Prophetic Clarity

In the bush regions of Uganda

In the bush regions of Uganda

“Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy… he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” (1 Cor. 14:1 & 3)

Over the past 20 years, the Lord has graced us with better understanding of prophetic ministry. We have seen a wonderful restoration of the ministry of the prophet in our day… and for that I am grateful. Gone are the days where there is no word from heaven and the image of prophets are simply a picture of Elijah with a long, grey beard in a flowing robe. I believe that now God wants to raise the prophetic standard in our churches and train us to hear with clarity and precision.

The Standard of Clarity:

Hearing the voice of God with clarity and understanding the anointing of the Holy Spirit are the pre-requisites to speaking words that edify, exhort and comfort the people of God. It takes experience and knowledge of God’s Word to become consistent and it is a life long pursuit. Here are some thoughts about raising the standard of prophetic ministry.

1. All may prophesy, but not all are prophets. We must release the prophetic in our fellowships and begin to allow more freedom of expression. We can learn how to identify the difference between someone who is simply prophesying a word of encouragement and someone who has a prophetic ministry. But we cannot grow in our understanding without vital experience in spiritual revelation. One way to test the gift of the prophet is by measuring the accuracy and authority by which the person speaks (1 Jn. 4:1). Some well meaning individuals, who lack maturity will use a harsh tone or “old fashion” pentecostal tone. But true prophets speak the word of the Lord with clarity, as if it is the very word of God (1 Pe. 4:10-11).

2. Prophetic people need patience. Just because you have received a message from God doesn’t mean you are to speak it forth. You must learn the right timing in which to prophesy. Unless the word is spoken at the right time or “kairos” moment, it will likely fall on deaf ears. Hold the word, pray into it, let it develop and expand and at the right time deliver it with a sense of boldness. It will carry a fresh anointing and accomplish what it was sent to do, because it was set in its proper season. It helps to look at examples in Scripture, like the Sons of Issachar (Gen. 49:14-15) who were Jacob’s descendants. They were prophetic people who understood the times and knew what Israel should do (1 Chron. 12:32). They spoke into key events with clarity and eventually their descendants were influential in King David’s reign in Jerusalem. 

3. If you have no prayer life, you have no prophetic ministry. In order to “be a voice”, you must first hear God’s voice. Scripture makes it clear that we must abide in Christ in order to know the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). “The Lion roars, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8). In other words, first the Lion of the Tribe of Judah must roar, and then those who hear it begin to prophesy. I know that sounds simplistic, but believe me when I say it is a problem, when our standard is accuracy and edification.

4. Let the prophetic word come sharp and clear. The Spirit doesn’t author confusion, so if you don’t understand the meaning or interpretation of something then it’s possible that you should not share it. Words without interpretation are not edifying to people. I personally enjoy hearing about rainbows, clouds and exciting visions, but we must recognize that some of these things only leave a person that much more confused. I understand there are occasions where the meaning of a vision is not disclosed, but someone else should have the interpretation. God is not hiding anything from us (Jn 15:15), we can always ask for the interpretation. Be patient and God will speak with clarity (1 Cor. 2:10-12).

“Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)

5. We are Dependant Upon Revelation. The prophetic ministry puts a demand upon revelation. Its a ministry that has its roots in pursuing God in such a way that He begins to reveal the secrets of His heart (Prov. 25:2).  I am not talking about revelation beyond that found in the Scriptures. No, but within the revelation already given – and God knows it is bigger than our imagination! The Holy Spirit still moves to reveal what “eyes have not seen, nor ears heard” (1 Cor. 2:9). This is the role of prophetic ministry… to bring others an unfolding revelation. It was there all the time, but somehow hidden. God is doing new things and the only way we can see it is to shift the way we see (Mt. 4:17). 

Liberty:

That is the wonder of a life in the Spirit. It is a life of constant new discovery and everything that once was mystery is full of surprise and wonder. A life set on the Holy Spirit can never be static; it is full of liberty and freedom. God’s thoughts are beyond limit. We cannot reach the place where Truth is no longer enlarging our perception of who He is… nor who we are in Him. This is our liberty in Christ, to listen to the Holy Spirit and become activated in something bigger than ourselves.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” (2 Cor. 3:17)

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