God wants to reveal His heart to you.
He wants to speak to you specifically about your life. As you create space and time for Him to speak to you, He will also reveal things regarding your church, city, nation and other things that are on His heart.
Sometimes you are just to be an intercessor and sometimes more action is required.
But first you must position yourself to hear from Him.
"I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved. Then the Lord answered me and said, 'Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run'" (Hab. 2:1-2, NASB1995).
7 Points that Matter: Receiving Revelation
From these two verses, there are seven points that matter:
- Take your place.
- Be watchful.
- Believe God wants to speak to you.
- A pure heart motivation is everything.
- Write it down!
- Be ready to move into an appropriate application.
- Preserve His word for the days to come.
First, we are told to stand guard — to station ourselves on the "rampart," a protective barrier. We are to be as soldiers dedicated to holding our ground in anticipation of hearing from our almighty Commander in Chief.
We are told to stand still and listen for God to speak — He may have something to tell us, to correct in us. Maybe our character or lack of faith needs to be put right. When He tells us through a vision, we are to record it by writing it down.
One day I heard the Lord speak to me while I was journaling about taking a vacation. It was a word to me in a specific time that I needed for my soul to rest. I wrote it down and I obeyed — what a wonderful time of refreshment that was! He spoke to me as I journaled. Fascinating.
We are to be watchful too. It's so very easy to be distracted these days — so many activities that want our attention. But when we're watchful for the Lord to speak, we focus on what really matters.
Believing that He really wants to communicate with us is crucial. Doubt may try and creep up the rampart but stand firm on faith in Him. With a pure heart, you will be motivated to keep a righteous life — and the Voice will be heard.
And remember, if the vision tarries, it's because the appointed, specific time has yet to arrive.
And if it arrives but seems not to be for you personally, it could be for those who read the vision later — and because you were faithful to record it, they become the ones who run with your call. That's what these verses mean to me.
Receiving Pure Revelation
How can we know if a word is genuine? It is too easy to dismiss a word as being "off" simply because we do not consider all of the factors.
First, we must evaluate the source of the word. Let's say that you are learning how to use your prophetic gift and a thought crosses your mind. Simply because you are a prophet, does that mean it is from God? Not necessarily.
We must learn to discern the difference between three different voices that can sometimes sound almost the same: God's Holy Spirit, our own thoughts and Satan.
John advises us to "test the spirits to see whether they are from God" (1 John 4:1).
How should we do that to determine if we are receiving pure revelation? We cannot test a word by its fruits yet if it has not been delivered, but we can anticipate its results to some extent.
Will the word express God's love to the hearers, even as it convicts them? Or will it bring them condemnation and hopelessness? Are your own emotions and opinions part of the mix? Have you left an opening for the devil in your own life lately?
Jeremiah wrote, "I have not sent these prophets, yet they run around claiming to speak for me. I have given them no message, yet they go on prophesying" (Jer. 23:21, NLT; see also Ezekiel 13:1-2).
People can speak out of personal desire or ambition or a sense of urgency. We all know what it feels like to speak out of an unsanctified place in our hearts.
Just because something comes to us in a "spiritual" way does not guarantee that it comes from a pure source. Satan is a spirit too and he is deceptive by nature. "This is the spirit of the antichrist," wrote John (1 John 4:3).
Even one of Jesus' premier disciples, Peter, had to suffer a rebuke from the Lord: "Get behind Me, Satan!" — really a rebuke of the evil spirit who had incited him to say, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You" (Matt. 16:22-23).
If you're just not sure, the wisest course of action is to either hold on to the word until you know what to do with it or to present it with qualifications ("It seems that God might be saying something like this....")
Testing Revelation: The Word of God
The written Word of God is always the best test of any word of revelation. As the psalm tells us: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps. 119:105). In particular, a word will more likely be genuine if a prophet has been studying the Word and letting it inform his or her thoughts and judgments. A good example is the prophet Daniel, who wrote:
"It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years" (Dan. 9:1-2, NLT).
His attention was on the message of the Word of God and he humbled himself to know more. He meditated on the written Word for a long time.
He resisted the fearful uncertainty that the evil one sent his way. And he got it right; his prophetic words and actions brought about the fulfillment of the very Word of God.
The Message Is What Matters
As we have already explored, words from God do not come to us only as thoughts that are meant to be spoken.
The Lord makes His words known to us in a wide range of ways, including visions, dreams, parables (see Hosea 12:10), "dark sayings" (see Psalm 78:2; Proverbs 1:6), natural things (see Jeremiah 18), angelic encounters and, as He did with Moses, face to face (see Numbers 12:8).
The mode of revelation is not as important as the message.
If God wants to get His word across, He will use the most appropriate means to do it. "Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream" (Num. 12:6, NASB1995).
I encourage you to still yourself before the Lord and ask Him to speak.
Then write it down, check it against the Word of God and take whatever action He is calling you to take!
Blessings to receive pure revelation, record it and then LIVE it!
Dr. James W. Goll is the founder of God Encounters Ministries. He is an international bestselling author, a certified Life Language Coach, an adviser to leaders and ministries and a recording artist. James has traveled around the world ministering in more than 50 nations sharing the love of Jesus, imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding curriculum kits and is the author of more than 50 books, including The Seer, The Prophet, The Discerner, The Lost Art of Intercession and Praying with God's Heart. James is also the founder of GOLL Ideation LLC, where creativity, consulting and leadership training come together.
Dr. James Goll is the founder of Encounters Network, Prayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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