This week, I recorded a thought on my Twitter feed: “A healthy prophetic word will include an element of
The day after I shared that sentence, I was
reading in Ezekiel and came across verse ten in chapter three,“Son
of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them
carefully for yourself.”
Some people will use
the phrase, “I am carrying a prophetic word.”
Prophetic words are carried, but they also need to be personally processed
by the one carrying the word before they deliver it.
Prophetic words are
first captured in our hearts, as Ezekiel mentioned. These prophetic words then migrate
outward from our innermost being passing through our soul and finally they are
expressed through the physical delivery systems of voice, writing or creative imagery.
The word of
prophecy God deposits in our heart will many times strike an obstacle still
embedded in our lives on its way out towards expression. These obstacles can be
our pride, our limited understanding of a complex situation, immaturity or
unconfessed personal sin. The personal processing of these prophetic words provides
the deliverer of the word with an opportunity to be healed. Long-term
effectiveness in prophetic ministry requires the prophetically inspired person
to first examine their personal obstacles before they deliver the word God has
given them. This keeps prophetic ministry healthy and balanced.
It is in this
outward passage of a word, from our heart to the hearer, that we have an
opportunity to experience humility. In
the act of personal examination we are tenderized and humbled. This process adjusts our attitude to not
think of ourselves as living on a higher plane than those to whom we have
something to say.
In this process of humility
the word we deliver becomes encased in the love of God and its delivery will
express His heart and motives more than it will expresses our will or our need
to share the word. All true prophetic
ministry should reflect the heart of a loving Father. We can’t do this if we are puffed up with
pride and unwilling to deal with our own personal issues.
integrity check before we give a prophetic word is what God was referring to
when he said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, let
all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for
yourself.” This is also what I think
Paul was referring to when he told the Corinthian Church how a prophetic gift
should function, “But one who prophesies
strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.” (I Cor. 14:3)
ministry is not exclusively for the recipients of the word; it is also for
those of us who deliver prophetic words.
As we process what we are about to speak, we use the processing of the
word as an opportunity for us to take a closer look at our own lives and become
a more humble and compassionate delivery system for the word of the Lord.