The Ugly Side of Prophecy


One time I received a prophecy that didn’t resonate with me. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.” While I believe in God’s word and true prophets speaking to God’s people at the same time, I also believe that prophecies should be tested and you should test whether there is truth in it. If it has qualities that “are true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable, then think on these things” (My paraphrase, Philippians 4:8. NLT).

Prophecy is to build up the church. While I believe prophets that give you words that aren’t from God they don’t always do it maliciously. As a person myself who tries to hear prophetically, everything I hear isn’t always from the Lord. It can be your own wisdom or sometimes, I believe, from the evil one himself. That is why you should test the spirits (1 John 4:1. ESV).

I have been hurt by the spirit of prophecy by the church as well as comforted. I have received concrete direction that was hard to hear but spoke to situations in my life. One time when I was told to spend more time with Papa God. I was shocked because I thought I was spending a lot of time with Him. But at the same, honored that He wanted to spend more time with me. I mattered that much to Him. And I must have been distracted at that time, looking back that I didn’t spend more time with God. This prophetic word allowed me to really shape a more real and deeper relationship with God.

But one time I received a prophetic word that struck my heart like an arrow. It felt like they twisted Scripture for their own advantage and it felt like it came from a judgmental place. It came from 1 Samuel 15:22 and it reads, “Obedience is better than sacrifice” (NLT). The pastors who gave me this word said it applies to obeying God prophetically. For instance, if God told me to go talk to this person and I didn’t, I wouldn’t be obeying God. Prophecy is a muscle that you develop. You live and learn if you are hearing from God or not. I don’t believe I am being disobedient if I think I am not hearing from God and decide not to talk to that person. Life is complex. I can’t be squeezed into a prophetic exercise.

Also prophecy is such a personal thing. It’s not an order or ritual. I should participate in it with a joyful heart unto God. I have always done that and now if I do what this prophecy words and “obey” all the time; it wouldn’t be smart and I would be like a Pharisee, under the law and not under grace.

I believe God works hand in hand with my growing ability to discern if I hear from Him or not. And He showed off His patience like He never had before. This experience with these misguided pastors taught me God has an elastic tolerance and unconditional love for me. And He is proud of me and appreciative of me faithfully serving Him for almost 25 years! 🙂

I hear the Lord whisper to me (and this can apply to you as well), “It’s not like 3 strikes and you are out. I am more patient than people give more credit for. I am love. While there are things I do not tolerant, I respect people’s free will. Sweet Carly, I am with you and I am not judging you for thinking for yourself.”

This confirmation brings a lot of warmth to me as I continue to write. Also I remind myself that “Obedience is better than sacrifice” is from the Old Testament. We still follow many things from the Old Testament like the Ten Commandments. But do we still do animal sacrifices (which was the Bible verse background my prophetic word) and have to be circumcised? We aren’t being disobedient if we don’t do animal sacrifices and have to be circumcised in order to follow God’s law now. This was pre-Jesus. We still shouldn’t have any gods before us and not covet another’s possessions but seriously, would we have put the blood of animals on our doors? They will not be consequences if we don’t do these things. So in a nutshell, when you hear things from the Old Testament, we should use discernment and the context clues to see how it applies to you today. Not everything will be applicable in the Old Testament for you today. So, “Obedience doesn’t replace sacrifice,” seems to be Old-Testament-not-under-grace-thinking, in my honest opinion. While there may be nuggets of wisdom one can receive from this Scripture the way it was presented to me by the pastors in reference to prophecy didn’t resonate with me. I my school of philosophy is if it doesn’t stick, let it go. 🙂



~ Carly (My Ink Smears) ~

© Carly Wiggins 2018

5 thoughts on “The Ugly Side of Prophecy

  1. It seems always good to check with the bible and check with Jesus if the prophecy you hear is true or not. It is after all coming through a human being.
    I struggle whether I should tell people stuff all the time. 2 things I think about are is it a loving remark and in the end if I fail to do as God asks He finds another way. His word does not get stopped. So it is a relief and a challenge. He lets me participate as often and as much as I am interested in having fulfillment in Him.

    I feel bad when people hurt each other but we are not in heaven yet. Often the hurt comes from the one receiving what is said in the wrong way. For example, my wife only means the best for me but I often misconstrue that she is simply nagging me. If only I could see people as God does. How precious and beautiful they all are.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, Scott. Yes, it is hard to be on the receiving or giving end of a prophetic word because of the frailty of human interpretation and willingness.

      But this word hasn’t been confirmed by other prophet and others have told me just it let it go if it still not resonating with me. While I believe we can misinterpret people’s intentions I never got a warm vibe from the prophet themselves, like the warmth you probably get from your wife. Not that warm feelings is deciding factor in accepting a prophetic word or not. There were just other factors in writing this post.

      But all this to say, in the end, I must give this up to God. He is my Shalom Peace. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting, Scott. 🙂


    2. Prophecy is a sensitive topic, Scott. But did you have a chance to read my response to your comment? And I just want you to know that I appreciate you sharing your honest thoughts with me. Thank you, Scott. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is true we have to test the spirits, as it says in 1 John 4:1, and also that for those delivering a prophecy to be very sure it is from God and not from your own thoughts or from the evil one. I was given a prophecy, basically saying I had the prophetic gift, and at the time I was able to interpret some dreams for people, but after doing much study on the subject in the Bible and books that had been written about the gift of prophecy, I still never felt sure if what I was saying was from God or from myself. Then this verse from Ezekiel 14:9 really put me off: “And if a prophet is deceived into giving a message, it is because I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet. I will lift my fist against such prophets and cut them off from the community of Israel.” That was scary stuff to me—how would I know if what I was saying was from God, from myself, from the devil, or because God had deceived me into giving a message!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never thought about that Scripture verse in reference to what I posted but yes, it does seem to be in alignment to what I said. 🙂 God definitely will reproach a prophet who gives a deceiving word. And I am not even necessarily talking about a false prophet. While I believe they exist, I still believe we need to be careful when we use those words. Prophecy is definitely a sensitive topic. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, Mia. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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