If you are reading this blog, chances are you are interested in the Lord speaking to you prophetically. There are too many benefits to being open to the Lord speaking to list. My number one reason is that my heart overflows with God’s love when He speaks. They are those moments I know that God knows me, cares about me and is walking with me. I know that as a reality from scripture, but when He speaks to me, I experience that.
And nothing is as powerful as experiential knowledge.
But sometimes there is a disconnect between prophetic revelation and obedience to it. Obedience can be a bad word in some people’s vocabulary these days. It can conjure images of legalism, but nothing could be further from the truth. Obedience isn’t the same as legalism, it is actually the opposite.
Legalism is the action of replacing a relationship with God with adherence to activities we think will earn us favor with God. Nothing besides the blood of Jesus will earn us that favor, so there are no activities we can perform that will gain us favor. So, if we are trying to earn God’s favor through activity, it is the opposite of obedience because we have already been disobedient to the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” (Matthew 22:37).
Legalism or Obedience
Obedience begins with a right relationship with God, and that only comes through our surrender to Jesus as substitutionary atonement. Nothing we do can save us but Jesus’ blood. Obedience to Jesus requires relationship to Him, and that cannot be gained through legalism. Legalism and obedience are complete opposites.
Jesus said it like this:
“If you love me, obey my commandments.”
Jesus makes it very clear—obedience is not legalism, it is actually love. So, for some of you, obedience needs to be reframed into a proper understanding. And once we do that, it opens up a whole new world of activity in our lives in God.
Obedience, then, is not an aspect of our response to God, but an overflowing virtue of His life within us. If you have struggled to obey God by earning His favor, you know very well how it will wear you out. It will destroy you.
But if Christ is living within you, He is a wellspring of life, overflowing from your heart. Obedience, then, is more of a “yes” response to the activity the Holy Spirit is already performing inside you.
I take time to define this because many people erroneously believe that if the Lord speaks to us prophetically, it never requires any obedience. They believe this because of this misunderstanding of legalism. But having a mind to not obey prophetic words in our lives is one of the easiest ways to shut off the spigot of prophetic revelation. If we resist any subjective input God is willing to give us in our lives, why would He bother to give more?
Asking God To Speak
Having a heart set on obedience to God’s Written Word and His subjective prophetic word is critical to our growing relationship with God. Think of how many Sunday School stories are about men in scripture who chose to disobey the subjective leadership God was giving them. It never went well.
So it is for us. We cannot ask God to speak and then choose not to obey. We cannot choose what God will say or what He will speak about, but we can choose what our response will be.
And it should always be a “yes” deep within our spirit.
The work of walking out that prophetic obedience will always come from the Spirit, our hearts must only be set to obey.
As you seek God to speak more to you, set your heart to obey. When you ask God to speak, consider praying for:
- Grace to accept the words He speaks
- Patience to seek understanding of the things that aren’t clear
- Wisdom to always trust God in His direction
- Discernment to know what is and isn’t the voice of God