I received a prophetic message not too long ago. At the time, I was both excited and skeptical. Anyone who knows me, knows I believe in receiving directly from God what he wants to tell me. So when I hear from others that God spoke to them about me, I turn around and ask God “what’s up? Is what they’re saying true?” However, this time the more the prophet spoke the more I could not deny the ring of truth in their words. The words confirmed things that I had been privately seeking God for confirmation on. Also, I had to trust the holy spirit within me that didn’t twinge with a shade of hesitation at the prophet’s words. Initially after receiving the message I felt lighter and more enlightened. Then as days passed, I felt weighted down by what I’d heard. It felt like an albatross around my neck. It’s only now that I realize the weight or seriousness of prophecy.
If you are seeking prophets, it’s a dangerous game.
Knowledge can be a scary thing. Your actions from here on will either take you on the right path or completely off in the wrong direction. Then can come the addiction to always “know.” This is how people become prophet junkies where they depend on them to hear from God. Instead working on hearing from Him themselves, they find more satisfaction in seeking another person. My mother warned me of this herself. That it’s easy to fall into a trap of “easy answers.” Where you make another human being your oracle. I could see how that could happen. As we talked to the prophet it felt so comforting to have another person do the legwork for us. Which is why I personally felt weighed down and worried. Worried that this could become a dependency and weighed down by the responsibility of hearing. It weighed on me that I was told both the good and the bad. That inadvertently I could fall into the bad. Today after taking my morning walk, I’d had enough of the worrying. I also decided never to seek out a prophet again. The root problem was my relationship with God, else I wouldn’t seek anyone else out.
Don’t get me wrong. The prophetic gift is a wonderful gift from God. Paul held prophetic gifts in high regard and considered it higher than speaking in tongues.
“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.”
1 Corinthians 14:2-4
The prophetic message I received was comforting and consoling at a time I dearly needed both. However, like I said when your relationship with God is weak then even a prophetic message can have the adverse effect. The relationship is not stronger because of a mediator. It’s up to you to work on it. The prophet cannot do that for you, they are just the messenger. If prophets could change hearts, just by speaking, then the old testament would tell another story. Once the message has been shared their job is done. It’s now left to the one receiving to do the rest. That part is what weighs on me. The rest, making the right or wrong decisions are left to me. I recognize this weight as a result from a lack of intimacy with God. I know how it feels to be completely intimate with Him. In those times, nothing can shake you. Not that things don’t happen, but a profound sense of peace is rooted in your spirit. I’m a daughter of God and I know it will be well. He has never forsaken me and never will.
I now believe that before hearing a prophetic message you should be prepared to hear it – spiritually. Especially if you’re going to seek a prophet out. In seeking, I see a selfishness to it. A desire to console the “self.” To self-exalt. To take a short-cut. I remember being jealous when a prophet would visit our church and skip over me. Even my little sister, sitting beside me, would receive a message. This kind of jealousy is pure fleshly desires. A desire for the spotlight. When the spotlight should be on God. I read an online book on Prophets and Prophecy in Today’s Church. Chapter 2 was on The Dangers of Prophecy. It was an insightful read. The section on “Helping God” spoke the most to me. Here is an excerpt:
“Any time we decide on our own to help God’s word come to pass, we are acting in the flesh . . . the same as Abram and Sarai. God spoke to me in the early 1970’s that He was sending me as a teacher of His church among the non-Western nations of the world. It wasn’t until 1988 that the Lord said, “Now is the time.” Because I understood this principle, the only action I took when I initially heard this personal prophecy was that I tried to be a diligent student of God’s word and His principles. In other words, I tried to learn all I could so I would be prepared to go teach. I left the timing and commissioning to God.
When God gives a promise, through prophecy or otherwise, our part is to 1) believe it, and 2) make the necessary preparations. Then we must let God bring it to pass. Otherwise, we act in the flesh and produce “an Ishmael.” ‘
I definitely do not want to produce an Ishmael. It won’t be an easy task but now starts the due diligence part. Where I put my head in the bible and my heart in prayer. For however long it takes for God to do his work in me.