Are We Using or Abusing the Gift of Prophecy?

Contributing Writer
Are We Using or Abusing the Gift of Prophecy?

I want to begin with a statement. I believe God uses the gift of prophecy today. Now that I have said that, here is something else I need to say. I have a big problem with most of the so-called prophets and the prophecies that are being espoused today. I am also not a fan of the way this gift is being used. The gift of prophecy should be used to encourage, correct, or edify – but most often it is used to manipulate, control, or simply tell people what they want to hear.  

Most of the time these prophecies were not based on Scripture, but on the person’s personal revelation or their personal desires and wishes. On the other extreme, if they claimed they were based on Scripture, it was usually taken badly out of context. The bigger problem here is the number of people who listen to these words, take them to heart, and then proceed to make decisions for their life based on these words. The sad part is even if what they say doesn’t happen, no one seems to care about that, or hold them accountable and they just keep listening to prophecy after prophecy.

What should you do if you hear a prophetic word or if you get a prophetic word spoken over your life? Here are three things to do.

1. Don’t despise them but test them.

My goal here is not for you to despise or run from prophecy. My desire is that you would understand what to do with it. You must test every prophecy that someone utters. Many times, the reason why people respond to these prophetic words is because they align with what the people listening to them want. If you are blinded by that, then instead of testing the word you will just accept it because it fits your desires. You should avoid this and test every prophecy according to the word of God, the will of God, and the character of God.

2. Don’t let that be the only basis for your decision.

When God is speaking prophetically, especially if it is a personal prophecy, that prophecy should confirm what God is already speaking in your heart. Also, the final word or decision about what you are going to do should not be at the instruction or end of a prophetic word, unless it is confirming what God has already spoken to you. If it is not, don’t make any decision, especially a life-changing one, until you have more information from the Lord. This will take you back to the word, back to prayer, back to worship, and seeking counsel from godly leadership and people in your life.

3. Don’t think you have to make the prophecy come to pass.

The last thing I want to address is you might hear someone tell you things you must do for you to bring this prophetic word to pass. There is only one thing you must do for a prophetic word to come to pass in your life. You must live in obedience to what God has said in his word. If you obey God, he will bring to pass everything he wants to accomplish in your life. If a prophetic word is from God and he has declared what he is going to do in your life, then it is up to him to make it happen, not you. Focus on obeying what God has said in his word and he will do the rest.

As I wrap this up, I want to add one last thing. You don’t need to seek out prophecies and you don’t need to go looking for someone to speak a prophetic word over your life. What you need to do is seek after Jesus and if you need to hear a prophetic word, he will bring it to you. So chase Jesus and let the prophetic word find you, but don’t chase the prophetic word, because you can find one, but there is no guarantee that it is what God is saying at this moment.

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Clarence Haynes 1200x1200Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit