Prophecy vs. Advice & Opinion
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He’s the one who will keep you on track.
Proverbs 3:5-6. The Message
I just seem to fall in love over and over again with the wonderful things that happen from prophetic ministry. Over 15 years ago I was impacted greatly by the prophetic ministry and it has changed the course of my life for the best. Now, I have a passion to discover what authentic prophetic ministry in the New Covenant looks like and to help others discover their prophetic purpose as well.
A recent favorite prophetic moment of mine was when I prophesied to a young man that He would be making apps for mobile devices that will connect him to the world. I shared with him how God was going to use this to teach him. His mother, (who is an incredible and godly woman!) was there while I gave this word to him in a group setting. She jumped in the moment and said something like, “But, Jamie… this is really a waste of time!” I absolutely loved her honesty! I had no natural knowledge of what was going on, but those that were familiar with the situation explained to me afterward that he had bought a start-up gaming app for smart phones and was launching it that week on the App Store! It was a funny moment that really showed me how different God thinks.
The problem with this situation is that I would never really naturally counsel this guy to give time to build an app, much less a gaming app. I might counsel him to work hard, go to school, get a job, etc. These things seem more reasonable and responsible. The thing about it is I have always seen much better fruit when I echo God’s thoughts towards the person in front of me rather than voicing my own opinion. This is not to say that I still wouldn’t counsel him to take some practical steps to better his life.
We want to stand out and be uniquely heard. We want to be a voice, but in order to be the voice of heaven in people’s lives, we must accurately echo what God is saying. I find that in order to do this we must lay aside our agenda so that we may accurately portray His. Our opinions can get in the way taking what we hear from God and filtering it based on our opinion. An authentic prophetic ministry is not about telling our philosophy or our opinions about what God is doing. Legitimate prophetic ministry begins with us laying down our own opinions, agendas, philosophies, ideas and being real about what we are hearing. This means that we need to be real and honest enough to communicate when we are not absolutely sure of the meaning behind what we are hearing prophetically for others.
Some simple steps to giving prophecy without opinion.
1. Be real with yourself about your opinions of someone. Take a personal account of your opinions about something and compare it to what God is speaking. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways! (Isaiah 55:8-9)
2. Repent for any ideas that may be overriding what God wants to speak through you. Preconceived ideas can keep you from being an authentic voice in someone’s life. Take this as an opportunity to renew your thinking by fully taking in just how different God’s ways are from our own.
3. Allow others to be involved with the vulnerability of the moment. If I am prophesying to someone and I am not 100 percent sure about the accuracy of my hearing I let them know in that moment. I might say, “I could be totally wrong but this is what I am seeing.” This allows me to give the word to them without letting my own mind steal the word before they are even able to hear it.
4. Above all, prophecy must be based in edification, exhortation, and comfort. (1 Corinthians 14:3) When we base the prophetic words we give in these qualities we can steer clear of negative opinion and accurately reflect the heart of God for that person.
Opinions are just that, an opinion. Even an expert opinion which has more weight can fall short of the incredible wisdom God has. This is why even the most amazing advice we have received still needs to be brought into our time of prayer. I love advice and constantly reach out to people who can coach me through the mountains I am moving. Through prayer, we get to know the mind of God and He fills us with His thoughts. Prophecy is connecting people to God’s thoughts. When we learn to separate a good idea from a God idea we are connecting to the Spirit of Prophecy.