A couple of years ago, I was driving to the bank during a low traffic time. There are two intersections with lights on my way to the bank from where I live; both intersections have a right-turn lane and a through/left turn lane. Another car was waiting to turn left so I moved into the right-turn lane to go around him. I continued my way to the bank and noticed the van behind me was headed in the same direction. In fact, the van stopped at the bank machine. He got out of his vehicle at the same time I did. Then he came over and started to berate me for breaching a traffic law. I was taken back and surprised he had driven out of his way to scold me.
He wasn’t wrong. I committed a traffic violation but his method of exposing my crime didn’t endear me to make changes, rather I was inflamed with anger and I reacted in a similar manner to his delivery.
Last week I posted about the better way to give someone a prophetic word. (You can read the post here). Prophecy should encourage, strengthen and comfort but what happens when the Lord reveals something less than lovely about another person or situation. What should you do?
John Paul Jackson teaches 90% of prophetic knowledge is meant for intercession. That means we should pray about it. Too often, though, prayer seems like a dissatisfactory and passive solution. We want to take matters into our own hands and correct the sinner among us. But the reality is the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16). When we pray into situations the Lord reveals by prophetic knowledge, we are partnering with Him to bring about the necessary change. The angels are moved into action by the word of the Lord (Psalm 103:20) and when we pray with the knowledge given by Him, it releases angels to move into action to redeem the person and/or situation.
Okay, but what about the 10% when we should say something? Unlike the man in the van who scolded me for my driving, the best way for words of correction to be received is to have favour with the person you are going to speak to. I have a dear friend who has given me an invitation into her life and I speak candidly with her. Sometimes the words are strong but because she knows I love her and value her and want her to move into the will of God in all areas of her life so she allows me access and listens to me.
Likewise, I have some friends (including my Man) who I allow to bring unpleasant things to my attention. In fact, I invite it. I consider their Godly wisdom as coming straight from the Lord and I give weight to their words. Most people outside of my inner circle don’t have as much favour with me and I’ll likely not receive their words as readily.
Graham Cooke makes a relevant comment regarding this topic, he says:
Speaking the truth in love is not telling someone’s shortcomings in the nicest possible way because that’s not truth. It’s only true. The truth is, they are dead in Christ and all that stuff is done away. The truth is, this is who you are in Jesus. So when we’re speaking the truth in love, we’re not putting someone down nicely, we’re elevating them brilliantly.
The next time you hear something from the Lord about another person or organization, ask yourself, “Does the Lord want me to share this information or should I pray and release the angels to do their work?”