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-- © GodSpeak International 2007 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net http://www.godspeak.net

When Should I Accept A Word and When Should I Reject It?

By Teresa Seputis

Lesson 3
Receiving A Word As From God

"Put it on the Shelf"

One of the most common pieces of advice people give is to "put the word on the shelf." What they mean is that if the word doesn't make sense to you or it doesn't seem to fit you, then postpone judging it until does. In other words, instead of evaluating a word to accept or reject it, you put it in the "maybe" pile and don't worry about it until some future date when you have a better feel for the word.

There are occasional times when that approach is appropriate. It works for the times where God gives an "absolute word"--a word that you can not change and that your acceptance/rejection makes no difference in how that word effects you. In those cases you can "wait and see."

Let me give you an example of what I mean by an absolute word. This example is totally fabricated, but it shows what an absolute word might look like: "Sometime in the next decade scientists will discover a new medicine that will cure cancer and make it no more health-threatening to the average person than the common cold is today. Let that be a sign to you that revival is about to break out in the Middle East." In this case, you can put that word on the shelf and not think about it until someone actually discovers this miracle cure for cancer. When they do discover it, you should pull that word "off the shelf" and respond to it by beginning to pray for revival in the Middle East.

Most of the time, the wait-and-see approach is not the right approach. Among other things, it violates the 1 Corinthians 14:29 admonition to judge prophecy. E.g., when you put a word on the shelf, then you delay judging and prayerfully evaluating it and you are not following 1 Corinthians 14:29.

In some cases, it can hurt you to delay processing a word--some "words" can actually cause you harm or personal problems if you don't reject them outright. Some words predict bad things and are more like curses than words. Here is an example, a prophet friend of mine was given the word, "Your son will be in a near-fatal car accident within the next two weeks, and he will be in the hospital for over a year, but don't be afraid because he will not die."

There are times when God can really give you a warning like that. But there are also times that you get false words, and if something like that is a false word, the enemy can empower it against you like a curse if you don't reject it.

In my friend's case, the Holy Spirit whispered to her that this was a curse against her son and if she did not break it, the enemy would empower it against him. So she rejected the word and broke the curse that was attached to it. A few days later, her son narrowly avoided being in a serious car accident involving multiple other cars. She believes that if she had not rejected that false word and broken the curse, the enemy might have used that "word" as an excuse to cause her son to be in that accident.

Some false words don't carry an overt curse, but they can effect how you move towards your destiny. It can try to mold you into something that you are not, it can steer you away from your God-appointed destiny. For instance, I know that I am called to the nations and to train and equip the body of Christ to do the same things that Jesus did. One time a person gave me a word that I was called to minister to ghetto children in Southern California. If I did not reject that word, it might have started to exercise influence over my thinking and activities, effectively pulling me away from something that I was called to do into a direction that I was not called to.

I try to never "wait and see" with personal words. I do my best to judge and evaluate each word I get. If I think it is definitely from God, or even probably from God, then I accept it. If I think it is probably not from God, then I reject it.

What Happens When I Receive A Word?

After you determine that a word really is from God, then you should receive it. That means you come into agreement with God about what He said to you. You begin to exercise your faith to believe the word.

There are times when God's promises are unconditional, and they will come true no matter what you do, say or think. Those are relatively rare, though.

Most of the time, God's promises are conditional. We see that over and over again in Scripture. Deuteronomy 28:1-2 gives an example of this: "...If you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God..." Then the next 12 verses list multiple blessings that they will receive IF they meet God's condition. What is that condition? In this case it was to obey Him and walk in His ways.

There are times when God explicitly spells out the conditions in the prophesy, but there are other times when the conditions are implicit or implied. That means you have to prayerfully figure out with God what they are, and ask Him to help you meet them. Someone once asked me why God would put conditions to their prophecy and not spell them out in the word. I thought it was a good question, so I asked God about it. His answer was, "I want them to come back to Me with the word, to pray about it and discuss it with Me, then I will show them what the conditions are. I want them interacting with Me on the word I gave them."

After you judge a word to be from God, you may need to prayerfully process the word and then take actions to help foster that word. For instance, if God gives you a word that He is calling you to be a missionary to Mexico, you should respond in faith by taking Spanish lessons. If God gives an overweight and out of shape person a word that He is going to help them loose weight, they need to respond by starting to diet and exercise, instead of just expecting the pounds to magically drop off. Diets may not have worked in the past, but once God gives that person a promise of His help, that person will see results as they do their part.

There are other times when God's word to you will only come true when you grasp on to it and fight to possess it. That is more than doing your part, it is "warring for your word." That concept is new to a lot of believers, but it should not be. God has been doing that with His people since the very earliest of days.

When Israel was in captivity in Egypt, God promised to bring them out of captivity and give them a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8, Exodus 3:17). God gave them the Promised Land. But the land He gave them was filled with a bunch of people who did not know Him and did not honor Him. Moses sent 12 spies out to survey the promised land. They returned with this report; "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there..." (Numbers 13:27-28).

There was a problem with the land God promised them: it was filled with giants and soldiers and fierce warriors. Did you get this? God gave the land to His people, but they had to fight to possess it. He did not hand it to them on a sliver platter, He made them do battle to obtain His promise. If they just held on to the promise and did not fight for it, they would have never seen the fulfillment of that promise.

There is a story I love that comes out of Nigeria, because it illustrates the principle of warring for our word:

A country pastor and his wife received a wonderful word from God about how they would serve Him together. Shortly after that, the husband was driving and his car ran off the road and he was killed. The wife could not understand what happened, because God had promised her that she and her husband would do certain things together in ministry and that had not happened yet.

She decided to "fight for her word." She went to the mortuary where the police had brought his corpse, and got her dead husband. They loaded him in a car to take him to a Reinhart Bonke crusade several hours drive away. Rigor mortis had set in, so they could not bend the body to get it in the care. They rolled the windows of the back seat down and slid the pastor's corpse into it. His head stuck out one side of the car and his feet stuck out the other side. The wife sat in front, and the other friends ducked under his body in the back seat.

They drove for hours and finally came to the crusade. When they got there, the ushers would not allow them to take the corpse into the meeting. The lady was still warring for her word, so she began to tell the ushers about the prophecy and how she was sure that God would raise her husband from the dead to fulfill His promise. The ushers finally sent them to the basement with the corpse, where some intercessors were praying for the meeting. They promised to get word to Reinhart Bonke and ask him to come to the basement and pray for the deceased pastor after the meeting was over.

However, the intercessors (who had been praying for the meeting and the friends of the pastor who had come with his body in the car) started to pray for God to raise him from the dead. God ended up raising this pastor from the dead before the meeting ended. When Reinhart Bonke came down to pray for the corpse, the found a living pastor instead!

This story is an example of a woman warring for your word. The wife received and believed the prophesy that God had given to her and her husband. Circumstance happened to make that prophesy impossible to fulfill, because her husband died. She was not willing to let go of the word, so she brought her dead husband's corpse to the Lord and reminded Him of His promise in that word that they would minister as a couple. She insisted that God keep His word to her (not in disrespect, but as a great stand of faith in Him). God responded by raising the man from the dead. If she had given up and buried her husband, the prophesy would have gone unfilled. But she warred for her word, she ignored impossible circumstances and took action in faith, and the word was fulfilled after she fought for it.

There will be times when God will give you a word and the doors will slam shut in your face. If that was really a word from God, then don't give up on it. Begin to war for it and watch to see how God will come through for you!

-- © GodSpeak International 2007 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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