Tag Archives: prophesy

Comfirmation is good, but never become a junkie

Today, many people seeks signs to confirm what God has told them. It is not uncommon to hear ‘I need a confirmation from the Lord’ or “I will go for prophesy to confirm what the Lord has told me’. I find this quite interesting and ponder-worthy. Have you ever asked yourself why we would need to confirm what the Lord has spoken to us? The two reasons I can think of are these: (1) We do not really know if the Lord has spoken to us (2) We doubt what the Lord has spoken to us.

Babies R Us

That we do not know if the Lord has spoken to us  reveals that we are still babes in Christ. All of us have to go through this stage in our walk with the Lord. As babes, we lack in-depth knowledge and understanding of the word, therefore our level of discernment is low. Note: The correlation between knowledge of the word of God and discernment can be found in Hebrews 4:12.

As babes, it is easy for the devil to take passages of scripture out of context and try to pass it off as truth. Remember how Satan tried to fool Jesus in the wilderness by quoting scripture out of the context? This is why we need confirmation at this stage!

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are babe in Christ. Even the great Prophet Samuel started off as a babe in Christ. He did not know that God was calling out to him at night, so He kept on going to Eli. After the third time, Eli realized that it was God calling out to Samuel and so told Samuel to answer (1 Samuel 3:1-10). In essence, Eli confirmed to Samuel that it was the Lord.

It is okay to be a confirmation junkie in the baby stage of our walk with God

But what if Samuel did not grow to know the Lord and know His voice? What if He always needed someone else to confirm the word of God? He wouldn’t have been chosen to be the next great Prophet, for he would have led the people astray. In other words, He would have missed out on fulfilling his calling.

Think about this: What if Moses waited for confirmation and so never moved to mark the door posts for protection before the Angel of death descended down into Egypt? That would have been the end of the story of Israel!

Jesus says that my sheep know my voice. Do you know the voice of Jesus or do you think you know it?  In truth, we cannot follow Jesus closely if we do not know His voice. This is why babes in Christ tend to stray. To remain a confirmation junkie is to remain a babe in Christ!

The reason only a few are chosen out of a great multitude that are called is because too many of us choose to remain babes!

‘Sign’ Me Up

There is no doubt in my mind that doubt has caused too many of us to spend hours in prayer in search of confirmation instead of actually doing what God has called us to do. As we do this, the blessing that the Lord wished to bestow upon us walks right by as we keep our heads buried in our pillows. Then we turn around and wonder why it is that we miss out on God’s blessings. For example, we say to God, ‘that guy that you told me was my husband, how come he married someone else?’. The answer may very well be that you never said a word to him as God commanded you!

Please do not misunderstand what I am saying here. It is always a great idea to pray when in doubt. But the whole point of praying when in doubt is to receive the guidance of the Lord. Once we have received the guidance of the Lord, the next step is to obey the Lord. In the context of which I am speaking, doubt causes us to pray for confirmation instead of simply believing God and moving on with what He wants us to do. Like Gideon, we look for a sign before we make a move.

Gideon was a babe and so needed confirmation –  and so it was granted. Once we move from being babes, any sign seeking reveals unbelief! 

The Pharisees were no babes in having knowledge of the word of God, yet they sought a sign time and again. Here is what Jesus thought of their sign seeking ways:

 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah – Matthew 12:38-39

Ouch! Jesus called then evil and adulterous! He called them this because their asking for confirmation showed that they were filled with doubt and unbelief. Doubt and unbelief is the opposite of trust and faith. Doubt and unbelief is the result of hardening our heart to the truth; it is the result of tolerating fear; fear toleration is from the evil one. Moreover, Satan is also very good at signs and wonders! Hence, it is easy to be led astray if we are looking for signs.

Many of us seek confirmation through prophetic words because we secretly doubt our ability to hear from God or doubt what the Lord has spoken to us. So we would rather base our life on what someone has prophesied – at times still not realizing we have to take action. Instead of hearing from God, we want to hear from God through a 3rd party, and we want that word to be a word of exaltation! Hmm, I suppose we would not like Prophet Jeremiah too much if he was here today!

The best type of prophesy is confirmation of what God has spoken to you; not instruction of what God wants you to do!

Food for Thought: If all prophesy is instruction to me, then it is a ‘sign’ that my walk with the Lord is weak! If I do not hear from God, it is confirmation that I am a babe in Christ.

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3 Reasons Why Prophesies Fail! (Reason 2) – Unpredictable Response

I dont know why my prophesy is not coming to passThe instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it – Jeremiah 18:7-10

Did you know that it is possible to change God’s mind about the word that He has already spoken? The passage of scripture quoted above certainly proves that it is possible. How do we do it? God tells us that our disobedience or obedience is one way for us to change His mind about what He has already spoken. Another way to do is through the petition of a righteous man.

Reason 2: We cannot predict people’s response to prophesy

We have to be careful about judging a person a prophe-liar when what they have prophesied has not come true. Why? This is because the fulfillment of prophesy is in part due to disobedience or obedience of the person, people, or nation to which the word applies. Remember that prophesy is the word of the Lord.  At times, this word from God is simply a warning aimed to get a change of behavior or heart so that God may relent. At times, the word is an unchangeable proclamation! Either way, both of these are words from God.

In essence, prophetic words are words that foretell what God has planned for us. But just like when Abraham intervened on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah, we may be able to petition God to change his mind on what he has pronounced. Remember that God was going to destroy these cities for their unrighteousness, but Abraham was able to talk God down to looking for a few righteous men. Sadly, even this was too much to ask.

Now, if the example of Sodom and Gomorrah does not grab you, for God destroyed the city anyway, what of that of King Hezekiah? Prophet Isaiah brought the word of God to Hezekiah that he was going to die (Isaiah 20:1) from his illness. Not wanting to die, Hezekiah petitioned the Lord for His life and lo and behold, the Lord changed what He had planned. We see in 2 Kings 20:5 that the Lord extended Hezekiah’s life because of His prayer.

This shows us that God puts loving mercy and grace above prophesy. He wants us to give Him an occasion to relent and speak new words of life over us. What a loving Father! This is why Paul tells us that while prophesies might fail, love never fails!

Even Jesus had to take obedient action to fulfill prophesies about Him – He had to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. See, God will never take away the free-will He gave us just so that prophesy is fulfilled. No! He is more in the business in convincing us that His prophetic words are profitable for us to act upon. This action may be confessing our faults, petitioning him, or acting in obedience.

For every word of prophesy from an individual to be fulfilled regardless of obedience requires God to disregard justice, mercy, and his other attributes. He will not do that! Furthermore, He loves us too much to take away our free-will so that every word of His would be fulfilled. If He did that, He would be a tyrant and not a loving-King.

Food for Thought: We have to move a muscle to enter into the good things God has already spoken over us.

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3 Reasons Why Prophesies Fail! (Part I) – It was a Prophe-lie

I dont careLove never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

– 1 Corinthians 13: 8 – 10

What do you think when prophetic words do not come to pass? Do you automatically think that someone has prophe-lied to you? If you say to yourself that ‘real prophetic words must come to pass no matter what’, then you may want to read 1 Corinthians 13:8 – 10! Now, why does this passage say that we know in part and we prophesy in part especially now that we have the Holy Spirit within us who reveals things to us? What should we do with prophesy? How do I know if what I am hearing is a prophe-lie? Hopefully your questions are addressed as we examine the reasons why prophesies fail.

Reason 1: The prophetic ‘word’ was really a prophetic ‘dream’

Not all words that come out of the mouth of prophets are words from God. The scriptures put it this way in Jeremiah 23:28:  The prophet, who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.

Note: If you ever wondered where ‘in your dreams’ came from, wonder no more!

Just like the prophet who prophe-lied that the congregation of Israel was only going to spend 2 years in captivity or the false prophets who told King Ahab that he was going to be victorious in battle, we too can become dreamers if we are not careful.

But can we deduce if a prophetic word is a dream? Absolutely!

The story of the man of God in 2 Kings 13 who was sent to Jeroboam will shed light on this. See, this man had heard from God that he should return back to his home a certain way, but decided to turn another way because of the lying words of another prophet who simply wanted some company.

Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”

16 And he said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. 17 For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’”

18 He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He was lying to him.)

19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.

Unfortunately, this man of God decided to listen to the lying prophet and followed him. As a result, the man of God paid the price of death for his disobedience. The irony of it is that true prophetic announcement of the man of God’s death came by the same prophet who had first lied to him (see 2 Kings 13:20 – 23!

Here are a few things this story relates to us regarding prophesy:

  1. We should never doubt what the Lord has told even if another  ‘prophet’ tells us different
  2. Our obedience to what the Lord tells us is critical to life; disobedience blocks out the blessings of God
  3. Even true prophets fall prey to dreaming. Hence, no amount of prophesy from anyone beats listening to the direct command of the Holy Spirit
  4. If we are hearing contradictory prophesy about a specific situation, then one of the prophecy is not of God, as God will NEVER contradict Himself. Also, God will never contradict the scripture.
  5. The best kind of prophesy is confirmation of what the Lord has already told us. Yes! We can now hear from God who longs to speak to us directly.  Therefore, all prophesy really ought to be confirmation. If it’s not, we need to check the health of our relationship with God.
  6. We become prophe-liars the moment we take our eyes off God to entertain ourselves, our circumstance, or others.

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Unequally Yoked – So you think you are marrying a believer!

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” – Romans 8:14

Paul makes it clear that it is not enough to have the spirit of God, but that we have to be led by the Spirit. He further implores us not only to live in the spirit but to walk in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25) for it is those of us that walk in the Spirit that do not fulfill the desires of the flesh and are able to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

To be led, we have to hear from our leader (God). Now, it is impossible to be led without studying and meditating on the Word of God, for the bible tells us that hearing comes by the Word. Actually, the whole verse tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word. Therefore, it is hearing that grants us faith (trust and belief) to obey (walk or be led) by the Spirit. Since it is simply not possible to be Holy Spirit led without having faith in God (Jesus Christ), we ought not to be mocked in the these two things:

  • It is only those who have faith in Jesus Christ that can receive and be led by the Holy Spirit (God)
  • It is our faith walk that makes us a child of God – it is what makes us a believer

The second bullet point elevates and challenges our thinking on what Paul means when he tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. He is telling us not to be married to someone who is not walking in faith. He puts it this way:

“And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever” – 2 Corinthians 6:15

When I first read this, I thought Paul was unnecessarily harsh or perhaps going off the deep-end a little. I thought to myself: Paul, you are comparing an unbeliever to Belial! Seriously!  Then it dawned on me that the only way to identify a true believer is a person’s faith walk. I stumbled upon this realization as I began to unravel what Belial (evil spirit/devil/demon) is able to do. Since no one would call Belial a believer, there must be something that separates believers from him. That something is faith! To bolster this assertion, here are some interesting facts about Belial.

Belial believes that Jesus is Lord

“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble!” – James 2:19

The devil and demons have no problem believing that Jesus is Lord (see Matthew 8:29) for they know it fully well. After all, they were cast away or separated from God because of rebellion. Satan was disobedient (rebelled) because he did not love God. How do we know he did not love God? We know because the scriptures tell us that those who love God keep and obey His commandments (see John 14:21). Since genuine faith works through love (see Galatians 5:6), we know the Satan and the rest of his rebellious crew (demons) also did not have faith! If demons had faith, they would not tremble (fear) at the name of Jesus, for there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). But they do not have faith or love, so they operate in fear.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: A believer is not just someone who believes that Jesus is Lord but walks in faith and produces faith-based work. Since genuine faith grows out of love, the walk (life) and work (actions) of a true believer is steeped in love.

Belial knows the scriptures

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”” – Matthew 4:6

This is the devil quoting scripture to Jesus.What impudence! But it does show that the devil knows scripture and is able to quote it – probably better than we can and at will. Hence, the knowledge of scripture itself is not the mark of a believer. If it were, then we would be unable to distinguish a believer from the devil! Without the Holy Spirit to guide us and to lead us aright, we only apply the scripture erroneously and for our selfish gain –just like Satan tried with Jesus.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: A person who is filled with the knowledge of the Word of God is nothing but an historian if that knowledge does not produce faith (which is only possible through the Holy Spirit).  The scripture to a person without faith is simply a history book. Hence the ability to quote and recall scripture does not prove a believer.

Belial can exhibit “spiritual” gifts

Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour” – Acts 16:16 – 18

The slave girl had the gift to tell the future – a gift of prophesy so to speak! Yet it turns out that she was possessed with an evil spirit. It is also very interesting that although demon-possessed, she was helping to spread the gospel! It just goes to show that not everyone who is proclaiming the gospel is of God. This exemplifies why the bible warns us about false prophets and warns us in the last days not to be fooled by those that perform mighty works.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: The ability to exhibit “spiritual” gifts does not prove the believer as the gift may be from ungodly spirits working in that individual.

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” – Matthew 7:22 – 23

Belial obeys God – but in fear

“And He said to them, “Go.” And when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine…” – Matthew 8:32

The demons obey the voice of God when He speaks to them. Hallelujah! The difference between the obedience of a believer and that of demons is this: The obedience of evil spirits does not come out of love (and hence faith) but instead comes out of fear. See, faith and fear are the polar opposites of each other, but both require that we believe something that is yet to be. Both faith and fear can produce obedience – fear produce obedience based on consequences; faith produces obedience based on love.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Faith released outside of the realm of love is fear in disguise.

Spot a Believer

So, if believing that Jesus is Lord, reading and knowing the scripture, preaching the Word, exhibiting spiritual gifts, and Pharisaical obedience to the law are not full proof ways to spot a believer, then how can we spot believers? How can we tell if someone is walking in faith?

The answer is simply this: By their fruits you shall know them (see Mathew 7:20). A person who walks in faith also walks in the Spirit for it is the Spirit of God that grows our faith as we spend time in His Word. Anyone who truly walks in the Spirit produces the spiritual fruit of love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

No one can fake these fruits. An impatient person cannot simply become patient at will. A selfish person will not be joyful because selfishness produces dissatisfaction or perennial unhappiness. A person who cannot control their tongue will not all of a sudden be able to master their tongue. These fruits cannot be faked because what we produce comes from who we are and what is in our hearts rather than what we do (obey, preach the Word…).

A person who is truly in Christ produces the fruit of the Spirit along with the works (read the bible, preach the Word…)

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: A true believer walks in faith and therefore produces spiritual fruit. If we do not see spiritual fruits, then we see a counterfeit believer. Whatever else they do should not impress us much!

Food for thought: We cannot believe in God and not produce love for He is love.

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