Welcome back to part 2 of this 3 part series, Keys To Unlock Your Gift Of Prophecy.
If you haven’t read the first part yet, it’s best if you start there.
The Prophetic Lifestyle: Second Of 3 Keys
Last time, we talked about the importance of alignment with God and how worship draws us into that place:
- 1Our spirit becomes aligned with God’s spirit.
- 2Our heart (and emotions) become aligned with God’s heart.
- 3Our mind becomes aligned with the mind of Christ.
When our spirit aligns with God’s spirit, we become spirit led. This allows us to operate more effectively in the prophetic gifts.
Today, I’ll look at how our heart and emotions become aligned with God’s heart …but how that may, surprisingly, lead us into difficulties.
I’ll also share an exciting opportunity with you, so keep reading to the end!
The Prophetic Lifestyle: How I Got Started
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that the gift of prophecy is very close to my heart.
I began to prophesy from fairly early on in my Christian life, and at every stage, I’ve always wanted to hear God’s voice more clearly than before.
These days, I eat, drink and sleep prophecy: I’m always thinking and writing about it. And whenever I lead a church meeting, I ask the question, “What does the spirit of prophecy want to say today?”
What you might not know, is how I got here.
My big “secret” is simply this: I asked!
The story of how I first began to prophesy started in that way. That story is outside the scope of this post (spoiler alert: you can find out more about it in my new online course…), but it’s also how I continued to grow, over the years that followed:
- 1I asked God to give me the gift of prophecy.
- 2I kept asking for more, in order to grow my gift of prophecy.
Of course, it wasn’t all plain sailing and I encountered some issues along the way.
The Prophetic Lifestyle: How I Struggled
Very early on, I discovered that learning the gift of prophecy comes with a cost.
I got close to God and received something of his heart for other people, but I also began to struggle with another aspect to those emotions.
And then I discovered that I wasn’t the only one…
As I write about prophecy and hearing God, I sometimes get comments from my readers.
I also survey my readers regularly, in order to find out how I can serve them best.
From the feedback I receive, 3 thoughts or questions stand out from the crowd (which are all variations on a theme):
- 1How do I know it's God speaking to me and not just my imagination?
- 2How do I know it's not just in my head, or my own thoughts and desires?
- 3How do I hear God when my own thoughts and emotions are so "loud"?
In other words, how we can be sure we’re receiving God’s thoughts and feelings for a person, or situation?
The Prophetic Lifestyle: Key To Knowing God’s Voice
Jesus himself answered this question:
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” (John 10:14).
Before that, speaking of the good shepherd in third person terms, he also said this:
“…he [the shepherd] goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4-5 NIV, emphasis mine)
This is all about relationship:
So the key to knowing whether it’s God speaking, or you thinking, or something else, is to spend plenty of quality time with the shepherd.
I have written elsewhere about the impact of our lifestyle on our relationship with God, and how we can find ways to improve it.
But that can be really, really, hard at times.
The Prophetic Lifestyle: Feeling Alone
I feel sympathy for every one of those people who ask the questions above, because I’ve been there too.
It can be hard when God starts speaking to you, because not everyone around you understands what it’s like - even in Christian circles.
And because everyone is unique, it follows that everyone has a unique relationship with God.
There’s an emotional burden associated with this, because sometimes the Lord shows us things that we’re not very comfortable with.
That emotional burden goes beyond the effect of the “daily grind”, and isn’t always something that sits well with us.
Sometimes, it just feels so alone.
The Prophetic Lifestyle: You’re Not Alone
But through my writing, I’ve realised that none of us are, in fact, alone.
Yes, there will always be a certain aspect to your relationship with God, that is different to mine, and different to everyone else.
There may well be times when it feels lonely.
But the important thing to remember is this:
When we connect with God, we connect with his heart and emotions, and as we have said, it’s not always easy.
However, because we are connected with God, we are never truly alone: he is our best friend, as well as our Lord and saviour!
And if we also connect with each other, then we are able to share one another’s burdens too.
The Prophetic Lifestyle: Prophecy From Relationship
That’s one of the reasons why God established his church: he never intended for us to be by ourselves.
Our God is a relational God. He designed us to relate to him, and to each other.
The prophets of the bible, including Jesus himself, often spent long periods alone with their Father.
But the Lord always brought them back into relationship with others.
True prophecy always comes out of a position of relationship: with God and with others.
The good news about aligning ourselves with God’s heart, is that we gain a heart of love for other people. We begin to see them through his eyes, and with his compassion.
And when we love other people with God’s love, we cannot go wrong:
"Even if we completely mess up the words of a prophecy, if the message makes someone feel loved, then we have succeeded."
The Prophetic Lifestyle: The Company Of Prophets
In the books of Samuel and Kings, we see mention of a “company of prophets”.
They seem to be part of a movement of prophetic people, in training.
My heart for Christians today, particularly for those struggling to grow in the gift of prophecy, is to establish a modern day company of prophets.
One of the ways I’m doing that, is through a new online training course: the 4 Steps Prophecy School.
Inside, prophets in training will be able to learn and talk about prophecy: not just how to operate in the gift itself, but also about the difficulties and emotions that can get churned up, in the process of learning it.
The Prophetic Lifestyle: School Opening Soon
Next time, we’ll look at the last key to unlocking your gift of prophecy: having the mind of Christ.
I’ll also let you know more about the 4 Steps Prophecy School.
I’m very excited about it, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
It’s opening very soon and you can learn more about it here.
What effect has the gift of prophecy had on your emotions, and how have you coped?
Let us know by leaving a comment, below.