We don’t know how we could ever be like that! It may be helpful to know that even mature prophets receive prophetic words the same way that we can—and it starts with receiving a simple revelation from God.
1. We receive a revelation from the Holy Spirit
2. We assess the revelation and how to best communicate it in a prophetic message
3. We then deliver the prophecy to the person or group God is speaking to
4. The recipient(s) of the prophecy assess the message
5. The recipient(s) of the prophecy may or may not pray or take further action in response to the word.
Prophecy begins with receiving a revelation from the Holy Spirit.
The word ‘revelation’ in the New Testament Greek, apokalupsis, means ‘an uncovering,’ or disclosure. The Holy Spirit is showing us something that we could not know by natural means. He is revealing something supernaturally about the person, group or situation that we are praying about or ministering to.
A revelation can be a word of knowledge about something past or present, an encouraging outcome from a present circumstance, or illuminating God’s plans concerning the future. [A revelation may also contain a warning or a condition—however when you are first learning to prophesy, these are best submitted to leadership for oversight before delivery].
A revelation from God does not come externally; if you have been baptised in the Holy Spirit, He resides within you. As Jesus said,
‘“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit’ (John 7:38-39).
You receive a revelation from the Holy Spirit in your spirit, which is then imparted to your mind or through your physical senses.
Here are some ways in which a revelation can come to you:
- You are reminded of a Bible verse or story—or one is highlighted to you when you are reading the Bible*
- You ‘see’ a picture in your mind’s eye
- An idea or impression comes to mind
- You feel something emotionally or physically
- A word comes to mind or you ‘see’ a written word in your imagination
Other ways God can speak through revelation are:
- Waking visions (like a movie in your imagination)
- Something that you see physically is symbolic (for example, you are driving along and a sign impacts you. You realise that God is speaking through it, or you see a person who reminds you of someone else)
- He may also speak through another person
*Note that scripture is not only one of the primary ways that we receive revelation from the Holy Spirit, it is also the means of weighing up whether God is speaking to us and what He is saying. We will cover this in the next post.
There are many different ways that God can bring revelation to you when you are open to receiving it. Like a fingerprint, God’s way of speaking to and through you will be unique to you. In the Bible, we see that every prophet had his or her own flavour and style.
As you begin the journey of seeking for revelation from God, remember that he is your Heavenly Father; He wants to give good gifts to you and He wants to bless others through you too. Jesus said,
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)
Receiving revelatory knowledge from the Holy Spirit is a first step in operating in the spiritual gift of prophecy. It can also be an important lead in to operating in other supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit such as discernment, word of knowledge, healing, deliverance and miracles.
Remember that receiving revelatory knowledge is a ministry tool and a helpful means of learning to hear from God for others and us; it should never become a quest in itself. Rather, we should hunger and thirst for God and make the Bible our primary source of instruction and wisdom.
In my next blog post, I will be looking at ‘How Can We Tell a Revelation is From God?’ From there, we will move on to how to interpret a revelation, and then explore some ways to deliver the prophetic message God has given to you.
If you have any more ideas of different ways of receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit, or an experience you would like to share, I would love to hear from you—leave a note in the comments below.
© Helen Calder Enliven Publishing
Now on team with David McCracken Ministries