This coming year the goal of our study is to be able to discern the voice of the Lord better, first for our own guidance, but also in the unfolding events of our times. Nothing is more important for us to do this year than to love God more and follow Him more closely. Only then can we love each other the way that we are called to love.
As we have learned with so many prophetically-gifted people in our church and ministry, if they will inquire of the Lord about a person, He will show them things that can help them. If they inquire of the Lord about a city, He will show them things about the city that can help it. The same is true for a church or a nation, a ministry, a mission, an industry, and so forth. It is the same gift of the Holy Spirit that reveals all of these things. Even so, after a time, prophetic people will often start to specialize in hearing God for individuals, or for churches, cities, nations, etc.
Understanding the Voice of the Lord
When I'm flying my plane, I will sometimes turn the speaker on to listen to the controllers rather than wear the headset. Almost every passenger who flies with me says they cannot understand a single word that the controller is saying and they wonder how I can. More than the volume or tone of the speaker, the reason they cannot understand the controller is because the words that are being used, or the way that they're being used, are unfamiliar to them. To prove this, I have sometimes asked the controllers if they knew the score to a big game, and when they start talking about sports or something my passengers are familiar with, they can understand them fine.
My point is that many do not understand the voice of the Lord for the same reason—the words, or the way the words are being used, are unfamiliar to them. This is basically what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:12-14:
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Many Christians have a belief that the Lord will only speak about spiritual things, or about what He is doing in His Church, but this is not the case. Often, He will speak to us about the things that we are interested in just so we can begin to know His voice. In His own walk on the earth, the Lord spoke to people about the things that were important to them. God cares about everything we care about. God is so big that we tend to think He will only get involved in the big things, but He seems to enjoy getting involved in the most personal, even seemingly trivial matters with His people. He'll speak to you about your child's little league team or your diet. It does not have to be a problem for Him to give us counsel either—it's mostly about relationship.
As we see in John 10, the Lord's sheep know His voice and they follow Him because they know His voice. All Christians should know the voice of the Lord and easily be able to distinguish it from all of the other voices in the world. However, not every Christian is a prophet or has prophetic gifts. The basic difference between hearing from the Lord on a personal basis and prophecy is that if we have a gift of prophecy it is for others, not ourselves. If you have a gift of healing, it is not to heal yourself, but others, and the same is true with all of the spiritual gifts.
The Only Way to Mature is Through Experience
For this reason, the most prophetically-gifted people I know do not hear prophetically very well for themselves. This is because the Lord has made His Body to depend on one another so we will have to walk together as we are called to accomplish our purpose.
Think about this principle with the two best dream interpreters in Scripture—Joseph and Daniel. They were both extraordinary at interpreting what others received, but neither one of them could interpret their own dreams well. Daniel's revelations actually made him sick, and he was told to seal them up until the end of the age when their interpretation would be given.
I am making this distinction here because many people who start hearing from the Lord begin to think that everything they're getting is for the whole Body of Christ, or for the nations, when often it is just for them. Not being able to distinguish this has brought much confusion to the Body of Christ. This is one reason why much of the Body has had such bad experiences with the prophetic that they don't want to have anything to do with it now.
Learning to distinguish what the Lord is saying to us personally and what He may be saying to others simply takes maturity. I have prayed often for the power to be able to lay hands on people and just say, "Be mature in Jesus' name!" but it has never worked. The only way to mature is through experience.
You can't blame church leaders for only wanting prophetic ministry that is mature, because it takes a lot of work to help people mature. However, if you want a mature prophetic ministry, this is virtually the only way to get it. The maturing process for both the prophetically-gifted and those who will relate to them enables a true relationship to develop where the prophetic ministry can be useful.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Rick Joyner: All Christians Should Know the Voice of the Lord
This teaching by Rick Joyner is on the money. It's a theme I have been hearing. We MUST get the Prophets, even immature clumsy prophets, to prophesy. If we only listen to the "Mature Seasoned" we will eventually run out. There are new voices rising. The Lion is roaring. It's time to step out. Rick Joyner writes:
Posted by Gene at 6:10 AM