The Real Meaning of Prophecy

rose prophecy

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A few weeks ago a lady shared with me in her rose garden – a beautiful moment of gifting and dialog. As I left, she gave me a beautiful rose from her garden. What is beauty?

The message that often comes from our culture is highly distorted. From the time the young lady see the television ads or magazines, she sees those ads – perhaps a picture of a car, car tires, and model standing with them with the hidden message to both men & women: If you buy these tires, you can have the woman. Soon as a child she begins to believe it, and so does the man. That’s preposterous. Often the father or husband often speaks to a woman from the same distorted concept. Now look at this short quote that is profound in its meaning.

Prophecy declares the beauty that God sees.(1)

There are three very powerful words in this short quote. Two are visible, the third is hidden.

First, we see the very definition of prophecy. Prophecy comes when we have a burden to encourage and bless people around us. In its simplest sense, it is simply encouraging, exhorting, and comforting people by turning them into what God has for them. In the deeper sense, you are calling forth what they can’t see in themselves – their own mythic nature. Jesus called Simon to become “Peter”, or Rock. Jesus called James and John “The Sons of Thunder”.  Look what Jesus did to call out the beauty of the Samaritan Woman at the Well, a woman so riddled in guilt she couldn’t even come to the well at evening when other women came, and instead she hid in her guilt at her noon-time visit meeting Jesus. Jesus released her, speaking into her mythic nature. She ran screaming into town to tell everyone what happened. It is often hard to see in the churches today. A pastor may find it very threatening to do this, and the gifting required to do it in its deepest sense is is profound. In the eight churches I have traveled with since my teenage years, only two of those had pastors that could do this(2). Of the other churches, however, I could often find men within the church that could do it. In addition, ALL churches I have been a part off have shared inspirational prophecy with me. At the moment, I am referring to churches being bold enough to speak to the hidden gifts within me and for the lead pastor to challenge me on that.

The second word is beauty. As defined here, it is a person living fully released to God’s gifting in her or him. That’s our job as Christians – releasing people to God’s gifting in them. Salvation is that first step, Discipling is learning how to gift others to their calling in Christ. Often this means, on your part, being able to see that person as God sees them, even though they can’t see that yet. It means acting toward them as an agent in the process, even though they may throw you against the wall. It means touching that person at their deepest need ( need for validation), even though you may have to do it over and over again until they can respond.

That third word here, and this hidden word, is validation. When you begin to see that person responding to that hidden mythic calling, you should validate it. One of the best things in life is seeing a smile on a person’s face and knowing that with the help of the Holy Spirit you were the agent that put it there. Something has happened. It’s a kairos moment.

Where are you in this? Who did you speak prophecy into today? How did they respond? How did that make you feel? Step up and take the risk! For whom did you pray a prophetic prayer for today? What do you want to see in that person? Can you ask God to give them courage to step up to that? How can you help them in that?

  1. From Graham Cooke in “Approaching the Heart of Prophecy”
  2. One example of a church that preaches this: http://www.ibethel.org
  3. org). They track miracles they see in the lower left of their home page. The senior pastor, Bill Johnson, posts his sermons on YouTube and has a demanding speaking schedule as well.


Carl is a researcher, writer, speaker based in Portland, Oregon. He has authored many books and enjoys speaking to the heart of those who are wounded. And aren’t we all wounded in some way?

If you are telling your story with Facebook, your message rolls off the first page quickly and you lose 50% of your audience in about 30 minutes. With a blog, you have everything there and indexed by category. Add photos, multimedia, and more. You own your own space and you control it. Contact us for more information.

Birthing the Lost Gift of Prophecy

avalanche lily

avalanche lily

Hiking high in the Cascades, I came across an avalanche lily. It was beautiful beyond description, and I just stopped and stared at it. One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It was very close to my path. In fact, a careless step on my part could have destroyed the small beauty. The flower only grows in two of America’s states (Oregon and Washington). and is nourished by the pure, glacier fed streams on the mountain. Across the way was what was left of another lily – trampled underfoot and it’s beauty destroyed.

How often we see people around us that are are hurt and wounded and we see only the wound and speak a careless word into that person. You should speak love into that person, again and again. You should speak a prophetic word into that person to call forth that hidden beauty. Again and again until it emerges. You can trust God to do His thing if you love – really love – that person.

I remember years ago watching Dewitt Jones video of the dandelions. Jones is one of the leading photographers in the world. Why? He tells you his secret in the video. First you see a field of dandelions much like those horrible weeds you see in your yard. Then Jones moves to his hands and knees and shoots them from another angle. Wow! Then a third shot shows the camera low again, the sun shining into the field from behind him, and an gentle wind blowing the seeds in a kaleidoscope of color that takes your breath away.  “The secret,” says says Jones, “is how I perceived the dandelions.  The camera catches that perception.”

That is the secret of changing things in the world about you. How do your perceive the people you meet? Yourself? With each person you meet, God wants to create a covenant relationship with that person. To favor them. God wants to birth the avalanche lily or even an astonishing and beautiful dandelion in that person.  Unfortunately, so often it is the church that can’t see that and even the church often tries to destroy the myth that is there and buried  in that person. This is also true of the myth within you. Never fear, you can probably find a few people in that church that DO speak the myth to you. Remember the seed of the beautiful avalanche lily or the beautiful dandelion Jones shows  is within you. Just like the flower, you can’t choose your destiny.  That was written in you by God before you were even born (Ps. 139).

When we prophesy to another person, that often involves the speaking into the other to the mythic nature of their undiscovered destiny. For example, Joyce had been crushed by physical abuse from the father as a child. When she married, she could have forged all of that pain and anger toward men she had stored up through the years on her husband. She didn’t, but rather chose to forgive and was able to receive from her husband the love she had never experienced before from a man. The husband, in turn, constantly spoke of the beauty he had discovered in her and watched her bloom and become that “avalanche lily” he saw even as he courted her. He saw and spoke his vision for her into her constantly, a vision others did not see. Until she became that vision.

Jesus (to blind Bartimaeus): What do you want me to do for you?
Bartimaneus: Lord, that I may receive my sight.
Luke 18:40-43

Journal Dialog:

  1. Who speaks into your own mythic nature, engaging you to the God-given identity to which you are called? (The prophetic speaking into you.)
  2. Who do you speak into, calling them to the God-given identity that is even beyond their own vision and possibility? (Your gifting of prophecy into that person.)


Carl is a researcher, writer, speaker based in Portland, Oregon.

If you are telling your story with Facebook, your message rolls off the first page quickly and you lose 50% of your audience in about 30 minutes. With a blog, you have everything there and indexed by category. Add photos, multimedia, and more. You own your own space and you control it. Contact us for more information.