Receiving a word from the Lord can be enjoyable and even exhilarating. I love hearing His voice and seeing His visions — just because it is interaction with the One I adore. Even when it is a sobering or corrective word, there is something about having heard it from Him that is endearing, special.
I’ve noticed, though, that some prophetically-gifted people “play” prophetically. Rather than letting God speak when He chooses, they force prophecy, simply because they wish to be prophetic and talk prophetically with others. This is certainly immaturity, and may even cross the borders into spiritual divination.
There are peak times when this tends to occur — coming into a new year, for instance, or major events before the public eye, such as the Olympics, a natural disaster, or a celebrity “happening.” Suddenly, prophets are coming out of every nook and cranny, seeing metaphorical significance in this, that, and the other thing.
God does use the natural events that unfold before our eyes to speak messages to His people at times, and we should have our ears and eyes constantly attuned to Him. We should be asking, “God, what would You like to speak about the coming year?” “What are you saying in the midst of this current event?”
But I think we need to be careful with this. Sometimes there is too much frivolity, too much prophesying for fun, just to see what can be come up with “in the spirit.” Part of maturing prophetically is understanding the awesomeness of hearing from the Lord — that it is a weighty thing and an honor to hear from Him.
God is not a talking head Who just blabs on and on about anything and everything randomly. He speaks with purpose. He does not speak merely to give us goose bumps and thrills for the moment. He is holy. His holiness must never be forgotten.
If God speaks with purpose, what things motivate Him to speak? Here are a few:
1.) Warning, to protect us and lead us to repentance
2.) Guidance for decision-making and to prepare us for what lies ahead
3.) To equip us and motivate us to establish His Kingdom
4.) Encouragement, comfort, strengthening, reassurance, reinforcement of what He has already been saying
5.) To help us understand His character — who He is and how He operates
6.) So that we will know what to pray into and how to pray it through
7.) To share the secrets of His heart with His beloved
There could be many more, but whatever the motivation, it will have purpose.
I am not trying to be a kill-joy. I love having fun, too, even in spiritual things. We can laugh and have a great time in the Presence of God, where we are simply enjoying Him with the other people around us. Sometimes God chooses to manifest Himself in exhilarating joyousness that is almost hilarity.
But we need to be careful. The Word of the Lord is not a plaything to be manipulated. It is not to showcase our prophetic talents, either. And we cannot make it happen, just because we want it to.
True prophecy carries His weight, His glory, an awe of Him. Whether it is a word that affects a region or a word that impacts only our personal life, it has the fear of the Lord as its base. We must handle it with care and reverence.
God spoke through Jeremiah, “He who has my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” (Jeremiah 23:28).
Prophesy out of what God is truly speaking, not because you want to have a word. And prophesy with God-driven purpose. Five words spoken in the authentic “Word of the Lord” are priceless, while five paragraphs spoken out of one’s own spirit are as worthless as dust.