse above not to despise prophesying. What does this mean? Why does the Lord say this?
The word “despise” in this context means to make something of no account or to treat something with contempt as it is entirely worthless or despicable. Spiritual gifts are particularly vulnerable to being despised by Christians, especially those who have not yet been exposed or experienced it.
Prophecy is God speaking to His people through someone. It is a priceless treasure in the Church. It strengthens, encourages and comforts God’s people. It gives direction from the very mouth of God. Those who have experienced the benefit of this gift do not doubt its place in the house of God today. It will be evident that this commandment from the Lord to not despise prophecy is not directed to unbelievers but His people. The believers who are most liable to despise prophecy are those who have not experienced it or probably have been taught against it.
The force of this commandment is seen in the verse that precedes it. It says “quench not the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19 KJV). When we despise prophecy, we are quenching the operation of the Spirit amongst us. This applies to every spiritual gift, including those which are most liable to being despised such as prophecy in this context or speaking in tongues. When we suppress those gifts, we are suppressing the working of the Spirit amongst us. The LORD does not want you to despise but to desire these gifts earnestly.
Why do you think speaking in tongues and prophecy are amongst the gifts of the Spirit most vulnerable to being despised?
APPLY THE WORD
Desire, not despise spiritual gifts( 1 Cor. 13:13). Spiritual gifts empower you to profoundly impact the lives of people. The fruit of the Spirit is foundational and most important, but it is not the only thing the Lord has commanded you to seek. Do not be an unbalanced Christian. Do not grow in the fruit without the gift, otherwise, you might be a “good Christian” but with little impact on the lives of others. This devotional you are reading, for example, is a manifestation of the gift of the Spirit in the wisdom and knowledge of God. Grow in the fruit, seek the gifts, and do not despise prophecy!
Ask the Lord to help you to increase in the gifts of the Spirit so that you can be a blessing to the Church and those around you.