Is it God . . . or is it Me?
By Alan Taylor (Hamilton, New Zealand)
In the context of giving a prophecy one of the most common reasons I hear for not bringing a word is: “I don’t know if it’s God . . . or me”! And, of course, the implication is, “It’s me and not God, so I won’t bring it.”
Let me say up front: the substance of this article – it’s probably God. Now I’ll tell you why I say that.
God’s voice is abundant.
Psalm 119 says that “God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path” (v. 105). Well, that’s encouraging – whichever way we’re heading God can give us direction, and light the way. And directionally, that means that God’s Word is in front of us. Now Isaiah says that our ears will hear a word behind us saying, “this is the way, walk in it” whenever we turn to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:21 ). Now that’s even more encouraging! God’s Word is not only in front of us, but it’s also behind us. That’s divine inspiration in stereo!
But wait, there’s more! 1 Corinthians 2:16 promises that we have “the mind of Christ” –that’s God’s voice from within. And 1 Samuel chapter 3 tells the story of young Samuel who heard the audible voice of God ~ which was so real he mistook it for the voice of Eli.That’s God’s voice from outside.
So God’s voice is in front of us, behind us, within and without. That’s not just stereo – that’s full surround quadraphonic sound!
Interestingly enough, Moslems have to get directional in their prayers – they have to face Mecca. The God of the heavens and the earth; of all time past, present and future, of this realm and all others, is not limited to the points of the compass!
Because of the abundance of God’s voice, if you’re submitted to God and wanting to hear from Him, it’s probably His voice that you’re hearing. Particularly in terms of prophecy, when the object is to bless someone. Just accept that and run with it and the person you’re prophesying to will no doubt get blessed.
But is it God . . . or me?
We live in a world of choices – BBQ sauce or mayonnaise, the blue shirt or the brown one, trim or full fat. But that can condition our outlook on hearing the voice of God to think that we’re limited to the option of a thought being either God or me (or maybe even the devil as another option!). But as Christians we have Christ in us – a new creation. He made us alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5 ). “It’s no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20 ).
So is that thought God, or me? Neither! It’s God in me!
Prophetic words can come from the heart and God gave us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19 ). And prophetic words can also come from the mind and “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16 ). So whether you feel it with your heart or think it with your mind – it’s probably God. And the breastplate of righteousness guards what’s in our heart, while the helmet of salvation watches over what’s in our mind.
Jesus said that “His sheep hear His voice and know His voice” (John 10:27,4 ).
So believe that God wants to speak through you, and the thoughts you have are from Him.
Take a risk.
Read the story of Jonathan and his armour-bearer in 1 Samuel 14 . Knowing the general will of God (the Philistines are the bad guys and God is against them), Jonathan took the initiative and came up with a plan to attack the enemy. His trust was in God – “perhaps the Lord will work for us; for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few” (v. 6). With God’s help, Jonathan’s plan worked and the Philistines were defeated.
My point is this – because it’s the general will of God that “all may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:31 ), ask God to give you something encouraging for that person who so desperately needs it; thank God for His inspiration; take a risk, and then pass on what comes into your mind. It’s probably the voice of God you’re hearing.
Follow the guidelines.
Prophecy is for “edification, exhortation and encouragement” (1 Corinthians 14:3 ). If you have in your heart the thought “How can I bring the love of God to this person in what I will say to them?” then it’s really hard to get it wrong. Don’t overstep your experience in this area, but only step out according to the proportion of your faith (Romans 12:6 ). Sharpen those skills – training your senses with practice (Hebrews 5:14 ) and you’ll find your confidence and accuracy will improve.
Just do it!
People desperately want to hear from God. Sometimes they don’t realize it quite that way, so they read their horoscope in the trash print from the bookshops. Or they visit a psychic because they know there’s something else to this world. Whether people are Christian or not,the world is parched for a life-giving word from God. Don’t withhold that life-giving water when it can do so much good. Ask God for inspiration. Put yourself in a place where you can speak an encouraging word. Believe that you can hear from God and then prophesy. You’ll change the world – maybe not by much – but it will seem like it to the person on the other end of your prophecy.