A word of prophecy can be a source of tremendous blessing and encouragement, and an event that can be pivotal for your faith, to believe God for greater and newer things. There can be, however, opportunities for misunderstandings and difficulties to come in because of several factors.
For this reason, we want to discuss these factors and outline some scriptural guidelines, safeguards, and cautions, so that you will get the greatest benefit from this wonderful ministry. The purpose of prophecy is not to sideline a person into confusion or disillusionment, but to build them up; with edification, exhortation and comfort according to 1 Cor. 14:3.
Personal Prophetic Words
The Scriptures place a primary concern on testing prophets rather than prophecies though both are commanded. The individuals who respond to your Prayer Support Ticket have been released as Ministry Team Members and have received approved training in prophecy and healing prayer. You may be confident, therefore, of their relative maturity and of the trust which we have in them as loving, stable Christians and able ministers.
There is, however, still the need to test all prophecies by the Spirit and the Word since “we prophesy in part” (1 Cor. 13:9), i.e., no prophecy or prophet is infallible or equal in authority to the Bible. Consider the following guidelines when you receive a word:
Does the prophecy conform to Scripture?
The Spirit of God will always agree with His previous revelation in the Bible.
Does the prophecy ‘ring true’ with your spirit?
(John 10:2-5) Usually a word will come to confirm what God has already begun — to speak to you in various ways. It will confirm and point in you a certain direction and build your faith.
If there is an element of prediction, does it come true?
If there are factual statements which can be verified, are they accurate?
Does the prophecy bear good fruit in your life?
It is a principle of Scripture that a tree is judged by its fruit (Luke 6:43-45). If the prophecy is from the Holy Spirit, it will serve to glorify Jesus.
Wait on God for further confirmation and clarity
Sometimes a word requires further guidance for the interpretation and timing. Pray over it and seek guidance in the Bible and from those who are mature (the two primary means of guidance from God).
Know that the revelation about the situation does not automatically supply the power to change it. Pray for further confirmation, especially where the prophecy involves a major impact upon your life. Prophecy is a diving board with which you can dive into a pool of prayer.
If you are unsure, put it on the shelf for now. God is not mad at you. He will lovingly speak to you again and again. Beware of “do or die” prophecies.
When you are clear on the interpretation, then act on it in faith
If you agree that the word is of God, pray that God will fulfill the prophecy in your life. God gives us prophecy for our “up building and encouragement and consolation” (1 Cor. 14:3). Have an attitude of expectancy!
A Caution Regarding Directive Prophecy
Prophecies which give specific dates, times, life partners, relationships and exhortations to do or not to do something are reserved for the most mature and experienced, and even then, all of the above criteria apply. It is in these areas of dates and exact specifics that even the most “gifted” will miss it. Their word will be accurate, but often they will miss the time frame in which they expected something to happen.