I want you to know that whenever I discuss these things, I’m only sharing my opinion, and I realize that at any point in life, I may be missing an important piece of the puzzle.

Here’s the question that motivated today’s post: If prophecy is so important, why are none of the people I know walking in the reality of what was prophesied over them 10-15 years ago?

Today’s post is part one of my response. I think there’s more than one answer, so I’ll start with the first.

Prophecy is Conditional

I believe most prophecies are conditional. Now, that doesn’t mean that the person sharing the prophetic word is aware of that or shares a conditional statement with the recipient. But prophetic words point to God’s plan, purpose, warning, etc.

Prophecies about wealth and favor for business success can be accurate for John Doe, but they are conditional. His success depends upon how submitted he is to authority, how humble he chooses to be, and how he chooses to treat other people. I think most ponzi-scheme types have a wealth / business building gift, but it has been misapplied. Just like a prophetically gifted person could position end up as a psychic, detective, or private investigator and be relatively successful by listening to evil spirits instead of God.

A Good Soldier Knows His Sword

I look at the prophecies made over certain churches and the fault I see lies in handling the prophetic word after it has been given. Prophetic words need to be judged. Then legitimate words need to be held closely and revisited often.

The sword of the Spirit is the rhema word of God, not the logos. People will debate this, but I strongly believe that rhema differs from logos. Rhema is the spoken word of God to you. Whether directly or through another, these are your sword. We may not be trained in this, but we are absolutely responsible to wage a good warfare with these weapons. When trials come and things go exactly the opposite of prophecy, we have the word to declare and to pray back to God, reminding Him of His promise. The children of Israel were instructed to meditate on God’s direct instructions day and night. To bind them to their hands. They brainwashed themselves (i.e. Renewed their minds) with God’s spoken word.

When Israel fell away into idol worship, it always came after the people “forgot” about God’s promises and His laws. They wandered about without direction, and wound up worshipping things that made them feel good or appeared to promise protection and prosperity.

Stewards as well as Sons

As believers, we are stewards of revelation just like we are stewards of possessions and wealth and relationships and children. Everything God gives us He gives as a master gives a steward to invest and bring increase.

In other words, a prophetic word can fail because a person is a poor steward with God’s word. A prophetic word can fail because a person is not listening to God on a daily / weekly / monthly basis, and therefore hasn’t positioned himself/herself to walk into the promise.

I don’t say that every prophetic word can be screwed up by our choices, but I think most can. It’s part of the reality of having free will and choosing when and where and how we listen and obey. Most people don’t want to believe that because it’s an awesome and terrifying thought to consider that God’s amazing promises require our cooperation to come true. But I believe they do.

As a body, we’ve failed to train each generation in stewardship and responsibility, and by our inaction we’ve perpetuated the belief that God will fulfill prophetic words regardless of what we do. We try to make it an issue of grace, which says that God foreknew we’d be stubborn, ignorant, or fearful, and He had a plan in place to get us from point A to the promised point B.

Striving For the Prize

But there’s a slew of Scriptures in the New Testament in which Paul talks about striving toward the prize. We understand that salvation and acceptance are free gifts, but approval and heavenly rewards are based on how we live. Therefore we have the very real power to affect things based on our choices. We’re not just floating along fulfilling God’s perfect will whether we mean to or not. And therefore I think we can miss out on a lot of His promises by not showing up to receive them.

If you received a letter in the mail saying that you’d inherited a million dollars from a long lost relative, but you never showed up for the reading of the will where the checks were handed out, you are technically the owner of a million dollars, but they aren’t yet in your possession. You haven’t received them. They’re out there, waiting for you. But the ball is in your court.

That’s how I see it, anyway. Tell me what you think.

4 responses to “Do Prophetic Words Seem More Like Hype Than Substance?”

  1. There are certainly multiple factors involved in the activating and assilmanialtion of God’s freshly spoken word (rhema) to us.

    One key component in the successful implementation on this topic is the full release of fathers who faithfully execute intercession.

    In 1 Kings 18:42 and James 5:17-18, we see Elijah (the prophetic father of his day) kneeling down in the birthing position praying for the fulfillment of his prophetic word of rain to come. This was not a passive posture but rather an active one!

    This has been my “revelatory address” for a decade or so. My passed inability to effectively pray things into existence has been met by the Lord’s conviction and mercy. His love and passion to accept me where I am and His compassion not too leave me in that state is overwhelming and affirming!
    The visible fruit of this has produced a greater activation in my life over the last decade or so as I walk this truth out.

    If you are a father in the faith, one who mentors and gives spiritual council then this is a large part of your destiny. It is your job to pray these things into existence.

    Let me be clear I do not think just because I pray that all prophetic words will happen. What I have found is that many don’t happen because of my immaturity as an intercessor. There are many things that our Lord needs or needed no help from mankind to accomplish. For instance there is creation, salvation and the end of time to name a few. He decided when to create and what to create and it’s order, His plan of salvation could only be sent through His Son Jesus and He alone knows when and where time, as we know it will end. Still others things need our participation to see them fulfilled.

    So when I give a prophetic word I take it very seriously because many times the Lord has me pray for you for months to see the seed sprout, grow and produce fruit. As you’ve probably guessed I pray way more and prophesy way less. The Lord spoke to me one day (in the old SGC building) and said, “Pray it don’t say it”. He went on to explain that I like to say it (prophesy) more than I like to pray. He said, “Prayer invites Me to accomplish the task in which I sent it.” I realize that both the spoken prophesy and the prophetic prayer are necessary but because of my lack of prayer I needed to work on my weakness to give a powerful one/two punch.

    Let me throw out a testimony, in 2010 the gulf coast region had a massive oil spill. My heart went out to this region because these are my people. As a south Louisiana boy I went to school with them, worked with them, have the same culture with them and share the same bloodline with many of them. As the days and weeks rolled by with oil pouring out I knew the damage this could cause to my people. So I spent many hours, days and weeks weeping and praying over this terrible plague. I asked the Lord please help relieve this suffering. He spoke very clearly to me these words ”pray that I will send a plumber with the solution for this accident.” I began to pray. I only told 2-3 close friends what the Lord had spoken to me. Then a few days went by when I heard the 6 o’clock news report British Petroleum had another possible solution. As the story unfolded they said the solution came from a most unlikely source. A plumber! Yea she said it, a plumber! Within a week or so the oil spill was “capped” and this disaster could finally end.

    So fathers in the faith, pray. For those who faithfully walk in this truth, thank you.

  2. Thank you for that amazing reply, Richard. I L-O-V-E hearing stories of how God speaks something and it comes to pass.

    I would say that I’m definitely making the move to pray first and wait for the leading to speak – speaking first, as you might expect, has been my forte historically.

    Praying prophetic words through (when they’re for other people) doesn’t occur to me very often. I’m not sure who I heard teach this, but I was taught that the reason it’s such a burden to faithfully pray over certain people is because there’s no grace at that time to pray for that person. I took that to heart. I prefer to intercede out of burden rather than obligation, and I’ve only felt burdened to pray over a person’s prophetic word a few times.

    Which brings up another issue I’m still working on: perhaps the burdens will come more often now that I’m aware of the possibility of their existence. It seems that we miss some of the things God has for us because it hasn’t occurred to us to ask and no one has told us we could or we should.

    Interesting. Thanks again.

  3. Richard said, “So when I give a prophetic word I take it very seriously because many times the Lord has me pray for you for months to see the seed sprout, grow and produce fruit. As you’ve probably guessed I pray way more and prophesy way less. The Lord spoke to me one day (in the old SGC building) and said, “Pray it don’t say it”…”

    With the prophetic words God has given to me, I find most often the word’s purpose is for me to pray for someone. The least of it is to actually give the word. That’s more rare than it is common for me.

    Sometimes the purpose is to check in with them and ask how they’re doing – and some words are for people I don’t even know and have never laid eyes on. Through these words, God has taught me to pray.

    I can’t pray for someone anymore without weeping for them. It’s something I can’t control – go to pray for someone – cry; go to worship – cry. It’s hard for me to be comfortable worshiping in church because I can’t do it without weeping.

    God has also allowed me to see the majority of my prayers answered – and that builds my faith and makes my prayers more powerful – because I know they will be answered. (Even though I still get really excited to see it every time.)

    Like you, Daniel, I have a historical pattern of speaking first and praying later. God has been patient with me and provided the grace and patience I need to now pray first.

    Prophecy is such a blessing – but it definitely comes with a learning curve. I’m so thankful God’s mercy has allowed me to grow in this area.

    My main issue is that I still struggle with asking for things for myself – I have this idea that God gave me the gift to help others, not me – but to ask for someone else? No problem, I’m there!

    As much as He’s taught me about the gift of prophecy, I imagine I still have a million more things to learn.

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