The Gift of Prophecy: 18

Prophecy begins by receiving a burden. It’s very important that we allow our hearts to be on the same wavelength as God’s. God, I believe, wants to give each of us a sense of burden. God delivered us from being in a church where most of the congregation doesn’t feel any sense of responsibility for the work. If we don’t feel a sense of taking on the word collectively for the church, we are missing out on the heart of God for the community. Every member of the church should be living with a sense of ownership for the work in the community in which they live. It is out of that burden that God will express his heart.

When I receive a burden we must ask the Lord questions. Who is it for? What is that you want to do? At the end of this prophecy, what is it you want to achieve in this person’s life? And what is the objective? It’s that sense of objective that helps us to be clear, specific and significant in terms of what your prophesying. It focuses the heart of God into the persons life. Without that sense of objective, we sometimes fudge the words or pad the prophecy out with too many human insights. That is because we don’t have a really sharp focus on what God wants to do.

Very often the first thing received is diagnostic. There’s a difference between diagnosis and prognosis. Sometimes we see a vision or have information that might actually be quite negative. We may see a fault, wrong. Very often this can be a diagnostic simply because prophecy has three elements to it. A word of knowledge opens up a situation, a word of prophecy speaks gods heart into it, and the word of wisdom tells us how to respond to God. The first thing we get may actually be a word of knowledge, not prophecy. God is giving us information about this person’s life, about his situation. God is helping us understand the context in which we are speaking. Don’t be in a hurry to prophesy. Many people feel that they have to get a word out of their mouth as soon as they receive it. Sometimes God just wants to give us a backstory. This is diagnostic. However the prognosis is what the Lord is going to do now and in the future, indicating what is to come. It’s not enough for us to simply point out what’s wrong if we have no heart to lead a recovery.

While ministering in Wales the Lord showed me a coleader who was taking every opportunity to criticize the main leader. This was a word of knowledge about what was going on, so I asked the Lord what to do with it. I called them both out in front of the meeting and had them stand back to back. I put a broom handle in the coleaders hand and told him the Lord has brought you two men together and stood you back to back in fighting position to guard each other because the enemy wants to destroy your life. I gave the coleader a charge to pray for his leadership and at this point he began to cry. Everyone thought it was out of a sense of privilege when in reality he was suddenly aware of his sin and backstabbing. Without me mentioning his sin in public, because love protects, the holy spirit brought him to a point of repentance. A prophet must be good news, even if that news is repent! If I had spoken in the word of knowledge it would’ve destroyed these relationships and brought embarrassment in front of everyone. However, going to God and asking him how to approach the situation allowed the coleader to receive repentance in privacy and strengthen the relationship of the leaders. Later that week while I was alone with the coleader, I shared with him what the Lord had showed me. He was so blessed to know that God cared enough to keep from publicly exposing him. 

We can read scripture that contains Bible truths, but sometimes we need the now element of prophecy, allied to Scripture, to actually bring the word home to our circumstances in a dynamic way.

As one of my good friends says, prophecy is 80% preparation, 20% inspiration, 100% perspiration and 1000% trepidation.

I’m tired of what we call seagull prophets. People who fly in, make a loud noise, dump their word on everyone and fly out again. These prophets come into town, give people an ideal, then leave it up to local leaders to work through the reality on the ground. They often have no understanding of how prophecy is actually worked through in the local church. We need to understand that prophets are part of the fivefold ministry which is essentially a building ministry. In the past many churches have asked traveling prophets to come in, speak a word over their congregation, then head off to the next stop. While, this word can build up a congregation, the real building happens with a long term commitment. If a prophet is going to speak a word they should also be available to give advice and counsel. This building process needs a prophet, apostle, pastor, teacher, and evangelist to create steps that move the church from the actual of where they are now to the ideal of where God is really taking them.

The main cause of failure in the prophetic is that we are moving under pressure rather than in peace and relaxation and the knowledge of God. I am under a ton of pressure, everywhere I go, to move in prophecy. I accept that pressure as part of the ministry, but there is no way that I can live under the weight of false expectations. Every day I have to push away the burden of other people’s expectations. Worship is important to a prophet. Being at rest and peace in our relationship with God is vital. If we seek to process revelation with our minds, we will come into uncertainty and fear-fear of getting it wrong, fear of going out on a limb, fear of embarrassment and fear of looking stupid in front of others. That fear will cause us to cut our losses and say nothing. We are then reduced to saying something general that our mind can cope with rather than a word that is supernatural and significant. 

While in London I ministered to a man in his late 40s who approached me with the relationship issue. He told me nothing else so I asked the lord if the relationship was male or female. It was a 50-50 chance, I heard female. The odds were significantly against me after that as I had to decide whether it was a wife, mother, sister, daughter, etc. The Lord showed me a mid to late 20-year-old girl. My mind screamed daughter, but my spirit said wife. I let my faith loose, ignoring my mind, watching this man weep as I spoke to him about his wife 20 years his junior who he feared would leave him for a younger man. The Lord showed comfort to him that day. 

Some people are feelers in the prophetic. We feel peoples pain, joy, etc. We feel things from the heart of God. Some people are seers. We see pictures and have dreams. Some people are hearers. Sometimes we can move between all three. It is a good thing not to get locked into one methodology. 

Do not move out on what you see or understand in the natural. A lot of prophetic people make the mistake of looking for clues from people, trying to pick up something from how someone looks, the way they are sitting, the air about the individual. This is a very soulish or emotional and produces prophecy on that level. It leads us into the room of the soul where we can give Satan opportunity to add to what is going on. What we get may be information, not revelation. Sometimes we can completely missed the mark.

While ministering at a conference a stunningly attractive woman approached me and I heard God say, ‘Son, his name is Richard, and I want you to tell him I know his name and that he must change.’ I took a deep breath and looked at this person. There was no way I could tell; All the clues said she was female. Choosing to live in my spirit through faith, I brought a measure of peace to my mind, which was almost imploring me not to do anything stupid. I had to overcome fear and embarrassment also in those seconds of quiet. I spoke what the Lord had said to me and before I could add anything else this person let out a string of obscenities, hiked up his long skirt and ran from the building closely followed by several other females. 

Another time God gave me a word for a man who was going to give hundreds of thousands of dollars away to a church, and that he would be leading key business people to the Lord. The problem was the Lord pinpointed a guy dressed like a vagrant, an absolute down and out character, and right behind him was a man dressed in a suit who looked like money. I got the tramp to stand up and prophesied over him. He was looking at me with the stony face giving me no help whatsoever not a single movement. Try not to look at peoples faces for confirmation. Our own peace and rest in the Lord should be sufficient encouragement. Several moments later the Lord gave me a word for the guy in the suit that he was going to get a call back about the interview and that the job was his. As you can imagine, the enemy was not silent at this point. Everything on the inside was screaming at me, you fool, you idiot, you’ve got it wrong! I spoke to both of them later and found out that the vagrant was indeed an extremely wealthy individual and the man in a suit had just come back from an interview.
I have to say that I was so relieved and very grateful to the Lord. Prophetic ministry is never straightforward; it is ridiculously easy to make mistakes even after years in the ministry. People apply impossible standards to the prophetic office that they don’t sign to any other ministry. I do not have to be under pressure to be prophetic. I have to be myself and Jesus, and people can either cope with it or not as the case may be. As Jesus said, I can only do what the father is doing and say what my father and having to saying. Never move out by what you see; it will get you into trouble every time. Do not lean on your own understanding.

1 Sam. 16:7 – Man looks at outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.

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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

The Gift of Prophecy: 16

How do we know the difference between a true and false prophet? Let’s think in the realm of teaching to begin with. The Bible says there are true and false teachers, so what makes a teacher true or false?

2 Peter 2:3 (BSB) – In their greed, these false teachers will exploit you with tales they have concocted

(NLT) – In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money

A false teacher can say things that are true, and quote the Bible really well, but there is an issue with their delivery. What makes them false teachers is their heart/motive. If a teacher has greed in his heart, he can be moved to sculpt his teaching around whatever he deems necessary to get the money he desires. Tithes and offerings are biblical principles, so he can try to disguise his motives, but God looks at the heart:

1 Sam. 16:7 – the Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart

Satan does the same. Satan is a false god and an anti-Christ. He quotes scripture to us, making us believe we are listening to God’s voice, yet he twists the context God’s word so that we fall into sin:

Matt. 4:5-7 – Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

Jesus knew the difference between God and Satan’s voices by comparing God’s words to the rest of God’s words. The way the word was being presented did not line up with God’s character as seen in the rest of the Bible. So, how do we know the difference in a true and a false prophet? Let me state yet another way:

Lev. 19:11 – Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.

Do not lie is one of the Ten Commandments, right? Yet, during the Holocaust people deceived Nazi soldiers by hiding Jewish people. They lied to the government to protect God’s people. Was this a sin? Let’s look:

2 Kings 5:15-19 – Then Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel… please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.” “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

Naaman was a Syrian soldier with leprosy. When God healed him, he gave God his full heart, however it was part of his job to help the Syrian king bow to a false god. Naaman asked God’s forgiveness in advance and God knew the condition of his heart–that he didn’t want to bow to the false god. Naaman’s heart was positioned correctly with God, as were the hearts of those who protected the Jews during the Holocaust.

Sin is a heart issue and so sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a Pastor who truly wants you to grow closer to God, and a pastor who is trying to take advantage of you somehow. If Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, how much more can a person:

2 Cor. 11:14 – And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.



What is a false prophet?

2 Peter 2:1 – But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.

For there to be something false, there has to be something true. Just because there are false teachers, false pastors, or false prophets doesn’t mean we get rid of all teachers, pastors, and prophets. We should be wary against anything false, but should also praise God for giving us true prophets.

A false prophet, just like a false teacher or pastor, is a prophet whose heart motives have turned toward wickedness. Just like the false teacher or pastor, the false prophet can speak the truth and prophesy correctly what God is saying, but they will twist God’s words into something that benefits themselves:

Jer. 28:15-16 – Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies… you have preached rebellion against the Lord.

Here we see a true prophet confronting a false prophet. The reason Hananiah was a false prophet was because he preached rebellion against the Lord.

Rev. 2:20 – Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

This false prophet taught people that sexual immorality was okay. Many false pastors today are teaching that the gifts of the Spirit aren’t for today. Both of these are sin and preaching rebellion against the Lord.

A true prophet, teacher, pastor, etc will be known to be true by the fruit of their work. Their words will line up with God’s character as seen in the rest of the Bible.

Matt. 7:15-17 – Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

The Gift of Prophecy: 13

2 Chron. 20:14-25 – the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel… This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army (word of knowledge about the armies heart condition). For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them (word of wisdom). They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel (word of knowledge). 17 You will not have to fight this battle (prophecy)

The gifts work together. Prophecy, Word of Wisdom, and Word of Knowledge often tie in together. We need these gifts to work together so that we know what our part is and what part is God’s. Through this prophecy God addressed the condition of the heart of the soldiers, encouraged them, gave them directions in what to do, God told them where they would find their enemies, what the battle would look like, and what the final outcome would be. The gift of Wisdom and Knowledge gives us wisdom and knowledge past our own understanding, and insight into the things that only God could know. It is not speaking out of the wisdom you’ve gained in your own lifetime.

God has asked us to help bring forth the Kingdom of God into all the earth. As soldiers, in a time of intense spiritual warfare, we need prophecy, wisdom, and knowledge more than ever. God did not leave us without these key tools we needed.

Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

Joshua 6:1-5 – Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days (Word of Wisdom). Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

God loves to give us strategy for our lives. God never changes. We still need His strategies on how to take down the sinful mindsets/cultures of our cities.

The Gift of Prophecy: 9

 

The church has many people with supernatural gifting and difficult, unlovable character. It is also true that there are many nice Christians with no overt manifestation of the power of the spirit in their lives–we need both.

While it is undoubtably true that the gifts without the fruits are made worthless (1 Corinthians 13:1-2), it is also true that the gospel cannot be preached effectively without power (Romans 1: 16). The fruits are not more important than the gifts. We must not let the enemy push us into a choice that the Holy Spirit has not asked us to make. If we want the fullness of God, that means both the gifts and the fruits together.

~Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

His Voice

Knowing God’s Voice:

We know we are following the Spirit of God when we are led by the fruits of the Spirit instead of the acts of the flesh (v19)

Gal. 5:16,22-25 – walk by the Spirit… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Is. 55:12 – You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace

Rom. 8:14 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

God is always talking: 

Ps. 139:17-18 – How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.

Ps. 40:5 – Many, O Lord my God, are… Your thoughts toward us… If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

Matt. 4:4 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Comes not came! The command to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 thess.5:17) is a call to dialogue not monologue. Prayer is listening to God just as much as it is talking to Him.

God lets us hear what He has to say:

 

1 Cor. 2:10-16 – The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God

 

1 Cor. 12:7-11 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Ways God may be speaking to you:

  1. Dreams. Write down your dreams and ask God what they mean. 

    Job 33:14-17 – Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it. In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, While they slumber in their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction, That He may turn man aside from his conduct.

    Pharaoh had two dreams. God spoke in 2 ways, but God was saying the same thing (Gen. 41:25)

     

  2. Visions. Ask God to open your eyes. You may see visions while your eyes are open or closed.

    2 Kings 6:16-17 – “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

    Vision was allowed in order to encourage and comfort this person.

     

  3. Scripture. God revealed Himself through His Word to Jesus, as He will to anyone who seeks Him out through the Word:

    Luke 4:18-20 – Unrolling it, he (Jesus) found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to… Then He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

     

  4. Discernment. When we know the Word and understand who God is, we gain discernment about what is and is not God’s voice.

    1 John 4:1 – Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God.

     

  5. Small Voice.

    1 Kings 19:11-13 – Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

     

  6. Audible Voice. Pray for Him to open your ears to His voice. He is a kind and polite God, if you do not want to hear, He will not force the matter. Jesus spoke and Father God responded for all, who were willing, to hear

    John 12:28-30 – “Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.

  7. Creation. God spoke to Moses and others through the world around them. Dead sticks grew flowers, seas parted, parables of farming were used, etc:

    Ex. 3:2 – There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.

 

Ways God wants to speak through you:

 

  • Word of Knowledge. We can’t ‘read minds’ but God knows everything and He allows us to hear what is on His mind through His Spirit living in us. Sometimes He wants to speak to us about situations around us and give us an opportunity to lovingly teach others. This knowledge is something we can’t know, but that God can reveal to us

    Luke 7:39-40 – 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.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

  • Word of Wisdom. God speaks through people too. Moses was stressed, but Jethro had a word of wisdom from God to share:

    Ex. 18:17-19 – Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 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. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you.

  • Tongues. God knows all languages and His Spirit may allow us to speak a language we don’t know on our own, in order to bring Him glory:

    Acts 2:7-8,11 – Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?… we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!

  • Interpretation of Tongues. He spoke through human language in the verse above, but not all languages are languages. Dance and music are languages we often practice interpreting, but are we practicing hearing God’s voice or our own? Start asking God about His thoughts.

 

The Fruits of the Spirit. When we exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, etc… people receive the Truth of God, are healed from past wounds. God speaks through His Spirit whether it be through the Gifts of the Spirit or the Fruits of the Spirit! Gifts are given. Fruit is cultivated. How you react under pressure is how the real you reacts.

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