Prophecy & Learning to Discern God’s Voice
Hearing the voice of God is every believers greatest desire, I believe. The Bible says he put eternity in our hearts. This planting of eternity in us is the spark we need that begins our quest to hear his voice for ourselves. The question for most of us who really want to know God is whether what we are hearing is his voice, ours or the devils. Herein lies the dilemma.
Thats why we have The Holy Spirit. One of his roles and functions in our lives is to lead us into all truth.
Add prophecy to the equation of hearing Gods voice and things can really start to get fuzzy for many people. The online Dictionary defines prophecy as-A divinely inspired utterance or revelation; a prediction of what is to come; a function of a prophet.
The apostle Paul had much to say on this subject all through the New Testament. Prophecy was however not new to the New Testament church as prophets of old had walked in this function for hundreds of years. As a matter of fact it was how the children of Israel knew what God was saying to them and how they received their instructions on how to live in relationship with him as their God and each other.
Now you don’t have to be a prophet to prophesy but prophets do operate in this function. Put a prophet around other prophets and you will see a lot of prophesying. We learned this in 1 Samuel 10:10, when Saul encounters a company of prophets. Read it when you get a moment.
Finding prophetic voices that you can trust is where most of us get stuck. In the average American church the function of a prophet as one of the fivefold ministry gifts spelled out in Ephesians is not realized on the average Sunday morning. So how do you find them?
Thankfully enough, in this generation we have the Internet. You can put all kinds of subject titles in the search engine and get all sorts of results. However I believe it starts closer than that. It starts with that spark. Learning to respond to the spark of the Holy Spirit is part of our responsibility. God is all about partnership. He never goes against our will. As Holy Spirit prompts us and begins to pursue us our responsibility is to stop, take notice then act on it. Recognizing that it’s him is the first hurdle.
In this pursuit of knowing him and connecting with him he uses others in the faith. In Genesis God said it’s not good that man should be alone. He wasn’t just referring to a spouse. We need each other. We need connection. We were made for relationship.
Because of this, I believe God has placed on all of our paths, people who can point us in the right direction. People who give us encouragement, inspiration, counsel and guidance. Whether it be your pastor, close friend or someone else that God brings to your mind.
I say all of this because its important that you not only hear God for yourself but you identify others in the faith that help you process what God is desiring to teach and reveal to you.
I myself have met with a spiritual mentor, mother in the faith, life coach, call it what you want, for the last three years. God has used her to grow me in ways that would have taken many more years if I had journeyed alone.
I also stay connected to other prophetic voices that I’ve come to trust over the years. I attend a Spirit filled church where the gifts of the prophetic are taught and often experienced. The apostle Paul knew how vital it was to the life and growth of the early church that the gifts of the fivefold ministry be in operation. The gift of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher were given for the equipping of the Saints the Bible says, so that we would grow to be mature sons and daughters of God.
Because the bible says we only see and know in part, it’s critically important that you stay connected to others in the faith that you know hear Gods voice for themselves and have a proven track record.
Many times I may only get one word from the Lord or maybe just a phrase- and early on in my gifting, I didn’t do a whole lot with what God was giving me. Honestly I didn’t know how. And I think this is where many people have gotten discouraged. There aren’t many mentors anymore- there aren’t many fathers and mothers, teaching and discipling on a personal level. This has to change.
It was later that I began to learn that I must search out the nuggets God was giving me. How did I know? I was spending more time in the Word of God and coming across Scriptures like Proverbs 25:2- “it’s the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out.” At that point on my journey with God, I understood that we are kings and priests unto our God- Rev. 5:10.
So I began to search things out- using all sorts of tools on the Internet, my library and of course the word of God. Sometimes I would get on my piano and begin to worship because all of a sudden there’s a song that I hear in my head. In those times I have found that worship is what would unlock what God was trying to convey to me. It took me to a higher dimension and plain. It is in those higher places that we ascend to where God is, taking out all the static of the here below. That’s why John was told in Revelations 4:1 to COME UP HERE (a higher place) and I’ll show you what is to come. Up higher we have a different perspective, we have the “proximity effect” of being closer to God in the spirit, thus hearing and seeing more clearly. There was a door opened to him whereby he gained access to greater revelation. We too have this access.
It’s been my experience that most people are hearing Gods voice- maybe like me- one word or phrase every single day. Most just don’t recognize that it is God speaking to them. I think this is the real reason why I got into prophetic ministry and life coaching. I wanted to help people. I had been on such a journey of personal discovery for myself that I wanted to share with others what I had learned along the way.
I wanted to be a mother in this generation; a mentor, teacher or coach that used what God had revealed to her. I had received freely from God himself and from others like my spiritual mother and I wanted to freely give back. This is why I don’t charge for helping others. I teach people the principle of sowing and reaping.
On my personal journey I have practiced, studied and spent years discerning the voice of God. Do I 100% of the time know it’s God- uh no. But I have come to recognize and understand the ways of God. I’ve come to understand his love for me and from that place of relationship he has entrusted me with others as I have proven my love and commitment to him. I’ve learned how he uniquely speaks to me and how I can relay his heart to people just like you.
There are some seasons that I was only plugged into one or two voices that I knew God was using for my training in a specific area. In other seasons I was connected to many voices. I’ve learned that discerning which voice of wisdom God wants to use in each season is part of our development- God’s way.
Developing our prophetic gift takes years and cannot be rushed. Hurry is the enemy to knowing the ways of God. God is all about rest. I’ve learned that some things just take time to develop in our lives. Unfortunately my failures have taught me this. And fortunately I do not live there.
Victories and failures are part of the transformation and development processes of God in our lives. All you have to do is read the Bible to see this truth. God uses flawed people. It’s so that we know that it’s his grace on our lives that enables us to stand and be victorious. Otherwise we would brag about our own righteousness.
At the end of the day, God just wants us to know him. Out of that relationship we can help others learn to know him too. It’s the simplicity of this truth that I continually bring back into focus on a daily basis in my life. From this secured place of relationship, God can trust us with more of the depths and “riches that are hidden treasures stored in secret places. This is so that we may know that God is Lord and he calls us by name.” Isaiah 45:3