On my computer I have a document called “What God Has Said.” In it are many, many pages of things God has spoken directly to me over the past five years or so, word for word, line by line. He has spoken encouragement, direction, wisdom, and correction. He has given me a glimpse of the man He wants me to become, and insight into the things that hinder me from becoming that man.
Each of these things were spoken through other people in the form of prophetic words. Prophetic words are probably the most misunderstood and least known of all the ways God speaks to His children in today’s world. Before I begin to explain what they are, what they are not, and how they work, let me tell you this:
Out of all the ways that God has spoken to me in life, some of the most encouraging, the most directing, the most absolutely impactful have been those which He spoke through others as prophetic words. Using other people to audibly speak into your life, He removes the possibility for doubt, the wondering whether or not you heard what you heard.
There is no evidence like experience. Let me share some with you now.
I doubt myself a lot. I hesitate. I see a chance to say something, do something, and I hold back, I ponder, question, think, analyze. I am content in most situations to sit back and enjoy the conversation, rather than pitching in. I don’t jump into uncomfortable situations quickly. In many ways I lack confidence in myself.
About three years ago God really started working on me in the area of self-doubt and confidence. He spoke the following words to me through two friends, one who knew me well, and one who did not.
January 16, 2010
I cut and break this self doubt that comes against Josh. It’s like he just starts to doubt himself and doubt whether he hears You. Lord, I just thank You that You are rising him up out of this place where he sees himself spiritually. You’ve given him wisdom beyond his years. He has so much to offer to so many people. And it’s like sometimes he feels like he has something on his heart to say, and he’s like, “Is that God, is it really God?” Lord I just cut and break this. He has so much to offer, and we just command this inside of him to come up out of hiding. This is a season of rising up. You’re a man of authority and strength.
The Lord is saying it’s time to quit playing it so safe, you’ve played everything so safe. It’s time to start taking risks. It’s time to jump knowing that I’m going to catch you. It’s time to start taking risks. You’re not going to realize who you are until you start stepping into who you are, and having the confidence and the faith to know what God’s placed inside of you. It’s time to stop playing it safe, no more of that. You’ve got goodness inside of you, you’re a good man, you’re a really good man. And you’ve got wonderful things to offer. Don’t fear falling. Don’t think if you fall off your bike you’re not gonna want to get back on cause your knees are gonna be all scraped up. It’s time to start taking risks.
Though only the second friend knew this was an area of struggle for me, God was able to speak through both to cut right to the heart of the issue, even revealing what was in my own mind.
This is part of another word I was given from a traveling preacher who visited our church later that same year, who did not know me at all.
November 7, 2010
The Lord said you are precious, and my son, I want you to really get that deep down in your spirit today. You are precious. You are a vessel of gold. There’s treasure inside of you. You underestimate yourself, sometimes, and don’t allow yourself to come to grips with the fact that there’s a man inside of you that is really able to do exceedingly abundantly above all things!
Over the past few years God has given me more confidence in the abilities He has given me and who He has made me, and though He is working on it still, I have grown. Even this blog is evidence of that. To open up, to share, to believe that maybe there’s someone out there who can learn something from what I have to say.
Prophecy is not a weird trance, it’s not doom-and-gloom, it’s not picking lottery tickets. It’s not always about the future, though it is sometimes. It’s nothing like psychic foolishness. It’s not something that only existed in Bible times.
Prophecy is a child of God, with His Spirit inside of them, simply asking God what He wants to say to you, and then saying it. Some are very gifted in it, while some God has given other areas of His work to focus on. It is usually encouraging, though it can be correctional. It can provide guidance and direction. It can give you insight into what God is up to – now, or in the future.
No matter what it is, it is always beneficial for becoming more of the person God has for you to become. And that is exciting.
This wraps up the series on how God speaks to me. No matter who you are, you can hear Him too. Just go someplace quiet, be still, and listen. He’s already waiting.
It’s time to start taking risks.
Photo by Patrick Talbert. Used under Creative Commons License.