Someone asked me about my experiences in the prophetic this week, so here are a few raw thoughts on my experience of knowing Christ as priest and prophet. It’s fun for me reflecting on my prophetic journey, as those gifts are once again stirring strongly this season!
I grew up in a prophetic area, where many would hear fresh words from God, and try to express them. So it wasn’t strange to me that God talked to us all the time. Plus, I like to talk and hear Him all the time! I did not grow up charismatic, but did grow up near many people who had rich prayer lives, which I think is the foundation of the prophetic.
Later I met lots of prophets and prophetic leaders (some from Africa and Europe) who stirred up that gift in me. For me it was very natural, as I love being very close to God, and then telling everyone what He said! That is probably my core spirituality. I also have always had dreams and visions since i was a little kid. And have been able to see angels, demons etc. That was pretty normal for me. My family was a ministry family, and we had a culture of service and serving others. But, I wasn’t always sure why I saw so much, and could discern spirits etc. It wasn’t until later that I found a useful context for my gifts. Yet, even when young, my folks would ask me to pray over land, or for a person and share what I saw. So that gift was encouraged. I’m blessed by that, so it could develop naturally. I think i was first filled with The Holy Spirit, at least experientially when I was 17. Then when I went into full time ministry, I was more fully baptized in the Spirit–or more like paralyzed for a few days (that’s another story!)
When I was training spiritually, i used to go onto the harvard (harvest) campus, as I was living in Cambridge, Mass. God would show me firstly all the Jews who were in the quad. He knows I have a heart for my Jewish friends! Then others. He would whisper a word, to which ones He wanted me to talk to, and then give me a little something for each. I would go talk to them, and usually it went right in, sometimes through tears. It always impressed me, that He cared so deeply for every person, and had such articulate little blessings for them. Later, i started doing it for cities. To me it’s part of our relationship-to hear Him for others, and then try to express it in His Heart’s Tone. I try to get the word, then get His emotions and tone for that person, so I can communicate it more in His Way. To plant the seed in Wisdom and His Timing.
Other times, He will give me a word, and say, don’t give it yet. I’ve had that experience in lots of churches. That group wasn’t ready for that word. Those experiences are always hard, because I will feel like God is saying this, but they are not ready for it yet. So I pray for them in that area usually. The fact is, God has thousands of thoughts for each of us daily, but we aren’t always open to them, or maybe we are just distracted by the things and stuff of life. He will wait, but we are smart to turn and listen to what His Heart is communicating to ours.
I have lots of God stories through the years: one’s of talking a suicidal man off a bridge in Paris, of meeting many celebrities and being able to offer His words and heart to them, and helpful tools. I’ve had other times where i was directed to fly to a certain nation to bear witness to events He wanted me to see. That happened at 911. I was told to fly in using specific airlines and airports, and ended up at 911, having rented my car in Boston–the other airport; and driven into NYC and was on the George Washington bridge when the buildings fell. I saw many things in the Spirit that day, to say the least, and that event is still inside me.
To me the prophetic is part of my wonder and friendship with God. I love that He takes to time to communicate and care for people in specific ways each season of their lives. And that He cares for whole cities in that way. To me the prophetic is normal Christianity, not exclusive to one part of the Body of Christ. He likes to communicate to all His People! God is not denominational, though He uses them each uniquely, i think. Culturally, I find certain denominations easier to relate to than others. But each has it’s unique highlights!
Over a year, once, i had a dream series, of where He was with and in each denomination. Great dream series! I could see where He was most manifest and moving with Catholics (saw an opening in the 70’s etc), Presbyterians (holders of history and some social justice aspects etc), Charismatics (youth and worship), Baptist (family life and teaching the word well), Anglican etc. I was taken around the Body and shown where He could “show up” and some of the blocks on each, including Pentecostalism (the five fold ministries and stirring of the spiritual gifts etc). Great instructive dream series, and actually made me love the whole Body even more!!! I do love what He loves, and He does, as it turns out love His Church!!! Sometimes, we forget that.
At times, I have been given specific details about a person’s life in order to help them out of a block or situation. Personal prophetic ministry is probably the funnest for me. Yet, in prayer, i am also often shown whole regions, and can see the general health of her church, or of His People. Which watchtowers are vacant for instance. And how to pray over that area’s rivers or landscape with Him. The priestly and prophetic are in close collusion in God. They work in tandem! I think they also do in us, as we sit with Him as Priest and Prophet. I love being in that space with Christ! And going back down the mountain in The Holy Spirit to articulate what I saw.
I had a vision once of me sitting on the Father’s lap, and Him giving me little scrolls, and then asking me to run down the hill (mountain really) and deliver the words on the scrolls. He took great fatherly pleasure in watching how I would run and deliver the words. He collaborated with me as I did. The artistic communication part was my favorite, and He knew He made me that way. And takes such pleasure as I deliver the little words He gives me. That to me is the prophetic. For me, it is integrated into my personal relationship with Him, or our friendship.
I love hearing Him, and then communicating what I hear to others. That is still my central passion in life. Receiving from intimacy and friendship, and then expressing creatively and authentically, what He heard or saw from Him!
I like to communicate what He shows me, in an authentic way. That seems to be His method through me, as He has highlighted authentic identity in and through my life. I like to just be myself as I deliver the word. I think that may be my generation’s gift of authenticity. We like things to be real or not phony. I have not really had a choice, as I’ve never not been able to be myself.
When I was younger, i was worried more about getting the word “perfect” or right, as I do struggle with performance orientation or perfectionism in general. As I’ve gotten older though, i just try my best to listen well and express well, and trust the Holy Spirit to plant the seeds. I like growing in the prophetic still.
I do think calling flows from identity. So He knew Jeremiah in the womb, therefore He called Him to be a prophet to the nations. Identity precedes calling. But, the two also usually match one another! What we do with Him, comes from who we are with and in Him. That’s been my experience anyways.