A couple of months ago we were gigging in the South Island, telling others how crazy in love God was with them (as we do). A church cancelled their life groups so they could come and hear me that night. As the church filled with unfamiliar faces I could sense the familiar longing for a prophetic word, a key that would unlock their breakthrough. I became soberingly aware of my need to speak God’s heart as opposed to my compassion or from the people pleasing nature that I am still becoming free of. It was here I heard a “word” rise up in me that I had not heard before...
“Many of you here have known the Lord for a very long time. You are faithful and loving but you feel frozen because many of you are holding on to prophetic words that were spoken many years ago which have still not yet come to pass. You have become discouraged by this. The Lord wants to release you from these prophetic declarations. Stop fixating on those words but fix your eyes and hearts on the Him today. He is still speaking to you. Make way to hear His word for you in a fresh way.”
Here are some things to note about prophecy:
1. Prophecy pursues until it is fulfilled
Let go of the old “words” and listen and look for God’s word in a fresh way. God’s word remains the same. If He spoke it to you before He will continue to speak it until you get it.
Isaiah 55: 11 (NIV) “...so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
2. Prophecy is uncomfortable
Prophecy is about the future. It encourages us to do something or go somewhere we’ve not ever thought of or desired to before. The future is new so it requires new courage, new grace and a new mindset. It is unfamiliar so there will be an element of discomfort as prophecy leads us into the new things God has planned for us. Our discomfort is not only because of the unfamiliarity of the new, but also because it causes us to dismantle the old to make way for the new. Stop looking for prophecies to confirm your comfortable desires.
Isaiah 43: 19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. “
3. Prophecy is not Perfect
The phrase “Thus sayeth the Lord” should be buried and never spoken again. When this is spoken before a prophetic word is declared it sets the prophetic person as infallible and makes it difficult for the recipient to judge the word. God is infallible therefore His word is also - however, we (people) are not. As a prophetic voice, we do our best to listen to the Holy Spirit but we too are influenced by our emotions and experiences. Just because we prophesy does not mean the recipient has to do, or even agree to, what we say. God always gives us a choice. This is why Paul tells us to judge the word so that we can discern what part is from God, what part is from the prophet and what part is our own interpretation.
1 Thessalonians 5: 20-22 “Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.”
4. WORK with the WORD
I used to think that when someone prophesied over me, my job was to write it down, pray about it and wait for it to happen. Maybe this was your thinking too. I find that this thinking often leaves people in a frozen state. Life gets placed on hold until the word comes to pass. The longer it takes for the word to be fulfilled, the more disillusioned we become with the prophetic ministry as well as our own relationship with God. A prophecy speaks of the end and always only in part. It would be so much easier if the fulfilment of prophetic words would just happen but alas that is not the case. God could have transported the Israelites directly to the Promised Land - instead they went on a journey which revealed whether or not they had the heart, strength, courage and faith in God to actually possess and keep what God had in store for them. All the Israelites heard the prophetic word about the Promised land as they set out on their journey. There were over a million of them at that point. Only Joshua and Caleb and their families were able to possess it. As we make our way towards God’s promises for our lives, we must be courageous to allow the journey to reveal our strengths and our weaknesses and then humble ourselves to allow Him to transform us so we won’t die in the wilderness only hearing the word and not possessing it.
Hebrews 10: 38-39 “And,“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. “
So come on! Be encouraged. Let’ s be the courageous generation who will brave the journey to step into God’s promises for our lives!
Prophecy propels us into God’s promises, so that we may ALL LIVE and not die!