The Gift of Prophecy: 17

God can speak to us through variety of ways. Here are a few ways He might be speaking to you:

Meditation
As you read the Bible and as the Psalms say, Selah, or take the time to think about what you’ve read, it opens you up to hear from God. Meditating on one verse for an entire week can open your mind to so many meanings and ways to apply it to your life. The Bible says meditation is the filling of the mind with God’s word.

Visions
The Lord call Jeremiah to be a prophet, and he responded, ‘I don’t how to.’ The same day God called Jeremiah, he taught him how to see visions and hear his voice (Jer.1:11-12). We can see a vision with our eyes closed, or with them open. We can see moving pictures, words, or whatever God shows us. In the case of Jeremiah it’s unclear which was happening, or if God was even drawing his attention to the very real and natural items in front of him. God asked Jeremiah what he saw and Jeremiah responded by saying, ‘I see an olive branch’ and, ‘I see a boiling pot.’ God then enlightened him to the meaning of what he saw. We should be in constant dialogue with God about what it is he showing us, asking him questions to cut to the quick of His message.

Dreams
People in the Bible based life decisions on dreams. They understood that dreams came from God and could only be interpreted by God. Somewhere along the line we lost this understanding about dreams. The Bible is full of scriptures that show us that God speaks to us through dreams, but have we started listening to God yet? Joseph, unsure if he should marry Mary, had a dream that he should, and so he did. Joseph also had dreams that told him he should go to Egypt to escape Herod, and another which told him when Herod had passed away and it was safe to come back to Israel. The salvation of baby Jesus rested on one persons understanding and obedience to dreams. Both Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that would affect nations, but they needed a person who could hear from God to interpret it for them. If you dream, you should write it down, meditate on it, ask God about it, and share it with responsible people who can comment on and pray over it with you. We should treat dreams as we would a prophecy from God.

Impressions
We can hear God through faint or strong impressions. People often do this through prayer without realizing it. Unsure about a person or a situation you can say a prayer, allowing God to lead you. Often doing this can become a prophecy, especially as we ask questions about what he’s leading us to pray for, then speaking to the person about those things. 

Hey. 4:15 – For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses

Word of Knowledge
Often God dropped knowledge into Jesus that was outside of his natural ability to know. The new age movement has perverted this gift into what they call mind-reading. However, God gave us the gift and still operates in words of knowledge today (1Cor.12:8). When God gives us a word of knowledge it might be that he wants us to say the exact thing, and sometimes it may be that he wants us to address it without saying the exact thing. You’ll have to ask Him what He wants you to do with what He shows you. Some instances in the Bible are: Luke 9:47, Luke 6:8, Matthew 12:25. I had a word of knowledge that a girl burned a lot of incense and was to discouraged to pray anymore, so I said just that. This showed her that God knew her intimately and cared about her. However in this instance Jesus did not come straight out and say what God showed him. Jesus wanted to address the issue gently without condemnation:

Luke 7:39-47 – When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,c and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

Word of Wisdom
Wisdom that is past our own understanding and come out of our mouths from the mind of God (1Cor.12:8).

Ex. 18:17-19 – Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.

Discernment
God will show us what is from Him and what is from a different spirit (1Cor.12:10).

Hebrews 5:14 – But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Mark 5:8 – For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Quietness
The voice of the Lord is like a whisper at times (1 Kings 19). Sometimes we just need to be quiet and listen to hear God’s voice. Being still doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get in a quiet place somewhere. It means you’ve got to still the clamoring within, to bring everything to a point of quietness in your heart, mind and spirit, to be still within.

Scripture
While Jesus read a scripture out loud, God began to speak to him about the fulfillment or modern day implications of it and what would come next (Luke 4:17). God still speaks to us through scriptures, and good pastors and teachers may be operating in this realm of the prophetic without even realizing it.

Luke 4:16-23 – He (Jesus) stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place whereit is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ ”

Mark 15:29-31 – Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!…”

Speaking in Tongues
The Old Testament foretold us that God planned on giving us this gift, and from the first instance where God used it in the Bible, it helped us share truth with people from different nationalities. Those who operate in this gift today understand and this is still how God uses the gift. Speaking in tongues, plus an ability to interpret tongues, will encourage people the same way that prophecy will  (1Cor.14:5). Therefore, many people who prophesy will ramp up their spirit by speaking in tongues first.

Miracles & Healing
Jesus often performed miracles and healed people. This opened the doors of their hearts to receive His message. God still does this today.

Creation
God often spoke to people through creation in the Bible. Revelations is full of signs of the end times, many of which deal with creation, so it’s safe to say that God still speaks this way.

Ex. 3:2-5 – Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

John 1:32-34 – Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

Prophetic Acts
Sometimes God asked people to do something in faith to see a certain result. Joshua marched around Jericho, Naaman washed himself in the Jordan, Ezekiel bore the sin of Israel, the new testament references some too. Revelations in particular references some prophetic acts that will take place in the last days, so again, it is safe to say God still speaks this way.

Ex.17:10-13 – So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Signs & Wonders
We need not ask for a sign, but the Lord still speaks through signs. Plagues of Egypt, signs of the Messiah’s birth, signs of the end times, etc.

Luke 2:12 – This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger

Answered Prayer & Confirmation
The Lord will often speak to you by answering your prayers, or confirming something to you through multiple sources.

Jud. 6:37 – I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.

Gen. 24:14 – May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’–let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Angels
God will often send a message to us through an angel. Most Christians believe in angels, so why do we think that their purpose has changed?

Acts 10:3-4 – He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God…”


Study these ways God speaks to people and ask Him to start speaking to you! If you just found out that He is already speaking to you, then start listening and asking Him questions about what He’s saying. These are just a few ways that He speaks.

This blog includes personal research and excerpts from Developing Your Prophetic Gifting by Graham Cooke & Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry by Kris Valloton

Advertisements

The Gift of Prophecy: 14

Prayer and prophecy are inextricably linked in terms of their communication process; both involve listening before talking. – Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke

Casting Vision:

Although this passage talks about the gift of tongues, we see that it can be used as a guideline for prophetic visions:

1 Cor. 14:6-12 – if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you… Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying?… If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker… For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.

Anytime we speak in a language someone else can’t understand, there is a need for an interpretation; so it is with prophetic visions. – Shawn Bolz

This week I shared a vision with someone who understands visions and I had no need to interpret it because they beat me to it. However, when I shared a vision with someone who did not understand visions, it only confused them. I saw a vision of a tent and the person responded, ‘I don’t like camping’. The symbols we see in visions rarely hold meaning to the person we are ministering to. Most of the time God is simply speaking our own personal language to convey His message. When I see a tent, I get exciting because I love to go camping, but tents and camping may have a bad rap with someone else. If you are asking God for a prophetic vision for another person, God will speak from items as they pertain to your own personal experiences. You then need to ask God a series of questions about what He is showing you, so that you can cut to the quick of what He is saying. Questions like, ‘God, why are you showing me a tent?’ God may respond with an unction about what is important about the tent, or even highlight a certain part of the tent to draw your attention to it, or He may show you a new vision that relates to it. Any place we feel like we are hung up or confused is an opportunity to hold a dialogue with God about what He’s showing you.

I asked God why he was showing me a tent then I told the person I was ministering to, ‘You’ve been in a place of isolation and God wants to bring you out.’ God then showed me the tent from another perspective and I told the person, ‘You like to look at situations from all angles, which is good, but God wants to remind you that at some point there has to be a move to action instead of camping out on an issue.’

This person would’ve never grasped God’s message if all I had said was, ‘I see a tent’. They would’ve left confused, wondering if God wanted them to go camping. On the other hand, someone at church received a prophetic vision for me of a barn. All she said was, ‘I see a barn, and I don’t know what it means.’ I told her that I immediately knew the meaning, as God had been repeatedly showing me a verse in the Bible about a barn, through different speakers. God was saying that He was going to fulfill that verse in my life, and spoke it over me 4+ times in a couple days to make sure I got the picture.

Experiencing the prophetic:

If you’ve never received a prophecy you may be confused about what it is. I wish I could upload a recording of one of the prophecies spoken over me, but the best I can do with a free WordPress account is share the text from one. Parts of this word from December 2014 have come to pass and I can see others starting to surface in my life now. Some prophecies are fulfilled quickly and some take many years. Joseph waited some 20 years to rule Egypt, while Mary’s pregnancy was instantaneous. Some of the phrases spoken over me in this prophecy have been spoken over me, verbatim, by multiple other prophets who’ve never met each other. Other times certain themes, like leading worship, are touched on and reveal different aspects of it. In Bible you may notice Him repeat a phrase 2 or 3 times before moving on, then touch on the topic again later. Anytime there is a verbatim repeated phrase or a repeat theme, you know God wants to get your attention and to confirm what He is saying.

Prophet 1 said to me:

I hear the Lord say some people think you are small in stature, but you are huge in the kingdom. You are a small person but you carry a loud voice. I hear the Lord say He is causing you to be a warrior in the kingdom. I see where there is a worship anointing on you. I see you as one that is radical when you praise God and when you call the people to give Him praise. I see where God is going to use you, even in the realm of the prophetic. The Lord is going to raise you up and stir some things up in your spirit.

Prophet 2 said:

God says even on the direction, and the path that you take in life, He will show you where you need to go to. He says, even concerning every place you go to, He’s going to direct you and He’s going to have everything already laid out for you. There are going to be a lot of places that you’re going to get to travel to; so He says, even as you go to these places, some may be in the state, outside of the state, even outside of the country. He says, even as you go to these places, know that there is no need to worry, because everything is going to be taken care of. You’re going to be safe while you are there, He is going to watch out for you; He wants you to know that its going to be Him leading you to these places. He says, there’s even a humanitarian anointing that He has placed on you, a concern to even give of yourself to other people. He says He’s going to open doors for you to give of yourself even more; to care for those who are poor, and to care for those who are weak, and to care for those who are in need. He says He is going to open doors, and there are going to be a lot of doors that are going to open for you.

She stopped and asked if I had been out of the country before. I said yes.

She continued: ‘He’s says you’re going back. He says He’s going to open even more doors for you to travel to new places. It’s going to be like you’re going to travel to some places with a group, but it’s even going to be new people that you’re going to meet as you go. Some places you are going to go with a group of people, but then its like God is going to send you back; where the group might not go back, but He’s going to have some doors open for you to go back.’

She stopped and asked if I was a teacher. I said no.

She said: He’s going to use you to teach. I even see children around you and its like you are teaching the children sitting around you. He said He’s going to use you, even in those areas, He’s going to open the door. Some of these places its not going to be you visiting, its going to be like you’re going to be there a long time. He says you are going to be there a looong time, so just know that its Him and He’s going to have every connection for you. He’s even going to take care of family here, so He says don’t even worry about what’s going on here, because He’s going to take care of everything; and He’s going to make sure everything works out for you.

Even concerning the finances, God says the finances are taken care of. Finances are not going to be a problem. Some places you go to, its going to be like they are all expense paid and some places you are going to go to it’s even going to be like a job; like an assignment that you’ll go to and you’ll get reimbursed while you’re there. It’s like you’re going to be there for a while, but it’s like there is going to be reimbursement for some of these places you go to, but it won’t be a burden on you financially.

This prophecy definitely encouraged me to continue pursuing worship whereas I hadn’t led worship in many years. It comforted me about the main issues I had about traveling: finances, family, protection. It strengthened me to see that God had noticed my increased humanitarian desires. It excited me to know that God wanted me to travel and would provide a way, since earlier that year I had decided that my money would be better spent helping others than seeking my own pleasure. It’s also exciting to note that my job, through a God ordained game of dirty Santa, gifted me a set of luggage this Christmas. They also travel internationally multiple times a year, giving me a group of people to go with. O, and I’m also loving every opportunity I get to teach kids, every other Sunday, as they sit in a circle around me.

1 Cor. 14:3 – But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.