Updated: May 16
Whenever we have experienced something good we often like to introduce goodness to the people around us. It would be like a great restaurant we've discovered with amazing food, we will try to convince those around us of how good it is. Or if we watched a good movie and we attempt to tell our friends how incredible the movie experience was, but they often aren't as sold out as we are until they experience it for themselves. And in the same way, when it comes to the prophetic, we often try to convince people that everyone can hear God's voice and how amazing it is. But we fail to realize that without them first experiencing it for themselves they just simply wouldn't understand. Therefore everyone needs a personal experience of prophecy before being able to receive the reality that we can all hear God's voice.
Here's a quick story of how simple it was to receive and activate the gifts of the Holy Spirit into our lives. A few years ago, I was working on a project and needed to find a graphic designer to help me with the portion of the design. It happened to be that the project I was working on was regarding activating people in the prophetic. I had met a few designers at the time, but I needed more recommendations, so after asking around, a friend recommended a well-known graphic designer that her company had worked with. I eventually set an appointment with him to see if he would be interested to be involved in my project. Before the meeting, I had heard he would only give you a few minutes of his precious time and if he wasn't interested in the project within the first 10-15 minutes he would send you off. But while I shared my project with him, I was surprised to see that he didn't kick me out after 15 minutes. And he had a Christian background but wasn't currently walking with the Lord or in a church community at the time. And through the project I was working on, I was able to use it to model what prophecy looked like and shared some specific words of knowledge about his life. This had caught his attention because it was the first time we had ever met and he was surprised at how I knew things about him.
This is the first important key to the story, to "experience", he had to first witness and experience with his own eyes that prophecy was a real thing. And he happened to experience or encounter it through my life as I prophesied over him. I had made the mistake in the past of trying to convince people that prophecy still exists today, or if not all the gifts of the Holy Spirit still exist today, without first letting them experience it for themselves. Oh, how many arguments I could have avoided if I had just done that earlier haha. But once they can have a real encounter with prophecy or healing or wisdom, etc... their experience becomes their reality. They are forced to decide for themselves if it is real or not, and no longer based on my argument.
Anyways, back to the story, then the graphic designer inquired if anyone can prophesy or if it's just for a select few, and that he wanted to try too. Long story short, I gave him an easy prophetic activation of using specific themes to prophesy over me. Initially, he tried to use his imagination to receive a picture or vision on my behalf to prophesy over me, but he said that he couldn't "see" anything. And in my heart, I knew what he needed to do to activate it. And I thought of the scripture Romans 10:9-10, where it says, "If you confess what you believe in your heart you will receive salvation." And instantly, I knew there was a kingdom principle that needed to be appropriated for the gift of prophecy to be activated in this person in front of me. And so I made him say with me, "I receive the gift of prophecy in Jesus' name." It was that simple! And then I asked him to again try to prophesy using the theme I had given him before. By then, you could tell he was in total unbelief, but because I insisted, he tried to imagine something in his mind. And immediately, he was shocked at the fact that he could start to see with his mind's eye or the eyes of his heart mentioned in Ephesians 1:18. And long behold, he started to depict the visionary picture he saw regarding me, although he didn't know how to interpret what he was seeing, that day he was activated in the prophetic gift. This is where I want to camp a bit and talk about an important key, which is to "receive" the gifts of the Spirit. As we see through the interaction with this graphic designer, he couldn't receive revelation initially, although the Spirit of Prophecy was had already been poured into the world. By using our words or confession, we practically can receive the gift of the Spirit that has already been lavished onto the world as a gift. He didn't need to work for it or do anything sort of striving to receive the gift, he apprehended the gift of prophecy through vocally receiving for himself what he saw in me as I prophesied over him. Now, this is a bit different than impartation, which I will write another post about. Because through the different realms of impartation - laying on of hands, atmospheric, relational, and so forth, most times, you don't even need to say a word and the gift or anointing will jump onto people. But that is a topic for another time.
Now that we got the two initial keys of experiencing and receiving prophecy or the gifts of the Spirit. The last key I want to mention is to "practice". For me, I see the prophetic just like any other skill or talent that needs to be practiced and integrated as a part of your lifestyle for you to fully receive the benefit of the fullness of the prophetic anointing in your life. Many just contain the prophetic within a church meeting or conference, but it never leaves those areas. I believe in these last days, God wants to explore the world with the prophetic as a normal part of life mentioned in Joel 2:28-29 and Acts 2:15-18. I believe God wants to see a world where everyone can hear His voice and engage with Him relationally. And just like how you learn a new language, instrument, or any sort of skill it does not come overnight. Although don't get me wrong some are naturally born supernaturally gifted with talent and skill, but that is not the average person. My heart is to see every person or believer be able to prophesy with maturity and power.
Numbers 11:25-29 reveal to us the last key regarding the necessity of practicing the prophetic gift. The context of this passage is when God is using Moses to escape Egypt and enter into the promised land for the Israelites that God initially promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Which God is intending to fulfill in the days of Moses. Anyways this passage is in the time when they are camping out in the wilderness on their way to the promised land. While camping the people started to grumble and complain to Moses that they wanted meat to eat instead of the supernatural manna that God had been sending from heaven. During the complaint of the people, Moses confides in the Lord with his frustrations about his burden is too great to bear in leading the people. So in God's love for Moses, He tells him to bring the seventy elders to the tent of meeting or the tabernacle and that God will put the Spirit who is on Moses onto these other seventy elders to help Moses carry the burden of leading the Israelites into the promised land. And as God transfers some of the Spirit onto the elders, they all supernaturally begin to prophesy. But here's the interesting part, at the end of verse 25, it says, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, "although they never did so again". What happened in this instance is like what happens when many people go to these prophetic conferences or meetings, but just like the prophetically activated elders, they never did it again. In other words, they didn't run with what God had activated them in. So many people get some awesome experience or get activated and received the gift, but the problem is that they didn't "keep" prophesying! Another aspect I want to point out is in verse 26, it mentions two people, Eldad and Medad, who were not there at the tent of meeting where God was placing His Spirit on the seventy elders, but they still received the prophetic anointing and started to prophesy in the camp among the people. Then a young man finds out and runs to tell Moses, and by reaction Joshua, Moses' successor tells Moses to make them stop prophesying. And here in verse 29, it says that Moses responds to Joshua's reaction, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” I love this, Mose's is unafraid of the average Joe whether an elder or not, to prophesy. And Moses goes on to say that he desires that "all" the Lord's people would prophesy! Prophecy is not just for the gifted or the select few, but for all to actively participate. Now to come back to the importance of practice and running with what you have received. We see here that the elders experienced and received the Spirit, but they stopped after that encounter and didn't continue with it. But as for Eldad and Medad, they kept prophesying, we also need to keep prophesying and keep practicing to hear God's voice.
In this blog post, first, we learned that we need to first experience to believe. If there are some of you who are reading this post and haven't ever personally experienced prophecy, then feel free to send me a message and I will personally spend the time to prophesy over you. Or if you know of others in your circles that can prophesy, humbly ask them to receive a word of prophecy. Also understand, that just as you are taking the risk to receive a prophetic word, it is also a risk for the person prophesying. Just because they get it wrong doesn't discount the gift of prophecy, but it was just because of human mistakes, and we will make plenty of those while we are on earth.
Secondly, once we have believed, then we can vocally receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. If some of you are reading this post and start feeling a stirring or hunger in your heart to receive the gift of prophecy. Why wait any longer? Say this with me out loud right now, "I receive the gift of prophecy in Jesus' name!". And boom it's that easy! You have received the gift of prophecy!
Lastly, once we have received the gift of prophecy, we can now put it into practice. Just as I mentioned earlier, it takes practice, just like learning any new language or a new skill. Give yourself grace as you begin this wonderful journey of learning to hear God's voice for yourself and others around you. One way to practice is by spending time each day to ask God questions like, God, how much do you love me? How do you see me? What do you think about me? These all deal with our heavenly, new creation identity. Our identity is always a good place to start practicing to hear God's voice.
If you want to be empowered to hear God's voice for your own life or learn how to empower others in the prophetic feel free to book one of our individual prophetic coaching sessions. We also offer personalized and customizable group prophetic training sessions for small groups, churches, organizations and the marketplace. Be empowered to hear God's voice today!