Read Time: 5 Minutes, 22 Seconds
Within the Charismatic and Pentecostal worlds, personal prophetic words can be treated as gold—something to seek after, hold dearly, and treasure. In some circles, they are rarely received and in others, frequently. But what do you actually do with a prophetic word when you’ve gotten one? Oftentimes, we receive a prophetic word, and we may wonder, “What now? Do I drop everything and do exactly what it says? What if I don’t think it’s true? What if I’m not hearing God?” It can sometimes be confusing and even overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the Lord never speaks to us in confusion or chaos but in peace.
Prophecy is a beautiful gift made available to all Believers in Jesus and is to be used for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the one receiving. (1 Corinthians 12, 1 Corinthians 14:3) This gift is always to be used in love (1 Corinthians 13) and never to condemn or tear down. It should minister grace to the hearer (Ephesians 4:29) and speak life to your spirit. A true prophetic word will always align with the Word of God and with the heart (character) of God. These guardrails in the prophetic can help you to determine if a word that you’ve received should be considered. If you have received a prophetic word that fits within this framework, what a gift! You now want to steward this gift and allow the Lord to direct you towards His very best for your life.
Here are some helpful things to note as you process your prophetic word with the Lord:
Recognize That a Prophetic Word is Partial
According to 1 Corinthians 13:9, we “know in part and we prophesy in part”. This means that the prophetic word that you have received is not the complete picture, but a partial word that God has highlighted for you in this time.
Do Nothing Differently Unless Definitely Directed
The prophetic word is a powerful tool to give insight into the heart, will and purpose of God for our life. However, it is not the sole authority in our life. A true prophetic word will always align with both the written Word of God (The Bible) and His heart and character as referenced in the Bible as well as personally witnessed in our own spirit. Just because a prophetic word suggests an action be taken, there should always be confirmation of this by Scriptural backing, Holy Spirit’s leading within you and most often also confirmed by your spiritual authority (i.e. Pastor). Also recognize right timing. Just because an action is suggested, doesn’t always mean it is for today.
Be Active With Your Word
Whenever possible, be sure to record the ministry that you are receiving on your phone. If received at a ministry or church, request that a copy of the audio or video be sent to you. It is highly beneficial to rehearse your prophetic words by actively listening to and/or writing them down. This allows the word to be kindled in our spirit. It also reminds us of what God has said and allows our soul to partner with the word.
Pray Into Your Word
As you listen to your prophetic word, ask the Lord to give you further insight, counsel, and revelation on how you can best partner with what He has said to bring it to pass in your life. We have a responsibility to actively pursue what God has spoken—praying into your prophetic word is a great way of doing this.
Keep Your Heart Tender
The Bible says that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). Sometimes when we receive a prophetic word, we have our own ideas on how it may come to pass. We want to always keep our heart soft before the Lord, trusting that as we do our part, He will do what He has promised. It may not always look how we expected, but we can remain confident that He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
Remain Submissive and Humble
It is highly suggested that you submit your prophetic word to your pastor or spiritual mentor. A pastor’s caring wisdom and long-term perspective is priceless in any area of growth or direction in our walk with the Lord. Personal prophecy is not a replacement for pastoral counsel and oversight. Receiving a valid, genuine word from the Lord is not a license to become independent or to take on a spiritually superior attitude. Prophecy is one way we can know the will of God; pastoral counsel is another complementary way. The two should flow together with the Bible as the foundation and source of which they should all agree.
Remember, Nobody’s Perfect
As your prophetic word is delivered to you by a person, recognize that that individual is just that, a delivery person. They are not God; they are not flawless and sometimes they get it wrong. This is why it is important for you to take responsibility to seek God concerning your word, to get wise counsel, and to obey God’s leading.
Lastly, receive your word with joy and know that God is for you! His plans for your life are good and only good! Be blessed and be encouraged that God loves you and will continue to speak to you! As you receive your prophetic word through another, through His Word, and through the witness of the Holy Spirit inside of you, I pray God’s absolute best over you and that you would receive the fulfillment of every word that He has spoken over your life!
Isaiah 55:11, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (NKJV)
Katie Stansfield is the co-host of the podcast, Life Exchange. She is also a staff pastor and administrator at Giving Light—a local church and global resource center based in Elizabethville, PA. With a practical, down-to-earth style, Katie believes in tearing down personal and societal barriers so that we can model and lead successful and healthy lives, relationships, and communities.