A word from God is unlike any other. It trumps everything else.
God’s word to us at a particular time and for a particular situation is usually referred to as a “prophetic” or “rhema” word.
It represents God’s take on our situation and therefore the true reality of our state, not the apparent or external one, one that is only visible to the natural eye. God’s take (the prophetic word) is comprehensive in its nature and scope – it encompasses everything – past, present, future, natural and spiritual. The specific words of Christ to the seven churches in Revelations chapters 2 and 3 at that particular time and moment represents the prophetic word to each one of them.
Whatever these churches may have thought about themselves and however they viewed themselves, what ultimately mattered and was worth its weight in gold was what God had to say about them. His was the final word in their circumstances. What He said stood no matter what. Hence Christ’s common warning to every one of them was to heed what the Spirit was saying to the churches. It was of utmost importance to give ear to, to heed God’s specific word to each one of them, which was unique and particular to their circumstances.
It is such an amazing honour and privilege to hear God’s voice for our particular situation and circumstance in life, something so precious and wonderful to have for which we ought to continually be grateful. We also ought to know and understand how to respond to and deal with the prophetic word.
Scripture abounds with examples of how people dealt with and responded to the prophetic word – both correctly, and sadly, incorrectly too. A right response starts with exercising faith and trust in what God has declared about our situation. Abraham, the Father of faith, sets the standard in his right response to God’s promise to him with which God was hugely pleased. Such was the extent of God’s pleasure in Abraham’s response to His word into His life and situation at the time that “…it was accounted to Him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3). But not only did Abraham initially respond in faith to God’s promise but scripture again informs us that, “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,” (Romans 4:20). He continued in faith, firmly holding to the God’s promise in good times and bad just as we too are instructed by Peter to do so paying close attention to God’s counsel to us.
2 Peter 1:19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
Don’t allow anything to eclipse or cause the light of God’s word to fade in your heart – be it His general or prophetic/direct word to you; preserve and protect it; hold on to and cherish it like you would to a lamp in a dark place – it is God’s promise to you and it is His responsibility to bring it to pass. Yours is to stand firm in faith and patience.
Hebrews 6:11 – 12 (NIV)
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.