RECEIVING A PERSONAL PROPHECY FROM SOMEONE
I was asked a while back to write some things concerning how one might receive a prophetic word from someone else. This teaching concerns this topic and may well even go into more detail at some point in the form of a book. Then I will go into more detail about giving and receiving prophetic words.
Oftentimes when one receives a word from the Lord from a trusted prophet or anyone else, there are usually questions that arise. Many times people have the notion that what was said in the prophecy will:
- come to pass immediately, or
- that there isn’t anything that they need to do in the meantime.
Both of these types of thinking are plagued with problems and one can get easily confused or disappointed because of these mindsets.
We need to remember the words of Habakkuk 2:2-3,
“And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end — it will not lie. If it seem slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.”
When it is said, “The vision awaits its time and that it hastens to the end, and will not lie. Even when it seems slow, wait for it, because it will surely come and will not delay” (paraphrased.)
We need to be aware of the fact that God’s timing is perfect. We see things and the events of this world from our point of view. God sees the whole picture, from the beginning to the end. He arranges the events of our lives in such a way that the vision, the prophecy that is tailor-made for us, will happen at just the right time and way.
His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts anything like our thoughts. They are much higher. And when a word may say something like, “Even now those things will begin to happen in your life son or daughter…” The words ‘even now,’ have divine implications.
The ‘even now’ can apply to those things not seen by the human eye, or heard by the human ear. And yet, a seed is sown and is starting to grow within us even then. And that seed which was sown in the form of a true prophetic word, will grow as it is nurtured, and will blossom and flourish in the thing that it was given to.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:9.
I also believe that some misinterpret what the actual prophecy was about. Sometimes we miss the ‘context’ in which it was meant to be received. The context of this then can be considered in light of the verses from John 15:7,
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”
In other words, if one is told that they are to be a missionary to the people of Indonesia, then their life should be one of “abiding in God, and having His words abiding in them.” If this was not the case, then they wouldn’t be in a position to become a missionary.
Also, when one receives a “word of prophecy,” the one giving the message is oftentimes saying things that are already embedded in the person’s heart. By this, I am simply saying that the one prophesying is saying things that the person already knows in their heart.
However, one who is a prophet, as opposed to those who have the “gift of prophecy,” says things in the form of direction or illumination, that are “new things” for them.
However, the fact remains that circumstances and conditions in the lives of a person who has been given a true prophetic word, have a bearing on how, when, and if, that word comes to pass. One such example is when the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and told him that he needed to get ready, for he was about to die. As we know, the king humbled himself and sought the Lord about this, and because of his humility, he was granted fifteen more years to live. Then the prophet returned to the king and told him that God had granted him more time to live because of his heart’s condition towards God.
“In those days Hezeki′ah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order; for you shall die, you shall not recover.” Then Hezeki′ah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in thy sight.” And Hezeki′ah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezeki′ah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city” Isaiah 38:1-6.
It doesn’t mean that the original prophecy that Isaiah gave to the king was false, but rather that there were conditions set in this word, and the king fulfilled those conditions in his response. We are all given choices in this life about how we would conduct ourselves towards our fellow man. We reap what we sow in our actions. And we reap and sow in our actions towards the things of God; in how we receive what He would say to us and in how we would live out those words and deeds.
Lastly, if one has been given a prophecy from someone who has seemed utterly strange and without merit, then it is best to set it on the shelf. If it was truly from God, then the truth in it will come to pass in the person’s life, but if it was spoken rashly and from a false prophet, then the words will fall to the ground and will dry up.
We are told to judge a tree by its fruit. One can readily see when a person’s life is consumed by the things of the world rather than from God. You shall know them by their fruits, either in the form of selfishness, greed, coveted-ness or lust. You shall also know them by gentleness, perseverance, mercy, truth, kindness, and love.
“Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil” Thessalonians 5:19-22.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the Lord is a special way in 1975 and has been prophesying regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are to be reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?