~ Matters of the Heart ~
There are many ways to hearing the voice of God. You can hear it in music, by reading the Bible, listening to a sermon; but did you know you can also hear it by someone speaking encouraging words into your life that only you and God would know?
People often do one of two things: they either shy away from hearing God’s voice, because they have been taught He doesn’t speak to us today; or they speak what they think is God’s voice, but it is filtered in judgment and condemnation. So how do you know when you’re hearing God’s voice? There a number of ways. I’m going to share with you how to hear His voice, receive words spoken to you from someone in prophecy, and test the voice or words you hear or have received.
Discerning His Voice:
1 Corinthians 14:1 says: “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” The word “prophesy” means to speak words of encouragement. We are to desire spiritual gifts, one of the gifts is to prophesy. The word “desire” means to be zealous for, burn with desire, to pursue intensely. We are to exercise spiritual gifts in the spirit and expression of love. Anything outside of that is probably not God speaking, or it’s tainted by someone’s human opinion or religious thinking.
Here is the first way to know when God is speaking; 1 Corinthians 14:3 says “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” If you hear or see or receive something, and you believe it is God speaking, run it through this test first. It means to discern what spirit it is from: God, human, or the enemy? If it is God’s voice, it will be edifying, exhorting, and comforting. Anything else can be trashed or held onto in order to see what comes of it. 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 “Do not despise prophesies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
Now this doesn’t mean that God can’t speak a word of correction, but it will be filled with love, comfort, and encouragement; you should walk away feeling like “Wow, I think that hurt, but it felt so loving and warm I want to embrace it.” Again, if someone only has “correction” for your life and no comfort or edification, you may not want to receive it from them or let them speak into your life. When it is spoken properly, you will want to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit with understanding and willingness to answer Him. It will provide insights that cause your heart to become humble in worship to God.
Prophecy is not a showy gift, it doesn’t mean you’re super-spiritual, because even children can speak it if they are trained to hear His voice. Psalm 8:2 “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.” Matthew 21:16 “and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these are saying?’
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, Out of the mouth babes and infants You have perfected praise’?”
We are all equipped to hear God’s voice, but we may not be mature in character, which can cause a word to not be received or to be given in the wrong spirit. Everyone can prophesy, but you want to test the words according to 1 Corinthians 14:3.
We are all called to prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:31 “For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.” It is so important that we ALL learn to properly hear God’s voice and prophesy so that all can be encouraged, exhorted, and comforted. The world’s voice is getting louder and lacks true love, which is why it is so important that we learn to hear the voice of God and begin to encourage ourselves and the people around us.
Categories of Prophecy:
There are 4 different categories of prophecy: 1) A “now” word. This word speaks to where we are currently in life and ministry. This is an area in our life God wants to inspire us to address. 2) A “confirming” word. This word should encourage and strengthen what you know to be true. 3) A “future” word. This word speaks to the next phase in your life or ministry (it can pertain to today as well). Areas that may need training, prayer, and preparation. 4) A “new” word. This word expresses the things God has in His heart for you that you never imagined. It opens up new possibilities, new opportunities for you to serve God in different ways.
Parts of Prophecy:
Lastly, there are three parts to a prophecy.
Revelation: It may come as a dream, a vision, or an impression in your mind or heart. The person giving the word is responsible for the revelation.
Interpretation: What does the revelation mean? You may have the revelation of the prophetic words, but you may not have the interpretation. We can get into trouble when we try to interpret something. It’s best you leave the interpretation to the person receiving it.
Gifts: There can be 3 different gifts working in the word: prophecy which is “foretelling,” word of knowledge which is “revealing things of your past or present”, and “words of wisdom” which gives conditions and situations that transpire if you choose to go one way or another. I always caution people to not receive words that speak of changing locations, jobs, marriage, or children. All of these I would set down and wait to see what God does, as many people have lost much due to not “weighing” the word to find the truth. Don’t be lead astray.
If you are interested in learning more about Prophetic Encouragement or Personal Prayer and Healing Prayer, contact me for questions and training.
P.S. In the Old Testament, people received the word of the Lord. In the New Testament, people perceive the word of the Lord.