I've recently been practicing hearing God's voice more clearly lately. These last few years I've been on a healing journey, God has been mending what at one point was a very broken man.
In the New Testament prophecy is all about encouragement. It is believers hearing the imprint of God's heart for someone's future, building up their current walk with God, seeing the unseen and encouraging them to step into God's full potential.
During my journey God has used the prophetic words of friends to encourage me countless times. God has guided me back to a place where he would want me through the encouragement of others. Even writing for Christian Today Australia is the result of following through with the prophetic words of a close friend.
Over the last few years I have listened to many prophetic words and tested them with an open heart. Many were offered for short-term situations, others for things God was doing in me long term. Others were spoken realities, even though I didn't really feel it at the time.
Walking by faith
How does one live and walk by faith? By walking in God's promises and in his truths. This means we are to live as though these things are true in realityâeven if we don't feel them.
I've had so many words spoken over my new identity, over my brokenness, over my healing, over a new mantle, over being courageous and standing strong in the new destiny that God has for me. Now God is calling me to walk in these things, to live them: by faith.
This means I am to think and act as though they are true. To put it another way, how would one who is totally healed act? How would someone who is totally brave walk? How would one who is totally pure and righteous behave?
God has done the hard yards in Christ. It's now my responsibility to take God at his word and act accordinglyâas if these things were all true in reality. Because in fact they are, God's word says that all these things are true in Christ.
Faith not feelings
We might quote verses and sayings all the time; but we never seem to be able to live them out 100% (well, I don't) because we don't 'feel' them. And because we don't feel them we don't believe them to be true. And because we don't believe them to be true we don't act upon them and they never manifest in our lives.
We've got it the wrong way round! We are to act and think as children who walk in God's promises. God's promises are real and trueâregardless of how we feel!
But Tim isn't that just pretending? Pretending you're holy doesn't make you holy, especially when you're feeling like dirt, right? Pretending you're righteous doesn't make you righteous, does it?
It's only pretending if it isn't true. We can rely so heavily on our feelings or our past that we can easily ignore what God says is true about us: who he has made us in Christâour true identity.
In Christ we are made holy; in Christ we are set free from sin; in Christ we are healed. So, act as though you are holy; act as though you are set free; act as though you are already healed.
The freedom to be holy
God says, 'Be holy, for I am holy'. We hear this as 'Get is right this time, try harder to please God'. This is a totally wrong interpretation. God is actually saying, 'Be holy, be who you really are: you are set apart so stop living a false identity, that old person has already been crucified, step into the truth of who you areâyou are holy so act like it!'
This is GOOD NEWS! It's not a groveling order for us to try harderâthat's going back to the works of the law and it never works, trust me I tried for years!God wants to reveal his Son in us in an awesome way; he wants to reveal his glory in us and wants us to become all who were created to be.
Too often we hold on to whom we think we are instead of letting our true identities in him be revealedâwe have to let go of who we think we are. It's a process but I pray God would help us all to do this: to let go of ourselves, who we think we are and what we think of ourselves. I pray he would help us to let our true identities and his truths be made a reality in our lives.
Tim Everton is a youth worker and child carer from South East Melbourne. In his off-time he pursues graphic design, photography and enjoys the beach and seeking out Melbourne's next best cafe latte both in equal measure.
Tim Everton's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-everton.html