My daughter received a letter from a Godly friend yesterday. It arrived at a time when she needed to be resurrected from a trough of discouragement. One of those ‘right on time’ Jesus interventions, it spoke into her heart and spirit words that drew her into the purposes of the Father and the reasons she had been created as herself. I doubt very much whether the Godly young woman who wrote it knew she had prophesied. In writing it she was just being herself in the Lord. The letter was like a loaf of fresh bread.
Just as there is junk food and junk bonds, so there is junk prophecy. Junk prophecy comes out of the soul and is the product of the marketing of religion. Religion may be marketed when it is perceived that there is influence to be had and money to be made and consumers to consume. It may also be marketed to sincere people who are caught in a web of works or a mechanical view of the things of the Spirit. A mechanical and formulaic view comes naturally to us if we have been so unfortunate as to attempt to bolt the anointing on to the law and old covenant. I knew a man who did this. He attempted to cross every ‘T’ and dot every ‘I’ in the formulaic mode in which he had been raised. But his words were confused and his life was unhealed. He gradually descended into emotional disease.
HIS LIFE AS YOU
In the new testament age we have what Jesus has. Oneness with Father. Not separated by law we are one with Christ who is our grace, our healing, our life and our infusion of righteousness. More to the point He is incarnated in our being. We are never orphans when we are living in Father. Whether we live, work or minister we are sons of God and the expression of His spirit and life.
If one is living in Christ, if Jesus is one’s life, it is highly likely that one will prophesy whether one means to or not. I’m not convinced that we need to be ‘activated’ prophetically. Education in the gifts of the Spirit and prophecy is legitimate and helpful when we are rooted and built up in Jesus. Where Jesus is our life, prophecy will find its proper place and flow seamlessly out of our relationship with Jesus and the life of heaven. It’s easy to speak heaven’s words when heaven lives inside you and you are a son in spirit and in truth. In an old covenant mindset we are sons in theory.
Some ‘words’ can be the labeling of one’s own thoughts as prophetic. Alive in new covenant union they may be. Living in the law and its separation they can be diluted or just plain wrong.
A carnal Christian will pick up on carnal desires in others and reflect it back. Here it is but a short step to the manipulation of others. I have worked with people who use ‘words’ to manipulate and control. Of course they are always doing on behalf of God. There are words of prophecy that are words without substance and clouds without rain. Some words are just plain wrong. When these come from humble Godly people we can be gracious- particularly when some of what they say is accurate. We prophesy in part and we live in grace. But we do not have to live in delusion.
VINE AND BRANCHES
Prophecy and the gifts of the Spirit must not be separated from Jesus and our life in the Spirit. Life in the Spirit is union with God. It means to be alive in the reality of Father’s love. It’s not mechanical or contrived. Don’t assume that all who utilize spiritual gifts are one with the Spirit of Jesus. Some have not matured into union. Others are on a trip with themselves. Others are separated from God in their old covenant mindset. Test the Spirits.
Some years back I asked the Lord why Joan’s (not her real name) words were usually on target when I could see that she was pretty much living in legalism. The reply came back swiftly. ‘It’s a spirit of divination.’ Divination works through the soul often with the help of a religious spirit and deceiving spirits. Their ploy can be to offer a series of accurate insights before inserting into the conversation a decoy that derails the progress of the Kingdom and our place in it.
In another instance, Joe (not his real name) attended a prophetic school steeped in the atmosphere of the soul. He was fruitful in what he was doing. But a word he received appealed to his pride more than his real identity in Christ. The result was that for a time he was derailed, suffering financial and spiritual loss.
We belong in Christ and have already been included. But there are stages in our growth that might go like this. We begin with new birth into this belonging and inclusion. Then comes our baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is followed by our learning to live in the union with God that is already ours. Union with God is always potentially ours. But experiential union is ours as we lay down self and step into the reality of Christ our life.
Paul prayed that Believers would know the will and heart our Father. When Jesus is our life we can do more than share words that come from His heart or fill a time-slot with a religious homily. We can be the expression of His personhood as His sons. You will not just deliver a bible study on something you dud some research on like the spirit of sonship. You will demonstrate it with spirit and life because you are a son.
In this age you are not a person attached to a set of values or character features that are separate from you with an independent existence. As a son of God you are the expression of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As genuine sons of God we live from nothing less than union with God.
'For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives' Col 1.9 NIV.