Introduction to Prophetic Processing
“Did God lie to me? Or did Harry sin against God and is going to hell for being disobedient?” Sally asked me.
Sally had been struggling with a “prophetic word” she had gotten years earlier that had been confirmed many times through various signs and circumstances, even validated through words from others regarding a man she was “supposed” to marry.
Harry removed himself from a relationship with her, he had married another woman and moved away from their town. Sally believed Harry was supposed to be her husband because “God told her” that she would get married and live in the town he had moved to with someone else.
Her original reason for coming to see me was to grill me about the way we handled prophetic ministry in our church culture. Sally was not from our church but had visited our prophetic ministry to receive a word. She was skeptical about the prophetic and had secretly recorded her session because she had wanted to replay hers to me.
It was an odd thing to do since she didn’t have to do it secretly, we openly recorded and emailed their prophetic words to people who had received one. The recordings kept our teams accountable and it allowed people to process their words with God and their personal communities.
I listened to her word she played back for me. Did I find anything particularly offensive about her word? No, it was a very encouraging word and full of hope. It was something that needed to be tested for sure, just like every word should.
Was Sally’s issue with us? Was there something we had done, perhaps treated her badly in some capacity? Had we missed it? Did we need to apologize? After digging a little deeper with her through conversation, I discovered her situation and pain stemmed from offenses she had with God over having been disappointed in past experiences.
These are the kinds of stories I hear every day from people who know God, love him. These are people who believe God communicates with his people today and long to know his will for their lives and walk in it. The problem is, some of us don’t know how to interpret dreams, visions, prophetic words and all the things that go along with a healthy, vibrant Christian life.
Long before we had launched a prophetic ministry, we dreamt of one that was loving and strong. We dreamt of a people that heard the voice of God really well. We dreamt of a people grounded in the word of God and planted in a community who understood the heart of God to be for us. We dreamt of becoming ones who loved well and communicated the unfathomable love of the Father to the common person who were curious about His plan for them personally.
We also knew the region we were planted in had a major bad taste in their mouth in terms of prophets and prophetic ministries. For the most part, in the majority of churches we were aware of in our cities and surrounding areas, the prophetic was marginalized or shut down all together.
We had our work cut out for us. We wanted to remove the offense and disappointment surrounding the idea of prophets and the prophetic in general. We wanted to be healers and agents of reconciliation. We knew we would have to deal with offense and pain in order to dispel the myths surrounding the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet by doing it really, really well with love and responsibility.
It was people like Sally who motivated us to do it differently. There are a whole lot of Sally and Harry stories out there. There are plenty who are trapped in the cycle of trying to figure out what God is saying and missing the mark. I want to spare people the disappointment of having believed something to be true only to find out they have been believing something incomplete, or at worst, deceptive.
Is Sally’s story unusual? NO. In fact, it is far too common. She and the countless other stories like hers are the reason I am writing this series Prophetic Processing.
Have we all misinterpreted what we believed we received in prayer? Yes, we have.
Could we get a better grip on hearing God for ourselves? Yes, we can.
Does God use other people to communicate his heart and plans for us? Yes, does.
What if we all learned how to process our journeys with God in a more practical way?
In this series Prophetic Processing, I will address some of the reasons our personal prophecies elude us and how to track and unpack our personal prophetic words. I will discuss issues such as clarity, timing, finding resources, strategies and more. I will explain some of the mistakes Sally had made in her process of discerning the words over her life and common concerns that arise on the journey.
Stay tuned for the first article in a multi-part series coming up next week called Prophetic Processing Part One: Let Me Get This Straight. Let’s take this journey together.
Note from Toni:
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical doctor, psychiatrist, or professional clinical psychologist. I have been a licensed and ordained minister specializing in prayer ministry. My writings are based on my personal experience working with people in various capacities bringing spiritual transformation to individuals and groups. The views expressed here are my own personal views, opinions, observations and experiences over the past few decades. My blog posts do not necessarily represent the views of organizations I am currently working with or have been a part of in the past. I have been trained extensively in various settings by experienced leaders. I have trained others interested in spiritual healing in various platforms, using a variety of methods. Stories of individuals are used by permission and/or details have been changed in order to provide anonymity for the purpose of dignity and privacy.
Copyright © 2019 Toni Imsen. All Rights Reserved.