by Rich Murphy
God brings prophecy into the church to encourage, exhort, and bless His people. It is one of His ways of speaking something directly to His people. This can happen through an individual in the church, or through a minister that God brings in.
Just as God can speak to a church through prophecy, He can also use it to speak to an individual. Many Christians, being anxious to hear from God, will go seeking someone who can bring them a word of personal prophecy. These same people, who feel they desperately need to hear from God, will often ignore the opportunities to hear from Him through prayer, or His Word.
HOW A PERSONAL PROPHECY COMES
Prophecy comes in different ways to different people operating under a prophetic anointing. Although all are done to accomplish the same goal, the methodology may vary from individual to individual. Some prophets (or people operating in the gift of prophecy) will hear words within their spirit. Others will see an image, or vision, that speaks into a situation. Still others will have the words printed out for them, as if printed upon a screen.
No matter how an individual receives the prophecy, it will usually be incomplete. God will not show every detail of a personís life, or even every detail pertaining to the situation. There will only be enough information to deal with whatever God is wanting to say.
Often the information given by God will be allegorical in nature. Jesus taught the people through parables, and He has not given up speaking this way. Especially when God is giving visions, they are likely to be pictures that appear to have no direct bearing on the situation, yet have a meaning that speaks directly into the personís need.
There are usually three parts to a prophecy. First, there is the word, or vision that God gives. God will always speak accurately, but we may not always hear Him accurately.
Even if the prophet hears God correctly, the prophecy may not be interpreted correctly. We can very easily look at the information God gives, and come to the wrong conclusions. This doesnít mean that the prophecy is wrong, just that it was misunderstood. Be sure that the prophecy is given, and not just the interpretation. That way, if the interpretation is wrong, it can be reexamined later.
It is in the area of interpretation that most prophetic error is made. If you receive a prophetic word that doesnít seem accurate, look at the original prophecy, and see if there could be an alternate interpretation.
Sometimes the interpretation error is on the part of the recipient, and not the prophet. God can say that ďyou will have a son, and his name shall be David.Ē To a pregnant woman, that is obviously talking about the baby she is carrying. However, God might be saying this about the next child, or even the one after that. Be sure you avoid reading things into a prophecy that God hasnít said.
PROPHECY IS CONDITIONAL
All prophecy requires some action on the recipientís part. Even if the prophecy does not contain exact instructions, there will still be an implied action on the recipientís part. Someone in the leadership of the church should look at the prophecy, along with an understanding of the personís life in order to determine what action God is desiring.
Throughout scripture, whenever God gives a promise, it requires certain actions. Often, Godís promises are stated as ďif...then.Ē If we do what God says, then He will bless us in a certain way.
God hasnít changed. He still gives His blessings conditionally. We must obey, and do what He has commanded in order to receive from Him.
A CAUTION ABOUT PERSONAL PROPHECY
Directive prophecy (giving you direction to do something) must always be confirming what God has already spoken to you, and not giving new direction. If you receive a prophecy that gives new direction, donít take action on it. Instead, put it on the shelf, and wait to see what God does with it.
We all need a ďprophecy shelfĒ where we are storing up words from God that we are waiting to see fulfilled. Many people take Godís direction and take immediate action upon it. That isnít always Godís will. Sometimes, He will give direction long before the appointed time, in order to give vision for His plan. This is there so that we can see where God is taking us, not so that weíll run out and take action. More ministries fail because of going ahead of Godís timing than any other reason.
Judge the prophecy according to scripture, then wait to see what Godís timing is. When it is His correct timing, He will bring it to pass.
This Teaching was originally
done as a brochure for distribution in revival.
|Why Do Some People Fall Down When They Are Prayed For?|
Book On Revival
"Send Your Fire"
Copyright © 1999 by Rich Murphy, Maranatha Life, All Rights Reserved.