“NOTE: Like any driving directions/map you should always do a reality check and make sure the roads still exist, watch out for construction, and follow all traffic safety precautions. This is only to be used as an aid in planning.”
I’m working in a foreign land (Texas) for a few days and needed some materials and information to get the job done. Once I knew my destination, I turned to MapQuest for help getting from point A to point B. At the bottom of the page, after the graphic map and written directions, was this disclaimer.
- I’ve never noticed this before
- I’ve never seen anyone use the words “reality check” in a serious way
- It reminds me of the prophetic.
You see, for all of its nuances and “dangers,” I am a big fan of the prophetic. Since I believe God is speaking all the time and in a variety of ways to each of us, I like to think of myself as one of those UN Tourguides with the little flag, leading the “listen to what God is saying” tour. People on the tour may have different upbringings, traditions and languages — but all are interested in learning more about what God is saying and doing.
To me, it’s all about paying attention; paying attention to the ongoing conversation and relationship He desires with us — and we with Him. But “paying attention” never should come at the cost of common sense. I John 4:1-3 talks about testing every spirit to be sure it comes from God. Reality check.
As I’ve been taught, a prophetic word must be tested against these standards: It is always for the purpose of edifying, never contrary to scripture, and must be personally taken before God (the source). We need to “take precautions” so we don’t end up at a dead end in the middle of nowhere. Even though the map says the road is there, the reality may be different — there may be construction detours (parts of our character being rebuilt before the word can be accomplished…or parts of the word that may be a little off).
In any situation, God is the ultimate reality check for us to respond and prosper with His Word and the word He gives. Clearly, His Word says to desire the gift of prophecy — that means through our lives and in our lives. Expect it…watch for it and allow for the wisdom and blessing it will contribute to your journey.
Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophecy ~ I Corinthians 14:1
Having then gifts differing according to the gift of grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophecy in proportion to our faith ~ Romans 12:6
Want an adventure? Where are you feeling undirected — or perhaps, misdirected? Ask the Lord to give you a word through another person about the situation. Intentionally seek out someone who you know believes the Holy Spirit speaks to us today and who is established in their Christian faith. Ask them to pray with you. Watch for what God “quickens” to your Spirit through His word. Find friends who are interested in knowing this part of God’s heart and make a concerted effort to regularly seek Him this way.