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I want to talk a little about inadvertently adding personal things to a written word. Of course, we would never to do that intentionally, but there are times when it can sneak in by accident. The two most common are:
I would like to talk about both of these today.
There are times when God speaks to the body of Christ in a word, and He also speaks to us personally as we write it. We must be careful not to throw the personal "to us" part into the word.
Let me give you an example. I had this incredible two weeks with the Lord that was full of divine visitations, angelic encounters and all sorts of amazing supernatural stuff. God pretty much filled most of my waking hours during that time, and I was completely free from this one thought-sin that I frequently struggle with. I felt so close to God, and I was growing/maturing in Him in some amazing ways.
During that time, I hardly watched any television at all because I was so busy with God, but I recorded my favorite shows. I also recorded a new one that I wanted to check out.
But the intensity of the supernatural started to decline, I decided to use some of my free time to watch one of the shows I'd recorded. I choose the new show, which was about a bunch of criminal psychologists trying to figure out how a criminal thinks so they could catch him. The show was incredibly graphic, and it showed this criminal burning his victims to death in vivid detail--men, women and little children. I think the show's intent was to get us to hate the criminal and really want to see him get his "just deserts" (and the criminal was gruesomely killed in the end by one of his intended victims). But after the show was over, I felt slimed and dirty and prayed for the Lord to cleanse me. I asked God if the show had contaminated me in some manner and He said that it did. I could not get some of those vivid and gruesome pictures out of my mind for a couple of days.
Then the next day, I felt far from God. I cried out to Him, but He seemed distant. That was particularly upsetting because I'd just spent this incredible two weeks with Him, and I had been living in this place of incredible deep intimacy with God. Part of me knew that this gruesome show had interfered in my spiritual life and I decided not to watch that show ever again. But since I could not connect with God in the way I had been doing these past two weeks, I spent a lot more time watching the other show's I'd recorded. I watched four hours of television in one day! I did not realize it at the time, but many of the shows I liked filled me with things that hindered my ability to press into God. The next day, I was not only feeling spiritually dry, I also started to struggle with that thought sin again.
I repented for watching so much television instead of pursuing God, and I cried out to Him to restore me. Then God explained to me that it was not just how much time I spent watching television; but some of the stuff that I was putting into myself defied me spiritually. Then He began to give me some details, showing me how many of my favorites propagated ungodly values and had a lot of graphic violence in it. I liked the main characters and their interactions with each other so much that I had overlooked the things in the show that offend God. God spoke to me about making a choice between Him and these things, and I realized that I'd not only have to stop watching some of my favorite shows, I would also have to delete my video library of past episodes.
The next day was Monday, and I had to write a word to send to the prophetic-word list. The subject the Lord chose for that day was about how His rules and commandments are in place for our protection. He wants us to obey Him because we love Him, but when we disobey, we end up hurting ourselves. His rules protect our mental health, our physical wellbeing, our finances and our marriages, etc. When we violate them, we start having the same problems in those areas that the world has.
At the same time, God also spoke to me personally about how I needed to obey Him in restricting what I watched on television, because what I had been choosing to watch had a negative effect on my intimacy with God. That was not intended as part of the word to the body of Christ; that was directed at me personally. God may or may not be speaking to others about what they can watch on television--He probably is. But that was not what this particular word was about. This word was about choosing to obey God because we love Him, and how His blessings will fall on so many areas our lives as we walk out our obedience choices'
Believe me, I got God's message and made a mental list of the programs that I'd have to delete from my video library and take off my "record automatically" list on my recorder. It would have been very easy to drop that into the message, because I was hearing it directly from God as I was writing the prophetic word--and what I was hearing was defiantly stepping on my toes.
So how did I tell the difference? I asked the Lord: "Lord, is this intended for the prophetic word, or for me personally, or for both?" Then I listened to His reply. Sometimes we need to that when portions of a word speak very specifically to our situation. We need to go back and double-check with the Lord to find out what belongs in the word and what is intended personally for us.
Do you remember when Jesus taught in parables and the disciples did not understand what He meant? They went to Him privately and asked Him to explain the parable to them, and He did! God does the same thing for us when we deliver His words.
There are times when I am writing a word and God says something that I don't understand. As I am writing the word, I ask Him about it, and He usually explains it to me.
That happened when I was writing that word from my above example. God was explaining that His commands were for our own good, and gave sexual purity commands as an example, explaining how it helps preserve a marriage. (Remember, He hates divorce.) He mad a comment in the word about not dwelling on the lusts of the world. I did not know what He meant by that, so I asked Him.
God answered my question and explained how advertising tries to use sex to sell everything from toothpaste to cars. People are constantly beset with pictures of artificially beautiful models in suggestive clothing and poses, trying to convince you that they'd want you if you would only purchase this product. In addition, many books, television shows and movies portray adultery as a good thing; showing it as an acceptable way to satisfy your desires. God doesn't want us to spend a lot of time looking at suggestive advertisements or watching morally corrupt shows, because that plants seeds of lust in us, as well as dissatisfaction with our spouse. No matter how wonderful your spouse is, they can never measure up to the brush painted models in the ads. If we don't guard our hearts, we can easily begin to think of our spouses as not good enough because they can not live up to the unrealistic image of physical perfection presented in the media.
Since God explained that to me, I put it into the word. But God did not want it in the word, it was too detailed in a specific area and He was trying to communicate a higher level concept. His message was that His commands are not to make us miserable, but to protect us from the hurts and problems that most of the world is currently suffering. God only gave me this added information because I had explicitly asked Him bout it His detailed answer was just for me, not for the word, and He never intended for His answer to become a part of the prophesy. I mistakenly threw those details in anyhow, and they obscured the main message that God was trying to communicate.
When I prayerfully reviewed the word with the Lord before publishing it, He pointed that out to me and had me remove it.
There will be times when you ask God a question and He answers it because you asked. Sometimes that information is just for you and not intended as a part of the prophetic word.