Prophets and Hearing from God - Part 3
Articles - Prophetic
by Lyn Packer
Personal responsibility in giving prophetic words
When we are giving prophetic words we have some responsibilities. It is not just a case of dropping a word on someone and then washing our hands of it and walking away.
First we need to be aware of what is happening in our personal life – our situations and motivations. These things can influence how we interpret and how we deliver what God gives us prophetically. Check your heart or ask yourself -
• Is this revelation / word really about me, or something I am going through?
• Are the things I'm going through tainting or influencing how I am interpreting this? Why do I want to bring this word?
• What is my real motivation eg. is there a need within me for acceptance, wanting to be seen to be good at something, hidden anger at a person or leadership?
Every revelation has three parts – Revelation, Interpretation, Application. These three parts apply to any revelation that we receive and our revelation isn't complete unless we ask God for the unveiling of those three parts.
Revelation – This is the picture that God gave you or what he said to you. The revelation can be either literal or symbolic. It can come in any manner of ways, from the still small voice of God that whispers into our heart and mind to an open-eyed vision.
Interpretation – This phase of a prophetic revelation is very important. Many people just stop at the picture / vision because they don't realise that there is more and the revelation itself is just the entry way into the depths and treasure of that revelation. Remember, the things that you see could be symbolic or literal.
First, ask the person you are giving the word to if the picture means anything to them. If it doesn't then ask God for the interpretation.
Don't go into your mind and try and work out what the revelation means. The interpretation is found by asking the Holy Spirit. Ask Him specific questions about the details of what you see or hear. How, why, when, where, what type questions e.g. What does that colour symbolize? What does this aspect represent?
The Holy Spirit's job with revelation is "to lead us and guide us into all truth" (John 16:13) and to reveal Jesus and the Father to us because He is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9). The Holy Spirit will never lead you into deception.
Application – The application comes next – this is what you do with what you've received. Timing is important in releasing prophetic words. Some words are meant for sharing now, some are meant to be birthed first in prayer, some are meant to wait for the right season or time before you share them and some are for prayer only and never get shared.
Ask the Holy Spirit questions like -
• Is this word for me, another individual, or a group of people?
• If it's for someone else or a group, is it to be shared or to be taken to prayer? Some words are never supposed to be shared but to be taken to intercession and prayed through to the point of release.
• If it is to be shared, is it to be shared publicly or privately, with the person / with the Pastor and elders of the church?
• If it is to be shared, when is it to be shared? Some words may not be shared for months but prayed into until the right time of releasing them. Other words may not given straight away but may be crafted over a period of time eg, a piece of prophetic art may be done on the spot or crafted over time.
• If it is to be shared today, does it fit into the present flow of the meeting, or is it for later in the meeting?
Once we have released a word we also need to know if our job has finished then or if there is more that the Lord wants us to do e.g. keep praying until you see the word established. Many times I have released a word in a church and the Lord has kept me praying for that church and the establishing of that word for months. Do not assume that your job is over just because you've spoken out the word.
On the other side of that – don't take on a false responsibility for the word you have given. Bringing the word to fulfillment is, of course, the Lord's job. Ours is simply to co-operate with him and to do what he tells us to do.
When we have given a word, how it is received is up to the person or people it is given to. Our part is to give it with love and grace, being a true representation of the Father who is full of love and grace. Even a corrective word should be given in a way that reflects the redemptive love of God. It will not be judgmental and full of law – that is not who God is. That is either a religious substitution for the real God or the devil's heart and intent for that person.
Let me give you an example. Suppose the Father gives me a word of knowledge or reveals to me that someone has a problem with lying. If I reveal that publicly by saying "God has shown me that you are a liar and have a lying spirit" then I will expose them, shame them and strip them of dignity. That is never God's heart. So I know that I have to ask God what his heart is for them, and how to deliver that word in a way that expresses his love and redemptive purpose.
The devil's purpose is to humiliate them, pull them down, shame them etc. God has a redemptive purpose for them and wants them to walk in his ways, so I must ask "What are his ways, what is his answer for this problem?" Obviously, in this example, that would be to put his Spirit of truth in them and for his words to come out of their mouth. So I would probably deliver the word something like this. "I believe that the Lord is showing me that he is calling you to a new place of walking in and speaking truth. He longs to put his words in your mouth and for you to be a reflection of his heart in all you do and say. The Lord is releasing over your life today a spirit of truth and calling you to be a voice for Him."
As prophetic people we are called to accurately reflect and release the heart of the Father over people in all we do. Our words are to bring freedom, life, grace, dignity, and to call people into the fullness of who God created them to be. That is our responsibility when we give a prophetic word. If God's love and redemptive purpose is not shown in our attitude and words then we will sound like a noisy gong, no matter how accurate what we say may be.