How to Live a Prophetic Life
I can tell you exactly the day when my so-called sacred faith took a screaming leap from the lofty pedestal it had been teetering on.
At the time, my husband was an ordained youth pastor who self-medicated with pornography. He was more than a little bitter, at times suicidal, and though he was an excellent provider his tendencies were to “stuff and puff.” On the verge of an emotional breakdown, he stuffed his pain and then it came out in huff-and-puff rages that were emotional terror attacks. I, myself, was more of a “shove and unplug” type—a full-blown hidden stash of junk food in every room, an emotional binge eater who used food like a cutter uses a razor blade. Shoving food into my mouth and then unplugging from reality was my answer to coping with being the obligatory pastor’s wife. I placated every emotion that made me uncomfortable, and those emotions always seeped their way out in the most destructive ways.
Ben and I were quite the pair back then, ten years ago, but it was my sincere belief that my marriage had been built on nothing more than devotion to a doctrine that hurt the most. I decided I was over all of it, any of it, whatever and everything “it” was. My 28-year-old heart, mind, and two-babies-later body was tired. Our seven-year marriage was over, according to me, as well as my belief in a God who seemed to be enjoying my torture. Spoiler alert: I’m still married to Ben and our babies are not so much babies anymore, but life back then was a nightmare.
“I’m done with you,” I screamed into my hands. Withdrawn, attempting to disconnect from the person I felt was an all-consuming vacuum, never satisfied and continually vague, I groaned again, “I’m done with you, God.”
Immediately after screaming at God, a deep mourning from within my soul came flooding to the surface. In the form of hot tears, my hands filled with emotions that I had been suppressing for years. All those moments when life terrorized my heart and I made excuses for it; all those moments handing my power over to a belief in something lifeless; all those moments trying to find intimacy in performance; all those moments—I sat there on the floor weeping and utterly exhausted. I had nothing left in me.
Then, interrupting my attempted divorce decree with God, an audible, otherworldly voice thundered from behind me, telling me to “Seek Holy Spirit.” The presence I felt standing directly behind me was large and overshadowing. I couldn’t turn to look. Frozen in the presence of something pure, I sat paralyzed in holy fear. With the words seek Holy Spirit vibrating within my bones, I was shaken. Unable to move my body, I simply sat in the presence of God. And as I sat there, encountering what I knew was truly God’s presence, a weighted air filled my room. The aroma gave off sweet impressions that something better, something more, was upon me. I dared not lift my head from my hands.
Eventually, I felt a lightness return to the air, beckoning me to stand to my feet. Wobbly, yet strengthened by a holy fear of God, I stood knowing I had just encountered sheer power that could have destroyed me, yet I was still alive and filled with so much hope for my future.
There is something really important about coming undone, letting everything go with no expectations for return. It was as if I had finally crawled out from hiding and stood before God, clothed in my shame, demanding He look at me. What I didn’t understand at the time, but now see clearly as I look back on my life, was that God was not offended by my turmoil and conflict, my sin. He wasn’t the cause of my angst either. In fact, I thought I was demanding He look at me, but He had been watching me all along, calling me out into the open. Calling a shamed humanity out of hiding is a God thing.
Your prophetic nature is simply your union with God revealing itself. When perfect love casts all fear out of your life, in that moment a prophetic lifestyle is born! This is why your soul, as well as every other part of you, is in the process of transforming into the image and likeness of God! Any desire to grow in the prophetic is a desire to know God and experience being known by Him.
When God sent a messenger to my bedroom commanding that I seek Holy Spirit, the weak, whittled idol of god that I had been worshiping paled in comparison to what I had just experienced. Holy fear of God is nothing other than remembering in reverence who your daddy is! It’s the act of repentance, which means to take on God’s perspective of what is true once again.
The moment Heaven erupted in my room, bowed in holy fear I knew the god I had been screaming at was not the God I was encountering. Holy Spirit is the one who convicted my heart with the remembrance of God’s goodness, which led me to repentance—remembering that He is with me and He is good—and that was the beginning of awakening to my true identity. This was when all Heaven broke loose over my life and I began walking in what I call a prophetic lifestyle.
In the new covenant, Holy Spirit has been poured out on all of us (see Acts 2:17). Our union with God through Jesus has made knowing God, the ways of His Kingdom, and His heart toward the world as easy as remembering who God is! This is why we are all prophetic beings inside the new covenant!
Jesus said that He has restored within us a right spirit that cries Abba (Daddy God)! (See Romans 8:15.) We are children who know the perfect love of the Father! A love so perfect that it casts out all fear! A love so perfect that we, in turn, are commanded to love in the same way because in that love we share in likeness!
It’s important that I walk us through this because the prophetic gift is not from God if it’s not found within the context of the new covenant. The prophetic gift flows from the intimate relationship we have with God. For believers today, our ultimate picture of God's relationship with humanity from a Father’s heart is found in the new covenant, and looks like Jesus!
Jesus said if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father (see John 14:8-9). He is the complete picture of God, and it’s not only through the lens of Jesus that we understand the Scriptures; we should be looking to Jesus for prophetic discernment, because the prophetic is God’s perspective and voice. As Bill Johnson so famously says, “Jesus is the only perfect theology.” To look upon Jesus is to know God fully! How you understand and know God will become the filter that all prophetic experiences pass through. If you have any desire for the prophetic, then you seek to know God and experience being known by Him!