How do I operate in the Prophetic?
The gifts that are for strengthening, encouragement and comfort of others are for every spirit-filled believer. We are not all called to be prophets, but Paul was clear, he wished that all would prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:5) Here’s how I started operating in the prophetic.
1. I eagerly desire.
We are told to eagerly desire spiritual gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:1, 14:12, 14:39)
If we do not have a strong desire to move out into the operation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, then we will find all kinds of excuses “to hide behind,” so we will not need to step out publicly in the exercising of them. Our desire must become stronger than our excuses!
Rodney Francis “School of the Holy Spirit”
The Father responds to our desires.
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, AMP).
Jesus said: “Therefore I say unto you, Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them” (Mark 11:24, KJV).
2. I prophesy in faith.
Luke 11:5-13 shows us to be eager in our relationship with God and gives us assurances it is His will to give us what we eagerly desire. This ties directly into faith.
Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Luke 11:5-13 (New Living Translation)
Faith is required to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When we fear what others will think, or fear that we may make a mistake we are not walking by faith. When we think it’s not for us to do or not for the church today, we are not walking by faith. When we spend little time in the Word and fail to apply it to our lives, we are not walking by faith.
Faith is understanding what the Word of God says and applying it to our lives in the spirit in which it was said.
Faith is required to make known the thoughts that have been silently given to us by the Spirit. (Romans 12:6)
3. I follow the flow of the Spirit.
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 (New Living Translation)
In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can take turns.
1 Corinthians 14:31-32 (New Living Translation)
Too often people expect the Holy Spirit to basically possess them and then have these wonderful things come from them. God never operates this way. He will prod the willing heart to speak forth His mysteries, but “The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.” (1 Corinthians 14:32) It’s up to us to refrain and its up to us to proceed.
4. I start with what He gives us.
God leads us gently along. You will not instantly be expected to operate at a level of someone much further along the way. But faith requires you take what have been given and make use of it.
You’ll never know the blessing you could be to the person you’re ministering to if you keep it to yourself. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, share it in love – remembering that you need to do your part…but it’s up to God.
5. I need to be gentle to all.
When you’re ministering to a person, avoid the “Thus sayeth the Lord”. Instead, use phrases like,
“I don’t know if this means anything to you, but I sense…”
“This may not be for you, but I think God is saying…”
There is value in humility. There is value in honouring the individual.
Until you learn how to know that you know, it’s perfectly legitimate to say, “I’m new at this” and “I’m learning how to hear the Father.” Doing so puts the one you’re ministering to at ease and gives you the freedom to be more adventurous.
6. I look for the gold.
When you start to move in the prophetic, you may be able to see a lot of garbage in a person’s life. Un-confessed sin can jump out at you.
First of all, understand that prophecy can be from one of three sources.
a. The Holy Spirit
b. The human spirit
Satanically-inspired prophecy is subtle, deceptive, manipulative and domineering. We need the gifts of discerning spirits to know when we’re being influenced by those thoughts. You can be influenced by someone near-by, so be aware. Don’t be afraid, but don’t forget to speak in love and to honour the individual.
Prophecy inspired by the human spirit is often negative and critical. You may be tempted to speak these out when you see the garbage in people’s lives.
Prophecy from the heart of God will always strengthen, encourage and comfort others.
Always look for the gold. One tool is to ask the Spirit to “give me the words the bring life” or to “let me see the treasure that you see in him (or her).”
7. I have received impartation
a. From the Father (Numbers 11:16-29)
b. From others (Acts 19:6-7, 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6-7)
How do you operate in the prophetic? Tell us in the comments