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From time to time, each of us gets a word that troubles us and we don't feel right with it. We want to reject it, but for some reason, there is a part of us that is afraid to reject it.
Maybe we are afraid that the word might touch on a blind spot (a flaw in our life that we are not aware of). Or we might be afraid that we will make some terrible mistake in rejecting a real God-word to word to us, and He will get mad at us and stop prophesying to us. Or maybe we just don't want to hurt God's feelings. But, for whatever reason, we are hesitant to reject a word that we don't think is really from God on the off change that it turns out the word is really from Him.
I have some news for you that I hope will be a comfort to you. God is faithful to lead and guide us. The bible tells us that we will hear a voice behind us saying, "This is the way, walk in it." that means that when we sincerely seek God's will on something, He will be faithful to show it to us. James tells us "Whenever any of you lacks wisdom, ask God, who gives liberally to all men and does not hold back."
What does this mean to us in terms of judging prophecy? It means that if we make a mistake in our judgment, God will lovingly and patiently correct us. That correction is not to be confused with rebuke or punishment. It is setting us back on the right course if we take a wrong turn.
For instance, if we judge a word to be "from God" when it is not, and if we act on that word and being to move in the wrong direction, God is faithful to stop us, turn us around, and point us back in the correct direction. On the other hand, if we accidentally reject a word that is really from God, He is able to bring the word back around again.
Let me give you an example of this from a very recent experience in my own life. I am sitting in a hotel in a remote (and very hot) part of Brazil, where we are about to launch a crusade that will have an attendance of over 10,000 a night. God spoke to me and told me to go on this Global Awakening mission trip about seven weeks ago when I was on another missions trip in Singapore.
When I got back from Singapore, I asked the missions committee of my church if they could help me with any part of the expense for this trip. Another person from my church, Brenda, was going on this same trip, along with our senior pastor. Brenda, was staying on an extra week to visit Casa de David, a sort of 24 hour soaking and worship center, to encounter God's presence. One of the people on the missions committee told me, "You should got to Casa de David with Brenda."
I assumed they were speaking from their own heart, not giving a message from God, and I immediately rejected it. Logistically it was very unreasonable, as I would only have 17 days between when I returned from Brazil and when I would be leaving to take a team to India. (The India trip is a GodSpeak trip, so I am the main speaker and have a lot to prepare for this trip, and a short amount of time to do it in.) In addition, the idea of going to Casa de David to soak in God's presence for a week and pray and intercede just did not appeal to me-- I'd never heard of them before and did not know anything about them. If I was going to go soak, I'd rather go to Toronto, where God had originally touched me so deeply and revolutionized my walk with Him. So I immediately rejected the comment that this person made.
In all honestly, they did not say they were speaking for the Lord, they just made a suggestion to me. And since the suggestion did not fit in my plans or interests at all, so I never considered that it might be from the Lord, and I immediately rejected it.
But, as it turns out, it was God who spoke through the mission committee member. I got to Brazil to discover that six friends from a previous church were also on the Global team in Brazil. One of them, a friend named Sarah, decided to change her plans and go to Casa de David with Brenda. She happened to be flying the same airline as me, Continental airlines from San Francisco to Brazil and back again. But once we were in Brazil, we were flying Tam airlines within the country. The Global travel agent was able to change her return date on Continental for only $139, but the internal airfare within Brazil (on Tam) was going to be about $700 if arranged from the USA. The travel agent said that she might be able to get a cheaper flight at the airline counter in Brasilia (a four hour stopover when we flew from Rio de Janeiro to Imperatriz.
The rest of the team went to eat dinner during the layover, but Sarah and Brenda were going to the ticket counter to work on Sarah's ticket. I felt led to go with them to intercede for Sarah to get a good price. As we were walking up to the ticket counter, I suddenly felt this deep inner longing to go to Casa de David with them. My mind told me that I was crazy, but my heart suddenly longed to go. I mentioned this to Brenda and Sarah, but was not really considering going with them. Sarah said, "If God is telling you to go, I will pay your Tam airline extra airfare for you. I replied, "I think it is just the desire of my heart, and not God's leading."
We inquired if there were any more seats on the plane when we changed Sarah's tickets and there were not. I was fatigued from traveling and not hearing God really clearly, so I took that as a "no, it is not God's will for me to go to Casa de David.
Sarah ended up getting a great fare, about half of the travel agent's price. As we were walking away from the counter to go eat, Sarah said, "I mean it--if God tells you to go to Casa de David, I will pay your Tam airfare." We knew we had to take care of it during our four hour layover before we left Brasilia, as I would need to exchange some of my existing Tam tickets and that could only be done at the airline counter. I said I'd pray about it, and we went to eat.
After we finished eating, Sarah and Brenda started filling out testimony forms. I'd filled mine out earlier. So I pulled out my PDA and keyboard, and started to write what I thought would be a corporate word for the prophetic word list. But the way the word came out, I soon realized that it was God speaking to me about going to Casa de David. Let me share it with you:
Trust Me in all things, and you will be amazed at what I will do for you. My desire is to give you good gifts beyond what you can think or imagine.
Dear one, you have gotten this poverty mentality in your mind, and your limited expectations are hindering My ability to bless you. Stop trying to base how much blessing I want to pour out on what you think you can afford or what you believe you deserve. Allow Me to be generous to you, my dear child.
I got so excited as I read the word that I could not keep working on it. But I still did not see how I could work out the logistics. I could come home on Oct 3 instead of Sept 27, and I could afford the $139 fee to change my return date to the USA. But I could not afford the additional $200 for the hotel and the cost of an extra week's worth of food, plus the multiple taxi fees, etc.
But God's word to me had said, "Don't limit the good gifts I want to give you by what resources you have." So I asked God, how do I do that? Then God reminded me that one of the GodSpeak staff had donated $500 towards the Brazil trip. [I had not fund raised on GodSpeak for this trip because it was a Church missions trip, not a GodSpeak one. But this staff member felt led to donate towards the trip anyhow.]
God reminded me of that $500 donation, and I realized that I could use that for the additional expenses to go to Casa de David.
So Sarah and I went back to the ticket counter to see about changing my ticket. A spot on the plane had opened up for me -- another confirmation of God's will for me to go. Then I took a huge step of faith--I changed my tickets without knowing if there was a seat on the return flight (to the USA) on the date I needed to travel. I could not call the travel agent from Brasilia because she was taking that day off. I like to have all my ducks in a row when I travel and I hate to change itinerary without a certainty that I can get home. But the hand of God seemed to be all over this, so I stepped out in faith.
That was about 12 hours ago (as I write this) and it is still too early to call the travel agent and arrange my flight home. But I can't imagine God doing all this to make a way for me to go to Casa de David and then not taking care of me to get me home again.
Anyhow, the reason I shared this testimony with you is to show you how God lovingly corrects us and gets us on course when we accidentally reject a word that is from Him. If we are sincerely doing our best to judge a word and to seek His will and His guidance, He will be faithful to bring that word around again. He will bring you back to the center of His will any time you inadvertently miss it, just like He did with me and going to Casa de David.