I love the prophetic gifting of God; it makes me giddy and excited! I love being able to hear the voice of God.
Hearing God's voice is not weird or mystic. It should be normal in the lives of believers. God created us to hear His voice and have fellowship with him. I have often defined the prophetic as "hearing the voice of God for your life or someone else's life." It's been over 21 years now since I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and about 20 years since I learned about the prophetic and how to flow in the gifts of God (1 Cor. 12:7-11). In those years, I have been on prophetic teams and in some cases been the leadership over those same teams. I have been honored to have the opportunity to prophesy over many people. God wants and desires that His sheep know His voice. He loves that! (John 10:27)
However, I have noticed throughout the years that various people can develop what I call "prophetic syndromes" if they're not careful. In no way am I making fun or light of people who struggle with these things in the physical but using them to illustrate spiritual symptoms.
I am sure the following list is not an exhaustive list, but the ones I've noticed:
We as human beings were created to be in fellowship with God and be in communication with Him. Just as our bodies need food, we need to have vision and prophetic insight in our lives. According to Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Deep inside you, there is a need for you to hear God and know His prophetic unction for your life. It's no wonder why the devil tries so hard to make the idea of communicating with God seem so odd to many.
God communicates with His people several ways: He can speak to you clearly through the Bible; a true prophetic word will never contradict the Bible. He can speak through situations, nature or a strong unction. He can also speak to you through a prophetic word someone else gives you. However, when this happens, this always confirms things you know God has been dealing with you about. Often God's way of communicating can be a "still, small voice."
I was born and raised in a denominational church. I didn't know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit until a divine encounter and a lot of reading my Bible and studying. Once I realized it was normal to hear from God, it was like suddenly the light got turned on in my life. It is sad so many don't realize that God is a very personal God and wants to be involved in your life. He doesn't just give you a destiny and purpose, but he shows you and graces you on how to get there.
The Bible is very clear that we are not to despise prophesy (1 Thess. 5:20). Despising prophesy can happen in two ways. One can despise prophecy by completely turning away from it and disregarding it in their lives. The second way people can do this is when a prophetic word is given and the person has heard the same word from God over and over again.
Let me give you an example. My husband was in a dry season in his work environment some years ago, and we were frustrated about this. Over the course of several years, just about every time in those years whoever prophesied over us would say, "Something new is coming in your job situation." It may not have been word for word, but we were frustrated. I learned that this aggravation with the words we were hearing from God was causing us to grow more frustrated. This was not because the words were off, but our attitudes were off. We needed to stop being so caught up in our frustration so God could show us what was on the other side of this hurdle. The words were meant to encourage us.
Your spirit-man needs direction from God. Choose not to be prophetically anorexic. Too many people are withering away sitting on wasted talent and divine opportunity.
There are times and seasons when you need to hear from God, but so often I've seen people go from prophetic group to prophetic group seeking a word, and not waiting to hear from God for themselves. In charismatic circles, we cannot be like the Catholic church, thinking the priests are the only people who hear from God. God desires all His children to hear his voice. Yes, prophets have a different mantle, but God's sheep know His voice. There are times in my walk where I heard very little prophetic direction coming from others. This was not because God wasn't working in my life but because God desired for me to get alone with Him, and hear from Him what He had to say. We cannot rely on others for our prophetic insight. We must learn to look to God.
I have personally seen this one occur many times as I prophesied over people. Sometimes, I have heard what I wanted to hear and got what God was saying all twisted around. I took out the part I wanted and tried to run with it, yet all the while that wasn't exactly what God said. This is why I tell people often that they need to write down those prophetic words they've been given. If the word was recorded, then when you get home, transcribe that word into a file and go back to it so you and pray over it and agree with it. If it wasn't recorded type out or write out as much as you remember as soon as possible. I keep a word file of every recorded prophetic word I have been given; I do not pile these cassette tapes in a corner or clutter my desktop with mp3s. You must go back over the words that were spoken and pray over them. If they weren't in your church, submit them to your pastor or leader. Discern if it was from God, and if it was, run with it. If it wasn't, force it out of your mind, and don't come back to it anymore.
If you look at the great hall of faith in the Bible (Heb. 11), it has often amazed me that people held on to one word from God for years and never let it go. We are so fortunate that we live in a time where the Holy Spirit is here to help us on the earth. Noah built an ark after one divine encounter with God. One hundred years later that ark was built. Then he heard from God again. In our church culture, how many of us find it frustrating that perhaps we don't get confirmation about a situation prophetically every month or every week. If Noah could spend 100 years building an ark on one divine encounter, then who am I to get frustrated at the prophetic word not coming to pass after a few months or years. You have got to get out your prophetic words and remember what God spoke. Perseverance and endurance do not have to be bad words in your prophetic journey to destiny. They are needed words. You have to run the race. It's not a sprint, but a marathon. Some days you may walk, some days you may run, and some days you may feel like you're crawling, but choose to keep moving forward. Pray and agree with what He said.
Prophetic Battering Rams
When Jesus was born, there were a lot of moves that needed to come about in order for the prophetic unctions of the Old Testament to be fulfilled that He was the Messiah. He would be born in Bethlehem, move to Egypt and live in Nazareth just to name a few. It was not like Joseph had a scroll of all of these prophetic words and planned their journeys accordingly. The prophetic words about the Messiah came to pass because he was led to do these things. While you do need to pray over your words and know what God has said, your job isn't to make it happen. God will do that. You have to do what He tells you to do, but stop trying to beat the doors in that haven't opened yet for you. It will just lead you to get frustrated and bruise your forehead from trying to beat down the doors. Let God be God. You get to that door; let God open it for you. People prophesy in part (1 Cor. 13:9). It may be that prophetic word needs some time to come to fruition. I've seen and heard of too many people make huge, life-changing choices just because a prophetic word came out of the blue. Pray about the word; see if it's for now. Submit it to your covering. Make sure that it witnesses with what God is speaking to you.
The final syndrome I've discovered is prophetic hoarding. This is when people get word after word regarding something and they're not doing anything with it. The Bible says very clearly that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).
I realize there is a time and season for things but if God is telling you to do something why aren't you doing it? All too often I've come across frustrated people in the church. They are annoyed at God because things aren't going well in their lives, but yet they still aren't doing what God told them to do. Did God tell you to write a book? Great, where is it? Did God tell you you're going to start a business? Great; it may not be the right timing, but you can work on logos, a business plan or the concept. Did God tell you to start a church? Great, who is your covering? You can be making an appointment with them so that you can be in prayer regarding it.
You have to do something with the prophetic words God is giving you. You can't blame God for your inactivity. You can't rush into something and be that battering ram, but you can't sit on it either. Habakkuk 2:2 says, "Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who reads it may run." Some people don't need another "thus sayeth the Lord"; what they need is a jump-start so they will start running with the vision. Remember that you moving forward to embrace your destiny isn't all about you. It's about the many others who need to hear the Good News. Your moving forward and stopping the hoarding means you will be empowering others to do the same.
Remember God loves to talk to His children. He wants to have fellowship with them. Be encouraged. He has awesome plans for your life. When you hook up with His vision and run the race, you will see those plans be fulfilled.
Anna M. Aquino is a published author, guest minister and prophetic voice. Her books Cursing the Church or Helping It?, Confessions of a Ninja Mom and An Ember In Time are available wherever books are sold. Marriage in Time is set to release in July of 2017. Please feel free to check out her website at annamaquino.com.
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