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God is a loving Father who loves to encourage and speak to His children. One of the ways He does that is through personal prophesy. Unfortunately, there are some people who become quite anxious about whether they will get a word when they get around the prophetic. God does not want us to struggle with that.
Sometimes the root of the struggle is because a person is convinced that they urgently need a word. But they are afraid God might not give them one, or they are concerned something might get in the way and keep them from receiving it. Phil 4:19 tells us that when we really need something, God will supply it for us. So what is going on when a person feels they needs a word, but doesn't get one? Has God reneged on His promise to them? Or could it be that even though it "feels" like they really need a personal prophesy, that is not what they "really" need. And God is giving them what they need instead of what they think they need.
Something else is going on internally to give people the perception that they so urgently need a word when that is not what they really need. There are some principles that help us deal with that "something else," so we can think and behave maturely when we get around the prophetic. We looked at two of them in the last lesson. Let's look at two more.
If we disobey God in some area where He has already spoken to us, He may not be willing to give us more prophecies until we start obeying what He already said. Examine your heart for areas where you may be in disobedience to something God has already spoken to you. He may have spoken this by quickening scripture to you or through a previous prophetic word. If you are not obeying Him on that, He probably is not going to speak to you in other areas until you go back and correct the problem. This is a critically important principle.
Jesus clearly expects us to obey Him. There are many passages where He says so. Two of them are John 14:15 and John 15:14. Jesus also developed a concept that goes like this:
The more clearly we hear God and the more we know what He wants, then the more God holds us accountable to obey Him.
Jesus explained this in Luke 12, verses 47 and 48. Jesus told a parable about a master who put his servant in charge of his house and went away on a trip. He was delayed in coming home. Then Jesus gave two scenarios for that servant. One was the faithful servant, who obeyed his master's wishes and was rewarded. The other was that the servant was unfaithful while his master was delayed and did not obey his wishes. Regarding that servant, Jesus said: "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
Jesus' teaching shows us that the more clearly we understand God's will, the more we are held accountable to obey Him in it. Therefore it makes perfect sense that He will sometimes stop speaking to us when we are clearly not listening to Him and not obeying Him. Otherwise, we would get ourselves into more and more trouble with God.
For instance, say that God has spoken to you to make your family a top priority and to assure that their needs are met so they don't become resentful of your ministry. But you ignored that and kept pouring yourself into the ministry. You desperately "need" God to speak to you about the ministry; to tell you where to focus, where to expand, whether or not He will provide an increase in finances, etc. You are looking for a prophetic word that deals with these areas. But God does not give you any prophetic words. That may be God's way of saying to you, "First obey what I have told you about your family, and then I will start speaking to you about your ministry."
If God is not giving you words because of disobedience, the fix is simple. Start obeying God in the area where you have been ignoring His instructions or disobeying Him. After you demonstrate an obedient heart, God will most likely begin to release prophetic words to you again.
Looking for an "Easy Fix"
Sometimes people get the impression that if they can just get a prophetic word, that will be the impetus or breakthrough that will solve most or all of their problems. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. God never promises to keep us problem free. Rather He promises to be with us in difficult situations, to guide us and help us. We see this promise in many places in scripture. For instance, Is 43:2 says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
In fact, many of God's solutions and deliverances seem to come with a great deal of hardship and problems of their own. Look at how God rescued the children of Israel when they were in slavery and bondage to the Egyptians. Their deliverance consisted of having their work load made harder and more abusive, of suffering through many of the plagues along with the Egyptians, of having their lives endangered and being chased by an army, and of long and difficult marches through the desert, sometimes without enough food and water. Then when they finally got to the promised land, they had to fight and take the land. This was indeed God's deliverance for them, but it certainly was not easy or quick.
God is not into quick fixes; He usually works through processes. Even Jesus did not take any shortcuts. Jesus did not come to earth as an adult ready to face the cross. Instead Jesus came as a little baby and He had to grow up before He could fulfill God's destiny.
The Bible does not promise that God will keep us from having any problems. In fact, Jesus assured us that we will have tribulations and problems in this world (John 16:33). The good news is that He also assured that He will make us overcomers in Him. He takes us through a process to get to that place -- it is not a quick fix. So if we seek a prophetic word as a "quick fix," God may not give it to us.
God's goal has never been to make it easy for us or to make our lives problem free. Instead His goal is to build character in us and mature us. It is to change and strengthen us so that we remain in His peace, love and joy regardless of the circumstances we face. It is to see His faithfulness as He meets us in difficult circumstances and brings His glory into them. It is to teach us the power of prayer. God loves us and He desires for our joy to be full. God does not take shortcuts to get us there. He takes us through a process where we grow and mature in Him, and He walks beside us every step of the way.