Since I am a Prophet who teaches on the Gifts of the Spirit in general and the Gift of Prophecy specifically, quite regularly I get asked questions along this line: How do I begin to flow in the Gift of Prophecy? How do I know if it is God or just me? What if I don’t sound like others that I hear prophesying?
These are all good valid questions to ask. Before we get into the specifics of answering them and would serve us well to lay somewhat of a basic foundation.
What exactly is Prophecy anyway?
Prophecy is a supernatural manifestation of the Spirit where a believer is inspired to speak a message from God in a known language. (Known to the speaker)
What do I mean by a known language and known to the speaker? The only language that I know how to speak is English, so therefore I can only prophesy in English. I met a man on one of my trips to Africa that spoke seven languages. Guess how many languages he could prophesy in? You guessed it…seven…because he knew how to speak seven.
Many times because we look at Bible Prophecy and we see that it is predicting the future, this causes us to think that the Gift of Prophecy must always be declaring something that is to come. That is not the case. Actually the Gift of the Spirit that deals with the Revelation of the Purpose and Plan of God…that which is yet unborn, is the Word of Wisdom, which sometimes can come out through the vehicle of Prophecy, but Prophecy in and of itself in its simplest form has no Revelation in it.
So what it is Prophecy in its simplest form? The book of Revelation tells us:
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’” Revelation 19:10 NKJV
So to make a compound definition of Prophecy, we would come up with: speaking by the inspiration of the Spirit in a language that you know how to speak where you share the testimony of Jesus.
This takes a lot of the pressure off for folks. So many when they are starting out compare themselves to other’s that are more proficient in the development and operation of the gift than they are and think that in order to Prophesy they must do what they see others do. Nothing could be further from the truth! Prophecy and Prophetic Gifting is something that you grow and develop in. I started to operate in what Kenneth E Hagin used to call “The Simple Gift of Prophecy” (basic prophecy described above, containing no revelation in it) as a Freshman in high School when I was 15 years old. The level of the gift that I operate in now having exercised and operated in it for almost 32 years is quite different than where I started.
It is important to remember that when you start you will speak very general and basic words and NEVER GET STUCK COMPARING YOURSELF TO SOMEONE MORE EXPERIENCED THAN YOU!
When it comes to understanding how the Prophetic comes to us, it will usually come one of two ways:
· The Nabi Anointing
· The Seer Anointing
The Nabi Anointing is when the words bubble up out of your spirit…the same place that Jesus spoke of when He said out of your belly will flow rivers of living water. The Seer Anointing is more visual and you either see words, pictures or mini movies.
Quite often in the Old Testament when the Prophets spoke the Scriptures record them saying: “The word of the Lord came unto me saying”. This is the Nabi anointing and the way I minister about 75% of the time. Quite often when I prophecy I will say: “I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying”, same idea, the Nabi anointing.
The Old Testament also tells us that a Prophet was formerly called a Seer. (1 Samuel 9:9) The reason they were called the Seer was because they could see. I only operate this way about 25% of the time.
Some people like me are stronger in one than they are the other. Some only operate in one or the other. And some flow in both equally, but that is quite rare.
Now that we understand what Basic Prophecy or The Simple Gift Of Prophecy is and we understand the two general ways that Prophecy comes to us, how do we know if it is God or us?
Again let me reiterate that you should never compare yourself to others as it will leave you feeling inadequate and afraid to step out. Whichever way it comes to you Seer or Nabi, ask yourself: “Does this agree with Scripture?” Second look to your spirit man, your innermost being, that place again that Jesus spoke of when He said out of your innermost being or out of your belly (depending on the translation), and see if you have peace inside. Does it feel like velvet? Or does it feel like sandpaper? Velvet = God! Sandpaper = not God.
I know when I first started all those years ago I would play the vacillation game saying Lord is this me or is this You? Many have felt that way and I am sure you will to. Quite often in the beginning God in His mercy gives us some physical manifestations to help confirm to us that it is indeed Him. You might feel like butterflies in your stomach, tingling in your arms or heat in your hands or in your belly are all quite common. (It should be noted that these physical manifestations do not last forever, as God expects you to grow and develop in your gifting and not require them.)
When you feel these types of things, you have peace like velvet in your spirit and you know it agrees with the Word, follow the Protocol of your local church (key point I can’t go into here) and go ahead and release what you believe you have. Will you start perfect? Probably not, nobody does, but we all grow. It is up to local leadership to then coach and lovingly correct you. Not long ago we had a service where a few actually stepped out and released what was in their spirit for the first time. I went around the room and asked folks what is stirring in your belly? What feels like butterflies in your belly? I then instructed them to go ahead and release those things.
IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A LONG DETAILED WORD TO BE FROM GOD! Start where you are. Remember the Word says:
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.” Romans 12: 6 NKJV
You can only prophesy according to the proportion of your faith and in the beginning your faith is not that great in this area…so again, don’t compare yourself to others that are more advanced in their gifting than you are in yours.
Finally, remember that God created you as a unique one of kind individual with your own gifts, talents, and abilities and anointing on your life. Nobody else is like you. You were created to be an original, not a copy. Be yourself! Don’t try to sound like somebody else! Sound like you! God will use your normal every day speech patterns, verbiage and conversation style just as much as He will use anybody else’s, you don’t have to be somebody you are not to be used by God in the Gift of Prophecy!