Discern Before You Declare
“And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.””
Revelation 10:4 ESV
Several years ago I visited the island of Patmos and saw the cave believed to be where John resided after he was sentenced for his proclamation of Jesus Christ. He would have likely been in his nineties when he served time on this Alcatraz-type island.
While there, John wrote letters to the seven primary churches of that region, in what is modern day Turkey. John was their spiritual overseer, a father in the faith. Of course, Patmos is best known as the place where John received detailed prophetic revelations from and about Jesus Christ. We know those insights as the last book of the Bible – The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Through detailed visions given to John, Jesus revealed the past (things which were), the present (things which are), and the future (things which will be). Most of what John experienced was written down and shared with other believers through his letters. However, there some things Jesus showed John, but then forbade him to share with others.
It makes you wonder, “Why would Jesus show John things he was not permitted to share?”
I believe this happens quite often with God. He typically reveals things to us with the intention that we share those things with others. But there are also times when He leads us to NOT share those things. I can think of a few reasons why that may be the case:
- Sometimes revelation is given for the purpose of intercession. God will show us things in order to invite us to pray for situations and people.
- Sometimes revelation is given to test our obedience and trustworthiness. Can God trust me with information and insight about others?
- Sometimes it is a matter of timing. God may reveal something to me now, but have me wait until the appropriate time to share it with others.
- Sometimes God has me keep silent because I have only been given partial knowledge, and I need to gain further insight before sharing something that is only partial-truth.
Prophecy must be discerned before it is declared.
I must exercise discipline to hold my tongue, even when I believe I have been given insight from God. Not every thought has to be vocalized. And patience is always part of the process.
Father- please reveal Yourself to me more each day. And please help me to be trustworthy with your revelations.