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

FireSide Chat

Informal Prophetic MentoringWith Teresa Seputis

Week 23
What Went Wrong With My Hearing?

Dear Teresa

During praise and worship in my church, the Lord quickened James 5:14 to me for the wife of a retired pastor who suffered pain from arthritis. I went her with a "word" that God wanted her to ask the pastor and elders to anoint her with oil and pray for her healing, and He would heal her.

This woman has known me for 20 years, and said that she trusts my discernment. But she was convinced that this word was not for her. She said that God had told her that His grace was sufficient for her.

I prayed with her and asked God to confirm the word by having the pastor call her forward for the same...well, it did not happen.

What happened here? Did I hear wrong, or was this word for a future time, or was she just reluctant to receive it (the word and the accompanying healing)?

- Perplexed
Dear Perplexed
Any number of things could have gone wrong here. Perhaps you heard wrong. Or perhaps you heard right, and your friend was simply unable to receive it. In either case, it is very wrong to turn a prophetic word into a "fleece" before the Lord as you deliver it. If God has given you a message to deliver, then your job is to deliver it, and to permit the person who it is for to judge it. If they judge wrongly and reject a legitimate word, God is quite able to bring that word around again.

You never want to take it on yourself to try and force God to prove that a word you gave was really from Him. I don't recommend fleeces in general. The only fleece recorded in the bible was from Gideon, and that just after God asked him to do something very scary, before he had personal experience with the Lord to draw on. It was a way to give Gideon faith to obey God.

You can see this clearly if you look at the original story in Judges chapter 6. Let's start with the original commission in verses 14 to 16. "14 Then the Lord turned to Gideon and said, 'Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?' 15 So he said to Him, 'O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.'16 And the Lord said to him, 'Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.'

Gideon's response to God's commission is a lot like Moses' original response--he has such low self esteem that he simply doesn't believe that God would really use him. So God tried to build his faith. God commanded him to take a positive action as God's representative, to knock down the alter to Baal that his father had set up on his property. Gideon obeyed God, but he did it secretly at night. He still did not have confidence that God would really choose him and use him.

At this point, Gideon still did not have the faith to lead God's army against the Midianites and Amalekites, so God sort of "tricked" Gideon into doing it. Verses 34-35 say, "But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them." In short, Gideon had no intention of doing this, so the Spirit came upon him and sort of did it through him. Then Gideon came to his senses and thought to himself, "What did I just do? I don't know what possessed me to do that!"

That is the background under witch Gideon went back to God and asked Him to confirm what He had said earlier about Gideon delivering Israel from their enemies. The story of the fleece is in verses 36 to 40:

36 So Gideon said to God, 'If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said-- 37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.' 38 And it was so . When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.' 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.

That was a one-time thing because Gideon was new at serving God and the thing God asked him to do was both very big and very dangerous. He needed to know God really sent him before he could step up and lead God's troops into his first ever battle. We never see Gideon fleecing the Lord again after God confirmed his calling to him that fist time.

Fleeces are not something we should throw out lightly. There are times when God calls us to something that is beyond our faith level, and we go back to Him for confirmation. Even in those times, I recommend just asking God to confirm it to you in a way you can recognize is Him, rather that giving God specific instructions to follow to "prove it" to you. There are times when He is patient and loving and will honor a fleece to boost your faith, but that should not be your general method of operation with God.

Fleeces are almost an insult to God, as you are asking Him to jump through hoops (so to speak). That is sort of putting Him in the subservient role and putting you in the leadership role. But we, as God's creation, don't command God--He commands us.

When it comes to the prophetic, the only time you would ever suggest a fleece to someone is if God explicitly told you to. Otherwise, you need to avoid it like the plague. Fleecing is not something you should come up with on your own.

More explicitly, you should never fleece God to prove your word to someone. Let me tell you why: The only fleeces in the bible were to give Gideon faith to obey God on a very difficult command. If God had told you to give that word to her, then you have already obeyed Him. That means you don't need the fleece to give you the faith to obey, so God probably won't honor the fleece. On the other hand, if you made a mistake and the word you gave did not come from God, then He is not going to back up the fleece because it is not His word. In short, it is a loose-loose proposition to fleece the Lord in an attempt to get Him to prove that a word you gave was really from Him.

The question that comes to mind is this: why did you feel it was necessary to try and convince your arthritic friend that your word was a God word (e.g., that you heard right)?

I don't know what the answer is in your case, but most of the time, it is a matter of pride. We need to be right, or we don't want to look bad in the eyes of someone we give a word to.

If you are a beginner, it is OK to make a mistake in your hearing. The best way to process that is to go back to God and ask Him to show you what went wrong in your hearing. Did your heart of compassion well up for her so much that your own mind found a healing verse to give her? If that is what happened, that is not a bad thing. According to 1 Corinthians 13, God wants love and compassion to be out motivation for prophesying. That means your heart is "on course" with the Lord, and all have to do to be successful is to fine tune your hearing a tad. That is not a bad thing, especially if you are new to the prophetic.

But perhaps you did not make a mistake. Perhaps you heard God correctly and He really wanted to heal her. Perhaps the issue was her own faith and personal theology. God might have sent you to her with that word to begin to nudge her in the right direction, so that maybe someday later on, she will be willing to receive healing from Him. Or maybe she just has a blind spot in her theology and doesn't believe that God would heal her personally.

It doesn't really matter why a person rejects a word, it is not your job to try and convince them to change their mind and receive it. If it is a God-word, then God will bring the word around again to her later on. Maybe she needs to hear it 5 or 6 times before she is able to receive it. Your job is to deliver the word to her and then to love on her.

The Holy Spirit's job is to confirm what word to her. Don't try to do the Holy Spirit's job for Him, because you can't possibly be as good at it as He is. (smile)

I know I haven't really answered your question of whether or not you heard right on the initial word, but hopefully I've given you a few things to chew on that make it less important to know how accurate that particular word was.

Blessings to you.

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

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