Our blog this month is written by Kate Hindley from Liverpool.
I’ve always wanted to be prophetic. I mean who doesn’t want to hear God speak! Can there be anything more wonderful than hearing what God has to say?
What do I mean by being prophetic and hearing God? I believe that God is speaking all the time, not just through the Bible (though that obviously is the best way to hear Him) but in real time, right now, and that as His child, I can hear what He is saying. And as I tell the kids in my Sunday school, He speaks in lots of diffrent ways. Sometimes we can see pictures in our mind’s eye. Sometimes He reminds of us a Bible verse. Sometimes He will cause us to feel something physical in our bodies or emotional in our guts. And sometimes we just know things in our ‘know-er’ … But in this blog I’m not aiming to explain what prophecy is, there are many more better equipped people to do that. I’m just sharing how I came to discover prophecy in my own life.
So here’s my story: Twenty years ago I was on placement with a church in Cape Town, and whilst there, amongst a myriad of great experiences, one moment sticks out. A lady prophesied over me that in time I would become prophetic. My immediate thought was “Wow, that’s great! I can’t wait,” and although I longed for her words to come true, I never did anything much about it. So wait is exactly what I did. My assumption was that if God wanted to give me the gift of prophecy then at some point He would drop it in my lap. After all, I’d been nicely brought up not to expect presents or ask for them, but if given one to be suitably appreciative. Occasionally, I’d have a go at prophesying; listening to God to see if He wanted to give me a word or a picture for someone, but on the whole I was waiting for the time when He would give me a prophetic gift.
Then about two years ago, I persuaded a friend to be my mentor. The first thing she asked me was: “What spiritual skill would you like to ‘up-skill’ in?” And although the thought of spiritual skills (as opposed to gifts) was a bit alien to me, my immediate heart’s cry was, “I want to be prophetic.” I longed to know how to hear God and feel confident that I can and do hear Him.
My mentor suggested I get some training and pointed me in the direction of Accessible Prophecy. I was initially very reluctant, thinking this wasn’t really for me, but was kind of committed since my mentor would be expecting me to follow through on my stated desire to up-skill. Nothing like being held accountable to get you moving! So I joined an online prophetic coaching huddle and I’m so grateful I did. And cutting a 2-year journey short, here is something of what I have discovered about prophecy:
God has shown me that each prophetic word is like an apple. Yes, an apple. Bear with me.
My view of the prophetic used to be that IF I were to listen for a friend for a word from God, and IF God had something to say, and IF He wanted to use me to say it, then He would drop that apple in my lap for me to give to my friend. Somehow regardless of what my head-knowledge might have told me, in my heart I believed that apples were rare. I believed apples were hard to receive. Somewhere deep in my heart sat a poverty mindset that apples were rationed. Not enough for everyone. Not enough for every day. My role was to sit and wait to see if He wanted to drop an apple, but I didn’t really expect Him to. After all, I wasn’t a ‘prophet’, I was merely me.
So why would God use an apple to explain prophecy to me? Well, in our house with 3 small kids apples are never rationed. Sweets, yes. Exotic fruit, yes. Apples, never. If you are hungry, even if just before a meal, it’s OK to help yourself to an apple. Now you might need to ask permission to have some things in life, like “may I have a biscuit” but you don’t need to ask for apples. And it might be considered greedy or rude to ask certain other people for things, like asking friends for birthday presents, but you can always ask anything of your parents.
So what does that mean for prophecy? Nowadays, when I think of the prophetic, I imagine God’s vast throne room and all down one side of the room there runs a banquet table laden with apples. All juicy, all crisp, all delicious and good. There is such an abundance of apples that in a million years you could not run out. And because I am a child of the King and heir to His Kingdom, I have the freedom to enter the throne room any time I like and help myself to an apple (just as my kids are free to eat as many apples as they like, even without asking, they are there for the taking). So if I would like an apple to give a friend, I know there are plenty and I can just take one and give it away. If I’d like an apple for myself, I can go into the throne room and pick one up. I don’t have to wait; I don’t have to worry there might not be enough apples; I’m not concerned that I might not be permitted or might not be the right person to give out apples.
I’ve come to know that our God is a God who speaks all the time. He is not distant or remote, but he is a loving Father who loves and longs to talk with His kids. He is the God of abundance and there is no lack of anything good in His Kingdom. I believe that I am a child of the King and through Christ have access directly into the throne room of heaven. I knew all this beforehand in my head, but now I know it in my heart! (contented sigh). I set out thinking I needed help with a skill … instead I discovered I needed help with a relationship. My relationship with Abba Father.
So this is what I have learnt about God and about prophecy. How great is the love that God has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)