God speaks to mankind in a number of ways today, just as He always has since the days of creation. Whether it's through the Bible or in a dream, vision, or a whisper, the language of the spirit is metaphors, like parables, related through faith. Therefore, we often have to interpret what He says to us. After training many people for prophetic ministry, I've found that the area of interpretation is where most believers unintentionally skew the accuracy of the word that God speaks to them.
In John 10:27, Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." I have found it to be true that every Christian hears God speak. The problem is that many haven't understood how God is speaking to them. Some know they hear God in their hearts, but they haven't become confident enough to say it outright. Of course, many have also grown to know His voice and confidently stand on it and proclaim it.
God Interprets What God Says
God will interpret what He says to you by telling it to you in another way. You've got to find a balance between asking God too much and not asking at all. Some people never actually ask God what He is saying. Others ask but never believe anything they hear. They just ask and ask until they hear what they want to hear, what they expect to hear, or what they are afraid to hear.
As I've already stated, the area that most prophetic revelation goes wrong for most believers is in the interpretation. Joseph, the famous dream interpreter, did not keep his interpretation method secret. We must do as Joseph did: rely on God to interpret what God said (Gen. 40:8). We cannot rely on our humanity to interpret what our spirit hears. The more we rely on our humanity to understand God, the more easily we may be misled.
Roots of Misinterpretation
I have found that most misinterpretation is rooted in one of four things:
- our own inner wounds,
- our personal desires,
- our personal preferences,
- or our mood.
You will notice that each of these roots of misinterpretation are in the person interpreting. Interpretations that are produced out of or affected by these things will end up skewed, distorted, or at the very least, inaccurate.
Make Adjustments & Grow
Because we have already sinned and fallen short of what God intended, and have already been affected by sin, we have imperfections and wounds that can deeply affect how we interpret what God says to us. Also, we are too often guided by what we desire, what we prefer, and how we feel. It's not even necessary that those things be misaligned. It's just that they shouldn't filter what God is saying to us. Simply put, that is not the way of life by the spirit or by faith.
The more aware we are of our own wounds, desires, preferences, and moods, the more capable we will be at not allowing them to affect the accuracy of our interpretation. In other words, we must not make things mean what we want them to mean or what we are afraid they mean -- we must ask God what they mean as we grow beyond our own boundaries.