Processing the Prophetic

It was 6:44 AM. I was awakened with God’s voice in my ears. He was speaking to me about the process of prophetic guidance. Isaiah 64:4 says, “Since before time began no one has ever imagined, No ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him.” [The Message] God reveals what we cannot know except through revelation–no research or analysis can uncover it, and no clenched-fist and stubborn-jawed determination can conjure it up. God speaks. We hear.

God speaks what He thinks without a hitch or hesitation, knowing He says things we do not perfectly hear and perceive. The process is flawed. The Word is perfect from His heart. He perfectly times and communicates the Word though expressing it through His ways and perspectives. Not ours. Patterns of prophetic language are puzzling and perplexing even to the prophets.

We are left to wonder why God doesn’t just say what’s on His mind! Visions and dreams. Prophetic actions and pictures. Unique ways of communicating that seem to demand code breaking capacities. Yet, these are the characteristics that mark revelation. God hides things and reveals things as He pleases. His secrets aren’t for everyone.

He speaks perfectly. We hear imperfectly. What we hear must be communicated, put into words and thoughts, reduced to some means of human expression that makes sense of Divine voice and inflection. He speaks perfectly; by the moment we write it down or speak it out, some of the perfect has been rubbed off. It needs judging and leadership, wisdom and understanding, a framework of experience and written revelation backdrops the fresh revealing of purpose.

He speaks perfectly. We hear and communicate imperfectly. Then, interpretation and application enter the process so we can determine what to do with the revelation. Certainly, most of what we hear from God is just for us-Holy Spirit is our Teacher and wants us to think God’s thoughts, wants to change our thinking, wants to invade our motivations, wants to reveal what’s in our hearts. But, I’m talking now about specific revelation heard to share, to apply, to speak, to interpret, and to obey.

I think when we reach the interpretation and application part of the process, the drop-off of prophetic expertise is even greater than hearing and speaking. God gets blamed for stuff He didn’t have anything to do with! We get better at hearing and sharing with leadership, we need even more help interpreting, and we need a shipload of wisdom and leadership applying revelation. More flesh, ambition, personal desire, and natural-man’ jumping to conclusions’ moves God’s Word perfectly spoken into gray areas of “this is a good justification for me to do what I wanted to do in the first place,” and good people making decisions that don’t make good sense.

Some would argue or assume that God knows better than to speak to people who can’t speak, interpret, apply, and obey as perfectly as He speaks. Not so. God speaks perfectly to imperfect people with imperfect prophetic process operating in their lives. He even speaks to people who refuse to hear at all! He speaks to people who hear what they want to hear. He speaks because He involves Himself in our lives. We just need to learn how to hear, speak, interpret, apply, and obey with a greater level of maturity.

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