The gift of prophecy is a powerful gift from the Lord. I have operated in this gift for about 14 years. When it first started operating I was a little overwhelmed. I understood by revelation that God was restoring the gift of Elijah in this hour. I knew that the heart of God was being revealed for people’s lives.
The way this gift operated for me in the beginning is that I sort of had a knowing of things in people’s lives. I remember sitting with a friend and knowing that she had been heard when she was young. As I spoke to her about it you could see the truth to what I was seeing. I didn’t know how to encourage in those days. I was seeing but didn’t know how to minister.
One of the things that prophetic people often see is the hard facts about people’s lives. We may have a knowing that the people are going to go through certain difficulties or that they are struggling with certain problems in their life. A rookie prophetic person feels the need to tell the people what they are seeing. When I first did this, I had horrific experiences. I literally got thrown out of places because of the things that I would say to people.
Through time the Lord brought me the needed training and revelation that I required to operate more effectively. Now when I see difficult things in people’s lives I know how to handle it better. I know that what God reveals he heals. If he is showing me a sin that a person is struggling with it because he wants to set that person free. If he shows me that a person went through a lot of abuse when they were young, it might be to forgive those that hurt them.
Many times, I actually operate in the gift of knowledge rather than prophecy. Prophecy is often forward looking where a word of knowledge is revealing things about a person’s life whether in the present or in the past. Some prophets will receive words of knowledge like the name of the person in front of them, or what job that they do, or the city that they live in or even a person’s address. Some people can even tell you the exact problems that you are currently facing. This is what we call Words of knowledge.
Prophetic people minister in many different ways. For me I have often told a person their name or something very details about their life, but when I do it I am just as stunned as they are. I wasn’t looking for the exact information it just flowed from my heart. When I prophesy it comes from a flow? I often don’t even know what I am going to say until I have said it. There are times I will say things that I don’t normally say. I will even use words that I don’t usually use. When this happens I often hear the person say you said that just like how I say it. God will use these kinds of references to show the people that he knows their thoughts.
Many times, I will prophesy, and someone will come up to me and say, “you know what you said is exactly what I heard God say to me this morning.” Prophetic ministry often confirms what God is saying. Yet, there are times when what I say is brand new to the person. I remember one gentleman in Alberta coming to me a year after I prophesied over him. He said, “I thought you were crazy when I first met you. Nothing that you said seemed to speak to the person that I was, but now a year later I have to say that everything you said has pretty much come to pass.” It is nice to receive confirmation regarding words.
And yet, you cannot live for confirmation and affirmation in prophetic ministry. You have to trust that what God is placing in your heart is from him. It is nice that it can be confirmed but if you only prophesy to get confirmation you will likely be disappointed. When Jesus prayed for the ten lepers only one came back to him to tell him of the healing (Luke 17:11-19). In ministry this is the way it is. We may or may not hear that the word we spoke resonated and came to pass in people’s lives. In fact, sometimes you will be very polite, nice and correct and the people will still be very upset with you.
Our motivation must be to please the Lord. We have to prophesy because he has called us to do it. Moreover, when we prophesy, it is important that we ask God for his heart of love for the people that we are praying for. I do not want to appear before the Lord and say, “I prophesied in your name,” only to hear him say, “Go from me I never knew you.” I want to appear before him as a lover of the presence.
My gifting should always be an outflow of the love that I have for Jesus and for his people. Some prophesy to be known as prophets. These people don’t care so much about you as they do about their reputation. This is not an effective ministry. Those that operate in such a way may have a measure of success, but they would have greater success if they learned to love.
Anyway, my prayer today is that you will begin to operate in this gift and that encouragement will flow through you to the people God brings you. I pray that you will receive words of knowledge and prophecy for those that you meet in your day-to-day life. And may you have the courage every time you feel the Lord prompting you. God is good and has great fruitfulness in store for your life.