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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 9

In the last lesson, we begin looking at what to do when we get a word that we do not like. In most cases we have waited a long time for this word, often struggling with anxiety or frustration over not having received it sooner. Now we finally get our word, only to be discouraged or disappointed by it. Or we find ourselves disliking what the Lord said to us.

The first step is to judge the word and determine if it is really a God word. We look at things like whether it is scriptural, did we get an inner witness of the Holy Spirit, does it line up with other things that God has spoken to us, did it come from a credible source? Then we pray it through. We run it by others we respect spiritually for advice and counsel, and ask them to identify if it is dealing with a "blind spot" in our lives. If the word is not a God word, we reject it. But if it is a God word, we have to deal with it.

The next step is that we must examine our expectations and initial reactions. It may be that we are disappointed because God did not meet our expectations. Or it may be that our initial reaction to the word set an incorrect tone or context that we are using to interpreting the word. We may need to peel those things away to be able to see what the word really says to us.

(Lesson 8 covered the first two steps in more detail. Now we will look at the other steps in processing a God-word that we did not like.)

Talk With God About The Word

If you get a word that leaves you feeling disappointed or discouraged, go back to God and talk to Him about it. If you get a word where you don't like what God said to you, examine why you don't like it. Does it cause some fears to rise up? If so, bring those fears to Him and discuss it with God. Perhaps He wants to help you overcome those fears.

Did the word identify some areas where we have inappropriate attitudes or motivations? Maybe God wants us to examine our thinking and attitudes before Him. Maybe He wants to give us a new orientation that more perfectly lines up with His. Invite Him to change your thinking and desires to line up with His, as David did in Psalm 51.

Ask God to point out any misunderstanding you have about what He said. Invite Him to identify and fix any wrong assumptions you have made. Ask Him to speak to your heart about the word He gave you.

It is my theory that God is sometimes intentionally vague or abstract about something in a word because He wants us to come to talk to Him about that subject. He may be "baiting" us, or inviting us to pursue the subject further with Him. Take Him up on His offer. Come to Him and talk with Him about it. Chances are very high that God will say quite a bit more to you on it as you pursue it with Him in prayer.

Do Your Homework on the Word

If the word references any scripture, go read/study that scripture. Look at the context of the referenced section. Sometimes God will speak to us as we study the scripture He quoted to us. Let me share an example. One time I really wanted God to talk to me about a failed relationship I was very sad about. We had been out of relationship months, and I still missed my "friend" a great deal. God gave me a word, but instead of dealing with the subject that was foremost on my mind, He talked about the ministry He has given me. He said He has given me very narrow parameters and that when people try to move the ministry outside of those parameters, He expects me to bring correction or make adjustments to keep the ministry on track. He told me not to worry about those offended when I bring correction. And then He quoted a passage where many disciples became offended at something Jesus said and stopped following Him, and Jesus asked the twelve if they were also going to leave Him.

While processing the word, I got out my concordance and found that the referenced scripture was from John 6. So I read the entire chapter. And as I read it, the Holy Spirit spoke to me through it. I came to realize that the "friend" I missed had broken off the relationship after becoming offended. I had to correct this friend when the friend misrepresented my ministry in some highly inappropriate ways. I had been stressing over the failed relationship and hoping for it to be restored. God showed me why the relationship failed -- the friend became offended when corrected. And the word dealt with that type of situation point blank. I was to let those offended by correction go, just as Jesus had let the disciples go in John 6. It turns out God had dealt with my urgent issue after all. He gave me the key that allowed me to "get over it" and move on. But I did not recognize what He was saying until I'd studied the scripture He referenced in the word.

On a similar vein, if God says He is giving you the same anointing as another person (biblical or historical) go research their lives and understand what that means. If God references a person or an event or a scripture passage in the word, study it (maybe research it on the web or in the Bible) and get a better understanding of what He means.

Seek Godly Advice And Counsel From Others

If you are struggling with a word, bring it to someone you respect spiritually who you are in relationship with and who cares about you. It may be your pastor or home group leader, or a prayer partner or a mentor or an elder in your church. Show the word to them and ask them for advice and inputs. They may have some insights that will change your orientation on the word.

Keep Things in Context

Don't isolate the word from everything else God has spoken to you. A word now does not negate promises He made earlier. If God omits discussing an area in this word, it does not mean He won't cover it later.

Never take it as a denial when God does not deal with something you really want Him to talk to you about. If you are seeking Him for a mate to share your life with (someone to marry) and He does not deal with it in the word, do not take that as an indication that God is calling you to a life of isolation and celibacy. If God says "Wait" or "Not now," that does not equate to "No."

If you are in a setting where multiple prophets all give you a word at the same time, do not try to interpret the words you receive in isolation from each other. Instead, look at all of the words you received together. For instance, one word may deal with solutions to some problems you are facing. Another word might promise financial breakthrough. You can't ignore the solution God presented in one word and expect the financial breakthrough to come to you. You may need to implement what He spoke in the first word to reap the promises He made in the second. When God speaks to you through a group of prophets, such as in a prophetic presbytery, all the words you receive comprise a single message from God. Process your words in that context.

Remember God's Nature and Character

God is your Heavenly Father, who loves you dearly. Most of the time, God's heart is to encourage, build up, edify or strengthen us when He gives us a prophetic word (1 Cor 14). Do not assume negative or out of character motives on God's part. Do not let your thinking accuse Him of being unkind, unloving, of not having your best interest at heart, of wanting to make you suffer or be miserable, etc. It hurts God's heart when we ascribe poor or cruel motivations to Him. So we need to be careful we don't inadvertently do that.

Remember God loves you dearly. He desires to help you grow and mature in Him. He desires that your joy be full. And He set up prophecy to be an encouragement to His children. So He is not going to go out of His way to give you a word that will discourage, tear down, etc. God is not like that -- that would be very much out of character for Him. So if the word comes across that way to you, you need to go back and reinterpret it in light of God's character and of His desire to build you up, give you His peace, cause your joy to be full, cause you to walk in His victory and bring you to know Him more closely. If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, then you belong to God. And He is on your side and He desires to build you up and help you grow. His motivation toward you is loving and good.

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

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