Do not be misguided by your own prophecies

Marko Joensuu         No comments
A few days ago when I was tidying up a storage cupboard in our house I came across a folder that contained nearly 20 pages of prophecies I had given out in 1999, and then archived. My immediate thought was: “That’s such a bunch of unfulfilled prophecies.”

Instantly, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me.

“I want you to read them.”

So, I have been reading them for the last few days and I have come to realise that I had been misled by the false memory of my own prophecies, and that most of the content of these prophecies in fact refers to events yet to take place. And in fact, reading them now, it seems clear that they have also been remarkably accurate. Unfortunately, my memory of them hasn’t been an accurate representation of them but based on my first and misguided interpretation many years ago!

This happens a lot to us, and it is one of the major reasons Christians lose faith in God’s direction for their lives.

In the Bible, this happened to Joseph. When he saw the two dreams about him becoming the leader, he went boasting about them to his brothers—and ended up being sold to slavery.
Naturally, he thought that he would be the leader of Israel when he in fact was called to be the leader of Egypt. And perhaps, for many years in slavery, he thought that the dreams he had seen had not originated from God after all.

Nevertheless, he decided to honour the Lord with his life. But it was only when his brothers came to Egypt because of the famine that these dreams were fulfilled, and Joseph could fully understand them.

"Then he said: 'I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.'" (Genesis 45:4-8)

Sometimes, we will truly understand our prophecies only when they come to pass. But in Joseph’s case, the main purpose of the dreams wasn’t to tell him what would happen but why—he would be promoted to rule Egypt for the sake of his brothers.

Unfortunately, we are often misled by our own prophecies, or more precisely, by our first and misguided interpretation of them. Like Joseph, we seek to apply to Israel what can only be applied to Egypt.

Unfortunately, that first interpretation becomes etched into our memory, and will direct our thinking and action—even when that first interpretation is misguided.

It is only natural to seek to apply a prophetic word or vision in the context of your present-day circumstance. But that often creates problems for later, as rather than remembering the prophecy precisely we access it through the framework of our first, often misguided intepretation.

The first misguided interpretation of a prophecy that is also often misapplied creates a false memory that will often disappoint us and reduce our trust in God in the long run.

Hence we need to prune prune our prophecies periodically of their interpretations, and go back to what God has actually said.

Rereading the prophecies I received around 15-16 years ago, it is now clear to me that what looked like simple prophecies applicable to yesterday were in fact multilayered prophecies mostly applicable to tomorrow, and that although I gave them to other people, much of it is in fact applicable to myself!

The apostle Paul says something that is very applicable to the interpretation of prophecy.

"These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:13-16)

In most cases, when we receive a prophecy, we tend to interpret it with our natural mind. Hence we tend to apply it to our present-day circumstances. And once we think we understand the prophecy, we tend to forget it and only remember our interpretation.

To interpret prophecies with our “spiritual mind”—with the Holy Spirit—we need to train ourselves to delay any interpretation until we know that we are interpreting the prophecy the way the Holy Spirit wants to.

In Joseph’s case, God probably didn’t give him the full interpretation of his dreams until he saw his brothers again. But as Joseph walked with God, he remained sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Often the Lord protects His work by not giving you full interpretation immediately. That way, the devil is kept guessing, as he’s unsure of what God purpose really is.

The devil was fooled to get Jesus crucified because he couldn’t understand the full meaning of the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus! He was kept guessing, much like he was kept guessing in the case of Joseph, as he lured his brothers to sell him to slavery.

And the rejection of Jesus by Isreal was partially caused by the tradition of misinterpreting the messianic prophecies that had emerged through centuries.

But when it comes to Jesus and Joseph, we can see how God often uses even the devil to bring fulfilment to a prophetic word. But that is nearly always based on the devil not really understanding fully what is going on. But that means that neither can you know fully what is going on. But that doesn’t really matter, as our trust is in the faithfullness of God, even when we don’t understand every prophetic word given to us.

I am now rereading prophecies that I gave sixteen years ago, and beginning to understand their full meaning. Likewise, it is wise for you to periodically revisit any prophecies given to you. Otherwise, you might be misled by the memory and false interpretation of your own past prophecies.

If you want to learn more about how to interpret prophecies, read my book Five Movements: Winning the Battle for Your Prophetic Gift.
Published by Marko Joensuu

Marko Joensuu has worked for over sixteen years in the publishing and media ministries of Kensington Temple. He is an author, publisher and screenwriter.
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