To discern means to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate. Example: “He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.”
We need to pay attention and learn to discern the difference between an encouraging word and a prophetic word. In our effort to be encouraging to one another, we will often give encouraging words, which are wonderful, but they are often NOT prophetic words and they mislead people into thinking God has said them.
Prophetic words are specific words The LORD has specifically told someone to share – they are authored by GOD, not a person. Having a conversation with the Lord and relaying what you feel He has said can be accurate or inaccurate unless God has specifically and clearly spoken. If those are the types of words we’re getting….the kind from “feeling like God said”…then simply relay it that way so it leaves room for the Holy Spirit to correct us if we’re wrong. We need more Fear of the Lord when it comes to the prophetic and we need to be very careful not to attribute to God that which comes from our own heart ~ I know I personally have been guilty of that! Our right motive doesn’t justify the mistake.
I seriously doubt God is saying as much as people are saying He’s saying! LOL (Say that fast 10 times!) What some are advertising as a prophetic word (and usually one that is incredibly general by nature…like, “You will have a great day today,”) are not much different than getting a fortune cookie at your local Chinese restaurant. Of course many who read that will have a great day…and others won’t…so was it a prophetic word or a word of encouragement, or even a lie with a good motive?
Let’s get in the habit of just saying we want to encourage someone…and lets encourage them mostly with Scripture, not our own ideas of what we THINK God would say. HIS WORD is SURELY accurate and will not return without accomplishing that which it was destined to. [Isaiah 55:11 – So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.]