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I had never received a prophetic word of correction before. It was one of those that I dreaded and hoped would never need to happen to me. I knew that even David (a man after God's own heart) had received a word of correction. All the same, I did not want to ever need one!
This morning, the Lord woke me at 3:00 AM and told me to call this specific person who lived in the EST time zone... it was 6:00 AM for that person... too early to call... especially since I'd never talked to that person on the phone before. (We knew each other from email and had been trying to make phone contact before, but somehow we'd never actually been able to connect and speak voice to voice.)
Anyhow, I let my reason win out over obedience and decided to call when it was a more reasonable hour. God did not let me go back to sleep, but sent me to my computer to read email. I had a big pile of up email from when I'd been away on the missions field and I decided to catch up on some of that... and I tripped across an email that confirmed what the Lord had been speaking to me regardin this person who I had just refused to call. I went a ahead and called her at 8:30 AM her time... and guess what, she'd already left for the day. Sigh. I knew I should have called when God told me to...but I was so afraid of her getting mad at me if I called at an unreasonable hour. So I sent her an email asking her to call me ASAP and gave her my work phone number. (Turns out I talked to her later in the day and she'd been up at 6:00 her time praying. She said she would not have been upset if I'd called her then.)
When I left for work that morning, the Lord began to speak to me. He reminded me of a time last Febuary when He'd given me a choice between "coming home" now or completing the work He would like to give me to do for Him. I had chosen to do the work He had for me. Then He told me that since I'd made that choice, He had assigned something for me to do and now I could not change that.. I had this assignment I was to complete. (He did not tell me exactly what the assignment was.)
Then He went on to discuss how too often I am ready to disqualify myself when He has not disqualified me, and how that sometimes prevents me from moving in what He is doing. The told me that I need to stop doing that. I responded by inviting Him to whatever was broken in my that tended to make me disqualify myself.
I got to work and it was a very busy day... and did not have time to ponder my earlier discussion with the Lord.
Then I got a phone call. It was my EST friend, calling me back. Oh, I almost forgot to mention.. she is recognized and ordained as a prophet in her denomination... and she really is very prophetic.
It was a very interesting and pleasant conversation... we small-talked and got to know each other a bit... then I shared with her what the Lord had told me to talk to her about... which was in regard to enlisting her to help me on a project I'm working on.
Somewhere in the conversation, she told me that the Lord was giving her a word for me... but it was up to me whether or not I wanted to recieve it... she would not force it on me. I wondered what I was getting myself into, but I said, "Ok."
She began to go into a dialog regarding what the Lord had been speaking to me about earlier that morning... the gist of it was that He had called me to ministry and that I was not to disqualify myself from it or disbelieve what He called me to. Rather, I had to believe His call and commit to it. Her prophesy went on for a while... and the Holy Spirit seemed to be on me and confirming each word of it to me.
It was definately corrective in nature, requiring a change on my part. But I did not feel at all condemned or put down or defensive. It was as though I could feel His life and His hope being breathed into me. (In a way, it reminded me of my old ice skating lessons.. when I'd do a move, my coach would watch me and then point out if I'd done something technically wrong. Then he's show me the right way to do it, and have me try again, concentrating on how to correctly do the little piece of the move that I'd done wrong before. My coaching had always been encouraging... helping me to improve and do better something I was already good at... and never putting me down personally or attacking me or condemning me if I made a technical mistake in the excutcation of a move on the ice.)
This correction from the Lord was like that. He was warm and encouraging and building hope. He was not condemning me or disapproving of me or making me feel bad in any way. Instead He was pointing out an area that was out of alignment with His will... and then He was showing me how to go align that area of my life to His will. He never once bawled me out for having this thing out of alignment, but He gave me hope and encouragement of how to get it lined up correctly. At the same time, I could feel His love and His acceptance surrounding me. It was actually a very pleasant and live-giving experience to receive correction from the Lord. I felt incredibly ministered to.
As I said, there was a lot in the word as it was given. I received it all and felt totally comfortable in the process. When it was over, I mentioned that I wished I'd had a tape recorder. She promised to send me a summary of the word via email. The summary, of course, is briefer and leaves out some things. But this is what she sent me:
God said: His desire is for you to accept and acknowledge his calling upon your life He wants you to settle it within yourself, once and for all, to settle it way down deep in your innermost being. That yes, he has called you to be his minister and yes, you have accepted his calling upon your life. God has called you to be a God-pleaser, not a man-pleaser. He called you long ago even before you were born.
This is your next step. It must be taken for God's purpose to go forward... to be fulfilled. As you take this step a new sureness shall come upon you. God wants to grant you a new impartation. This impartation can not and will not come forth until you have settled his calling within yourself.
To sort of tie things up... I had been planning to attend a class at my church that evening. Instead, I went home and spent the evening praying regarding this word and trying to settle it in my spirit that He has called me and that I have accepted His call. It was a pretty good prayer time and I think I'm begining to align better to His will in the area of accepting His calling on my life.
The thing that really surprised me in all of this is how pleasant and life-giving God's correction can be... it was not scary, condemning or awful. So saints, don't be afraid of God's correction... it is not to punish us but to help us to line up to His perfect will so that we can be successful in what He has called us to.
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