Under the old covenant, the prophetic realm was mainly about bringing correction and prophesying future events. When Jesus came onto the scene, He changed that. He was the fulfillment of the law. John writes: “We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Here the rules changed. It was no longer about judgment or the law, but about grace. Grace enables us to become true sons and daughters of the King!
Therefore, under the new covenant one of the main reasons for prophecy is to reveal God’s redemption and His love for His people. It is about identity and, of course, continues to be about hearing directionally.
Whenever we give words to others or hear His voice for ourselves, we do it from a place of rest, love, and acceptance from the Father. When we know we are loved and accepted by the Father, discerning prophetic words from God’s heart to His children suddenly becomes simple. Ben Armstrong says it this way: “Once we love others the way that God loves them, then He will entrust us the secrets of their hearts.” It is profound and humbling that God would entrust to us a few of His thoughts and secrets for His people! I honestly believe that once we settle this whole “love” issue or old covenant versus new covenant prophecy, only then can we begin to properly discern a spirit.
Currently, I am in a business deal where I need discernment. It seems that God is continually growing and stretching me. The way He spoke to me on a previous deal is completely different on how He is speaking to me in my current situation. What do I do? First of all, I quiet my heart and lean in on His heart. Then I listen. I remember a word that he spoke to my wife when we first began on the last deal about four months ago. I also listen to what other business partners are seeing or feeling. Is it bringing peace? Here are a few ways that help me when I am discerning a word for me or for someone else:
- Timing is crucial. You may have a word for someone else but that person may not be ready. Hunger is big on this one. Praying in secret and declaring God’s truth over that person may be your best option that will ultimately bring fruit.
- Is the word based off of love or fear? Can I find Scripture to validate it?
- Confirmation. When discerning big decisions, it is best (and biblical) to have at least two confirmations.
- Submission. Uh-oh, I said the word. Honestly, without proper alignment and submission to the authority in your life you will likely not properly discern. Humility attracts grace and “discernment.”
By Paul Mast