You just received a prophetic word and believe it is from the Lord. Your concern is: "What do I do next?" My concern is what you didn't do next.
The next step is not taking action on the prophetic word you received, but testing it. Ask yourself questions such as: "Will this bear fruit and glorify the name of Jesus Christ, or will it distract and detour me from my godly assignment?" Prophesy is in part and your first responsibility is to discern the accuracy of the prophetic word delivered.
When receiving a prophetic word that you believe is from the Lord, you should stop and verify it is from the Lord, and not your flesh desiring it or the enemy trying to distract you. Our own desires can seduce us into thinking something is of the Lord when it is not. It is wisdom to verify the word (not analyze it) before you take action. Taking the word at face value without seeking confirmation and direction can detour you from the will of God.
We can prematurely act on a word because we feel it makes sense and we have comfort proceeding. We think, I can do this. We are comfortable because it makes sense to us in the natural, but the question is: Do we have peace proceeding forth in the spiritual?
We are not natural people; we are spiritual beings. Moving forward with a prophetic word because of our natural comfort is one of the main ways the enemy and our flesh can cause us to proceed in a wrong direction. It must be tested.
When you receive revelation, a prophetic word or an answer to prayer, take the next step. Discern it. Dissect it. Don't overthink and don't analyze. Test it. Bring it back to the Holy Spirit through prayer and test it against the Word of God and what you currently know to be the will of God for your life.
God's Thought Downloads
God speaks to us through thoughts dropped in our spirit. When God speaks to us, we need not try to figure out the revelation, but rather receive the revelation He is giving.
You may have heard God's voice before saying, "Don't do that," "Take this road instead today" or "Give this much as an offering." You have heard God as you have prayed and felt you received your answer. However, don't just feel you have received the answer. Rather, know you have received the answer.
When you receive discernment, ask yourself, Is this the way God usually speaks to me? Verify it. He may speak to you in different ways, but it should witness in your spirit. Ask God, "Why do you want me to head in this direction?"
Test the Scriptures to confirm if the prophetic word and revelation you are receiving aligns with or contradicts God's Word. God will not tell you to do something that is against His Word. I once knew a woman God had been convicting regarding giving. She felt led to write an offering check for $5,000. She wrote the check in advance of a business transaction that was being completed. The deal fell through, and she ended up in debt! That contradicts God's Word. If she would have tested the discernment, she would have stayed out of debt.
The Flesh Blocks Revelation
Our flesh gets involved in receiving revelation because we think about it instead of pray about it. When thinking about whether a prophetic word is from God, we tend to overanalyze it and get impatient waiting on God for an answer.
Analytical people can plan out the answer instead of praying and receiving the answer. During prayer time, analytical people have difficulty shutting down their minds to receive from God. When analytical thoughts come into your mind, transfer those thoughts to your heart, to the place of love, where the Father is. He will help you accurately discern the word.
When you receive the revelation from a prophetic word ask yourself, "Is this the way I would think?" You may think you heard from God when really what you heard were your own thoughts. Try to distinguish the difference between hearing God's voice and hearing your own.
Deceptions and Distractions
If confusion is present in times of discernment, it is from the enemy. "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace" (1 Cor. 14:33).
The enemy will attempt to distract. When we don't pray about things in advance, it leaves the enemy an open door to sidetrack us.
Testing the Spirits
When testing the spirits, ask yourself if you are feeling convicted. Conviction from the Holy Spirit is quick and calls you to action. He presses you until you act. When a prophetic word is received from the Lord it puts a prophetic burden within our spirit to complete God's will for our lives. It calls us to action with a holy reverential fear of the Lord to complete the burden He has placed within us.
Testing the word is important to verify it is of the Lord. Processing the information until you know the authenticity of the word. As spiritual warfare occurs, you cannot automatically assume that you can hear God with the same clarity as in other times. All of us have heard wrongly at one time or another, and have regretted the decisions we made in the flesh. Therefore, making sure we have valid marching orders from the Spirit of the Lord are important before we proceed.
In 1 John 4:1, the Word of God instructs us to test the spirits.
When you receive revelation from God, keep it in front of you and consistently pray it through.
Ask for His will to be further revealed and for Him to give you the spirit of revelation, knowledge, wisdom and understanding (Isa. 11:2).
Be in tune and sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading and then be obedient. Persevere and accomplish His will for your life.
Kathy DeGraw is a prophetic healing and deliverance minister releasing the love and power of God, to ignite and activate people, release prophetic destinies and deliver people from the bondage of the enemy. She is the founder of DeGraw Ministries, Change into Colorless (a racial reconciliation corporation) and Ruach Ha'Kodesh Apostolic Empowerment Center. She is the author of several books, including Who is Speaking?, Speak Out, Discerning and Destroying the Works of Satan, and Warfare Declarations. You can connect with Kathy on Facebook at facebook.com/kathydegraw or visit degrawministries.org.
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