Responding to Prophecy
A helpful checklist of proper actions to take
by Mark Virkler
It must be clarified that these points below, made by Mark Virkler, are given for the context of one getting a word of prophecy for oneself. Since most likely the case is you received the word of prophecy from someone else, first test the prophetic (see Testing a Prophetic Word) and then, and only then, proceed to this section.
- Keep a journal - There is tremendous importance in writing down, tape recording, or keeping some kind of record of prophetic words. Don't rely purely on your memory. Having a record of prophecy helps us to remember the whole word, keeps us from adding thoughts to the word, and builds our faith when we go back and read the word. We can also see how the word we receive fits in with what God has said to us in the past. There are times, however, when we do not clearly understand all that God is trying to say to us at the time the word is given. Having a record of the word helps us go back and gain fresh understanding at a later time.
- Do not Interpret the Word by the Desires of Your Flesh - Many of God's people have fallen into deception by taking a prophetic word and adding their own interpretation to it, then saying that God promised them this or that. Be very careful not to take a word and run in a direction God has not ordained.
- Embrace the Word - When we embrace or grab hold of a word, it activates faith to see the word fulfilled. Remember that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17). When we embrace a true prophetic word, it brings faith that God has a destiny for us. We must allow ourselves to embrace our prophetic word with the faith that God is well able to do what He said He would do.
- Pray it Through - Because prophecy is provisional, once we know what God wants to do in our lives, the best thing to do is to begin to pray along those lines. This will not only help to build our relationship to God and build persistence in faith, it can also teach us spiritual warfare. The enemy does not want to see God's will accomplished in our lives and will do all he can to see that we are not successful in reaching our destinies. That is why we must commit ourselves to praying through the word until we see it come to pass.
- Obey the Word - Prophecy is often provisional. That means that there is something we must do to see it come to pass. There are conditions to meet. Something that has been prophesied to us may never come to pass if we are not faithful to meet the conditions. Obedience to the prophetic word keeps us moving forward in God's timing and destiny for our lives.
- Look for the Fulfillment of the Word - Having completed steps one through five, we should look for and expect that the word will be fulfilled. God desires that His word be made flesh - that the intangible substance of a prophetic promise become a tangible reality in our lives.