The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy

By Lee Ann Rubsam

Religion & spirituality, Personal growth, Education & teaching, General non-fiction

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In 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, the apostle Paul listed nine manifestations, or gifts, of the Holy Spirit, which were meant to occur regularly and with power in the Church. Over the many centuries which followed, as the Church became corrupted with unbelief and compromise, these manifestations were not seen nearly as much as they had been at the beginning. Fortunately, the Lord began to bring them to the forefront once again in the twentieth century. Prophecy is among them, and one of the ways it is showing up quite frequently today is in personal prophetic words for individuals.

Personal prophecy can and should be a great blessing from the Lord to His Church. It can also be an effective evangelism tool, when used rightly. But, as with any of the gifts of the Spirit, it must be cherished and guarded carefully. Because we are human and therefore open to error, there is always the opportunity for misuse and even for a counterfeit copy to show up. Those of us who are releasing prophecy to others must watch over the attitudes of our own hearts, so that our words are genuine and pure. And those of us who are on the receiving end of a prophetic word must use wisdom in discerning whether it is truly from the Lord or not, as well as maturity in how we respond to it. If we don't, we will end up disappointed, disillusioned, and perhaps stuck in the middle of big mistakes which we wish we had never made.

In this book, I will give some tips for how to discern personal prophetic words which you receive from others and what to do with those words once you've got them. I will also give some guidelines for how to keep out of trouble when you are prophesying personal words. I hope you will enjoy our journey together!

Discerning Personal Prophecy

Discernment is a necessary spiritual skill for all Christians, if we are to successfully fulfill the unique mission which God endows each of us with. We need it at many levels to navigate the world we live in and to walk out our lives effectively for Jesus. Discernment is a component of wisdom, and there is no quick method to gain it. It comes through staying intimately connected with the Lord through prayer and reading the Bible. That said, there are guidelines which we can utilize to help us discern correctly, and in this book, we will look specifically at those which pertain to personal prophecy.

First of all, let me say that I am concerned about the emphasis which some believers put on receiving personal prophetic words from others. There are many today who run here and there to receive a word from the Lord from somebody else, when what they should be doing is spending time in the Lord's presence, listening for Him to speak directly to them.

A few years ago, the Lord shared with me a thought which really blessed my heart. My pastor had been preaching from Matthew 16:17-19, the "upon this rock I will build My church" passage. In it, Jesus speaks a personal word to Peter. My pastor commented, "What would that be like, to have Jesus Himself prophesy over you?" And the Lord dropped into my spirit that Jesus does just that on a regular basis for His children. Whenever we receive His guidance for everyday decisions, or a glimpse into His purposes for our future, or a comforting assurance that everything will be all right, He is prophesying to us personally. I am thrilled that this is the case!

What are the reasons, then, for constantly looking to others for personal revelation, rather than cultivating hearing from the Lord for ourselves? We may entertain a feeling of unworthiness to hear God. We might believe that God has special favorites whom He is eager to talk with, but think, "I am not one of them." Such ideas are really lies implanted in us by Satan. He preys upon our insecurities and feeds us ideas which sound logical, but are not true. When we agree in our minds with these falsehoods, they can create fear within us of either not being able to hear the Lord at all or of hearing inaccurately.

Another reason is fear of what God might say if He did speak to us. If we are harboring sin of any sort deep down inside, including unforgiveness, we may already have an uneasy feeling, which is really the Holy Spirit trying to get our attention. But if we're not willing to deal with our issues, it is much more comfortable to tune out His voice and only listen to whatever positive things some prophetic person is willing to share with us. (And if what is prophesied is not what we want to hear, we can always "discern" that it wasn't the Lord speaking after all!)

Still another common reason for not hearing directly from the Lord is laziness -- simply not being willing to take the time to patiently wait upon God. Frankly, it is just easier to ask someone else to do our listening for us!

Some of us have an unhealthy desire to know every facet of God's plan for us ahead of time, because we would rather have it all clearly laid out before us than to have to depend on the Lord to lead us forward step by step. This is an issue of having trouble trusting God to care for us. It is also an issue of desiring to control things ourselves. Probably most of us struggle to some extent with wanting to look into our future more than is good for us. When God is silent on the timing and details of His plan, the temptation is to see if someone else can tell us the future through a prophetic word.



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