[Course 36 Index] [Prophetic-School Index] [Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]

-- © GodSpeak International 2006 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net> http://www.godspeak.net
Editor: Earlene Bown

Prophetic-School Course #36

Become An Effective Messenger

By Teresa Seputis

Lesson 4
Improve Our Delivery Skills
By Knowing How To Address The Intended Receiver

This teaching series has seven guidelines to help improve our delivery skills for written words. This lesson looks at the third guideline:

Know Your Target Audience And Address Them Accordingly

Different people (or groups of people) are in different places in their walk with God, and God addresses them differently, depending on where they are. The same exact message can come out sounding different, depending on who you are addressing and where they are in their walk with God.

There are two important things to consider in our walk with God: how close we are to Him and what direction we are moving. From those two things, we get seven basic categories that a person could be in:

  1. Those who are far from God and who are moving away from Him.
  2. Those who are far from God and not moving.
  3. Those who are far from God but moving toward Him.
  4. Those who haven't heard about God (and need to be told).
  5. Those who are close to God but moving away from Him.
  6. Those who are close to God and not moving at all.
  7. Those close to God who are moving closer to Him.

It is hard to know where a person is in their walk with God by just looking at them at any given instant; we have to consider where they are going in their walk with God. Which person is in a better place with God: the believer or the blatant sinner? (Most people would say that the believer is in a better place with God than the blatant sinner.) But what if the believer is starting to backslide and the blatant sinner is starting to repent and move toward God? Now which one is in a better place with God?

The direction a person is moving will affect how God wants to interact with them. In short, we don't just want to consider how close a person is to God or how far they are away from God; we also need to look at the direction that they are going. God wants to encourage those who are moving toward Him and the devil wants to discourage them from doing that. Conversely, God wants to discourage those who are moving away from Him and the devil wants to encourage them to keep doing so.

With that in mind, let's look briefly at how God might want to address people in each of the seven groups.


These are people who have willfully rejected God and His ways, and who are moving even further away from Him. They could be unbelievers or they could be severely backslidden Christians.

Some of the people in this group choose to worship false gods or they may practice occult practices to get "power" from demons. Others of this group could be those in blatant sin, those who reject God's standards of holiness for their own perverse standards. Or they might be self-seeking and self-serving (e.g., hedonistic). Or they might be materialistic (e.g., those who devote themselves to accquiring posessions) or those who devote themselves to acquiring power/prestige/status.

God sees them as willful sinners who have intentionally rejected Him and His ways. He might start by warning them of the error of their ways and asking them to repent and turn back to Him. He may even give them wonderful promises of what He will do for them if they turn to Him. As they continue to reject Him and continue in their sin/depravity, He would give stronger warnings, rebukes, then progress to judgments and condemnations.


The big difference between group 1 and group 2 is that those in group 2 are not progressively getting worse. God's main objective for this group is to "wake them up" and get them moving toward Him. He will often start by trying to make them aware of the problem, of getting them to recognize their need so they will turn to Him for help. He may release words telling them of their need, or He may even bring difficult situatons into their lives to drive the point home.

If the people in this group start moving toward Him, they move into group 3 and eventually into one of the "close to God" groups. If they stubbornly resist His message, then He may begin to treat the group 2 people like He treats the group 1 people. But His initial interactions with them will be to try to give them a wake-up call and get them moving toward Him again.


God's posture toward people in this group is mostly inviting. He will encourage them to keep moving toward Him. He will patiently teach them how to embrace His ways, how to stop sinning, how to make serious commitments to His Lordship. He will show a positive and loving side as they respond to Him, and He may begin to release encouraging promises. He will demonstrate that He is a practical help with their problems.

People in this group may still have very serious sin in some areas of their lives, but God's main focus will not be on condemning them for it. He may even seem to ignore that sin for a time as He deals with other issues in their lives to move them closer to Him. But don't worry, He will eventually (in His perfect timing) convict them of that sin and make them deal with it.

God will encourage them to come to Him and to embrace His ways. He won't be condemning; He will be inviting. But at the same time, He will begin to incrementally teach them about His holiness and of what He expects of them. God will continue moving them toward Him and cleaning them up as they move.

If the people stop moving toward Him or start moving the other direction, then God will give warnings or rebukes (gentle at first and increasing in severity as they persist in rebellion). But as they move in the right direction, He will do a lot more inviting and a lot less warning or rebuke.


Obviously this group needs to hear the good news, and we need to present God to them and to invite them into a personal relationship with Him. We don't want to focus on their sin because they are not intentionally sinning; they simply don't know any better. We want to focus on lifting Jesus up and letting them know that God wants to help them, to heal them, to love them and to set them free from the oppression of the enemy.


This is a group where God wants to discourage their present behavior and encourage them to turn back to Him. He will usually start with warm invitations, but He will get increasingly harsher and more direct as they resist Him and continue to move further from Him. This group could receive rebukes from the Lord as they continue to move away from Him. God particularly wants to discourage the movement in the wrong direction because they could easily cross from here into group 1.

This group is the group that God is most likely to chastise or discipline in the hope that they can be restored to right relationship with Him. This is also the group that the devil most wants to entice, because he is getting those who are close to God to move away from Him. Members of this group will often look at circumstances, assuming that if things are going well for them then God is not upset with them. One of the devil's greatest strategies in this group is to try to make things go well for them as they move away from God, but make things hard for them as they turn back to Him. God will gently often warn people in this group about the danger and consequences of moving away from Him, and of the enemy's deceits and lies, letting them know that true happiness and true contentment come from being in right relationship with God.


Members of this group are in a good place in that they are close to God and living to please Him. The majority of what God will have to say to them will be very loving and favorable. However, they are in danger of becoming stagnant. They have gotten comfortable and don't want to press in to keep on growing. God's words to them may contain little nudges designed to get them moving and growing again. He will generally be encouraging and inviting them to come deeper, to know Him better, etc. He may also give them nudges to step out in faith.

The devil's strategy for members of this group is to side-track them. He doesn't usually resist or attack them directly, because he knows that will drive them to press in closer to God. So he looks to distract them from God, to get their attention focused on other things. This may be as simple as using relationships or entertainment to nudge into their prayer and devotion time. Or it may be more extravagant, such as getting them busy and loading them down so they don't have time to nuture their relationship with God. The enemy wants to make use of activity or business to drive a wedge in between them and God. He wants them to slowly start to grow farther and farther away from God.

God may warn them of the enemy's strategy, but He will do this gently and lovingly--not harshly and not with threats or condemnation.


This is the group that God wants to cheer on and have them continue moving in the direction they are already going, because this is where He wants all of His children to be.

This is also where the enemy is most likely to directly resist believers, because those passionately in love with God and sold out to obey Him are the greatest danger to the devil. So it is not uncommon for God to warn them of upcoming attacks or strategies of the enemy against them, and He will give them a strategy to foil the enemy's plans and gain a victory.

These are the ones who God invites to deeper levels of intimacy, the ones He most encourages, where He makes promises of great reward. This is also where God will often reveal more of Himself and more about heaven. These ones don't need chastisement because their heart is so set after Him that they will repent at the slightest hint of God's displeasure or disapproval. God does not have to rebuke them for disobedience because they are quick to obey.

Address Your Group Accordingly

The biggest mistake I have seen is people taking a harsh and condemning tone when addressing those whose hearts are already tender and submissive to God. God is not going to be condemning His dedicated and obedient children because they missed an area that they did not know about. Instead He will inform them gently about that area, giving them strategy and direction. Then He will encourage them to step out in obedience and move on to great victory as they do what He tells them to do.

The second biggest mistake I have seen is to be alienating and hostile to those who don't know about God, instead of sharing the good news with them. That type of approach alienates people against God and makes them resistant to the gospel. God usually does not tell the unsaved about their sin before He tells them about His love and grace and mercy. He wants to show Himself as the solution to their problems. If they turn to Him and begin to approach Him, He will teach them about holiness and His terms at precisely the right time in their development. If they turn away from Him and reject Him, that is when He will begin to release the rebukes, judgment and condemnation.

You have to know who God is sending you to and you have to know what message He is sending you with. You have to phrase the message in the appropriate context for your target group. Let me see if I can give you a quick example by giving essentially the same invitation to people in three of the above groups. Look at how the message changes a bit based on where the people are in their walk with God and what direction they are moving:


God is pleased with how you are pressing into Him, and He wants you to keep on keeping on. The more you press into Him, the more He is going to reveal Himself to you. He is pleased with the way you are walking close to Him, of how you are not allowing distractions to come between you and Him. The Lord would say, "Keep on keeping on, you are doing well and I am pleased."


The Lord wants you to remember where you came from, that place of closeness and intimacy with Him. Remember how you were constantly pressing into Him, and how He kept meeting you and revealing more and more of Himself to you. The Lord wants to invite you back to that place. He wants to draw you close again, to show you more of Himself, to bring you back into that place of His presence. He wants to fill you once again with His peace and His joy and He wants you to experience the sweetness of His presence again. But in order for Him to take you there again, He needs you to give Him more of your time. You must to make Him a bigger priority in your life and you must begin spending more time with Him. Are you willing?


The Lord wants to invite you into a new place. He wants to meet your needs and provide for you, to heal your hurts and solve your problems. He wants to show you just how real and how powerful He is, how good and how loving He is, and how well He treats you when you are His own. He wants to let you experience the life and joy and peace and contentment that He alone can give. He wants to give that to you if only you will come to Him. The Lord knows where you are at, and He will meet you there. He is not requiring you to change before you come to Him. But He wants to lead you out of that place and bring you to where you know you need to be. He is stretching out His hand to you right now. If you take it, He will begin to lead you down His path and He will begin to pour out His blessings on you. Are you willing? His hand is outstretched toward you. Will you take it?

-- © GodSpeak International 2006 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

[Course 36 Index] [Prophetic-School Index] [Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]