How do we make certain that the prophetic words we receive are pure? How do we protect ourselves from deception? There are several safeguards we can put in place, so that we consistently deliver accurate prophecy:
1.) Stay in the Word of God, the Bible. As I’ve mentioned at other times, the Bible is the infallible voice of God. The more we read it, the more we know how God sounds when He speaks, what His character is like, how He thinks, what He would say and what He would not say. The Bible is our training manual in the school of the prophetic.
2.) Spend much time in prayer, especially in listening to the Lord. The more time we spend in intimacy with Him, the more we will hear from Him.
3.) Keep a pure lifestyle. Psalm 101:3 says, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes.” If you pollute yourself with compromising reading, TV and movie viewing, computer activities, etc., don’t expect to be able to hear God rightly. If you indulge in sin of any kind — but especially unforgiveness and bitterness — it will taint your ability to deliver a pure prophetic word.
4.) Be accountable and submit to the covering of church leadership. I am speaking of personal, one-on-one relationship, not just the general covering of belonging to a local fellowship. This is vital for the person who desires to grow in the prophetic gifts. It is also painful, because being open to correction and teaching is humbling. It’s not always going to be fun!
One of the mistakes frequently made by very gifted, but immature prophets and intercessors is running away from their spiritual mentors when the fire of correction gets too hot. It’s fun to deliver exciting prophetic words to the pastor; it’s not so much fun to be occasionally told you’ve missed the boat.
5.) Settle it in your heart that your prophesying is not going to be for personal recognition. Commit yourself to the denying of self and an absolute abhorrence of self-promotion. Remember, none of it is about or for you; it’s all about Jesus and the building up of the Body of Christ. Any time we deviate from this principle, we end up in trouble.
Most of us want to shoot from being a Level One or Two prophetic person to a Level Ten, and just skip the steps in between. It doesn’t work like that. The way to becoming mature in the prophetic gifts involves a hard refining process. God must get the self importance out of us, or we would destroy ourselves. He loves us enough to humble us.
This wraps up the series on prophecy. I’d love to hear your comments and questions!
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual