“I will raise you up as a leader, a leader to prophets and to those who see and discern,” were words I heard in my heart over and over again over the course of years. In a nutshell, many people hear the voice of God but they hear His voice differently. Some hear His voice more as a defined word or phrase, while others see various kinds of visions or dreams. And then others might feel or sense His voice within their own emotions, which is more abstract and bewildering to those who are uninformed of this possibility.
Those I’ve mentioned here have, unfortunately, felt a certain level of rejection from God’s Church on the earth, but especially those prone to seeing or discerning the prophetic word of the Lord. Effectively communicating prophetic words in an understandable way is challenging enough, but those who have more mystical prophetic experiences do invite higher scrutiny. My confirmation came at a private apostolic retreat, however, when a well-known prophet and pastor spoke by the unction of the Holy Spirit over me. He said in summary, “You will lead the seers and bring them from revelation to intercession. You will equip them and bridge the gap they’ve had with the Church.”
What I heard spoken to my own heart, having been confirmed through another prophet, would be categorized as a directional prophetic word. A directional prophetic word is a prophetic word directing you into what God intends for your future. Just to clarify, a prophetic word can be defined as communication from the Holy Spirit either directly to a person, or to a person through another person. A prophetic word will supernaturally emerge when the gift of prophecy is in operation, and this gift is one of the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit that we see listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.
The Nature of Prophetic Words
Generally speaking, the nature of a prophetic word is this:
1) It is revelatory in nature.
2) It reveals what is concealed.
3) It declares the future.
Still, there are different kinds of prophetic words. Some will be highly comforting and encouraging, addressing the most discouraged and broken areas of our hearts. We read, “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men” (1 Corinthians 14:3). (Photo via Piqsels)
Other prophetic words might come as a warning about the future. “Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world…” (Acts 11:28).
Then there are prophetic words that direct us into God’s intended future. For example, “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the Gospel to them” (Acts 16:9-10). This was the kind of prophetic word I had received. I had been supernaturally directed towards my future, namely to help redeem a prophetic expression that needed validation and heavy instruction, in order to be received back into the Body of Christ.
Prophetic Words Need Prophetic Wisdom
A prophetic word, especially when it is directional, also needs prophetic wisdom in order to come to pass. Have you ever received a prophetic word that you knew, without a doubt, was from God? And then after you received it, did the opposite happen instead? Or, nothing at all? The apostle Paul provides us with clear insight about this. We read his firm instruction to Timothy saying, “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18).
Notice how he connected Timothy’s ability to wage a good warfare through the effective use of his prophecies. Apparently you can have a prophetic word – a crystal clear communication from the Holy Spirit about something in the future – but still lose what God intended for you to gain if you don’t make use of your prophecies. This reveals our intimate partnership with the Holy Spirit. He releases a prophetic word to you, but your response to the prophecy will often determine the final outcome. This is why we need prophetic wisdom. Prophetic wisdom involves the steps and strategies that escort us through the process that accompanies a prophetic word. And this kind of wisdom is clearly not from human origin, but a supernatural wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit.
When Abram received a prophetic word from God about his future, that his numerous descendants would possess an inheritance of land that God was leading them to, he needed prophetic wisdom to guide him through. What God promised was clearly impossible. He and his wife, Sarai, being 75 and 65 years, respectively, were told they would have a child. God assured him in this manner, “Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward Heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be'” (Genesis 15:5).
Ten years passed and they still had not conceived a child. Sarai then took control and created her own solution. “So Sarai said to Abram, ‘See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai” (Genesis 16:2). She then gave her maid, Hagar, to Abram and hence Hagar conceived a son and named him Ishmael. This was not prophetic wisdom, however. This was human wisdom, and human wisdom comes with consequences.
When it was time for the prophetic word to come to pass, God clarified that Abram and Sarai would, without a surrogate, have a child of destiny together. And to prove His point, He renamed them, changing their names from Abram and Sarai, father and mother of a multitude, to Abraham and Sarah, father and mother of nations. Everything God spoke to Abraham and Sarah happened. Together they brought forth their son Isaac at the shocking ages of 100 and 90.
The consequences of human wisdom emerged when Ishmael treated his younger brother Isaac with contempt and was forced out of the home by Sarah, along with his mother Hagar. Many have suggested that Ishmael’s descendants (most likely Arabs and other Middle Easterners) have continued original contempt over the centuries and to this day towards Isaac’s descendants, the Israelites. (Photo via Piqsels)
The story of Abraham and Sarah illustrates how a clear, prophetic word from God about the future still needs to be shaped and finished off with prophetic wisdom. The good thing is, God promised to give us His wisdom. The apostle James taught us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
God doesn’t withhold His wisdom from us, but He does stipulate that we need to ask Him for it. Now armed with this understanding, when we receive a genuine prophetic word, then we should ask for prophetic wisdom too. We need to pray like the apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians, that we would receive the “…Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of our hearts enlightened…” (Ephesians 1:17-18 ESV).
I began this article by sharing how I had received a prophetic word that was directional, namely to lead the prophets, seers, and discerners and to help bridge the gap they’ve had with the Body of Christ. This prophetic word would require prophetic wisdom in order to come to pass. As I sought the Lord for wisdom, I was then prompted by the Holy Spirit to create a common language for this kind of prophetic expression that not only would validate the unique experiences and struggles of this community, but also provide solid, biblical instruction simultaneously. I began very simply on social media, then moved on to books, videos, institutes, mentorship, and more. If there is one testimony that I’ve heard over and over it is this: “Thank you for your teaching! I finally feel normal instead of crazy! I am hearing God after all.”
This is my prayer for you: Holy Spirit, You’ve promised to show us the things to come. I ask for personalized and directional prophetic words to be released to the hearts and lives of those reading this right now. At the same time, I ask You to provide a surplus of prophetic wisdom. Show them how to partner with You, Holy Spirit, so as to fully step into the future You intend for them. In Jesus’ powerful name, amen.
Harvest Christian Center