Stirring Up Your Prophetic Gift
By Ivan and Isabel Allum (Toronto, Canada)
Have you ever prophesied encouragement to someone only to fear that you will lose this ability or never see it operate again? Although this fear is common, it is not legitimate, because the Father never stops talking to and sharing His heart with His children. Once we understand prophecy and how it works, we realize that it is simple and is something that can be part of a Christian’s daily life. The Kingdom of God is not complicated just as God Himself is not complicated. In Matt. 18:3 Jesus said, "Unless you become like little children you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven". Little children are not complicated, either. Since simplicity is a key to entering into the Father’s kingdom, and since we know that He wants us to enter in, we are all capable of opening the door to it. What is prophecy? It is simply hearing the Father speaking and repeating what He says, perceiving the Father’s heart for someone and then sharing it with them. Since God the Father is pure love, this is the place we draw from when we prophesy. It is about His thoughts and desires for His kids. So, having a close relationship with the Father and knowing His love makes it easier to hear Him and to have His mind. Jesus made a way for us to go directly to the Father and the Holy Spirit reveals His heart of love to us.
PROPHESYING OUT OF LOVE
Back in 1994 when the renewal broke out at TACF, we were burned out. We had been ministering for years and had come to the place where we felt that we could not give anymore. We were dry and tired of ministering to people. Prophesying at that time was just "giving words," and we felt that we had nothing left to give. But when the River came, everything changed. We had a new encounter with the Father, a new revelation of who He is, and that revelation healed and transformed us. In the refreshing waters of the River of God, we found the secret to prophesying that changed our ministry forever. We realized that prophesying is not merely about "giving words" to people, but it is about sharing the Father’s heart with them and releasing his Kingdom into their lives. Therefore, it is about what God, not we, are giving them. That understanding caused the gift of prophecy to come alive in us in a different way and restored our passion to minister. Now we love to prophesy, because there is nothing more precious than to reach into the heart of the Father, hear what He has to say and then pass it on to others and see the kingdom of God released in their lives. Prophesying from the Father’s heart is like prophesying from a bottomless well of love, and there is always something for everyone in there. We assure you that when you receive this revelation, you will want to prophesy all the time, too, because you will want to share the Father’s loving heart with everyone in your path. You will look at someone at church, at the restaurant, on the street, or at work, and will feel His compassion for him or her. You will see the hurting and the broken and you will sense the Father’s heart for them, and you will want to tell them what the Father has to say about them or their situation. As the Father shares his heart with you, you will prophesy like you never prophesied before, because it will be about making the Father known to people. That is something that separates the psychics from God’s prophets. Both can give words of revelation, but only one can make the Father known and release the Kingdom of Heaven into someone’s heart.
HOW DO I RECEIVE A WORD?
Very often we hear people say, "I cannot prophesy because I don’t have a word to give." That happens to everyone, and it is a good place to be because "you do not have to have a word to give." You are not the source of it; it comes from the Father. All you have to do is ask Him, "Father, what would you like to say about this situation, this nation or this ministry?" That simple question opens the doors to the heart of the Father and to the prophetic flow from heaven. We know from experience that the Father always loves to answer that question, and all you have to do is give the answer the Father gives you, and by doing this, you prophesy. Isn’t that simple? The good thing is that there is no limit to how many times you can ask the Father that question; and therefore, there is no limit to how many times you can prophesy. In order to receive God’s word, it is important to identify the way you hear the Father speak. That confuses a lot of people because many of us think that the way we hear God when we prophesy is different from the way we hear Him when He speaks to us personally. That is not true. God speaks to us in the same way for both. God has made us unique and has a personal relationship with each of us. He relates to each of us in a different way. Therefore, in order to release the prophetic flow from you, it is very important to clearly identify the way in which the Father talks to you personally. It could be through visions or pictures, dreams, sudden thoughts, hearing the voice of God audibly or with the ear of your spirit. Hearing with the ear of your spirit sounds like you talking to yourself but carries the presence of the Holy Spirit. It may come as a flow of words as you write, by receiving clear discernment, having words of knowledge, a sense of intuition which is "knowing" things in your heart. These are all revelatory gifts which are part of the prophetic anointing, and as a child of God, you will have one or more of these. Once you identify them, learn to focus on them until they become familiar and natural to you. The good thing is that in time you will see that other avenues will open up for you and increase will come in the number of ways the Lord will communicate with you. Do not compare yourself with anyone else or try to be like them. When that happens, it actually stops the flow. A key to growing in the prophetic dimension is to be yourself. When God created you, He placed in you the ability to hear His voice, and therefore, as you grow into the mature person God created you to be, hearing His voice will become natural to you. That is why allowing the Lord to heal your heart is so important. A person whose heart has been healed perceives God more purely than a person whose heart is broken and whose emotions are wounded. Filling your heart, mind and understanding with the written word of God sharpens your ability to receive God’s current words. Let Scripture become second nature to you. Be humble, teachable, accountable, and stay away from the fruit of the wrong tree which include envy, jealousy, criticism, pride, and negativity. These will only hinder the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life. Remember that real prophecy brings life, encouragement, hope, love and joy and draws us closer to the Father. Therefore, you must choose to eat from the tree of life, which will cause life to flow out of you and many will eat from the fruit of it. If you want to prophesy God’s word, treasure those you minister to. Remember that they are Jesus’ Bride. Your heart’s attitude is as important as the prophecy you give, as it will either stop or release the flow of the Holy Spirit in you. Humble yourself remembering that prophecy is a tool of service to bless the person who stands in front of you. When you prophesy, do not focus on looking anointed to others or sounding powerful. God is interested in healing and touching the heart of the person who stands in front of you, and because of that person, He will anoint you and will pour His glory through you. Never take for granted the undeserved privilege of touching someone’s heart. As you understand this, you will see that the Father will entrust you with more and will increase your gift. Worship and soaking in God’s presence draw you close to the Father and take you into a realm of the Spirit where you will see what He sees and know what He knows. Be around other prophetic people. It "rubs off". Some time ago a lady from church came to work at the place where I worked. We shared an office together, and after a month she told me that spending time with me had stirred up the gift of prophecy in her without her doing anything else about it. I was gratified to know that just by being in my company she was receiving an impartation of what is in me. I’ve often noticed that when people come and spend time with us, their prophetic ability increases, especially if they minister alongside us. Be faithful to cultivate the gift that is in you even if what you have to give seems simple or small. Do not bury the talent He gives you, but put it to work, and you will see it grow and multiply (Matt. 25:14-29 ). Persevere. Like any other God-given skill, the more you exercise it, the more it develops and the easier it is to exercise it because your confidence in the faithfulness of God will also increase.
WHAT IF I MISS IT?
Another common fear that keeps people from flowing in the gift of prophecy is "What if I miss it?" You will overcome this fear as you trust in the Father with all your heart knowing that He is a perfect Father, and if you ask Him for bread to feed to his children He will not give you a stone. Remember, He is the source of prophecy and only good things flow from His heart. If you do miss, have a repentant heart before the Lord because if your heart is right, good things will also flow from it. Be accountable. Accountability is of paramount importance in the prophetic realm as it will protect you and those you minister to. Be open with those you are accountable to and listen to them. Walk in the light and do no let pride enter your heart. Allow feedback, and let others judge the prophecies you give and also your character. Remember that your character must be godly at all times. Test the words you give by these three things: a) Does it conform to Scripture? b) Does it carry the heart of the Father? c) Does it release the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Let love be the foundation of your ministry. To love someone is more important than to prophesy over them. If you touch someone’s heart with the Father’s love, you have touched eternity because prophecy will pass, but love will remain forever.
- Used by permission of Spread The Fire Inc., 272 Attwell Drive, Toronto, Ontario M9W 6M3, Canada. Materials from Spread The Fire, copyright 2004