The Purpose of Christian Prophecy
The type of prophecy we are talking about is when a message from God is relayed by one person to another to encourage, strengthen and give comfort. 
God can and does communicate with us in a number of ways. Other than prophecy we need to learn to hear from God ourselves—through scripture, dreams, visions, experiences, and other ways.

 The New Testament explains that prophecy is something much more diverse than foretelling the future that should be far more common than it was in the Old Testament. It can and should be that all Christians can prophesy and prophecy should not only be given to the powerful and famous. How is this possible? Through the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is supposed to reveal things God has in store for us, His heart for us and other mysteries and previously unheard of.

"Things never discovered or heard of before, things beyond our ability to imagine-these are the many things God has in store for all his lovers. But God now unveils these profound realities to us by the spirit. Yes, he has revealed to us his inmost heart and deepest mysteries through the Holy Spirit, who constantly explore all things."

 

1 Corinthians 2:9-11 The Passion Translation

Faith comes through hearing the words of Christ. Often in life there are things we are not aware of, and will not become aware of ever, without outside input.

It is therefore helpful when a person can give us this feedback or information—it is immeasurably more helpful when you hear from God, who loves you and knows all things and has the power available to help you respond to what He says.

Note that prophecy is not all about "telling what will happen in the future"—it is most often about telling God's perspective and insight on something.

What to do with prophecy.

Hearing a positive, encouraging and insight filled message is fun (and easy enough)—but hearing the word does not in itself bring a positive change to your life.
When we meditate and respond to God’s word as it is written in the Bible, we see the power of His word released in our lives. In the same way, if we value our prophetic words as the specific word of God for us, and we meditate and respond to it in faith, we will see the power of it released. 

God has decided not to just do everything to us and for us—people have the ability to choose left or right. We can neglect, reject, gloss over, forget or ignore what is told to us. God is not trying to control us.

God has set things up to work in relationship with us—as we engage ourselves in partnership with God, agreement and action, then change comes to our lives.
God has packed power and grace and breakthrough into your prophetic words, but much of His provision is released by your actions of faith in response to the words. 
The words wont necessarily contain all the details. Questions for you to seek God on and hear from him for yourself. 

How to test prophecy.

It is the prophetic team’s desire to hear/see and make an accurate interpretation of what they hear from God, but that doesn’t excuse you from having a part to play.

 

The Bible teaches that the person hearing/receiving the prophecy should consider it and evaluate it—not just apply it blindly as the truth. You are, after all, the person in authority and the decision maker for your own life! So while receiving prophecy, be aware of your spirit’s response and how the Holy Spirit is leading you. 


(If you are a Christian, then you have the Holy Spirit in you as a gift from God to guide you. The Spirit will give you insight and peace so that you can weigh up and sense which parts of the message are right-on and for now. It must always be in agreement with the Word of God as found in the Bible.)

Here are some helpful tips for testing the prophecy:

  • Does the word line up with the Word and nature of God - 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

  • Does the word strengthen you, encourage you to grow, draw you closer to God, encourage, or comfort you – 1 Cor 14:3

  • Is the person delivering the word motivated by love. There should be no motive to manipulate or use you.

  • Does it agree with other prophetic words you’ve received

  • When you share it with your friends, do they witness with it.

 

​Know that you are powerful – you decide what you should receive and what you set aside. You don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water. Just remove and mark those parts that do not pass the test.