Although the Holy Spirit speaks expressly, we see through a glass darkly. Sure, it’s easy enough to understand the words of that still, small voice in your spirit. But impressions, dreams and visions aren’t always as clear as we’d like them to be—and reasoning blocks discernment.
I remember a time when a friend of mine was planning a trip to Los Angeles. She told me she was nervous about going, but I reasoned that it was a natural case of “the nerves” because she had an important meeting there. The week before she left, I started to get impressions that something bad was going to happen to her in Los Angeles. But it was like seeing through a glass darkly.
At first, I thought it was just fear. I was going through a major trial at the time and had so much coming at me from so many different directions that sorting through it all was more than a little challenging. Nevertheless, I pled the blood of Jesus and claimed the promises in Psalm 91 over my friend every day. The impressions—what I reasoned were imaginations—didn’t stop. Yet I never had a clear word of the Lord “come unto me saying.”
For example, thoughts crossed my mind of a bad car accident. Thoughts crossed my mind of what I would do if she were killed in a car accident. I cast down those imaginations and every high and lofty thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God and instead proclaimed the knowledge of God over her: continually pleading the blood of Jesus, rebuking every assignment of the enemy and claiming Bible of protection over her life. I did this every day for the week before she left.
I never told my friend about this because, honestly, I was seeing through a glass darkly. I reasoned that it was just a spirit of fear coming against my mind in the midst of a trial. Reasoning blocks discernment. What I didn’t know is that my friend was having dreams about a bad accident on her trip. She reasoned that it was just a spirit of fear coming against her mind. She never shared it with me. Reasoning blocks discernment.
If my friend had told me about the bad feelings and the dreams she was having—or if I had told her about impressions I was sensing—we could have united against it in prayer. On my own, I put 1,000 to flight. But as it turned out, we needed to put 10,000 to flight. My friend was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 8:30 a.m. while sitting in the back of a taxicab. The seatbelts were broken. All she could do was brace for impact.
At about 8:35 a.m. I received a text message from her phone with three characters: “911.” When I called back, another voice on the line told me the terrible news and informed me she had a broken nose, fractured cheeks and was being examined for other injuries. Condemnation flooded my soul. I felt horrible about what had happened. I felt somewhat responsible. But the Comforter quickly arrived on the scene to remind me that I had prayed over her every day and that prayer played a role in saving her life. I didn't know she was having the same impressions.
Although the Holy Spirit speaks expressly, we see through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:12)—and hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, it’s clear that the Holy Spirit was warning my friend that the devil had plotted an assignment against her in Hollywood. She reasoned herself out of Spirit-led wisdom and went on the journey anyway. It’s also clear that the Holy Spirit was warning me about the impending danger. I reasoned myself out of Spirit-led wisdom and decided not to tell my “nervous” friend because I didn’t want to make her more nervous.
Did the warnings give my friend the presence of mind she needed to see the truck coming before it hit the taxi, crouch down between the seats, and brace herself for the impact? Did my prayers allow God to prevent more suffering and loss, and maybe even save her life? Should my friend have declined to go on the trip in the face of her dreams? If we had discussed it, would there have been a confirmation that would have unlocked more revelation?
I think the answer to all of those questions is yes. Despite our reasoning and failure to communicate with one another about the warnings, the Holy Spirit got through enough to cause us both to take actions that minimized the damage.
So what’s the lesson from all this? If you aren’t sure something is the Holy Ghost, ask Him. When the Holy Ghost shows us something, press in to seek more details. When the Holy Spirit gives you an impression, ask Him if you are supposed to share it with someone else or just pray. And always pray. The same God who is giving you the prophetic warning will tell you what to do next if you ask Him. He will lead you and guide you into all truth because He is the Spirit of Truth. Pray always and when you catch your mind trying to reason out a prophetic revelation, let your spirit man rise up and take control. And always remember, reasoning blocks discernment.
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