Growing in the Prophetic
Pastor Priji engages in a conversation with Pastor Subi, Pastor Hari and Rana about the importance of activating the prophetic and growing in it!
Pastor Prji: What is your understanding of the prophetic?
Pastor Subi: To me, the prophetic is a passionate believer who goes to God, hears His voice and brings the voice to the people. It’s someone who understands the heart of God. One of the keys to being a prophet is to have genuine love and a desire to serve people. When you present those people to the Lord, God entrusts you with His voice for them and it is your responsibility to bring the voice to the people.
Pastor Hari: I’d like to add that the heart of the prophetic is that we serve a God who is personal. He desires to walk intimately with His people and intervene in their lives. At the heart of the prophetic, you will find a God who desires fellowship with His people and who wants to help people do this life with Him.
Rana: It is also a revelation from God. And it’s not only about your love to God, but also your love for the people you are speaking to. Your intimacy with God helps you hear His voice.
Pastor Priji: We all agree that love is key in being able to move in the prophetic. Sometimes it becomes more about proving oneself right than about helping people – that’s the example of Jonah. What are some ways in which we hinder the prophetic?
Pastor Subi: A lifestyle of holiness and purity is necessary to persevere in the prophetic. Fear of man shuts out the voice of God. If you are doing it for the applause of man, you will not be able to bring out the prophetic. The greatest hindrance is when you come under pressure to perform. One of the greatest challenges a prophet faces is that when you get established as a prophet, everyone wants to come to you for a word. But every prophet is not called to predict the future. There are many layers of the prophetic – some may be called to prophecy over a city, and not to a particular person. That doesn’t make you any less of a prophet. God’s heart can bleed for a city or for a person. The moment you try to make it a performance, you stop hearing the voice of God.
Pastor Hari: Sound biblical teaching concerning the prophetic is very important. Often we have people who are not prophetic but are talking about the prophetic and trying to define everything and it becomes challenging.
There are three pillars to this that require sound teaching.
1 – The voice of God which is a language. You have to understand the voice.
2 – Interpretation of man – How do you decipher the languag.
3 – The presentation of the word. If a leader does not understand these elements, there will be room for error and this error can be very costly.
Pastor Priji: I have had several people tell me that when they pray for others it’s always spot on, however, very often they don’t understand what is going on in their own lives. What stops us from hearing God’s voice over our own life?
Pastor Hari: The gift is not for you. It was given for the body. God ministers to people through the gift and He ministers to us through our personal relationship with God. Sometimes you’ll see that the gift will continue to operate independently of your walk with God. They may prophecy to many people and yet be lost in their own life. That’s what happened with Elijah. A gift can never replace your personal relationship with God. The anointing is not for you – it’s for someone else.
Pastor Subi: When we enter a season of doubt or confusion, unable to understand what’s happening in our life, we’ve got to recognize that even in those seasons of test, God expects us to be faithful and remain the same passionate lover of God we were when we had all the answers. If I want to continue to move with God, I need to go ahead with God even when I don’t have the answers to my previous questions.
Pastor Priji: This also adds so much value to the relationships you build in a church. A prophet cannot function on his or her own just because they are a prophet.
Pastor Hari: Absolutely. All leaders of the church and anyone who is allowed to speak over the lives of people are meant to be accountable for their beliefs and how they live their lives. The prophet is not meant to replace the Holy Spirit in the New Testament church. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our primary point of direction in our lives. The prophet may and will be used to affirm what the Spirit of God is already speaking to us.
Pastor Priji: Sometimes prophets give warnings or judgmental and condemning statements. What is the heart of God when we hear such voices? How do we decipher what is edifying and what is tearing us apart?
Pastor Hari: The Holy Spirit convicts, the enemy condemns. If anything spoken to you brings you to a place of condemnation, then it is not the Spirit of God. If it brings you to a place of repentance, then it is the Spirit of God. If you hear a prophet or teacher or pastor and it brings you to a place of such condemnation that you don’t want to rise up and walk with God again, that’s not from God. God does not beat us down like that. God will speak to you about your sins but He will stretch out His hand and pull you out.
Rana: The word of God comes to edify you, to lift you up and not put you down. God knows our heart. When the Word comes to us, we know whether it’s speaking to us or not, because the Holy Spirit is in us.
Pastor Hari: God’s work is redemptive in nature. Even when He reveals, He reveals to redeem. When Jesus was talking to the woman at the well, He spoke about some very personal matters which were sinful in nature. Yet, His words did not bring shame; it transformed the woman into an evangelist! His tone and nature shows that even when He confronts you, He is trying to redeem you.
There may be times when you will find it difficult to reconcile a few instances to the overarching nature of God. We must understand that while there may be instances we can debate over, they are not always a true reflection of who Jesus is. We must conclude that Jesus’s gifts are redemptive in nature. When they bring up difficult conversations, it is the pruning of the Lord because the Holy Spirit cannot be at rest when you are living a sinful life so He will wrestle with you. Conviction leads to repentance and repentance brings joy. Repentance is one of the most glorious truths of the scripture – it tells you that you can change! Condemnation on the other hand brings shame and guilt, and guilt reinforces the cycle of sin.
Pastor Priji: To conclude, can you share some practical advice or tips for young pastors and leaders on how to create an atmosphere for the prophetic?
Pastor Hari: First, develop a Spirit led worship team. I’ve always noticed that there is a strong connection between an anointed worship ministry and the prophetic grace that rests upon a church. Create an atmosphere of worship that is conducive for the presence of God to come. It’s not about music or songs; there is a kind of worship that God desires. When we build our lives around trying to worship in a way that is pleasing in His sight, He always responds to that worship and part of that response is Him speaking to us.
Second is a team of intercessors. If the gift of prophecy had a twin, it would be the gift of intercession. To be a true intercessor, you have to hear the Spirit of God. You would see that an intercessor is often a prophet. All prophets in the Bible interceded at some point.
Third, create a culture where people are encouraged to take risks. Samuel the great prophet did not recognize Jesus twice. He went to Jesse’s house seven times to find the son anointed by God and God corrected him each time till David walked in. Be kind to your church members and allow them to take risks.
Rana: Practice within your church before you go out and start prophesying. You need to be bold enough to speak what God has spoken to you. The more you speak, the more God will trust you.
Pastor Subi: One of the keys I follow is to pray over the city that God would raise up a prophetic generation. To all the leaders, take it as a personal challenge for yourself. Start interceding for your city and for your nation. Cry out before God to raise up young prophets who are willing to walk in holiness, in separation and in purity. As leaders we need to cry out to God to release the prophetic over our city. When we do that as leaders, we can be rest assured that while you’re crying out over your city, the Lord is also pouring out over your life.
Prayer: I pray and release a blessing over each one listening to this conversation. I pray that the mantle of a prophet and intercessor would be released over each one and that each one would be given a burden to cry out and pray and seek Your face. I pray that You would, in Your mercy, release intercessors, a generation that would come to You, receive a word from You and release that word over the city, over the nation, over the government. May it not be restricted to few people or few churches; release it over the body at large. We thank you for this grace upon our lives.
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