Prophecy (Part 5): Misuse and Abuse

We need to have the fear of the Lord about our prophetic words.  It is a great privilege to hear God speak to us, and we should reverence every word that He speaks.  But there is a tendency to fall into pride when we hear from Him frequently.  It’s all about Him, not about us.  We must not forget that.  When we do, we fall into misuse and abuse of the prophetic word.

Here are some ways that prophecy can be wrongly used:

Validating self – When we release a prophetic word, and later on it comes to pass, if we feel we have to remind everybody that we had prophesied it, we’ve got a problem.  “I heard that!”  “I had that one first!”  “Do you remember that I said that was going to happen, back three months ago?”  We are trying to build up our own importance.  This is self-glorification, and it smells bad to those around us.

Manipulating through personal prophecy – When we want someone to do something we think they ought to do, it is mighty convenient to have a “word from the Lord” to nudge them in the “right” direction.

Many years ago, a young woman came to me with a “word from the Lord” for my life.  It was that I had my eyes in the wrong direction concerning marriage.  God wanted me to focus entirely on Him, and not allow myself to be distracted by the things of this world.  She said God wanted to show me a better plan about who I would marry than what I was now seeing.  The problem was, she and I were both interested in the same man, and she had perceived me as the competition!  Although I’m sure she did not mean to do wrong, and sincerely believed her word was accurate,  its effect was to try to manipulate my actions to bring about her desired results.  (For those who are curious, I’ve been happily married to that man for thirty years now.)

Even if our word about someone is accurate, if releasing it to the person could be manipulative, it is best to just keep it to ourselves.  If it is truly from God it will happen without our help.

Manipulating of leadership – There are more prophetic people than we could ever imagine who secretly want to rule the local church through their prophecies.  God gives the vision for the  church to the pastor (or the apostle, if apostolic government is in place), not the prophets.  This is not well understood by many, and needs to be taught.  Prophetic people aid the pastor (or apostle) by submitting what they are hearing.  Their words may help him better define the vision God is giving him, but finding the vision for the church is not the prophet’s domain.  For better understanding on this topic, I recommend reading Francis Frangipane’s article, Jezebel’s War Against Spiritual Authority. 

Manipulating circumstances to bring about a prophecy’s fulfillment – Self-fulfillment of prophecy is not always possible, of course, but when the decisions others will make are involved, prophetic people are sometimes tempted to try this.

Some years ago, a woman I know had a dream that involved a series of events, culminating in a person she knew leaving a particular ministry.  She told the person about the dream and the incidents that would lead up to his departure.  The series of events did happen one-by-one, but, do you see that by planting in the man’s mind what his response should be, she manipulated him and the circumstances?   She may have had a real word from the Lord, but by telling him he would leave that ministry when a certain string of events happened, she set him up to make a decision that would fulfill her dream and thereby validate her.  Her dream may have been fulfilled anyway, but by releasing her information inappropriately, she manipulated circumstances for a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We will continue discussing misuse and abuse in the next post.

Previous — Prophecy (Part 4): Discretion — Keeping it to Ourselves
Next — Prophecy (Part 6): Misuse and Abuse (continued)

The Intercessor Manual

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries


3 responses to “Prophecy (Part 5): Misuse and Abuse

  1. Pingback: Prophecy (Part 4): Discretion — Keeping it to Ourselves « Out of the Fire

  2. cornishevangelist

    Preaching the Truth
    Paul the Apostle stood in the city of Athens, and he was so disturbed to see such a place that had given themselves over to the worshipping of so called gods.

    The Bible calls this idolatry, now Paul remembered the Words of God, and he knew where it was written in Exodus 23v13, “And make no mention of the names of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth,”

    and he was also very conscious of the Word of God where it is written, “Enquire not after their gods, saying how did these nations serve their gods?” {Deuteronomy 12 v 30}.

    Yes, he would preach Jesus and the resurrection from the dead to them only, he was wise enough through his knowledge of the scriptures not to be drawn into detailed idolatrous gossip.

    He said to them for I was walking through your city and I happened to see you worshipping, and I saw a place where there was “an inscription to the unknown god, whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you,” Now what wisdom Paul showed he did not get into great detail with them.

    What a privilege to know the truth, that there is only one God and one Saviour our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ. May we continue to proclaim the truth of the gospel as the saints did before us and being very conscious of God’s Word like Paul was and not to be drawn into the worlds idolatrous conversations as we seek to witness for Christ. God bless you always.

    Readings taken from Acts 17.



  3. Pingback: Prophecy (Part 6): Misuse and Abuse (continued) « Out of the Fire

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