We had come friends up for the weekend, which was really refreshing. What was interesting was some of the conversations I had this weekend about the prophetic, with different individuals. I think its in no question that I believe God speaks to us, and I believe its for everyday. In fact, the I believe the rhema word is all too often neglected in alot of people's relationship with God. But as I shared different experiences I have had with prophetic people and heard different stories from others, I heard a common thread of things that lead people hurting, mislead and confused, more than built-up, encouraged or full of direction.
This is by no means a blog to lash out or tear down prophetic people (I would be discrediting myself if it were). Know in my heart I believe without the voice of God in the hearing of our ears, we have little to no direction in our personal lives. And I am also a firm believer we need each other in the Body of Christ to grow in the things of God. But far too often I am finding many who are left isolated, hurt and confused, with even a deep darkness clouding their own view of God because a prophetic person gave a word that was either off or without love.
I could share countless bad experiences I have encountered over time but that wouldn't be fair either because my "good" experiences have far out-weighed the bad. And accuracy within the prophetic has even far out-weighed the erred. But I wanted to share some things that have helped me over time, especially in a ministry that is very driven on the prophetic, and have aided me in giving and receiving what God is saying.
1. LOVE. if I could sum up all the things I have learned it would be in this one word. Paul makes it quite direct that is we have no love, or if love is not what is driving us (but even have every gift of the Spirit), then we have absolutely nothing. This is what will weigh and judge every Word given! Are we more about "being right" or are we compelled by love to share the truth? This is also of utmost importance when we are a receiving a Word - especially one that may be hard to swallow.
I've come to realize that though prophecy is a powerful gift, which requires high sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, prophetic people are also very sensitive people in nature. I will be the first to say that it took a long time for me to learn to not be moveable in the case of an offense. in fact, even though prophetic people can cause offense, they often struggle with being offended. Which leads me to another suggestion:
2. Humility. i encourage people to have an opinion. In fact, let that opinion be loud, clear and heard! far too often I see silence as the one of the largest injustices to all the injustice in the world. Righteousness and justice are executed through our actions and our voices. But if being heard out-ways the desire to see people free, we have really committed an injustice against ourselves. So I now say, have an opinion, loud and clear, but always makes sure its coupled with love and humility. The ability to put someone above yourself is what Christ did for us. If we don't learn how to do this than we aren't representing Christ at all.
3. Learn to hear God for yourself. This can be tricky as all of us are in completely different places when it comes to hearing the voice of God. And a lot of times its even learning the language and way God speaks to you uniquely. But this will certainly be your best friend when someone is giving you a word that may be a little off. There were times when someone gave me a word that I knew was off, but because I was listening as well to God i was able to feel the freedom to not respond to the word.
There are a lot of good, well meaning individuals, who can still be very wrong in what they are saying. yet, there are very abrasive and obtrusive people who will be dead right in what they are saying. the truth is, we will come across many different circumstances were we need the prophetic, however it is being filtered through the person giving it.
4. Be unoffendable. Jesus was never shocked by the responses he got when he shared. And he certainly was never offended. yes, at times he was offensive, because the truth doesn't always feel good. But it would be of great value that we learn as believers to not be so easily offended. It would help all of us in a mature way. i realize this is very hard for our American culture because from childhood we are taught we have rights, we must be treated fair and we have the freedom to do what we want. But this earthly and american kingdom and the Kingdom of God are at war with one another. And we must fight the urge to always "protect our rights". Jesus was treated very unfair, even unruthlessly judged and put to death. We will have a lot more joy in our situations if we learn to appreciate suffering and even offense.
5. Don't spectate. This is different than judging the word with the Scriptures. This is the hardest one for those whom have been hurt by the prophetic. Instead of working through the hurt, feelings of rejection or mis-interpretation of God, they become people who totally turn away from the prophetic. They spectate and dissect the prophetic word, trying every capability to tear it down before its had a chance to minister to them at all. The problem with this is you will put God in a box. Whether the word isn't from God or came straight from heaven, you have already made up your mind that it is flawed. And furthermore, the voice of God in your own life can even begin to become muffled, unclear and even confusing. It is best we work through our feelings of hurt, discontentment with the prophetic and confusion so we can lean toward an even greater capacity to hear God for ourselves.
There is so much I could write on this particular topic and depending upon what others share I may write more. But I wanted to share some of what has been happening in my heart lately. I've ran into many people recently who have been severely hurt by the prophetic and I know God has been using it to teach me a lot, including some of my own hurt. My purpose in sharing this is not to discredit the prophetic, but to show how we can better communicate and receive what God is saying to each of us.
Many blessings and love to you all!