RUTH ASKS: “Why do some prophecies sometimes take so long to be fulfilled. How can you tell if you need to rest and wait upon the Lord to fulfill the prophecy or you need to do some action to enable the prophecy be fulfilled?”
AMBASSADOR ANSWERS: Good question! We are New Testament Christians. There are no longer Old Testament prophets giving Messianic prophecies. Those kinds of prophecies were sovereign. All personal prophecies are conditional.
There is no guarantee that personal prophecies will automatically come to pass. Personal prophecies always have explicit or implied conditions. At the very least, we have to be in faith. God can’t bless unbelief.
Personal prophecies are subject to fail, because they come through imperfect, human beings. Remember, “…but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail…” The next verse says, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part…” (I Cor 13:8, 9) Do you see the point? That’s why we have to be grounded in the Word of God and led by the Holy Spirit.
It’s also important to know the person giving the prophecy. We should ask ourselves these questions: Are they qualified? Are their lives in order? Are they in right relationship with the leadership of their local church? Do they have fruit?
Even after we receive a personal prophecy, and everything lines up perfectly, we still have to fight the fight of faith. “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare.” (1 Tim1:18) When you receive a personal prophecy it is almost certain you will be facing a battle. That’s why we must hold on to the prophecies — they’ll help us get through the tough times.
New Testament personal prophecies should help our faith, not overwhelm our faith. They are really inspired exhortations: “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” (1 Cor 14:3) If you get a prophecy that staggers your faith it really hasn’t helped you, has it?
Here are three points that will help us receive the manifestations of the prophecies we deem to be genuine, New Testament prophecies:
1. Study and meditate upon the scriptures that undergird the prophecy.
2. Comply with all the conditions spelled out in the prophecy.
3. Never, ever give up! The “good fight of faith” is a fight that we win.
I hope this helps you gain clarity on the often misunderstood role of personal prophecies in the New Testament church.
In His Service,
Larry Huggins, D.D.
Your Ambassador of Christ