This is the 3rd part of our prophetic series. In case you missed the first 2 here they are:
This particular post could really be applied to how anyone can hear from God but the list is expanded and most Christians won’t necessarily hear from God using all of these methods/channels of communication.
I’ll spend the most time expounding on the first one because it is mandatory for anyone who flows in the gift of prophecy. Otherwise, you may find yourself into a situation where one day you find out you weren’t talking to God after all.
1) The Bible. The truth is that we shouldn’t be reading prophetic words or watching videos about prophecies without first reading the bible in its entirety. The word of God is the complete revelation of who God is, what He did, what He will be doing, what He says about you, what He says about your future and who you are. It has ALL the information. Everything that you need to know is in the bible. Please read the Psalm 119
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) “ All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
How then would the prophet be equipped to give the prophetic word if he/she has not read the entire bible? If the prophet reads verses here and there or a few books of the bible it means they don’t have the full picture. Is this the person you would want to give you direction for your destiny and future?
Not only is it important for the prophet to read the word but you as the person receiving the word should also have something by which you judge all those words. The bible. If you’ve never read it cover to cover here are some tips:
- Start with a version that’s easier to understand like the New International Version (NIV).
- Download a bible app on your phone biblegateway.com you can listen to the bible. A chapter or two per day is not hard to do. Do it at night before you go to sleep. This will help it to get into your spirit.
- Don’t read all the prophets together. It’s very heavy stuff so you can break it up with other books in the bible. If you don’t, it will be very difficult to read back to back because it is so heavy. I wish someone told me this the first time.
- The 2nd time you read the bible choose another version. This is good because you’ll see things you didn’t see the first time you read it. Then a few versions down the road try just listening to the audio bible. This is quite fascinating because you will hear the scriptures used in context and get a better idea of the environment and what was going on when they were written.
Reading the bible more than once is like peeling off the layers of an onion. The more you read is the more you see and hear. And as you peel the layers off the bible it’s like applying the layers to your soul and spirit. What I mean is, it act as a protective shield. Which means you will be able to catch things that are not correct very quickly. You may not know the chapter and the verse but you’ll know you read it. And, with a simple word search you’ll be able to find it.
When you get the check in your spirit
Do you know that check in your spirit that you get sometimes when you listen to some a prophetic words or a preacher? You get these for one of two reasons (1) what they are saying is false. Which means you need to go and check what they said with your bible. (2) if you checked it and it is actually biblical then it means you’ve identified a stronghold in your life. Yes, a stronghold will give you a check in your spirit because God’s word will exposed something within you that is not aligned with Him. What you need to do in this case is ask God for the grace to accept His word. He won’t change His word so the one who needs changing is you. With prayer you will be able to accept and start living out His word.
Please note*** a check in your spirit that goes against your doctrinal beliefs and one that go against the bible is not the same thing. Your church doctrine is man made, the bible is God breath. This is not same thing. For example, you can choose not to believe in miracles because your doctrine/denomination says miracles are not for today. However, the bible is full of miracles so we know that it is biblical.
Most people think their doctrine and the bible is the same thing and it is not.
If you can decipher the difference between these two, you will be well on your way to discerning when God is talking to you.
One other important point about the bible is that it is a part of the Armor of God. This is our armor that we use in spiritual warfare. The belt of truth is the word of God around your waist and the sword of the Spirit is the spoken word of God in your mouth. If you don’t have the complete word of God within you then your Armor is not complete. You are missing 2 pieces. Now initially we can get scriptures to defend ourselves in a specific area but as we mature in the spirit, we are supposed to be more equipped. Your father will buckle your seat belt when you are 2 years old but when you are 20, you need to do it for yourself. God protects us until we get to a certain age from some things then we are expected to grow up, stop drinking milk and start eating solid food (Hebrews 5:12-14).
The rest of these on the list must always be used in conjunction with the bible. There is a lot of things in the supernatural and operating in the gifts of the Spirit that is mimicked and copied by the new age movement and other religions.
You can easily fall into falsehood if the rest of these aren’t working in tandem with the word of God (it is scripture based). Remember the enemy is a master counterfeiter. He’s likes to copy.
2) Getting in the Presence of God/The Secret Place. I don’t believe anyone can hear God clearly as a prophet if they are not spending time alone with the Lord. You need the quiet time. You need the intimacy. It is in the Secret Place where you’ll get the prophetic download. All the prophets in the bible spent time in the presence of the Lord. Many other religions do chants and other rituals to get into the presence of their gods so we did an entire series on how you can do this the correct way and you can read it here.
You cannot be a mouthpiece/spokesman for God (which is what a prophet is) if you don’t spend time in His presence.
(Psalm 31:19-20 The Passion Translation) “Lord, how wonderful you are! You have stored up so many good things for us, like a treasure chest heaped up and spilling over with blessings—all for those who honor and worship you! Everybody knows what you can do for those who turn and hide themselves in you. So hide all your beloved ones in the sheltered, secret place before your face. Overshadow them by your glory-presence. Keep them from these accusations, the brutal insults of evil men. Tuck them safely away in the tabernacle where you dwell.”
3) Prayer. I don’t think you can separate the prophetic gift from prayer. Prayer is communicating with God so this is how you would get the word. Actually the bible never refers to intercession as a spiritual gift. And, as I said in the first post of this series, intercession is a gateway gift. That’s why it’s called prophetic intercession…because if you are an intercessor there’s a 99.9% possibility you have the gift of prophecy.
(Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV) ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
4.) Dreams. We know the Joseph was a dreamer and so was Daniel so God speaks to us through dreams. They happen when we are asleep. But dreams actually have 3 sources – God, the enemy, or your own soul (your fears or desires). When God speaks to you audibly it is very clear but dreams need to be interpreted and there is a learning curve to get the correct interpretation. It could take months for you to figure out some of the symbolism. Let’s face it very few people are literal dreamers. If you are a dreamer, pray to God for the interpretation, read any scriptures that come to mind from the dream and then purchase books from other Christians on dream interpretation. Most of the resources online for dream interpretation are new age so you need to make sure the source for the interpretation is Christian.
Jeremiah 23:25-31 The Message (MSG)
25-27 “I know what they’re saying, all these prophets who preach lies using me as their text, saying ‘I had this dream! I had this dream!’ How long do I have to put up with this? Do these prophets give two cents about me as they preach their lies and spew out their grandiose delusions? They swap dreams with one another, feed on each other’s delusive dreams, trying to distract my people from me just as their ancestors were distracted by the no-god Baal.
28-29 “You prophets who do nothing but dream—
go ahead and tell your silly dreams.
But you prophets who have a message from me—
tell it truly and faithfully.
What does straw have in common with wheat?
Nothing else is like God’s Decree.
Isn’t my Message like fire?” God’s Decree.
“Isn’t it like a sledgehammer busting a rock?
30-31 “I’ve had it with the ‘prophets’ who get all their sermons secondhand from each other. Yes, I’ve had it with them. They make up stuff and then pretend it’s a real sermon.
Bottom line here is that these prophets were telling dreams from their own soulish imagination and God was saying you don’t need to listen to this get my words, directly from Me (the bible), because it is like fire and a sledgehammer and will demolish everything. There is no higher authority than His word. Dreams apart from His word could come from a source that is not Him.
5.) The Audible Voice of God. This is not just for days of old. God still speaks to His people in an audible voice.
6.) God Speaks into your spirit. When you have the Holy Spirit He can speak directly with you in your spirit. That is that area just below your rib cage and above your stomach. Some people call it their “knower” they know something and they don’t know how they know it but they do.
(John 14:16-17) “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you”
7.) Visions. There are open visions which happen with your eyes opened and you see images over what you are looking at in the natural. Closed visions happen when your eyes are closed but you are fully awake. They are usually in the form of pictures or they can be played out like a movie.
8.) Trance. These are like dreams except you are awake and your mind is taken into another place where you are able to see things and interact with them as well.
9.) Through other people. They don’t need to be saved or even know they are being used by God to speak to you. If your spirit is in tune with the Holy Spirit someone could be having a conversation with you on one topic and you are receiving a message related to something completely different from God.
10.) Numbers. Series of numbers 11:11, 1:11, 2:22, 333, 444, 555, etc. If you keep seeing the same series of numbers over and over again God is actually try to tell you something. The truth is these numbers mean different things for different people and you need to find your own interpretation for these numbers as it relates to each situation. You do this by praying and asking God to show you the meaning of them.
Now if you are living your life by numbers, you won’t do anything till the 7th time or it has to happen in 3 or it isn’t God it won’t be long before the devil starts fooling you with the numbers. The numbers in themselves shouldn’t be your signal to move ahead or not. Otherwise you will fall into numerology or gematria, which is new age. They help to confirm things but they shouldn’t be used to make decisions by themselves.
The best way to handle numbers is to tie them back to a scripture. So if you keep getting 11:11 then look up every chapter and verse in the bible that has 11:11 and see which one speaks to you. Also, pray and ask God what it means specifically for you. More often than not I find the numbers mean different things for different people.
That’s a list of 10 for you! This is not the only way that God speaks to his prophets but He definitely uses some of these.
If you don’t have some of these as His way of communicating with you, don’t worry about it. Once you master one area He will open you up to others. This is a biblical principles, Read the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) the one who has more will get more still and the one who has less even that which he has will be taken away from him. This may sound unfair to you but the truth is if God has a way of communicating with you and you refuse to use it, then He won’t open another way to you. Instead the one that faithfully stewards that communication will receive more.
If you have other ways in which God communicates with you, please share below! We would love to hear from you.
Next Wednesday we will talk about how to identify if you have the gift of prophecy and ways you can start and using it. God Bless!