This is a prophetic word released on March 18, 2022, in conjunction with Steph Goleby and Deb Peacock.
“There was severe war against the Philistines all the days of Saul, and whenever Saul saw any mighty or [outstandingly] courageous man, he attached him to himself.”
1 Samuel 14:52 AMPC (emphasis added)
This word is both a warning and encouragement with a prophetic strategy for navigating toxic relationships. There are some weightier matters to share today but we do believe we have prophetic solutions as we press ahead in these interesting days.
In this season, we need to be very careful who we are attached to. Saul was gathering these pure-hearted, courageous young men and was placing them in the line of fire. God loves you far too much for you to be used and put in a position where you are in danger. We hope to give you some wisdom as you seek to navigate any kind of toxic relationship. The Father is doing a work in our relationships in this season, bringing them into kingdom alignment.
This example from scripture is speaking of leaders specifically as Saul was king of Israel. However, we are hoping to provide you with wisdom and insight for navigating relationships of any kind. Please apply as the Holy Spirit guides and directs.
Toxic Relationships – Watch Your Heart (Deb Peacock)
“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 AMPC
God is doing something ‘new’ and He has something new for us. It’s a new wineskin era (Matt.9:17). He’s getting us ready to be able to hold the ‘new’. Part of the process of being ready to receive this ‘new’ is to tend to matters of the heart.
So much is changing in our world at present. People are responding to change in their own ways and making different decisions. God is blessing people and bringing them into the ‘new’ but we are undergoing great change. Whether the change is a good thing due to new opportunities or a not so good thing because we have been hurt by others, we must recognise change means loss. Whilst transition and change are exciting and wonderful, they can also be stressful and messy.
How do we deal with change and loss well? As one person is blessed and advances, they are moving. This means your relationship with them changes. How do we respond well to that change? A toxic relationship is not really between two people who are ‘bad’. It is often two great people responding to change in unhealthy ways.
Often when we are experiencing a loss there is sadness and we can become angry as a result of that loss. In our anger, we are encouraged not to sin (Eph.4:26). As humans, we can respond to loss with anger and a tendency to want to ‘fix it’. We end up deciding for ourselves what is right or wrong. This can lead to us passing judgement on the other person who is moving away from us etc…
Satan comes with the temptation of anger and judgement at this time. Once we agree with this it is a progression into jealousy and envy as we see played out in the life of Saul. When we judge someone, we have a tendency to say the other person is ‘wrong’. In this space, we can start to question whether or not the other person’s actions are fair. This opens the door to jealousy and/or envy. We can also fall into the trap of thinking we are ‘discerning’ something in the other person. We may initially have been discerning something but if we allow our discernment to go to the level where we get to ‘decide’ and be the judge of another, we’ve moved out of discernment into judgement.
Jealousy comes from a place of insecurity. If we feel threatened by others advancing where we want to go, we’ve lost sight of what He has for us. Everyone has a place, purpose and destiny in the kingdom. Jealousy inadvertently leads to comparison. If we can’t celebrate others’ blessings, it is a signpost we have opened the door to jealousy.
Envy is a little different. It involves coveting the space/property of another not promised to us. It is distinct from jealousy in that we are envious of what others have that we don’t possess but sorely want. Envy is often coupled with passion. It is being triggered in this season because the person we are watching advance in favour and blessing get what we want. Worse still, we may have judged that they shouldn’t be getting this reward. We must be careful of feelings of ‘worry about a person’ tied up with anger and frustration. This is a warning sign we are in envy—something we may have difficulty admitting to ourselves. It’s okay. We’ve all been there.
The problem comes in seeking the Lord with a lens of jealousy, anger and judgement. We may only see what the Lord is saying in judgement and not the fullness of His blessing, mercy and favour. This is actually divination and is a dangerous place to find ourselves if we are seeking the Lord. He responds to us with grace and love. We must seek Him with the same desire for others. When we come to Him with a jealous heart, we will not receive something pure. If we then speak a ‘word’ from this place, what should be a blessing (the prophetic word) becomes a curse.
On the flip side, if you are hearing others speak to you ‘words’ that appear to be ‘true’ but they leave you feeling ‘wrong’, they have most likely been filtered through a heart that is jealous and judgemental. If you walk away from a prophetic word feeling judged, put down and hopeless, it is not a pure word no matter how ‘right’ it may sound. This is where deception and confusion enter from a place of divination. If you do not feel loved from the word, it is not from God. You can say, “No”.
If you are a person struggling with a loss and your heart is hurting, we would caution you to tend to matters of the heart first before releasing words to others. This is quite a heavy statement. Please take some time with this. If you are struggling with a word given–even by someone you know and love–that is not right, we encourage you to forgive, release and bless them but do not accept that word over your life.
If you are struggling with jealousy and comparison, come to Him. Hear His name for you. Hear His identity for you. Get secure and safe in Him. This will guard you against falling into the comparison trap.
If you are struggling with envy, acknowledge it comes from a place of judgement. Come out of agreement with needing to ‘fix’ something and surrender it to the Lord.
Acknowledge You are Hurting (Steph Goleby)
The anger we are feeling when others progress before we do is actually a mask for grief. We need to acknowledge the pain and grief instead of going into judgement and cursing. We can sit with the Lord and tell Him how much it hurts. He is so gracious and kind to us in these moments. In Psalm 23, the Lord reveals Himself to David as being with Him in the valley. He sees your pain. He sees you.
Remember the Lord met Hagar in her darkest hour and reveals Himself as the God who sees (El Roi). Some of you need to hear today that He sees you.
“So she named Adonai who had spoken with her El Ro’i [God of seeing], because she said, “Have I really seen the One who sees me [and stayed alive]?”
Genesis 16:13 CJB
Hagar is given promise and legacy even though she did not birth Isaac the child of the promise to Abraham.
God has no favourites in the kingdom. He wants us to be okay sitting with our grief and acknowledging to Him it hurts. This is hard to do because we like to think we have it all together. We need to be able to say, “God I’m in pain. This sucks!” He has a future for us and He will reveal it to us in the midst of our grief just as He did for Hagar. He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
God is just (Rom.12:19). When we feel overlooked, downtrodden and like no one sees or cares, He will scoop us up from that place if we run to Him. The biblical story of Leah–the unloved one–also demonstrates the justice of God and His kindness to those who are hurt and wounded. He opened Leah’s womb while Rachel remained barren for a season. We don’t need to fix it. God is Judge and He will render a righteous verdict on our behalf. We need to bring our pain to Him rather than judging others and seeking revenge for ourselves.
Unforgiveness is toxic for our souls. When we forgive the Lord fights for us. If we choose not to forgive, the Lord will not step in when we take the reins ourselves.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
Psalm 23:5 NIV (emphasis added)
He is big enough to do it if we just let Him. He is doing something bigger in this season of grief and pain than we could ever hope or imagine.
The Saul Trap or the Heart of a King? (Naomi Byers)
We need prophetic wisdom for the days ahead. It is paramount we attend to the condition of our hearts. So many of us have been wounded and have had the opportunity to fall into offence, jealousy, anger and grief. This revelation came to me through my reading and study of the book of 1 Samuel and looking at the difference between Saul and David as leaders. I want to be clear, at any time, we can all have the opportunity to fall into the Saul Trap or have the Heart of a King like David. We can be people after God’s own heart just as David was.
Let’s look at some aspects of the story of Saul and David as an object lesson for us and then look at some prophetic strategies as to how to walk out of the Saul Trap. It’s very clear in 1 Samuel that God’s heart for Saul was that he would know his identity and who the Lord had called him to be.
“So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.”
1 Samuel 10:9 NKJV
Unfortunately, Saul was incredibly insecure. This insecurity was his major stumbling block. God wanted to anoint Saul as king and establish his kingdom forever, but Saul fell into this trap of envy and jealousy and ultimately the kingdom was ripped from him.
Please catch this. Saul is not the bad guy in this scenario. He simply fell into the trap of jealousy and it was his eventual undoing. Jealousy and envy are deadly to our souls. Look what happened to Saul once he compared himself to David.
“Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day forward.”
1 Samuel 18:8-9 NKJV
If you keep reading the narrative, you will see how disastrous jealousy became to Saul.
Similarly, if we don’t process our grief and anger with God we will inevitably fall into jealousy and judgement of others. This is the path to divination. This is where Saul found himself at the end of his life. It is a scary prospect that should give us pause to measure the temperature of our hearts regularly.
Many of us have been recipients of ‘words’ from leaders or employers which have just not sat right with us. Whether or not these ‘words’ are couched in prophetic terms or not they have an impact on our spirits. If they have jealousy or envy attached to them it is just yucky. I know I have been given words that started ‘right’ but were not delivered with a righteous heart motive and so I couldn’t receive them. To be honest, I have been guilty of prophesying out of my soul too so no judgement from me.
So how do we avoid the Saul Trap and have the Heart of a King? King David is our biblical example here. He was by no means perfect. Keep reading 2 Samuel and you will see he had a few stumbles along the way. It’s not about perfection; it’s about the posture of the heart. David had a heart knitted with Adonai in intimacy. He gave us some pretty epic Psalms pouring out his hurt and pain to God. But David always arrived at the place of victory once he had been honest with Adonai about his feelings.
“For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
Psalm 18:29-30 NKJV
We must worship through our pain. We have got to get real with God in this season and sit in the grief and pain and allow Him to heal it. No matter what is happening around us, everything changes in His presence. If we process our hurt and anger with the Lord in a healthy way, we are not going to go and project it over others. It is not nice to be on the receiving end of these kinds of words and it is not a great idea for us to be giving them either.
How Do We Respond? (Naomi Byers)
Here’s some prophetic wisdom to help us respond to these situations one way or another. These strategies are in scripture. If we return to the story of Saul and David. Saul is now deeply suspicious and resentful of David. So what does David do?
“So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely…”
1 Samuel 18:5a NKJV (emphasis added)
Let wisdom be your counsel in this season. We have got to lean on the wisdom of God. If we lack wisdom, we can always ask the Lord to lavish it upon us (Jam.1:5).
There are also some pertinent strategies for navigating the Saul Trap in this passage of scripture from the book of Philippians:
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Philippians 1:9-11 NKJV
After receiving wisdom from God, we need to activate the gift of discernment. Then we need to be free of offence. Remember, offence is always an opportunity to dialogue with God. It is never a reason to feel shame and condemnation because we are offended. Everyone gets offended at one time or another. God often offends the mind to reveal the heart. Ultimately, what we want to do when we are offended is to produce the fruits of righteousness instead of going down the path of jealousy and envy which leads to divination.
To avoid the Saul Trap we want to respond as David did.
“I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.”
1 Samuel 24:10b NKJV
Even if we have had leaders and employers dishonour us, we have got to respond with honour. Why? Because authority is God-given. Whether that leader is righteous or unrighteous, their authority is from God. We honour people in authority over us.
There is safety in this season of vulnerability in the assembly of prophets. Look what happened to Saul when he came after David while he was staying with Samuel and his prophetic company.
“Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied…And he also stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’”
1 Samuel 19:20, 24 NKJV
No matter how we have been dishonoured or what opportunity we have had to be offended, God is just. Here is the prophetic promise: ALL will be laid bare under the right apostolic covering and prophetic anointing. When we are in the right alignment and we leave it to God, HE will expose it. We can rest in His promises to us and trust His justice.
The Promise! (Steph and Deb)
Let’s be a David and walk the hard road honouring those who have not bestowed honour upon us. David feared God. We need to fear God when we are responding to these difficult circumstances. As we press into the secret place with God and allow Him to be our recompense, our intimacy with Him will grow and our strength will abound. We can indeed count it ALL joy (Jam.1:2-3).
We need to understand in the kingdom, we don’t miss out even in loss and transition. He holds our tears in a bottle (Ps.56:8) and if we sow them into good soil, we will reap a harvest of joy.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping,
bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Psalm 126:5-6 NKJV
If we use a farming analogy, we are a plant and we want to produce fruits of righteousness. If water the ground of hearts with our tears by letting them flow out of us before the Lord, we grow and bear fruit.
In transition, we must be willing to let go of old, dead things. It is very hard to let these things go. Like trees shedding dead leaves, we must release the old to fertilise the ground of our hearts so that new life can grow and flourish. Let’s let go of the old things which are dead, finished or just out of season. This will feed us and ultimately produce the fruits of righteousness.
If we do this, the blessings will chase us down. As we sow honour where there has been dishonour, the floodgates will open.
“…Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Malachi 3:10b NIV
He has SO much blessing for us. None of us will miss out. There is more than enough.
Like Jacob wrestling with God (Gen.32), we must be willing to receive the blessing which He has in store for us. The wrestle is the strengthening of our character as we become resilient enough to receive the enormity of this blessing. If the wrestle has been a long one, we need to prepare ourselves for just how big and wonderful the new space He has for us is. Jacob came out of his wrestle with God with a new name. He was declared ‘ready’ by the Lord for the road ahead. He also had a new language. We are coming out with a new language of victory and a new song. This song is one of deliverance (Ps.32:7). This new space is full of freedom. There is great deliverance in this space. It’s truly wonderful. FREEDOM!!
Let’s activate this word now:
We thank You, God, in the name of Jesus, You are bringing liberty for those who have chosen to sit and keep their hearts right with You; those who have chosen to walk the higher path and produce fruits of righteousness; those who have decided to sow their tears. We trust You God to bring justice, honour and deliverance. You are the one who raises us up. You are a good, good Father and You take care of Your own. We break the lie we need to compare ourselves to others in the name of Jesus. Instead of our shame, we shall have double honour. Instead of confusion, we shall rejoice in our portion. We shall possess double in the land. Everlasting joy shall be ours!
In the name of Jesus, we command all condemnation and fear to leave NOW. Spirits of witchcraft which have caused confusion over our minds, we break and bind those mind-binding spirits NOW in the name of Jesus. We decree it is under our feet.
As we commit to keeping our hearts pure in this space, we thank You Lord for Your crown of goodness and honour. We thank You, Lord, Your grace is FOR us. Father, let Your grace fall on any who are having a hard time receiving this word because of the voice of condemnation. In the name of Jesus, we release the fault of responsibility and receive Your freedom in return. Your promises are true and right. Release our name, our calling and who we are in You afresh. We receive Your protection over us today and for those who have hurt us. We trust You with all of it.
With love from Steph, Deb and Naomi
You can follow Deb Peacock here: https://www.debpeacock.com.au/
You can follow Steph Goleby here: https://stephaniegoleby.com/