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-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net
Editor: Bob Hawley

Desperate For A Word

By Teresa Seputis

Lesson 1

There is a phenomenon where otherwise mature and reasonable Christians behave poorly or immaturely when they get around the prophetic. This happens because they desperately want to receive a word and they are anxious that God might not have one for them. They can become so desperate for a word that they get agitated, bothersome, depressed, angry or even hostile, thinking (and sometimes even behaving) in ways that they would not usually think or behave.

I can speak about this phenomenon from personal experience, because I used to be one of these people. So I know how it feels, and I understand the thoughts and emotions that accompany this. It is as if a sense of desperation for a word comes over you when you get around those who move in the prophetic. Sometimes it is mild, but other times you feel something akin to panic that you are about to be denied the word that you so desperately "need." This urgency/panic starts to get out of proportion until it overwhelms you. It can cause you to think in ways you would not usually think and it can cause you to react in ways you would not usually react. Each time there is an opportunity to possibly receive a word, you tell yourself, "I won't let it happen this time. I will just assume that I am not going to get a word and not worry about it." And though you have the best of intentions, that feeling rises up over you and consumes you the next time a prophetic ministry starts. It seems to take you over -- at a minimum it drives your thoughts and emotions and you feel frustrated. Occasionally it may cause you to behave in ways that you will be embarrassed about later.

There are a lot of Christians who struggle with this desperation for a prophetic word. If they don't receive their word, they find themselves becoming angry at the prophet who skipped them, or sometimes they get mad at God, or sometimes they drop into short bouts of depression. They may find themselves struggling with rejection issues such as: "God doesn't like me," or "God is mad at me," or "I must be a terrible person or else God would have had a word for me." And they can end up wrestling with short periods of depression when they don't receive a word. Then the "not receiving" a word magnifies the sense of need/urgency for a word, so that it becomes more intense the next time that they are around the prophetic. It tends to build up or gets worse over time.

The sad part is that this very struggle can sometimes prevent God from giving a person the word they desire. This is because they begin to put their focus on "getting a word" instead of on looking to God, or because they start struggling with unforgiveness, anger and other emotions that interfere with hearing from God.

In my own case, the problem was aggravated by the fact that I seemed to be prophetically invisible. On multiple occasions I found myself being skipped in environments were they promised that "everyone" there would get a word. Or I would be in a small group where it seemed like everyone but me received a prophecy. I struggled with it for about a two-year period, ending in early 1996. During that season, I would go to prophetic meetings determined to have a good attitude. But then a desperation or a "please you have to choose me" feeling would well up when those around me began to receive words and I did not. As the ministry session started to wind down, I would struggle with frustration. And then other emotions began to flare up. I would get "attitudes," become angry at the prophet or feel resentful toward those who did get words. On more than one occasion, I walked away muttering under my breath. One time when I was upset and muttering unkind things under my breath, some of my friends heard me. That was really embarrassing, especially since I knew I was behaving inappropriately.

I still remember the time when this came to a personal crisis for me. It was at a meeting in San Francisco in April 1995. There was a small crowd that night, maybe 20 or 25 people. A guest speaker lead the meeting. He moved in the prophetic and he had a word for almost everyone there, but not for me. When he finished prophesying, the worship team began playing and we had a time of corporate worship. But I could not worship with the others. I was struggling with not receiving a word. I knelt down in front of my seat, buried my face in my arms and cried. I remember thinking, "God must not like me because He did not have a word for me." Then I noticed that all of the words given that night had been very encouraging words. So I told myself, "God must think terrible things about me -- He can't find anything encouraging to say to me, that is why He didn't prophesy to me. I must really be an awful person." (This, of course, was the devil whispering in my ear. But since I had not heard from the Lord, I was willing to listen to the enemy.)

Now please understand, I was pretty spiritually mature at that time. And I had a deep and intimate relationship with God. I was already learning to recognize and discern God's voice with a fair amount of clarity. Most of the time I behaved in a Christlike manner and most of the time I walked in God's peace and joy, as well as in His authority and power. But when I got in the situations where prophecy was being given, this triggered some deep inner issue and I seemed to temporarily turn into a small child.

In my case, God brought me out of this by making me confront the deep issues in my life that caused this desperation/frustration. I was not secure in His love for me because of my own past experiences. God began to deal with and heal them. And as God healed, this problem went away. That is not to say that I stopped being prophetically invisible right away. Instead, it stopped bothering me that I did not get a word. The circumstances did not change at first, but the effect that those circumstances had on me certainly changed!

God's intent is for the prophetic to encourage, comfort, exhort and build us up (1 Cor 14:3-5). It was never His intent for the prophetic to make us frustrated, or to cause us to struggle with inner issues and to question His love and caring for us; that is the very opposite of what God wants to accomplish.

There are a lot of people who struggle with this to some degree. If you are one of those people, the good news is that God wants to help you get past the struggles. There are some principles that are helpful in this area. We will look at them in the next few lessons. Then we will look at this from the prophetic minister's orientation; e.g., ministering to those who are "desperate" for a word. And then we will look at one more related area, which is what to do when you get a word, but you don't like what it had to say, or it does not deal with the area you were "seeking God" about. I believe you will find this teaching series helpful whether or not you are one who becomes desperate for a word when you get around the prophetic.

-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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