A Word for A Stylist

When I pray for people at church, I often ask the Lord how He sees the person I’m praying for, I listen, then I share what I hear the Spirit put on my heart or an image that comes to mind. But these kind of prophetic words aren’t just meant for inside the walls of the church. So I do this same exercise in listening when I interact with people throughout the day.

For instance, I’ve made it a practice to ask the Lord how He sees the person who is about to cut my hair. I go to one of those places where I have a new hairstylist just about every time. Here’s what I heard the Lord say yesterday when I got my hair cut.

Usually, my stylist is a woman. Yesterday it was a heavily-tatooed African-American man. I asked the Lord, “How do you see him?” Here’s what I heard, “He’s an artist but he grew up in an environment that didn’t appreciate art. He’s creative like me.” (When I say, “Here’s what I heard…”, I don’t mean the audible voice of God. I mean a conversational thought goes through my mind–a still, small voice–that I recognize as not my own.)

A few seconds later I mustered up the courage to start a conversation with him by saying, “So what other kinds of art do you do?” He looked shocked and said, “What makes you think I do art? How do you know I do art?” Instead of telling him the real answer just yet, I told him I assumed because of his tatoos that he was an artist. He told me he paints and draws and wishes he could do more with his art. We then had a conversation about art and artists. I said to him (based on the other part of the word from the Lord), “You probably didn’t have people around you who really appreciated art, did you?” He confirmed.

Later, when he was shampooing my hair, I heard the Lord say, “His mom is a praying woman.” When the Lord speaks to you, He often wants you to do something with it. Since I heard the first word correctly, I knew the Lord was asking me to step out and take another risk with this second word. After I mustered up the courage, I asked, “Is your mom a praying woman?” He said, “Ohhh yeah. She definitely is.” Then I said, “She’s a church lady, huh?” He opened up a little, “She very much is. But I’m not fully convinced.”

That’s when I decided to let the cat out of the bag. I told him I was a pastor and that I usually prayed for whomever cut my hair. I told him how I would ask God how he saw the person and then try to listen.

He asked, “What did He say about me?” I told him, “God said you were an artist but you didn’t grow up in an environment that appreciates art. That’s why I originally asked you about your art. God also told me your mom was a praying woman. I want you to know that God gave you that creativity. He loves that about you. You’re creative like He’s creative.”

After that we exchanged some small talk about my church and about his vacation coming up. But I hope that he has a better picture of how God sees him. God loves him and is for him. God created him uniquely and with purpose. I hope that he got a glimpse of how God sees him through the gift of prophecy. Prophetic words aren’t about “thus saith the Lord.” They are about revealing the heart of the Father to a world who needs to know how much they are loved.

Ask the Lord

..when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”

…The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them…

Joshua 9:3-6, 14-15

This story is a great example of why it is so important to hear from the Lord. The people of Gibeon knew Joshua would never make a treaty with them if he knew they were neighbors in the Promised Land. But, if Joshua thought they were from a distant country, he might make a peace treaty with them. And he did.

Their ruse worked! Joshua had to keep his word not to kill the people of Gibeon. The ruse worked because Joshua and the people of God used their physical eyes instead of their spiritual eyes to try to discern the truth about the situation. In order to have eyes to see and ears to hear, we need to check in with God and hear from Him. We need to see what He sees and hear what He hears.

As the Lord told the prophet Samuel about David:

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

We need to listen for the voice of the Lord, hear the voice of the Lord, and obey the voice of the Lord. Without the ability to hear from God for ourselves, we are blinded by what our eyes see in front of us. We must develop the discipline and practice of first inquiring of the Lord. We have to posture our lives in such a way that we are in continual listening mode to the Holy Spirit.

If you don’t feel like you know how to hear from the Lord, this sermon is one place you can start. If you want a couple books to help you become better at hearing the Lord, try this one and this one.