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I have had many questions concerning the prophetic. One of them is based on the deep relationship that I perceive prophets have with God. When I read my bible, they seem to have a lot of supernatural experiences, and they seem to be close friends with God. I would like to have the same type of relationship with God that the prophets in the bible had.Dear Seeker
With that as a goal, is it wrong to ask for more spiritual experiences with God, or will they "just happen" when God decides? Is there something "special" that I have to do to have these experiences, like read the Bible more, pray more, fast more, etc.?
Is it because I don't "seek" or "knock" enough or the "right" way?- Seeker
That is a good question. I truly believe that the power and anointing we can move in (in any gifting) is directly related to our own personal walk with God. Intimacy with God and experiencing Him (and His supernatural touch on our lives) are good goals. In fact, they are much better goals than seeking some title or office, such as seeking to be in the "office of prophet."
I think we can answer your question a bit by looking at the life of King David. He wrote a lot of very prophetic Psalms and many people consider him a prophet.
For example, Psalm 22 mentions a lot of the specifics of what Jesus' death would be like. Verse 16 says, "...They pierced My hands and My feet..." referring to how Jesus was nailed to the cross. Verse 17 says two things: "I can count all My bones..." referring to the fact that they did not break Jesus' legs when they broke the other two prisoner's legs because he was already dead. It also says, "...They look and stare at Me," which refers to Him being put up on the cross and being publicly executed. Verse 18 says, "They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots." That refers to the soldiers who executed Jesus diving up his garments and then casting lots for the fine robe that was put on him when he was given to the soldiers to be mocked and beaten. Verse 14 says, "I am poured out like water..." When the soldiers went to break the prisoner's legs so they would die faster, they discovered Jesus was already dead, so they thrust a spear in His side, and blood and water flowed out. There are many other specific details of the crucifixion that I did not mention.
The point is that King David had to be very prophetic to write a detailed account of Jesus' death thousands of years before it took place. The torture of crucifixion had not even been invented at the time when David wrote this. So how was David able to detail this? It was because he was given detailed prophetic revelation from God. In fact, many of his other psalms are very prophetic as well. So, would you agree with me that David was a prophet? I hope you will, because his writings also hold the key to going deeper in our personal relationship with God.
In addition to being a prophet and leader, David also had many supernatural experiences with God. The most well known one is when he faced the giant Goliath. David was just a youth (probably a young teenager) and he went into battle against a trained soldier. He went armed with God's power instead of a soldier's armor. He took a slingshot (a child's toy) into the battle instead of taking a real weapon, like a sword. By all human standards, he should have died, and rather quickly. But God came upon him and caused him to prevail over a much stronger opponent. If you read the bible account of David's life, you will see that this was not an isolated incident. David had many supernatural experiences with God, and he was also known as a man after God's own heart.
Now look at Psalm 63, because it gives us insight into how to live in the supernatural like David did. Look at the first two verses. "O God, You are my God; early will I seek You. My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory."
In short, David actively sought God. He was hungry for MORE. Here are some of the strategies that David used to seek God. They are found in Psalm 63:
- He got up early to seek God and start his day with God (verse 1).
- He attended church (verse 2).
- He praised and worshiped God frequently (verses 3-5).
- He sought is satisfaction from God instead of from carnal things (verse 5).
- He mediated on God and His word (verse 6).
- He looked to God for help (verse 7).
- He pressed in for intimacy with God (verse 7-8).
- He spoke truth and not lies (verse 11).
- He rejoiced in God (verse 11).
Those are all good practices that help us grow in God. He also sought to grow in personal holiness, as we see in Psalm 51. In this psalm, David confessed and repented of his sins and received forgiveness from God. He gave us a very powerful prayer in verses 10 to 12:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,We and use that as an example for a daily prayer, or we can pray a modern-day equivalent:
<&bsp;><&bsp;><&bsp;>And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
<&bsp;><&bsp;><&bsp;>And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
<&bsp;><&bsp;><&bsp;>And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.Lord, change my heart to be after Your own heart, and draw me closer to You. Change my desires to better line up with Your desires. Make me want the things that You want, cause me to like the things that You like and cause me to distain the things that You distain. Give me a heart after Your heart, oh God, and fill Me with your Spirit. Empower me to see what You are doing, so that I might do it with you, in Your power and anointing.
Up to here, I have talked mostly about intimacy and experiencing God. Now let's move on to the other part of the question: "Can we ask God for this, or do they just happen when God decides?"
I firmly believe that we can ask God for them (providing we have the right motives in doing so). We need to be sincerely seeking Him and not seeking some sort of status or seeking to impress others because we have had supernatural experiences with God. There is a Scripture precedence for this:Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
John 14:13-14 says, "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
James 4:2b-3 says, "...you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures."
This all leads me to believe that if we want something from God, we can ask Him for it. I am talking about things like hearing His voice more clearly, having deeper encounters with Him (including visions), and experiencing the supernatural in our lives. These are good gifts, and when we ask God for them, He is likely to give them to us. Matthew 7:11 says, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
That means we can ask, fully expecting to receive. But there is a bit of a catch to it. We may not receive it instantly. God may require that we press in and seek Him for it for a while before we get it. If we go back to the Matthew 7:7 verse and look at the original Greek, we can understand it better. It is written in a "continuous" tense. That means you start the action right now and then you keep on doing it. A more accurate translation of that verse might be, "Ask--start now and keep on asking until you receive; seek--start now and don't stop until you find; knock and keep on knocking until that door is opened for you."
I truly believe that when we press into God for deeper encounters with Him, that type of hunger pleases Him, and He is delighted to meet us in it. I personally have had a great number of personal supernatural encounters with God. In fact, if you would like to read any of them, they can be found on the GodSpeak web page. The URL ishttp://www.godspeak.net/goto_testamonies.html.
Someone one once asked me why I had so many more supernatural experiences with God than she did. I wasn't sure what to tell her, and that made me prayerfully ponder her question. The conclusion that I finally came to was: I had more supernatural experiences because I asked God for them. But at the same time, I also was very hungry for God and actively seeking Him, plus I was fully committed to His lordship in every area of my life. I think it is a combination of those things. If we just seek experiences instead of seeking God, then we are asking amiss (James 4:3), and we are not likely to receive when we ask amiss. But when we are truly hungry for God, then I think He likes it if we ask Him for good things (supernatural experiences with Him).
Moses asked for a supernatural encounter with God in Exodus 33:18, "And Moses said, 'Please, show me Your glory.'" God answered that prayer. He said, "20 'You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.' 21 And the Lord said, 'Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen'" (Exodus 33:20-23).
God did not keep that promise the second that Moses asked for it. Instead God gave Moses a task to do (cut new stones and go back up on the mountain). Moses obeyed God the next morning, and that was when God met him, as Moses was actively obeying God. That supernatural encounter is recorded in Exodus 34:5-8, if you would like to read it.
All that is to say, when we ask God for a supernatural encounter with Him, He will usually give us one--but not necessarily at the moment (or instant) that we ask Him for it. We need to keep on asking and keep on seeking Him until He meets us.
But we don't necessarily have to ask for a supernatural encounter in order to receive one. There are times when God chooses to give us an encounter independent of our seeking Him for one. For instance, Saul (who later became the Apostle Paul) was not seeking an encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road, but he got one, and it drastically changed his life.