There are a few basic points we should always keep in mind when we function with the prophetic gift.
Our emotional state. (The Not SHALT Rule)
It goes without saying that all the gifts should be governed by a heart of love. Whatever doesn’t come out of a heart of love is not from God. When you are angry with someone it is much easier to judge, and give a word that is in line with your current state. There is a brilliant rule I’ve heard a long time ago. It is the not SHALT rule. Never make decisions when you are Scared, Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. It is safe to say that if you have any of those emotions running wild do not try to move prophetically. Your ability to hear and discern God’s voice through your gift will be heavily clouded by your current state of mind.
When it comes to the prophetic gift, you always know in part, and although you can sometimes be 100% certain of what you are hearing we can still be 100% incorrect or only hear a very small part of what God is really saying. A much better way to bring a prophetic word is to rather say “I feel that the Lord”. Don’t put people under the strain of “If you don’t listen to me you are not listening to God” mentality. At best we hear only in part.
On the other side of the coin is the fact that many times you can hear God saying what you want Him to say. If your heart is set on something/idol, and ask in line with that God will answer you according to what is in your heart. This is a very important facet of the prophetic ministry to get under your belt. Check your heart and intentions.
This is a great question and the Bible is something that should answer this. In Ezekiel is a few verses that changed my life and governs the way I interact with the prophetic gift God has entrusted to me.
Ezekiel 14:1–4 (NKJV)
1 Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 3 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?
4 “Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols,
In verse 4 Ezekiel points out that should you set up an idol/s in your heart, and enquire from the Lord a word you will hear the Lord answer you according to the idol/s in your heart.
How does this effect you? When you set our heart on something so much, it is very possible to hear God say what you want Him to say.
This is one of the big reasons the New Testament tells us that your prophetic words need to be tested by two or three people who are known to hear God. Bring your word to the prophets so that it could be judged. You must remember our hearts are deceitful above all. In fact your heart can be as so deceitful that you really think that you are doing the right thing. It is also another big reason why you should function in community and not by yourselve, alone being an island. When people get to know you well in a church/community they see straight through your false pretences.
There is a brilliant example hearing God say what you want Him to say in the Bible.
Balaam was a know heathen prophet in the old testament. When a heathen king Balak sent for him to prophecy against Gods children because they were afraid of the Israelites Balaam enquired from God whether or not he should go and do this. God told him that he could not go, and could not curse the Israelites. After this news the king Balak sent higher appointed people from his kingdom with bigger promises of honour to Balaam. It was way to tempting for him. He now goes and pray again asking God if he must go again, remember that God already said “No”. This time strangely enough God answers Him “Yes” he can go but can only tell him what He tells him to say.
Isn’t it strange how God changed his mind? Lets follow the story. As Balaam sets on his way to Balak the king, God sends an angel to kill him. How can this be? God told him the second time that he can go now why would he want to kill him? The donkey however sees the angel that wants to kill Balaam (keep in mind that Balaams eyes are closed now to the spiritual as he is already functioning in error). The donkey however sees the angel and goes out of the way. Balaam at this point highly frustrated with donkey hits it to go back into the road. This happens three times. Suddenly the donkey starts talking to him, God opens his eyes, and now he can see the angel that came to kill him. Note that here he is saying sorry for not seeing the angel, he is still not seeing the error of his way. Again he asks the angel if he should turn back? Keep in mind that the angel came to kill him because he is going. Again Balaam hears “yes”?
The end of Balaam is tragic as where died he is spoken of as Balaam the soothsayer. From being a known prophet to someone who is used by Satan. Joshua 13:22 (NKJV)22 children of Israel also killed with the sword Balaam the son of Beor, the soothsayer, among those who were killed by them.
That is the power of idols in the heart. You can hear God speak to you, but if you have idols in your heart you will her Him according to that (Eze 14). Take your prophetic words to people who you know are accountable. People who are known for hearing God. Speak to your leader/s, ask guidance and council. Don’t just run and do something. Really check your heart, open your life to people in the body.
Be accountable, practice with people you know, stretch your gifting, be open when people say you have missed the point. All I have written is not to deter you from speaking the word of God and functioning in the prophetic ministry but to encourage you to work on your understanding of God and your gifts. Put yourself out there, get in relationships with people who are known to function in the prophetic. Speak BUT be open to be corrected when you are WRONG! Be open to the fact that you can be wrong.