February 20, 2017
Have you ever received a prophetic word and felt like it was just so right? And then other times not so much? I’ve even received words that felt like some of it made sense to me, but other parts of it didn’t. It’s so important that we know what to do when we receive a prophetic word, because the power of a prophetic word is a two way street: the giver and the receiver! So what do we do with the words spoken over us? How do we steward them well? We don’t have to take every word in it’s fullness, but where do we draw the line? Paul writes, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment,” (1 Corinthians 14:29). Notice that the prophetic word is to be judged immediately. Let me be clear, we are supposed to judge prophecies, not the person giving the prophetic word.
When we got saved, our spirits were awakened. If you’re a Christian, your spirit is alive and the Holy Spirit also lives inside of you. No longer is it only the Holy Spirit that wants to build people up in Christ, but our spirit is now inherently good and very much wants to bless people. You can see how in our zeal to help and encourage people, we can represent a word as a “God idea” when it is actually only a good idea. What this means for us is that if you’re receiving a prophetic word, you have as much responsibility to judge the word as the one who gave it, because both the giver and receiver have the same Holy Spirit.
Judging Prophetic Words
What exactly are we judging when we are examining prophetic words? Obviously the first thing we are trying to determine is the source of the word. Is it from God’s Spirit, the human spirit, or from a demonic spirit? But how can we judge a prophecy when it is about the future? The Holy Spirit who lives within us can discern the validity in the word and bear witness to our spirit, because He is supposed to be the source of all prophetic declarations. There are a few other principles that will help us to distinguish which words are from the Lord:
1) The word must be congruent with the Scriptures as well as the heart of Father God.
Paul writes: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8)
2) A prophetic word must bear witness with the spirit of the one who receives it.
It doesn’t necessarily have to make sense to our minds, but there must be a “yes” in our spirits. Look for the moment when a word resonates with your spirit.
3) The fruit of all prophetic words must be that the person receiving it is brought closer to God and His people.
Prophetic words that separate people from the Body of Christ do not find their source in God.
4) The prophets and the church leadership should be in agreement with the word and its interpretation and application.
When God gives leaders oversight in our lives, He also gives them insight into our lives. They will often see things in us and have perspectives about us that no one else has. Here’s what the author of the Book of Hebrews has to say about our leaders: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you,” (Hebrews 13:17).
5) The interpretation of any prophetic revelation belongs to God, not to man.
Therefore we also need the Holy Spirit’s anointing to know the meaning of the word as well as what to do with it. Peter wrote this: “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God,” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
I want to encourage you to take some time today, think back on the words that have been spoken over you, and take them through these five steps. Invite Holy Spirit to speak to you, to help you chew on the meat and spit out the bones. I pray that through this process you’ll receive clarity and encouragement, empowering you to receive and partner with the power of God’s spoken words over you!
Topics: All TopicsProphetic