I've heard plenty of flaky dreams and visions in my day. In fact, not a week goes by when some friend—or absolute, complete stranger—doesn't send me an unsolicited message about a prophetic dream, vision or word they have for or about me. Honestly, it's somewhat bizarre that so many people are dreaming about me.
Anyway, some of these dreams are extremely accurate and especially helpful. Others are so far off the mark that you have to wonder what they ate before they went to bed (read: pizza dreams), yet the prophecy is relatively harmless. Still others are clearly inspired by a spirit other than the Holy Spirit.
I have to admit, there are times when I wanted to do more than break a word curse—I wanted to issue a rebuke. Up until now, though, I've held my pen and tongue except to teach prophetic protocols. You can read more in my book, The Making of a Prophet.
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That said, I've heard and read stories about people getting rebuked for sharing prophetic dreams—even 100 percent accurate prophetic dreams that are truly from the Lord. Sometimes the rebuke comes from people who have zero discernment or who are trying to hide something. But other times it's the prophetic person's own fault. That was the case with Joseph.
A Prophet With Poor Timing
When Joseph was 17 years old, he dreamed a dream and apparently told his brothers immediately. Now, they already hated him because their father Jacob favored him more than the others—Jacob even presented Joseph with a special coat of many colors. The Bible says that his brothers “hated him and could not speak peaceably to him” (Gen. 37:4).
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Joseph must have known his brothers didn't like him, so why he would share this prophetic dream is beyond me. It's possible he was operating in pride, and he was certainly unfamiliar with prophetic protocol. After all, there was no school of the prophets. Of course, he could have just been excited about the dream and wanted to share. In any case, it wasn't wisdom to prophesy this to his brothers:
“We were binding sheaves in the field. All of a sudden my sheaf rose up and stood upright, and your sheaves stood around it and bowed down to my sheaf” (Gen. 37:7). It doesn't take a prophet to figure out that this would only cause his brothers to hate him more—and it did, according to verse 8.
That didn't seem to deter young Joseph, though. He had another dream, made the same mistake of telling his brothers and this time told the prophecy to his father also: “The sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing to me” (Gen. 37:9). Jacob wasn't having it. Jacob immediately rebuked Joseph, which probably really stung, given his special bond with his father and his strained relationship with his brothers, who conspired to kill him shortly thereafter.
What's the Root?
Have you ever been rebuked for sharing a true prophetic dream? Many prophetic people have experienced criticism—from people they know and from people they don't—for sharing prophetic dreams. It stings and can make you second-guess whether you really heard from the Lord if you meditate on it too long.
Rather than embracing a spirit of rejection when people don't receive your prophetic ministry, you need to ask the Lord to show you the root issue. Again, it could be that those around you have no discernment. It could be that you missed the mark. It could be that you delivered the message in the wrong spirit. It could be that you misinterpreted the dream when you shared it.
That said, in my experience, one of the biggest reasons people reject true prophetic dreams, visions and words is due to wrong timing. Just because we receive prophetic communication from heaven doesn't mean that we need to immediately share what we saw or heard. That was perhaps Joseph's biggest mistake.
Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” If that's true for words, how much more for prophetic words? Timing of the release is almost as important as accuracy in the prophetic. A right word delivered at the wrong time can cause people to reject you—and it can kill your prophetic reputation.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, co-founder of awakeningtv.com, on the leadership team of the New Breed Revival Network and author of several books, including The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening;Mornings With the Holy Spirit, Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God; The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer onFacebook or follow her on Twitter. Jennifer's Periscope handle is @propheticbooks.