Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Purity in the Prophetic: Works or Grace Based Prophecy?



I saw this quote today and it stirred something in me.

My heart shouted .... a loud .... YES!

This is what I tell people who move in the prophetic!

I am 1000% sold out by God - to bring health, discernment, wisdom and life .... to the prophetic.  The things I have seen and heard prophesied have deeply grieved me at times - not only for God but for those hearing the words as well.

1 Corinthians 14:1,3 tells us that the gift of prophecy is meant to build up, to encourage and to bring comfort to the body of Christ.  It is meant to build up and to strengthen the life of Christ in us.  To establish us in who we are ... as the new creation in Christ.  

It was never meant to be used as a means of fortune telling or to build up our selfish and fleshy ambitions.

This is my life-time passion and I know so much of what God put me on the earth to do - is to help people learn to live life from God and not for God.  

To live as the new creation in Christ - firmly established in His love.  Ephesians 3:17-19.  Godly prophecy is all about this.

To truly know how the Father feels about us and what the cross truly came to give us.

Hearing and discerning the voice of God is one of THE most important elements in training, developing and pastoring prophetic people. 

It is SO important to learn how to discern God's voice .... Satan's voice .... and our flesh. 

It is one of the key elements that is in the BEDROCK of our foundation as prophetic people.

With this, it is important to develop Godly riverbanks - ways to test before you digest a word and to test before you give a word for someone else to digest.

We must never feel like we are above deception.  

Always "test before you digest".

Without river banks - we leave people wide open to deception and spiritual warfare.

For more on riverbanks - read my blog from this past November.

I have found in my 17 years of ministry, some prophetic people don't like to be tested or held accountable to what they hear and say - but Truth be told - testing IS Biblical and testing insures good and Godly stewardship of God's voice and the movement of His Spirit.  

There are many reasons that go into this - but it is usually pride and shame.  A person who doesn't want to be held accountable in stewarding God's voice and to slow down for the testing process - can be dangerous.  

Prophecy is always confirmed among the prophets.

You will know those who are mature in the prophetic - they have no problem with testing and riverbanks - because they know it is all about God and not about them.  

They don't have a problem being wrong - they care more about God and the stewardship of others than they do in their own need to be right.

So, why care about listening and testing?

Because we have a real enemy who is seeking to devour our sheep and our churches. 

If we are sensing a rise in spiritual warfare in our churches - it could very well be - because we are not moving in alignment with Scripture. 

We are not walking in obedience to something God has asked us to do.

In Scripture, the Israelites were led into captivity many times  .... and under the hand of their enemies because they chose to not listen to God.  It is as simple as that! 

They chose their own wisdom and to live from their own desires over God's.  They were deceived by false prophets and led astray to worship other gods.

Satan is not going to come sounding like himself.  Yes, I like this quote! 

Why? 

Because the devil is not going to come looking scary - or even evil. He is going to come looking "good".

He is going to come as an angel of light with one purpose - deception.

He is going to come with a plate ... bearing the fruit of something good and carrying a tad bit of Truth in it - but his motive is to lead people away from Christlike living and from living in the fruit of the Spirit.

He will seek to move people away from the Gospel of Grace and to move them back under the works of the law.

His goal is to move people away from Christ and Godly living (as Paul exhorts us to live in his epistles)  and the enemy will seek to move people back to self and self-focused living ... 

.... even in how we live out our faith with God (works oriented faith versus grace oriented faith).

Now hear me, beloved ones, this deception is so subtle that you have to look very closely and ask God for the wisdom and discernment to see it and to know it.  It might look good - but you have to look deeper to see the heart and the true spiritual fruit behind it.

We have to learn to ask ... what is God, what is the enemy and what is simply our flesh .... we have to ask what is works and what is grace.  We have to ask this when it comes to how we prophesy and how we pray for others.

This is discernment and this is how we purify the prophetic.  This is how we take muddy water and make it clean. 

Satan will always try to puff up self and resurrect the old man in us (Romans 6).

And false teachers - will do the same. 

They will want to lead us back to the works of the flesh rather than trusting in the Spirit of God to lead us.  

Study the book of Galatians and Romans 6.  This is the ultimate battle ground for the Christian.  

So, what does this deception look like in words of prophecy or in words of knowledge?

What do unclean prophetic words sound like?

"You will be the next Billy Graham. You will write millions of books. You will be on the stage speaking to hundreds. You will be mayor.  You will lead revival. You will marry Joe.  Your child will be president.  You will do x,y, z for the Kingdom". 

You is always the center of those words .... rather than Christ in you.  You is being glorified and built up instead of Christ.

Unclean prophetic words seek to puff up our selfish ambitions and desires.

These words can also keep us so focused on our healing (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc..) that we stop focusing on Christ and His finished work on the cross. We enter into a cycle of self focus rather than God focused.

Now, I am not saying there is not a season where we need to enter into - to deeply repent for our lifestyle of sin or to forgive those who hurt us - but we can't camp there and live there forever.  

When we camp there - we get caught on a mouse wheel of "you or I" an we fail to get off of it - grab Jesus' hand and move into the future.  We fail to embrace, receive and to live from all that He died to give us! 

We tend wait and pray for something more to happen -  rather than trust, believe and move forward from the words - It is Finished.

So, why do we wait when Jesus already gave his life and disarmed Satan and his Kingdom? 

Why are we not walking by Faith in what He has already given to us?

Why don't we believe what God says about who He is?  About who we are as a new creation in Him?

Could it be that we have been deceived into believing that we have to do more or that God has to do more before we can obtain His promises?

Do we not know that He gave His life once and for all - so that we can live in these promises NOW not in the future?

Do we not see that we need a lens change?  That the lens of the law has been removed for us through Jesus' death and resurrection?  

Ask God to remove this lens so you can see the Gospel of Grace.

The nature of prophecy in the Bible was always there to led people away from their idols and back into intimacy with their God. That is at the very core of prophecy. Let's just say - that is the heart beat of it. Repentance. Alignment with God. Obedience.

In the prophetic utterances in Scripture, there are under tones of repentance, of turning away from self and away from all our fleshly desires and the goal of prophecy was to anchor people back into loving God and living a sold out life for Him. 

Full obedience not partial obedience.  Obedience motived by love not the law.

"Not my will but yours be done".  This was an act of surrender; motivated by love from Jesus to His Abba in heaven.

So, a prophetic word ...

..... will always be guiding a person back to live a life like Christ, to dying to self, to live to please God, to build up our identity as His children - as His sons and daughters, to live in the new man not the old man, to live in alignment/ obedience to Scripture.

A prophetic word always is about God.

More of God, less of us.

It causes God to grows in us and self to die more and more.

It strengthens the new creation in Christ and it keeps the old man in the grave.

A true prophetic word is life-giving. 

It does not build up our life or the old man in us.

Nor will it touch on all our fleshly desires and ambitions .... nor will it resurrect the old man in us and get him walking again - nope - it will build up the life of Christ in us and it will help to keep the old man in the grave and keep the new creation in Christ alive and walking forward into God's plans and purposes!

It will not motivate our selfish ambitions.  This is why some prophetic words lead us into a wilderness and not into the promised land.

This could be why some of us could feel lost ... is because we've digested an unclean word. 

A word that was sent to lead us away from God and not towards Him. A word that was more about us than it was about HIM.

Now, don't get me wrong - God does speak to us and wants to build us up in Christ. 

But He doesn't want to build up our old man - he wants him dead. (Romans 6).

He wants to build up our identity in Christ and who we are as a new creation.

He is ALL about developing the life of Christ in us and seeing the new creation reaching the world for HIM.

We should be walking as the new man, the new creation into the promised land - NOW.

Why do you think when you first came to Christ you felt so alive? 

This was the new man living in you!  This is what it feels like to live as the new creation in Christ!  

This is what Paul meant when he said - that religion and false teachers will seek to steal your spiritual freedom! 

What religion/works does - is it seeks to raise our old nature from the grave so we are living from him and it seeks to put the new man in the grave!  

No, no, no.  Don't let anyone steal your spiritual freedom. Don't let anyone take the Gospel of Grace from you.  Jesus died to give this to you!  

Know this Truth.  Believe it.  Live life from it! 

Spend a year studying the book of Galatians and Romans 6 - and ask God to show you more about this and HE WILL.  

Ask Him to remove the lens of the law from your eyes so you can see the cross and the gospel of grace.

So, how do we move as the new man, the new creation in Christ? 

How do we put the old man back into the grave?  

How do we live by grace and not by the law?
  • We believe God when he says - it is finished.
  • We resist any other gospel that tells us there is more to it than this.
  • We learn to leave the old man in the grave (Romans 6) and we embrace the Scripture and the work of the cross as being complete for us personally.
It is a finished work, a gift of grace to us - so that we can be the new creation in Christ - walking into HIS fullness and HIS plan.
  • We study the Gospel of Grace until it is fully alive in us again.
If we don't understand truly what the cross has done for us and the various facets of it - then we must start there!
  • We must seek to know - all that Jesus has accomplished for us. We must consider everything as garbage compared to the priceless gain of knowing Christ and to know THE Gospel. To let go of everything else and to come back to the heart of worship - where it is ALL about you - JESUS.
  • We must seek our Abba in heaven and ask Him - to show us what the cross has REALLY done for us in addition to saving us and giving us a spot in heaven.
  • We must hear, listen and understand and RECEIVE the gift of grace. We must get into the Word of God and ask.
And we must keep asking until He reveals the finished work of the cross to us. We must live to know Him - as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to know who we are as His new creation in Christ.

Do we really "get" what this really means? 

I know I don't but I am pursing to know, believe and live from the Gospel of Grace.  I am asking God to undo the works of the law, the curse of the law from me! 

This is vital for the spiritual health of the church in the coming days.
  • We must ask to be empowered to live a Galatians 3:3 ... life.
  • We must truly live a Galatians 2:20 ... life.
  • We must repent for believing that works can save us or help us in any way.
  • We must repent for ways that we have used works to save us, heal us, free us and/or fulfill us.
God, help us to steward your voice well and to know what you have made available to us through your death and resurrection.

Help us to deeply know and live from the gospel of grace. Forgive us for thinking that works in any way, shape or form could help us. Amen.

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