What do you do with your prophetic words?

Many times in the past when I receive prophetic words, I rejoice, file them away and wait for its manifestation. Intermittently my mind wanders back to the words and I pray and remind God of them. However, reading about God’s prophetic word to Abraham and Abraham’s response gave me another perspective on how to respond to prophetic words.

In Genesis 15, God took the initiative and spoke to Abraham, giving him a promise about his future. He didn’t just say thank you for the word, but explores this a bit more with God. Abraham proceeds to ask God two questions as he wanted more clarification on what God was saying. God does not rebuke Abraham for asking questions, in fact quite the opposite. Look at God’s response to Abraham’s questions.

For the first question, Abraham was saying ‘how can I be sure that the Lord will deliver the promises He has made to me? Suddenly, it all comes out in a rush. In responding to the word, Abraham reveals the real root of his ongoing fears and doubts (Vs 2). We encounter Abraham’s vulnerability but God overlooks all of this.

Abraham is saying ‘How can you be my reward when you are going to make me a great nation. How can you be my reward when this reward you keep on telling me about is going to come through my children’? I have no children, nor am I likely to have any.

To this question, God gives a patient and gracious dual response. God tells him that Eliezer will not be his heir. God first extended his understanding by taking him outside, then showed Abraham his power and the full extent of the prophetic words – how large the prophetic word will be.

As a result of this encounter with God, Abraham’s fears about God’s ability to bless him as He promised have been removed very simply. All the Lord needed to do was to reveal a little bit more of His plans and get a simple reminder of His power and the ‘impossible’ situation was resolved.

Abraham now asks God a second question (Genesis 15:7-8). It is as though he says ‘I now realise that you can bring your promises to pass but could I not have greater assurance that you will? How can I know? Little did Abraham imagine that the humble complaint would bring about such an extraordinary response from God.

The Lord then gives him instructions on what to do (vs 8-9) and out of this question, God made a covenant with Abraham. Wow!  Then Abraham falls into a deep sleep (Vs 12) and then the Lord spoke to him and informed him of the future. What secrets are revealed to him here! God draws aside the veil of the future and reveals to him the captivity of Israel, their eventual release from Egypt and their ultimate possession of Canaan. The covenant was God’s way of saying to Abraham, you can trust me.

What I find quite interesting, particularly with the second question is that God gives Abraham milestones. These milestones are stages in the fulfilment of the prophecy. On reflection of this, I found myself asking the question, how do I really know when God’s promise has been fulfilled?

Sometimes, our analysis could be subjective e.g. if God says someone will pastor a large church, the question is ‘what does large mean’?  Large could mean pastoring 1000, 50,000 or even a million people (depending on where you live in the world). Large, however, has to be according to God’s definition, otherwise you would be ‘falling short’ of his promises or run the risk of over- exerting yourself: you get the point.

The application of Abraham’s story is simple- when God gives a prophetic word, do we like Abraham ask questions (and keep on asking!) so that we will know when the word has been fulfilled? It is in the process of asking that God gradually unfolds more of His plans. Do your questions bring you into an encounter with God, as Abraham’s did?

So until I appear again in your inbox, stay blessed and keep on asking God about the promises He has made to you. May you, like Abraham, experience God’s unfolding plan and supernatural encounter along the way.

Stay blessed


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About the Author: Ola Aroyehun

Ola Aroyehun editor of The Christian Business and Professional Magazine: a magazine dedicated to helping Christians apply biblical principles to their professional lives.

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