[Course 41 Index] [Prophetic-School Index] [Mini-Series Index] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]

-- © 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 4
Receiving A Word verses Rejecting A Word

What If I Receive A Word That Isn't Really From God?

Receiving false words can do a lot of harm, because it will effect your expectations and eventually your attitude towards God. You might get mad or frustrated with God for not fulfilling promise to you that He actually never made. It sets you up for disappointment and discouragement.

The biggest problem area is words about interpersonal relationships or romances. A well-meaning person may tell you, "This person will be your spouse." They want well for you but if they prophesy out of their own desires instead of speaking for God, you can be greatly hurt if you accept that word. Here is another common one given to people in the midst of a divorce, "The Lord says that your spouse will come back to you and your marriage will be restored."

In general I try very hard to stay away from giving those type of relationship words unless God practically shouts them in my ear. There are times that God does give that type of word and He does restore the marriage. But most of the time, that type of word comes from the human heart of a well-meaning prophetic person instead of directly from God. And that type of word can cause a lot of harm in a person's life when it is not really from God.

A friend of mine got that type of "word" thirty years ago. Her husband of 18 years divorced her. A traveling prophet came to her church and told her that God would restore her marriage. As a result, she "held on" to that word and refused to consider dating any other men. Two different men came into her life who were attracted to her. They were both very godly men and either would have made a great spouse. But my friend refused to give either of them a chance because she was clinging to the false word about her first husband (who had since remarried) coming back to her. She finally died 30 years later, and her first marriage never was restored. Her ex-husband did not even come to her funeral.

I believe God wanted to give my friend a new husband, but she simply was not open to that. Why? Because she had accepted a false word about the first husband coming back, and that negatively effected her for the rest of her life.

Let me share another area where receiving false prophecies can hurt people. That is in the area of calling out spiritual gifts and destinies, especially when that is done by someone who tends to give very grand words to people. (Don't get me wrong, there are legitimate prophets who set people in spiritual offices at God's command, but that is more of a rare thing than an everyday occurrence.) Sadly, some would-be prophets minister by making grand promises to people, such as "You are an Apostle" or "You are in the office of Prophet" or "God is going to make you wealthy", etc. I call those type of words "Grandiose words."

People claiming to be prophets will visit a church, call out assorted spiritual gifts or destinies on people and then leave, never to visit that particular church again. In most cases, there is no one to hold them accountable for what they say. That makes it is a bit tricky for the people receiving prophetic ministry to tell a legitimate prophet from a self-proclaimed one who puts on a good show but doesn't really speak for the Lord. The "prophet" is there one week and then they move on to somewhere else and forget all about the people they have ministered to. But the people who received ministry don't forget their words. The sad side effect of a prophet who speaks grandiose words is that you get believers thinking they are in some spiritual office that God has not called them to, or that they possess some spiritual gift that they do not actually have. And that can have a bad effect on them.

Let me give you an example with the "office of Prophet." A lot of itinerant prophets call out two or three people from each congregation they visit and install them in the office of prophet. There are times when God is really doing that, but are also times when the prophet is doing it because he knows the church he is visiting expects him to impart spiritual gifts and set people in office. If he ministers from that type of pressure (pleasing man instead of pleasing God), he can make mistakes and be wrong on who he calls into the office of prophet.

I cannot tell you how many times people have contacted me to tell me that they have been in the office of prophet for the past 18 years, but they need some small assistance from me. They want me to help them learn to hear God's voice because they cannot hear it for themselves--not personally and not to minister the prophetic. (In my opinion, you can't possibly be God's Spokesperson if you don't know how to hear His voice!)

I ask them why they think they are in the office of prophet. I usually get back an answer like, "I don't think I am in that office I know I am!" So I ask them how they know they are in that office. They reply "Eighteen years ago a prophet came to my church, installed me out and installed me in the office of prophet."

Obviously they are not acting in the office of prophet, because if they were it in, they would be moving strongly in the prophetic themselves and imparting that gift into others, as well as training and equipping people on how to hear God's voice and move in the prophetic. Yet they truly believe that they are in this office because someone prophesied it to them, and they received that word. They are living in delusion, pursuing something they are not called to and never learning to move in their true spiritual gift. Why? because they are holding on to that false word the received 18 years ago.

I am not trying to scare you away from receiving encouraging words that God speaks over you. I want you to receive the words that are from God. But when you are given one, test it and judge it. If it is truly from God, then it will hold up to being judged. Don't just take prophetic words at face value, pray about them and bring them to God and ask Him if that was a word from Him.

If you are unclear as to whether or not a word is God, then ask God. You can spend a bit of time (even a couple of weeks) actively and prayerfully waiting on Him for an answer. But at some point you need to either accept or reject the word. If you have struggled over it for a while, then you might tell the Lord something like, "Lord, I think this word is for You and I am going to accept it as such. If I have made a mistake and this is not for You, then please correct me on it."

What If I Accidentally Reject A God-Word?

This is most people's biggest fear about judging the prophetic, they are afraid that if they judge a word, they might accidentally miss (or reject) something word that is really from God.

Let me tell you a secret. God is a "big boy" and He knows how to bring the word around again when we accidentally reject something that was legitimately from Him.

Remember that He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He can see when you are legitimately seeking Him and doing your best to judge a word. If you make a mistake and get it wrong, He is not going to get mad at you. Instead He will work in your life to confirm the word to you that you had mistakenly rejected. He might work through circumstances or through a dream. Or He might even send a totally different person (who has no natural knowledge of the word you rejected) to you to give you the same word.

God is smart and when He wants to communicate to you, He is completely capable of doing so. He has done that in my own life more than once. He won't get mad at you for missing it the first time. So don't be afraid to judge a word, and to reject one that you don't think is from God.

When I reject a word, I usually tell God something like this. "Lord I have done my best to judge this word, and after judging it, I don't think it is from You. So I am going to reject it. My heart is to obey You and to receive all You have to say to me. So if I make a mistake and reject something that is really from You, would You please bring it back to me again in a manner that I can recognize is really from You?"

Closing Remarks

Remember that we should involve God in the process of judging words. Go to Him and talk to Him about your word. Ask Him what He thinks about it. Ask Him to show you any places where you are misinterpreting or misunderstanding what He said. If you think it might not be from Him, then ask Him to confirm it to you. If there are parts of the word that are troubling to you, then talk to Him about it. Also, ask God if there are any conditions that you need to meet.

Don't assume that a word is not from God if certain doors close on you. It might be that He wants you to stand in faith and war for your word. But don't stand in blind faith, like my divorced friend did waiting for her ex-husband to come back to her. Talk to God about the word and invite Him to confirm it to you or to gently/lovingly correct you if you are receiving something that is not really from Him.

Judging a word is all about going to God and asking Him about it. Yes, you need to bounce it off of Scripture and yes, you should apply the standard criteria for judging prophecy to it. But when all is said and done, be sure to talk to God about the word during that process.

It all comes down to James 1:5: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

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

[Course 41 Index] [Prophetic-School Index] [Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]