Monday, September 29, 2008

The Art of Hearing God

The Journey into Revelatory Ministry: Hearing God, and doing something with it

In terms of different churches, we agree on everything that each other says, but we disagree on terminology!

There’s a lot of abuse when it comes to hearing God and doing something with it… We need to learn how to hear what God says and put it to use, not only for ourselves but also for others.

The Audible Voice of God:
Father, glorify your name!"
Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine.
- John 12:28-30

If God spoke audibly today, right here and right now, would everyone hear it? Some people would hear nothing at all, and some would hear it without understanding, and some would hear it and understand.

Why do some of us hear God differently? Mostly, just because we’re human. It’s our nature to hear things differently. We’re individuals, and we see things differently b/c we all have different perspectives and worldviews. Also, God speaks differently to different people. It is also based on how our relationship with him is functioning…where are we at with God, and how is our relationship?

His voice could sound like many waters, like a raging fire, a loud thunder, or a still small voice. To hear Him in a still small voice, is to hear Him personally.

How we hear God, is somewhat dependant on the walk we’ve had with Him. We could be in a corporate setting (someone else is saying what God is saying to the church) or in a more personal setting (we are alone, or someone comes to us and tells us what God has just for us).

As we begin to study the word, we realize that God is still speaking to His people. We then have an experience, whether it’s in a church setting or at home. We could possibly have a good or a bad growth experience from this. A bad growth experience is when someone has done something so ridiculous that we know its not from God. We something eject things we’re thinking into what others are saying…this can lead to a bad experience. Confusion can lead to disbelief (we think, “it must not be real, I don’t want to experience it”). A good growth experience occurs when someone speaks into our lives, and we know it bears witness to our hearts, it makes sense to what is taking place, it seems valid. We acknowledge that it is real and we have a desire to understand it and use it in our lives. As we begin to walk into revelatory ministries, we realize that we are just like everyone out there: a beginner, an immature baby in what we are speaking or saying. We are born immature, and that is how it’s supposed to be. However, we are born to learn, grow and develop. It helps us to grow closer to God when we mature. We want to be a people who take either type of growth experience, and use it, and recognize it for what it is, and press on. We want to have a desire to increase in hope and faith. The first step of maturing is realizing we don’t want to stay a baby, we want to grow and learn.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will come.” – Ancient Chinese proverb

When you’re ready, God will bring the right person who will pour into you and speak into your lives.

There are three pillars of revelatory ministry:
What is a pillar? It supports a roof. What supports and hold up revelatory ministry?

1- Revelation and the Church: Fuction is more important than a title:
He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
- 1 Corinth 14:4

…and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
- 1 Corinth 12: 23-27

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
- Eph 4:11-15

The local church is a fundamental part of the body of Christ!!!

Some people think that the church revolves around them. However, we are ALL supposed to hear from God, and the church is supposed to revolve around Jesus, NOT the people who claim to hear from God. The Holy Spirit says, the only job He has is to point people to Jesus. It’s a problem in the church for people who are scared of revelatory ministry. People don’t want a function in the body, they want a title (prophet). Then they think they are entitled to something (respect, etc). We are really not entitled to anything…everything we have is a gift from God. Revelatory ministry in the church is a function, not a title.

God uses the church, as immature as we are, to accomplish His purposes. Some people really don’t want to be a part of the body, they just want to be important. If we are like this, God won’t want to use you. God recognizes that everybody is equal. If we function in our gifting and call, as long as we’re advancing the kingdom, we are equal, and God is interested in it.

Prophetic ministry is used to encourage and edify the church, and to cause growth!

If you think of revelatory ministry of seeing, the revelatory person would be like the eyeball. If we take the eyeball out of the socket and sit it on the table, how much will it see. Lets assume that it still sees….how much use will it be if it can only see? It will dry up and die. It needs the body, the tear ducts, the eyelid, the eyelashes. We need the neck, to turn and look over to other areas (the eye can only see so far without the head moving). The eye needs the brain to tell it where to look. When the eye is plugged in, however, and its in the socket, and its part of the body, it is of so much value and it is so important- because it is functioning how it is created to function. It can then bring great value to the kingdom.

2- Revelation and the Man- Character is greater than the gift:
…till what he foretold came to pass,
till the word of the LORD proved him true. (aka tested him)
- Psalm 105:19

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
- 1 Corinthians 13:2

The Man= a human vessel that God can use for whatever He chooses. God wants to mature and grow people and give them greater character and integrity. Character is greater than the gift of prophesy. Revelatory people are not perfect; they are still growing.

The issue of character is overlooked especially when it comes to hearing God. Sometimes people think that because they have learned to hear from God, that that says it all. They ignore and discount the fruit of the spirit. Scripture says we will know other believers by their fruit. Fruit will bear witness that a person acts like the One they are speaking for. Our worth is not based on what we know; it is based on acting like the One we know. Character development can be the single greatest enhancement to our gift. Likewise, the lack of character is the single greatest hindrance to our gift. If we are faithful, God will give us more. We need to focus on our character, and not on the gift- because the gift is something God gave to us. Character development involves every aspect of our lives- especially in terms of integrity (work, marriage, ethical issues, taxes, etc). What is happening in my marriage or at work, has an impact on how people see me, and that in turn, has an impact on how people see God!!!

How many of us could put ourselves into the place Samuel put himself into? He was one of the most prophetic people. He wasn’t concerned about what people said or thought about him? He was concerned with his own integrity and with representing God well. Samuel was focused on character, and not gift. He had his priorities right. He made a point to show what was important. People knew they could trust him because they saw God in him. Character sets the ceiling for our gifts.

If you are seeking to hear more from God, if you want to be used by God, and to hear from Him and use what He tells you, He is going to test your character. God will use other people’s weaknesses and flaws to reveal your weaknesses and flaws.

The greater the gifting, the greater the challenge and the test.

3- Revelation and the Gift: Process is not instantaneous:
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
- 1 Samuel 2:26

The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD.
- 1 Samuel 3:19-20

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
- Luke 2:52

Revelation is a process, its not instant. There are no mature births whether in the natural or in the spiritual. We need to learn to walk in the fruits of the spirit. Those things will bring us to a place where we are able to hear God. How many people can plant an seed of corn, and then the next morning, can find an ear of corn? None of us! We need to grow in our understanding of the gift,

There are four steps to grow our understanding of the gift and to communicate well:
Revelation (dreams, visions, etc), interpretation (understanding), application ( who, what, when, where?) , and proclamation. It doesn’t matter that we have the revelation, we need to learn how to communicate it well to others. Maturity means we must consider: timing of this proclamation, who we say it to, what is the proper protocol, what is God’s protocol, what is the nature of the way I am supposed to tell someone, have we discerned if people are ready to receive what I have to say? What we need to do when we hear something, is to pray about it and ask God what to do with it.

Too many people who hear from God have a Sampson mentality instead of a Samuel mentality. Sampson didn’t guard his character well, and his ministry as well as his life, ends. We, like Sampson, think that we’ve got it, we’re strong, we can handle it….but if it kills us, there is no benefit. Samuel, on the other hand, kept representing God well, and sometimes people listened and sometimes they didn’t…but Samuel hung in for the long haul. God wants to do something that has life, and can bring everlasting change.

Even Jesus had to grow and mature…(see Luke 2:52). When we embrace the character changes that God is working in us, then we are embracing the growing process of God enhancing our gifts.


The Four Quadrants:
There are two factors: the reception of the word, or the God factor, and the risk factor, or the human factor. Our ability to interpret, imply or proclaim what God is saying may be deficient because of our emotions, or just because it is difficult to hear God in the first place. The way we interact with people is a risk factor, because we can be too timid or shy to tell someone what God is saying. You also don’t want to say too much- proverbs says only a fool tells everything they know. You need to be careful and discerning when making a proclamation from God. There are also spiritual factors included- your beliefs in doctrine, theology and prayer. As we grow closer to God, our beliefs and opinions change. Our thought processes about spiritual things have an impact on us. We don’t want to let our theological biases distort the way we hear things.
Financial views on money and material goods can affect your ability to hear from God- when we have too much or not enough, these things can have an impact on us. If we try to hold onto our money or do things that we want to do (even in opposition to God) because we think that it is smarter financially, we’ll come to realize that God is in control of all the money in the world, and that will make things worse on us financially. There are also risk factors concerning temptation- the four G’s: gold, guys, girls, and glory (aka, money, temptation relationally and sexually, and pride).

Anointing: God grants higher levels of authority and anointing to certain people. Does that mean some of us are of greater value in the kingdom of God? No.

1- High Risk/ Low Anointing:
There are a lot of human factors and issues going on in one’s life, but they don’t have that much responsibility placed on them by God. When they get something from God, they go on the attack- they are so caught up in human issues, but they don’t have much to give. These types of people usually choose judgment over mercy. They are rebellious, walk in lawlessness, and demand more from others than from themselves. They have a history of being asked to leave churches.

2- High Risk/ High Anointing:
There are a lot of human factors, but they have a tremendous gift where they really hear from God and have a lot of responsibility. However, they are still in attack mode, and want to correct people and point out what is wrong in others’ lives. They have a short prophetic life expectancy. They won’t have much to give, because God will take away their anointing and they will burn out because of their own issues. They are like shooting stars. They think God needs to take on their own opinions instead of them taking on God’s opinions. Their character flaws show up and become evident. God wants the high risk factors to diminish- so He lets them into the light, so others can see and help that person to change.

3- Low Anointing/ Low Risk:
There isn’t much human factor risk, and there isn’t much spiritual risk. This isn’t what God wants for us, but people get comfortable here. They fail to speak or do what they hear from God, because they are scared of men, scared of being wrong, scared of risking things for God.

4- Low Risk/ High Anointing:
High anointing means you are walking at the height of anointing that God has given you- you aren’t comparing your gift to others’ gifts. For this type of person, mercy triumphs over judgment, and kindness leads to repentance. There is a lot of evidence of fruit of the Spirit. These people are comets- bright, brilliant, have a long tail. They have a long ministry life expectation. They believe character is greater than gifts. They have a great prayer life. They walk in factors where they avoid human risk factors. They have a lot to give to the church. This is the quadrant we want to be in.

The truth is, we spend time floating between quadrants. We know our circumstances will shift us between these quadrants. However, we want to target being in the low risk/ high anointing quadrant. We need to guard ourselves from human risk. Even if a person falls from a low risk/ high anointing, they can still get back to that place, especially if there is a lot of support from the church.

We can guess which one other’s are in based on other things going on in their lives- are we able to hold a job? Are you punctual, efficient, have good ethics? How is their marriage and the other relationships in their lives. How do they respond to others when it is inconvenient? How do they treat their children? Don’t look at people and try to place them and let that turn into judgment or criticalness (because that then tells us we are the ones with a problem). Having accountability will help you determine where you are at- you need someone else to ask you those questions, and tell you where they think you fall (you need someone you can trust).

This calls us to pray for people to change and move into a different quadrant.

The Revelatory Maturity Continuum:
How do we hear?? Do we think everything we hear is from God? As we grow, there is a greater percentage of what we hear being from God and not from men. If we get into God’s presence and spend time in the Word, we are transformed, and we hear more from Him. It is also easier to understand what words are from God, and which aren’t. Also, the more we understand God, the more we realize how much we didn’t know about Him, and the less words will come from our own soul and our own perspective because we will mature. The more time we spend with God, the more we realize we were in diapers. The more time we spend with Him, the more worthless we realize we are- or at least the more worthless we realize our own opinions are. As we mature, there is an evident decrease in the words we give from our own perspective.

There is a progression that takes place. We move from sons and daughters to young men and old men, and then to servants. There are three phases: called, trained and commissioned. The “called” phase happens rather quickly. We can see this phase in the life of Samuel:

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
"My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
- 1 Samuel 3:1-9

This is a good picture of what it looks like to be called. We don’t know what the heck is going on! We are just striving to do our best. God points out that he has chosen us and has something for us to do. Our response needs to be, “Here I am Lord, what do you want me to do?” God has a call for each person- a purpose.

The training phase is more difficult- probably the most difficult phase. It is a long, arduous, and life- long journey. There is a lot of learning to do about how to be affective and efficient.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
- James 4:10

When you humble yourself, God will lift you up. NOT when God humbles you, but when you humble yourself. In this phase, God will pull out all the hindrances and the things that need to be plucked out. How long does this training process last? Your ENTIRE LIFE!!! God says He wants you to be like his son- that is a high standard! It takes our whole lives to even try to get close to that point!!

Take the elk for example. When they fight each other, the one with the stronger antlers is the one who will win. It doesn’t actually matter about the fight, the thing that is important is what happened before the fight- what they eat to make their antlers strong, and the training they have. This is the same with us- the battle is not as important as the training. We need to put the effort into training and equipping. Many are called, but few are chosen. This is because a lot of people don’t want to pay the price and die to themselves. We will have failures, but they shift us to where we need to be in the training process. People don’t want to take the time to learn from their failures and keep the training progressing forward, especially because it takes a lot of time and because we need to humble ourselves:

An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.
- Proverbs 20:21

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
- 1 Peter 5:6

Our goal should not be walking in training in order to get to what He has for us, it needs to be walking in relationship with God because we love Him and desire Him that is our focus.

A Dark Night of the Soul:
You’ve probably been there before- a dark night, a place of desolation and wilderness that God takes us into to make us fruitful.

Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
- Hosea 2: 14-15

God also took Jesus into a desert place for 40 days in order to prepare him. He wants to move us from our agenda to His agenda. If you give a dog a long leash, he will have a lot of independence and do what he wants to do. If you give a dog a short least, the dog’s master is in control and the dog will do what his master wants him to do. God will put us on a short leash to train us to how He wants us to be.

A seed will never grow unless it falls on the ground and dies. We won’t grow unless we die, and let God grow us. In the dark place, everything we try to do is chaos, and whatever we try to do fails. God puts us into this place so He can take ownership of it, invade our lives and restore them. He wants to give us blessings, but not the ones that we expect, the ones we need.

In this place, its almost like God is concealing Himself. It is like a game of hide and seek. There is so much joy when we find God (like finding someone in a game of hide and seek). It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to seek it out. Acts 17 talks about how we grope for God. God conceals Himself during our dark times so that we will seek Him with all of our heart. God will give us insight as to who we are, and who He wants us to be. This dark night brings death to our soul, and to our selfish ambitions. We only stand because of His support. During the dark night, Satan tries to condemn you with lies about your past and your failures…you can become consumed with the mistakes of your past. But we need to admit that we are not capable and able on our own, but because of who God is. This season is when we change our attitude, and its not because we want to, but because God wants us to. God wants to become our hiding place, the place we run to in order to get freedom from the enemy. He wants us to press in deeper. He whispers into our ear, and we have to listen for Him. Then he will ask you to act. It is a good time to act, but a hard time to act, because our confidence in ourselves becomes destroyed. At the end of the storm, when the victory comes, we know that God is the one who has accomplished the victory. We now have God’s agenda. The storm was not a punishment, but a process.

Examples of this- Joseph being betrayed by his brothers, Moses in the desert, David running from his enemies, Jesus in the desert, etc.

What is our response to this season? We can learn to worship and give thanks when we don’t feel like it. We can draw near to God, and take on His agenda and His perspective. Take the story of the velveteen rabbit: he becomes ripped apart, torn up and thrown out…but in that, he becomes a real rabbit.

Private Victories and Public Victories:
God is looking for private victories in order to correlate to public victories. You wont have public ones unless you have private ones. We need to strive for private victories= the grains in the sand that is used to make concrete, which builds a strong foundation and can withstand a lot of pressure. After concrete is poured, it needs to set. There are times when God wants to set in place what He wants done- these are times of waiting in the Lord.

A lot of times, when we fail, that is the greatest time of growth, because we have to work up to fixing our failures. We sometimes fear change b/c we think that there is a possibility of failure. Past failures will breed a fear of failure and open the door for the enemy to attack. A history of private victories will set you up to expect a victory, so even in the difficult times, we know that we will win, and the enemy can’t get in. Private victories are rewarded by God, but they need to be kept to yourself, or else God won’t reward you, b/c you have already received recognition if you have shared them with others. Just as we keep hidden our private victories, we can keep hidden our private failures.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
-Matthew 6:6-8

Private victories are small acts of obedience that are only seen by God.

But Samuel replied:
"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
- 1 Samuel 15:22

Living a life of obedience sets us up for victory. Obedience leads to righteousness. Private victories inspire a growth of faith.

Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.
- 1 Samuel 17:36

David killed a lion and a bear (private victories) before he killed a Philistine!

Consistency is important in private victories- its not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We need to continue the race that we’re running. Your private victories must outnumber your public victories!!!

Reticular Activating System:
This is where we begin to understand what God’s voice sounds like! We all have a filter, and when we get information, God is going to filter in what He wants you to hear. The Holy Spirit is our teacher. What we focus on is what we become. If we focus on spiritual things, we will be more like the Holy Spirit, but if we focus on worldly things, we are going to be worldly. We need to have a KINGDOM PERSPECTIVE!!! The more we know the living word of God, the more we are able to do what God wants us to do.

See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
-Isaiah 48:10

When we go through trials, God is getting the garbage out. Proverbs says, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” The word of God will reveal what is of the Spirit and what is of the flesh in our hearts. Our peace is as deep as our focus on God.

Faith is the junction between hope and expectation!!!

Stimulus and the Moment of Choice:
Do we react based on our Spirit (wisdom, communion, conscience) or on our Soul (mind, will, emotions)?
We should count to ten before we react with our soul… we need to reacts with our spirit. We need to filter our responses.

Prophetic Time Periods:
Theres never been a period in time when God hasn’t been talking through prophets.

Psychics= people in Satan’s camp who have a gift of knowing things… there is a spirit of divination, but it is NOT from God. The enemy is trying to mislead us and he uses a semblance of truth where he can. They have a real gift but their satellites are tuned in the wrong direction. However, most of them are hungry for truth (whether they are afraid of it or not).

Knowing God’s Voice:
The key to knowing God’s voice is by spending time with Him- this will give you confidence. We know God’s voice in three ways: How He comes to us, the relevance of what He says, and fruit it produces in us. Some people wait until they are desperate for God until they ask Him to speak. These people need to learn to seek God in both good and bad times. God will never force entry into your heart. He is a gentleman!!! God meets us where we are, especially in our times of need. He cares about supplying and meeting our needs- no matter how small.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. This verse has been misconstrued over time. The Greek word for “give” means “assign.” This means God will assign us the desires of our heart, He will assign what we desire. It doesn’t mean He will give us whatever we want.

God speaks to us in our circumstances, and He speaks to us differently according to our maturity levels. He won’t speak to us in high and lofty measures. He might speak to us in a way that causes us to dig deeper into things, but He won’t overwhelm us with complexity.

God is consistent- He speaks to us in consistent self-established ways.

God doesn’t speak to us with condemnation, but with conviction. Conviction is hopeful- there is hope for us to change. Condemnation leaves us with hopelessness. There are two forms of condemnation- the first one tells you that what you’ve done is awful and horrifying. The second, tells you what you didn’t do that you should have done. God will show you how to see people the way He sees people. God will not show you their flaws in order for you to condemn, but for you to become sensitive to the love he has for others’ in their hurting conditions. God will not cause you to judge others. He will cause you to have compassion and love with correction (speaking the truth in love). He will also cause us to want to pray for the person who is in need of correction, and intercede on their behalf. God also wants to show us what people can be, what their potential is, instead of what they have done wrong.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
- Matthew 9:36

We know we are hearing God’s voice if our faith is strengthened.

Practical tips for delivering a Word:
- How to give and receive a word: You need to believe that God wants to speak, and to speak through you. Paul tells us that we should desire spiritual gifts, and especially to prophesy. The Holy Spirit will give us peace about what to say. If there is no peace, then you need to wait until you do have peace about it. Physical sensations – such as a rapid heartbeat, knots in our stomach, intense heat, etc, should not be the reason to give a word. Those may help us when we are immature, but God doesn’t want that to be how we hear Him. He wants us to come to a point where we are sensitive to His voice, not to where we hear Him through goose bumps.

- When and where to give a word: We also need to wait on the right timing to give a word- we don’t want to give a word too soon, or too late. The best thing to do to know when to give a word, is to ask God or ask a pastor (go to someone who is a spiritual authority)! We are all responsible to spiritual authority to make sure the word is from God- we should never say a word that the pastor or elders told us not to say. Sometimes we need to wait until we have confirmation that it was a word from God. Most words are given to us, not to share with everybody, but for prayer and intercession.

- What should be included or excluded from a word: Don’t judge the validity of a word based on how you got the word. A still small voice is just as important as if an angel visited you and told you to give the word. We are to convey the word from the Spirit as it was told to us, and include an interpretation of what we feel we are hearing the Lord say. Our goal is to convey what we hear and then let the Holy Spirit deal with it. God wants us to deliver a word in our own voice and vocabulary- not in King James Version old English! We also need to be careful of our tone when we give a word- we want to be careful to convey the attitude of God. Don’t ever violate scripture when giving a word- God will NOT ever go against what His word says- if you do this, you are wrong. Stop when a word is delivered, don’t try to add more to it. More is not necessarily better! A word from God should bring hope, help, life, encouragement, etc. It should NOT condemn or destroy someone.

- The Approach you use is important: If someone comes to you and asks for a word, there is more favor than if you have to go to that person.

- God uses imperfect vessels: However, He will confirm a word in a person’s heart that it was really from Him. We learn from our mistakes, and God will keep teaching us how to give words. We might say something incorrectly, but sometimes people hear the word incorrectly, too. Prophetic things require a lot of understanding. (See the story of Agabus in Acts 11). Also, if we give a word that is incorrect, we need to go back and correct ourselves and repent that we were wrong. Never tell people that they are the reason that the word didn’t come to pass- that they didn’t have enough faith. A good thing to do when you give or receive a word is to write it down, because people’s memories are imperfect.

- God wants to speak through you!

Characteristics of the Right and Left Brain:
Right Brain: musical, verbal, empathetic, sympathetic, demonstrative, artistic, creative, flexible, spontaneous, etc- these people are usually better at dream interpretation

Left Brain: Logical, factual, rational, hypothetical, methodical, detailed, controlled, systematic, academic, linear in thinking: these people need to try to use their right brain in dream interpretation.

We can all look at things and see them differently. We can be more compassionate and careful with the way we communicate things from God when we realize that people see things differently.

Spirit Rule Versus Soul Rule:
We are fully human at conception, we are given a soul- mind, body, etc. Before salvation the spirit is weak and dormant. Our spirit is trapped, hidden, covered in the thick, dense, hard soul. At salvation, God’s “sperma” (Greek word, seed) comes into our soul, and our spirit life begins. Soul life changes into spirit life. We have a new birth- re-conception. Born again, or born from above- means the beginning of our spiritual life. Our “spiritual DNA” changes, and we are able to recognize other believers. Your spirit begins to radiate the light of God. Some people have such hardened hearts, that it is difficult for God to get in and allow change. If the spirit is not leading you, you’re being led by the soul.

Fellowship of the Spirit:
Be humble
Be hungry
Be teachable- look for people who are mature that we can grow with them and learn from them.
Have a broken and contrite spirit

God starts with small things, and gives us more responsibility as we grow and mature.

Fellowship of the spirit occurs with two people.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
- Acts 2:42- 43

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
- Phil 3:10

The Role, Purpose and Function of the Church:
In an immature prophetic perspective, everything (pastor, evangelism, staff, elders, worship, etc) revolves around the prophetic person. This is not reality. The role of the church: we are to be the bride of Christ, and to train people up while our husband is away (Christ). As a church, we can’t just let people accept Christ and then leave them to fend for themselves… we need to train them up!

Our purpose in the earth is to rule and reign the earth, to destroy the works of the enemy. As God’s children, we are to bear God’s name, honor Him, minister to each other and build each other up, and bear witness to what God is doing in our lives and around us.

The five- fold ministry is when the body of Christ is the center, the foundation, and the prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and apostles are all part of the body. Prophets are there to build up the body by equipping them for ministry, and edifying them.

We are a light to the world… if our own personal light went out, would people notice? If we disappeared from the church, would they notice? It is important that they would notice, because it means we are functioning as a necessary and vital part of the body! We need to ask ourselves, is what we’re doing bringing unity, or sowing discord?

Revelatory Ministry in the Church:
Revelatory people sometimes forget to serve the body, thinking that their only job is to tell people things that need to be done, and not necessarily doing it. Revelatory people have a responsibility to strengthen the church.

Unity verses uniformity…is unity without conformity. As a body, we can be unified without conforming to look and function like everyone else.

We don’t want God to not be able to use us because of something that we have done that discredits us. For revelatory people, they need to learn to relate well to the rest of the body. When a revelatory person is rejected by a pastor (for example, the pastor asks that person not to share a certain thing with the church because it won’t be received well) they need to make a decision: are they going to take offense and try to protect their gift, or will they try to protect their character by reacting well to that rejection?

We are to proclaim and demonstrate the kingdom of God- “repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” We are commanded to spread this message, which carries power with it. The five fold ministry (not a biblical term, but it is described in Ephesians 4:7-13) works with the body to build up the church, and spread God’s word to the nations.

Revelatory people sometimes have a lot of strongholds (like anyone else). Some that are common are: pride, prejudice, defensiveness, selfishness, manipulation, isolation, and others.

The Road to Revelatory Servanthood and Authority:
We sometimes struggle with the road to authority being paved with service. There are steps that we need to take to be able to serve the church properly. The first step is the recognition for the need for credibility (revelation, accuracy, and consistency). The second is the development of character (love, integrity, and maturity). The third is the recognition of the need for favor (from God, which is a gift!! You also need to have favor with men, which requires the right timing). The three most important factors of authority are credibility, character, and favor!!

There are major hurdles for young, revelatory- gifted people. Sometimes we are called, but not yet commissioned. It takes time and patience for us to get to where we are called to be. Sometimes God tells us things that we need to wait to share, and it needs to be kept between the Lord and ourselves.

There are also some deterrents to attaining spiritual authority: questionable accuracy, incorrect interpretations, insubordination (not being submitted), etc.

The God-ward Meditation:
God wants intimacy, and He provides many avenues to get into His presence. If our relationship with God is right, then our relationships with others will be right as well. Meditation on God’s precepts and ways brings success! Success might not look like what you expect, but we will have an understanding heart (like Solomon). Meditation also decreases the amount of sin in our lives because we get close to the heart of God, and meditation teaches us not to sin.

Lectio Divina (Holy Reading): Listening to the Divine One:
This is the ancient practice of praying the scriptures!! Sometimes praying out loud is more powerful, because the words get into our spirits.

Spiritual Authority:
All authority is established by God, moves through Him and is due to Him. God authorizes every activity that takes place. There is no authority that has NOT been appointed by God.

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
- Romans 13:1

When God is about to do something, He will give authority to lead. God wants to be able to bless all authorities.

What about the authority of Hitler and of the Third Reich? It is Satan who is responsible for this, for devolving things into anarchy and chaos.

Violating God’s authority structure will cause you to lose authority- such as Satan, who fell because he tried to exalt himself. We also violate this authority when we slander a leader’s name.

Satan is not afraid of us spreading God’s word if we are not doing it under the authority of Christ.

When we don’t understand authority, we “kick against the goads.” Our character needs to be conformed to God’s in order to have authority.

There are many types of authorities within the church: rulers, elders, overseers, etc.- these people are not more important than anyone else, but they do have authority.

Two principles that can rule your life: God’s authority, or Satan’s rebellion. You can’t have both ruling you at the same time. Honoring authority is one of the most difficult things God has required us to do. Obedience is greater than sacrifice. Sacrifice was what gave the Old Testament Jew life. However, obedience was a greater sacrifice to God. Leaders fail sometimes and make mistakes, but God also sets them as leaders, and we need to respect that.

One good example of someone responding well to authority is David, who refused to take Saul out and kill him, even though Saul was not a good leader. David waits for God to deal with Saul, and David stays out of the way. God honors David for respecting poor authority.

Lawlessness- a spirit of lawlessness occurs when we attack one of God’s appointed leaders in the church.