The Prophetic Word: Does God Still Speak Into Our Lives?

Does God give insight into people’s lives as a prophetic word? I think the answer is yes! A prophetic word, also known as a “word of knowledge,” is a prophecy given by a worshiper for the congregation.

The Prophetic Word: Does God Still Speak Into Our Lives?

A prophetic word, also known as a word of knowledge, is a prophecy given by a worshiper for the congregation. Biblical prophecy is a message that reflects communication from God to humans. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:1 to “pursue love and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” These words come in the form of exhortation, correction and other revelations that equip and edify the body of Christ.

How can we be assured when someone speaks into our lives? We who are pastors, teachers and Bible study leaders must be confident in knowing God’s voice. God most often speaks through Scripture. That is why it is imperative that we are familiar with it. But he also speaks through creation, visions and dreams; open or closed doors of opportunities; other people; and, once, even Balaam’s donkey and a burning bush.

Not everyone believes in modern-day prophecy, but in my years of ministry, I’ve had experiences that lead me to believe differently. Let me share my perspective.

Joel, the prophet, describes a future where prophecy is a regular part of life and “old men will dream dreams.” I’m not an old man, but in my own life I once had a horrible dream about a friend whose life was in danger. In my dream, my friend was in his basement, very distraught, with a gun in his lap. He picked up the gun and put it in his mouth to shoot himself. All day long I had an overriding feeling that I needed to take action. I asked God to give me the same dream again that night if he wanted me to contact that person. The dream came back, and the details still haunt me. Immediately, I sat up in bed, raced to the phone, and called my friend. He was stunned. Since learning of his wife’s extramarital affair two days before, he had been pleading for God to reveal himself while sitting in his basement with a gun in his lap. The power of God-given dreams saved a life that day. It wasn’t the first, nor would it be the last, time that God used dreams to talk to me.

Recommended On ChurchPlants:  The Most Important Leadership Question You AREN’T Asking

In the bleakest days of my adult life, through divorce and singleness, he used another dream to guide me. No supernatural knowledge validates divorce and the destruction it brings to a marriage and a family. It does, though, reveal an all-knowing God who gives hope even in the darkest settings. In my dream, I received details about a brunette that loved God and ministry. The most remarkable part is that God prophesied to her a year before I would meet her. She was dealing with the most painful trial of her life—her husband was dying of cancer. When God spoke to her heart, he said, “If I had a broken pastor who had lost his wife and his church, could you come alongside and encourage him?” When she shared this experience with her husband, he laughed and reminded her how much she enjoyed sitting in the front row at church. I’ve been married to that brunette for over 12 years now.

Using prophecy comes with a caution. Some dangerous people pretend to speak on behalf of God. They use a prophetic word only to seek personal gain. Too many times charlatans have used a prophetic word as an act of God to control others. If what’s shared is not based on Scripture, it could be a form of manipulation. A person who has an agenda with a prophetic voice is unsafe. When God gives a prophetic message, he trusts us as his holy messengers to intervene in people’s lives. We should only see ourselves as servants, not superiors.

I once encountered a “prophetic word” from someone at our church during a confrontational moment. We were about to ordain a man who, in his early years, had a moral failure. He had repented and was being used mightily by God. The morning we were going to ordain him, a board member’s smiling spouse announced that God had told her “now is not the time” and was sure we would know what to do with the information. Her smile faded when I told her I knew exactly what God was trying to tell us. I told her God was affirming what we were doing that morning and that ”now is not the time” to question this man’s anointing. This happened over 10 years ago, and this man has been traveling all over the world with a passion from God and for God. The woman left the church. Her heart could not justify a man with a failure being used by God.

Recommended On ChurchPlants:  Why Complaining ISN’T Leading

God will work with any person as a vessel, even when it is difficult to believe because of past failures. Learn to seek his wisdom, his heart and knowledge of his Word. Does God give insight into people’s lives as a prophetic word? I think the answer is yes!

This is an excerpt from the book, All Knowing, by Kevin O’Connor,

Author Kevin F. O'Connor is from the small township of Collingdale, 10 miles from Philadelphia PA. He now lives as a Pastor/Author in Southern California. Is currently writing a new book to come out in early 2019.
  • Flux

    This is a very long story about my situation right now; Sir. I’m sorry for the lengthy writeup.

    Good morning, Sir. My name is Kayode Ibironke, a troubled, unemployed Nigerian. In fact, I’m at the verge of either becoming an unbeliever or an atheist simply because of what’s happening in my home.

    My family has a pastor who does vigil for us and gives prophecies. The same prophecies are what’s giving me a source of worry and it has strained relationship between my father and I; simply because my dad believes in him a 100%, while I have doubts. This pastor is also a very good friend of my dad since they once practised the same profession before he became a pastor, while my dad’s still in that profession.

    There was a day whilst at home for my school holidays that I went up to my dad, told him I’d love to learn a thing or two about his profession, not that I wanted to make it my career or take over from him; I just wanted to learn something. My dad hearing of my interest in his profession got my words misconstrued, felt I was the one to take over from him when he retired, and as such, he made moves to see that I get involved in the profession totally. I was 24 years of age by then.

    After my dad heard of my interest, he went to tell our pastor who prayed about it and revealed to my dad that he had a prophecy and that it was revealed to him that my dad’s profession was my destined job, no other. This got me uncomfortable and I was somewhat having regrets why I had to tell my dad of my interest in learning his job, thinking he understood me. This is a job I never studied the course nor did anything related to it back in high school; in fact, I ran away from the courses that related to it.

    For 6 years, I kept following my dad to work as a sign of respect and not to go against the prophecy but within these 6 years, I never enjoyed being at work, I felt like I was being forced; in short, I had no passion for the job at all.

    I told my dad about the jobs I had passion for and wanted to embark on but he became a critic of every suggestion I brought. He had never supported any of my suggestions and these were jobs I love doing because it brought out the creativity in me, made me happy, and they challenged me to be better but since my dad couldn’t sponsor me to those jobs nor link me up to his high clienteles who could employ me, I had to endure going to work with him, hoping with time I would cope.

    Last year February, my dad told me to stop coming to work with him; for simplicity sake, I was terminated by him as his reason was that, “my presence going to work with him had no value and was not benefiting him in any way. Other staffs or workers saw my efforts and became close to me, my dad saw otherwise. We’ve had our differences before last year with him making so many complaints about me, rejecting every opinion of mine I suggested to him on how the company could be better or improved but he made me look like my suggestions weren’t important.

    After some years, the same suggestions I brought up was what he eventually implemented, after I was no longer working with my dad. Throughout last year, I decided to face life on my own, to struggle and get a good job but being the country where I’m from where the unemployment rate was high, jobs weren’t forthcoming. I decided to do something with my hands that could fetch me some money; I became a cook/caterer. This was something I was happy doing not minding where I was from and I was happy even though I wasn’t making much but I had customers I kept smiles on their faces with my products. My dad knew of this and he wasn’t proud of what I had decided to become, saying he could not introduce me to his clients or let them know I was a caterer/cook.

    I had told a family friend of mine who is like an aunt to me about my situation, and she was worried that I spent 6 good years going to work with my dad without earning a good salary whereby I tried defending my dad by telling her he gives me some money for the day whenever I was to go to work. When she inquired about the money I did collect each day, she was shocked at how little it was. I had never thought about it the way she saw it simply because I rarely eat and I found ways to save even out of the little I had. She was unhappy I did a job I wasn’t happy with and did it all because of a prophecy from our pastor, that I had wasted 6 good years of my life without a decent saving to show for and I’d also gone past the most employable age in this country.

    2 nights ago, we had our usual vigil, since it’s monthly where the pastor comes around to hold it for us and in the vigil, he prophesied again that I had to go back to my dad’s job, that it was my destiny to do my dad’s job, and it’s through my dad that my glory would shine. I was like, “why is he coming with all these again after I had decided to face my life through struggle and hardwork to get to the top?” I wasn’t happy in any way.

    In the morning, he told me to become submissive, humbled and to go beg my dad, then return to his work that God had revealed it was my destined job. I got upset with him and my mum because before I came downstairs, I heard him tell my mum that the catering work I got myself involved in was a lazy person’s work and I ought to return to my dad’s work.

    I started losing my belief in him not just because of this but also because I told him about the catering job before I went into it since my mum wanted me to pray about it before I began, and the same pastor/prophet told me that the job was good, though I won’t make much in the beginning but later, I’d get known and make sales/profits. This was something he told me last month when he prayed about it. Fast forward to yesterday, he’s the same man saying I was doing a lazy man’s work.

    Another prophecy he once made which didn’t just involve me alone but my siblings was that our destinies weren’t to get married to anyone from another tribe within my country nor elsewhere except the 4 tribes he mentioned which included my state of origin. I was flustered at such revelation and wondered if God had truly made my life this limited.

    Right now, I’m in a state of confusion, I’m not in good terms with my dad, simply because I’m not involved in his business, if I say anything against the pastor, it’s like I’m insulting him directly. He trusts the pastor more than he does anyone at home and anything he reveals to him is what my dad would accept without doubting for once because there were certain things that came to past when the pastor prophesied to my dad in his work, that of one of his clients and a family friend of ours. Since then, my dad had never looked back nor go against the pastor.

    I’ve spent 6 years doing a job that wasn’t my passion till the extent that my aunt said I’d gone past the employable age because right now, I’m 30 years of age, going to be 31 by November. My life’s been a not-so-proud one for me and the only option have left is to look for a better place where I can get a job that would pay me and I would be happy to forget my pains because right now, I’m at the verge of losing my belief in the Christian faith all because of all the prophecies. I’m really fed up. I miss my aunt and she would have been the one I’d run to, just to discuss about this but she and her family had traveled to Canada and I won’t want to bother her so she could settle down there with her family.

    Sir, since you talked about hearing God’s voice in an article of yours, you would be the best person to help me understand better with my story because I really need a new lease of life. My dad had given my sibling and I the middle of May to leave his house and go get an apartment but I’ve not got a solid job that would sustain me with an apartment and I’m not ready to use my situation to go back to my dad’s job being unhappy for another amount of years all because of trying to survive. I really need your say to this. I’m a very unhappy man at 30.