Blankets With Holes

Have you ever witnessed or been a party to this scenario? You’re in a church service or at a conference and the speaker is giving a word of prophecy that goes something like this: “I decree and declare that this is your season to be blessed! Whatever you’re going through right now, the Lord told me to tell you that it is over! Your time of suffering is over! Your time of being the tail and not the head is over! Now, turn to your neighbor and tell them; ‘My time of suffering is over! My day of victory is here!”

Well, this sounds well and good, but there are some fundamental problems with ‘blanket’ declarations or prophecies such as the one I just described. First of all, when a speaker is speaking to a congregation of people, any and all broad declarations made similar to the ones I just described are always based on an assumption! The speaker assumes the people he or she is speaking to are in a position to receive what they say God is giving them! But more often than not, that is not the case! Let me show you what I’m talking about! It doesn’t matter what the prophecy may be, if a person is not in right-relationship or fellowship with God, they are not in a position to receive the blessing! For instance, if a person is living in known and open unrepentant sin; they are not eligible to receive the blessing! How can God bless mess? This is the main problem I have when people make blanket declarations; it gives a sense of false hope because usually the speaker does not express the conditions of the blessing!

Conditions of the blessing? Yes! Most blessings, particularly the ones that most people crave and the ones many ‘prophet-profits’ espouse, have conditions attached! I heard a choir singing about the fact that we are blessed in the city and we are blessed in the field! However, the biblical passage from which that song is derived says: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.” (Deuteronomy. 28:1-3 KJV) Do you see the condition? The passage does indeed say that Israel would be ‘blessed in the city and blessed in the field,’ but only ‘if’ they were careful to diligently hear and obey all of the commandments! Most of the promises of God contain an ‘if-then’ condition: If we obey, then God will bless! If we are in right-relationship or right-fellowship, then God will do this or do that! Even salvation is an ‘if-then’ condition! Romans 10:9 says: That ‘if’ thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, (then) thou shalt be saved.” (KJV) People say that God is a ‘forgiving God,’ but even God’s forgiveness is conditional! In order for God to forgive us, we must repent (turn from, forsake, change our mind) from the wrong offense! If we don’t do that, God will not forgive! Jesus also said in Matthew 6:14-15: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”(KJV) So, if we want forgiveness, then we must be forgiving!

Therefore, I would like to suggest that many of the ‘blanket prophecies’ that are being declared are blankets with holes! The prophecy may or may not cover you! Here’re another insight to consider: Let’s just supposed the prophecy is that the Lord is going to immediately bring you out of a certain bad situation. But, it could be that you’re in that situation because of some foolish decisions you made and the Lord may choose not to immediately deliver you from your ‘mess’ because He wants you to have time to learn the message (lesson). So you hear the prophecy and you think your day of deliverance is near, when in fact, it might be awhile!

There are countless factors you should consider before you accept a blanket declaration as being from the Lord. Although it might be a blanket-declaration, it might not cover you because of the ‘holes’ in your life! It might not be for everybody, just some! Therefore, be leery of prophets, profits, and others, who are quick to utter blanket decrees and declarations, because more often than not, those decrees and declarations are blankets with holes!

Spiritual Checks and Balances

checks and balancesOur government has a system of checks and balances designed to keep the Legislative: Congress, Executive: President, or Judicial: Supreme Court branch from exercising undue power over one another or over the people. The system was designed as a fail-safe to keep any one branch from gaining or exercising too much power! Well, did you know that there is a system of checks and balances in the Kingdom of God?

When we first moved to the Atlanta area, I didn’t know if it was the location or the time, but it seemed as if everybody and their momma had a “word” from the Lord for me! I mean, I’m not perfect, but the Lord and I are on speaking terms: We talk everyday! So I couldn’t understand why he would tell somebody to tell me something and yet not mention it to me in our daily conversations! Well, I came to the conclusion that it was not so much that these people had a “word” for me as it was their attempt to impress me with their super-pseudo-spirituality! But, just in case you encounter some of these people, you need to know that there are some principles (a system of checks and balances) that govern a “word” from the Lord.

First of all, as a rule of thumb, the Lord will usually never tell anybody (not even the preacher!) to tell you anything that he hasn’t already told you! In other words, he usually doesn’t give other people a “new” word for you; he usually uses other people to confirm the word he has already spoken to you! He doesn’t use them for a “fresh” word, he uses them to say “Amen” to the word he has already spoken and revealed to you! (You need to make sure you have “ears to hear” as the Lord speaks! We talk to God through prayer; God talks to us, primarily through his written word! But, if you don’t read, study and meditate on the written word, you leave yourself open to deception because God has spoken, but you didn’t hear and you weren’t listening!)

Secondly, not only whenever someone claims to have a word from the Lord, will their word confirm what God has already told you, but their spoken word will also agree with God’s written word! I have heard of people today who are claiming that they are so spiritual that they have a revelation that is so fresh (a “rhema word”) that it is not even in the Bible! Well, they are more spiritual than Jesus or any of the prophets! For Jesus only spoke what the Father told him (See John 12:49) and what the Father told him was really not anything new, but rather the Father used Jesus to confirm the word he had spoken to the Prophets of the Old Testament! So whatever anyone tells you, if it is really from God, it will confirm what God has already told you and it will agree with the written word; the Bible!

And then thirdly, it will settle and resonate in your spirit! You will not have to wonder; you will know it is from God because the Holy Spirit will confirm it within your spirit! Whenever you hear a sermon and it seems like the preacher is talking to nobody but you; that’s the Holy Spirit confirming that word in your spirit! When something is said in the sermon and you think that surely your wife, your husband or somebody must have had a private conversation with the Pastor about you; that’s the Holy Spirit confirming the word in your spirit! So don’t get mad at the preacher or look cross-eyed at your spouse or the people around you! Just thank God that his word is a Living Word!

All three of these principles will come into play: confirmation of an already given word, agreement with the written word, and a spirit/Spirit agreement, whenever someone says they have a word from the Lord for you! Don’t be fooled by pseudo-prophets looking for a profit! Don’t be impressed by people trying to impress you with their super spirituality! If it is really from God, it will pass all three tests! Thank God for this system of spiritual checks and balances and remember the words of the Apostle John: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1John 4:1 KJV)