I feel blessed and really excited to have this interview with Prophetess Tera Carissa Hodges before her speaking engagement at the 6th Glorious Women's Conference in Woodmead, Johannesburg.
Inside Woman: We all see God’s glory on your life but what’s your story? Who is Tera really and how did you get to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I got saved at the age of 9 at the annual summer revival at my Church. My mother did not think I was ready to be baptized; because she was not sure I understood what I was asking to do. But, I had a conviction in my heart to get baptized, so I prayed and asked God to let my mother allow me to be baptized. A day or so later, her brother, my uncle, who was also the Superintendant over the Sunday school classes I was attending, told her he thought I was ready and understood, so she agreed. In August 1992, at the age of 9, I was baptized at my local Church.
Inside Woman: What where your struggles as a young woman growing up and how did you overcome those issues?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I knew that I was prophetic at a young age. But, growing up in a Baptist Church where the prophetic at that time was not readily embraced or taught, I did not always know how to balance my gifting with my reality. Aside from that, as any normal teen, I did not want to be so much different than my peers. I'm not sure how God pulled it off, but I managed to be active in my Church, flow in the prophetic, though at that time, not very often, and still be popular amongst my peers at school as well.
Inside Woman: You are graced with such a dynamic ministry. Please share with us the mandate that you believe God has given you in this hour.
Tera Carissa Hodges: I know for a fact that God has given me an end time ministry, with an emphasis on holiness. A lot of times when people hear the words "end time ministry," they think that just means letting people know that Christ is soon to return; that is true. However, to the recipient of the prophetic word, end time also means that your end for that situation is coming up shortly.
As a prophet, it also means your words will come to pass shortly. I tell people, by the time an end time Prophet crosses your path, you're on your final warning. Clean up because judgment is at hand. Every judgment God has used me to release, I have seen come to pass in less than a year. God may have been striving with you for five years to stop doing what you know you shouldn't be doing. But, because you have gotten comfortable with God's grace, you continue. However, when God sends a prophet whose words come to pass quickly, it is time to humble yourself, repent, seek God, and believe Him for deliverance. God still requires holiness, and by His power we can all be delivered from whatever our struggle is.
Inside Woman: What’s the importance of intimacy with God through prayer and intercession for you?
Tera Carissa Hodges: Intimacy with God is critical. There is nothing more important. As a prophet, God is who you hear from, so you have to be in tune with Him to know what He is saying. You can't skip prayer time. There are times I go on fasts from everything and everyone because I only want to hear from God.
Inside Woman: Who are you accountable to and why is accountability important?
Tera Carissa Hodges: For starters, I am accountable to God. In the end, He is the final say. Secondly, I am accountable to my Bishop who oversees the ministry. It is important to have accountability because everyone needs a covering. Even Jesus had a covering. He submitted to the Father and His disciples submitted to Him. Later in scripture, we see where the disciples submitted to Apostle Paul who acted as their covering and gave them instructions.
Inside Woman: There’s so much confusion about what’s Biblically correct. How do you clearly, unmistakably know that it is God speaking to you, not the devil or your own voice?
Tera Carissa Hodges: The Bible in context answers all questions. A lot of times, people are confused when reading the Word of God, because they may be interpreting it out of context. You have to know specifically what issues were being addressed at that time and what particular issue that scripture was speaking to. God never violates His Word. If God speaks it, you will find it in context in His Word. If you are confused as to whether you have heard God, read the Word and look for examples in context to what you believe you have heard.
Inside Woman: How can we as Christian’s women become more discerning since all of us are capable of being deceived?
Tera Carissa Hodges: Knowing the Word of God, having an ear to hear God, and not make decisions based on how you feel, are helpful tools that can be used against deception. Jeremiah 17 says the heart is deceitful. Your heart is where your feelings are. So, you can't rely on how you feel. You must rely on the Word of God, and wisdom, which is housed in your mind. That's why the Bible says to keep your mind stayed on Him. Isaiah 26:3. Philippians 4:7 goes on to say that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind.
Inside Woman: If you could sit down with some of the women who have been called to the prophetic ministry and give them advice, what would you say?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I would tell anyone who is prophetic to study the Word of God. Make sure you are operating in your gift for God's glory and not your own. You must yield your gift to Him, so it does not get misused by the enemy. There is a fine line between operating in the prophetic and operating as a witch. Both are gifted, because the Bible says God gives gifts without repentance. But, one is yielding their gift for God's glory, while the other is yielding it for personal gain and glory.
Inside Woman: Why is it important for a Christian woman to be connected to her spiritual home?
Tera Carissa Hodges: Being connected to a God established ministry is important because it is designed to be a resource that replenishes you by feeding you the Word of God, and reminding you that you are not alone because you are surrounded by other believers. A lot of times, people stray away from Church because they have been hurt. But, it is important to remember, the Church does not hurt people. People hurt people. A lot of times, the enemy will assign people being used by him to hurt you at Church, in an effort to keep you from Church. But, often times, the very place the enemy does not want you, is the place you need to be. If you need to switch where you sit in Church, or what time you arrive so you do not run into certain people, do so. But, whatever you do, don't allow the enemy and the people he's using to chase you from Church. Pray for those people, but remain focused on your walk with God. That is the most important thing.
Inside Woman: What are the principles that you would advise for those receiving or understanding of a prophetic word.
Tera Carissa Hodges: Pray about every prophetic Word you receive. Every word is not from God. Prayer will reveal if it is from God. Just remember, just because you don't like a Word does not mean it is not from God and just because you like a Word does not mean it is from God. So, don't be so quick to judge. Sincerely consider the Word and take it to God in prayer. Finally, know that every prophet is different. Some prophets are seers, which means, they can see from afar off. They may give you a Word you don't understand now, but will understand later, as your life unfolds. Write down prophetic Words you do not understand, pray over them to see if they are of God. If they are, hold on to that Word, so when life begins to unfold, you will not forget the Word, and it will all make sense. If it appears you have received contrasting prophecies about the same issue, remember, the Bible says we prophesy in part. No one is all knowing, that attribute belongs to God. But, a prophet can be used to reveal a portion of what God wants you to know at that time, while at another time, another prophet reveals another aspect that is now a necessity to know. Prophecies are like puzzles; they come together piece by piece. Don't throw away a piece because it doesn't fit now. Hold on. If it is of God, it will fit as you move forward and your life begins to unfold.
Inside Woman: Are dreams and visions unstable in giving direction a Christian woman. How does one confirm the dreams and visions that God has given you?
Tera Carissa Hodges: Dreams are tools God uses to communicate with us. Joseph in the Book of Genesis confirms that. However, just as with a prophetic Word, you must pray to see if it's from God and begin to seek Him for the meaning through prayer and reading the Word.
Inside Woman: How do we deal with the instant gratification in the Church? So many women want the platform?
Tera Carissa Hodges: The Bible says to everything there is a season, Ecclesiastes 3. You must wait for your season, if you want your ministry to last. Everyone God uses, He prepares. You have to have enough faith in God to know that when He is ready to release you, He will. Trust God and His timing for your life.
Inside Woman: What if a woman hears from God about starting a ministry, but her spiritual parent(s) isn't behind her--doesn't support her. Should she press forward?
Tera Carissa Hodges: If you know God has assigned you to a particular overseer, follow their instructions as it relates to ministry. Just because you are called does not mean you are ready. David went through a 17 year process between being anointed to be king and actually being appointed to be king because there were still lessons he had to learn before he went forth. Preparation is not punishment but protection. Trust the God of the process.
Inside Woman: Is it important to have spiritual mentors?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I have many spiritual mentors because the Bible says there is safety in the multitude of counsellors, Proverbs 11:24. My spiritual mentors are essential, outside of my own relationship with God. I tell people that you have to qualify your mentors. Just because they are older does not mean they are in order. Young mess becomes old mess if it doesn't get delivered. Who a person is in God, qualifies them to speak into your life. Not their title or their age. Finally, a true mentor wants to see you do better than them. Jesus told His disciples, greater works shall you do than Me, John 14:12. He wanted to see them go further and do better. If they do not want better for your life than their own, they are not qualified to be your mentor.
Inside Woman: What is your view on how women of God should dress? And is this still an issue that needs to be addressed?
Tera Carissa Hodges: So many scriptures taken out of context as it relates to how a woman should dress has been keeping women in bondage for years. You must understand what issues the writer was addressing for that particular church and that particular time period, as it relates to women's dress and the scriptures that are found in the Bible as it relates to it. As for this generation, I believe it is okay to be stylish. Just remember, being fashionable does not mean being vulgar. Clothing should not be excessively tight and revealing. The intimate parts of your beauty are for your husband to uncover and discover.
Inside Woman: Nowadays many women are very aggressive and desperate when it comes to securing a husband. What can they do to trust God to orchestrate their love story?
Tera Carissa Hodges: As it relates to attracting a husband, you have to trust God. The greatest love stories in the Bible are about women who were chosen by their king, not women who had to fight other women for their king. You have to know that what God has for you is for you, and that in time, when you are ready, God will bring him to you. In the meantime, live your dreams, get active in ministry, write a book, start a business, mentor young girls. There is much you can be doing to impact the Kingdom of God and to fulfill your purpose while waiting on your Adam.
Inside Woman: Can single Christian women have close ties with married men?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I do not advise single women to have close ties with married men. I think wisdom is the key here. Put yourself in the wife's shoes. Would you like for your husband to have close ties to a single woman? Be respectful. Because the Bible is clear, do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man soweth, that will he reap, Galatians 6:7.
Inside Woman: As a woman do you subscribe to the thought that you should “Think like a man and act like a lady”? And if yes why? And if no, why not?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I do not believe that I have to think as a man. If God wanted me to think like a man, He would have made me a man. However, I certainly believe that as women we must be aware of how men think so we are not ignorant of matters which concern us.
Inside Woman: What are strategies for being godly women?
Tera Carissa Hodges: Engulf yourself in God and focus on the purpose for your life. When you are God focused and purpose driven, you are fulfilled.
Inside Woman: Can a person have a relationship with God apart from Jesus Christ?
Tera Carissa Hodges: Scripturally, no. Jesus says in John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.
Inside Woman: How would you introduce Jesus Christ to a woman engrossed in depression, oppression and pain?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I have a series that I teach called, Find Yourself In The Word. The Bibles says there is nothing new under the sun. That means there is nothing you can go through, that somewhere, somebody else has not been through. When you can show a person how someone in the Bible has been through the same thing, and overcame it, that is a powerful evangelism tool. There are women in the Bible who have been raped by their brother (Tamar), mistreated by the husband (Abigail), impregnated by their father (Lots daughters in Genesis 19), suffered health issues (The Woman with the issue of blood) and more. Whatever you have been through, there is hope for you and with the power of God, and you can overcome.
Inside Woman: How do you deal with people telling you that God told them they need to work with your ministry?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I'm very prayerful. I do not take ministry instructions from someone God has not told me to take them from. We have to be careful not to live our lives according to someone else's belief. Get your instructions from God. As you go, if they change, He will let you know directly or through someone else and confirm His Word through prayer and intercession.
Inside Woman: In this highly demanding schedule of yours, how do you de-stress yourself?
Tera Carissa Hodges: I do not hesitate to turn off the phone, television, and computer. It's ok to take me time, even Jesus did. Above and beyond that, God Himself rested on the seventh day in Genesis 1. If God has to rest, I have to rest. I actually schedule rest into my week. I will rest via taking a trip, going to the spa, enjoying dinner with family and friends, and more.
Inside Woman: You are coming to South Africa for the Glorius Women’s Conference hosted by House of Harvest International Ministry in August. What do you believe God is saying to the South African Christian woman in this hour?
Tera Carissa Hodges: It's time to arise and believe God again. A lot of us gave up on God because of the process we had to endure. But, you must know, that if God is processing you, it's because He is getting you ready to enjoy the promise He has already prepared for you. Don't give up or give in. Continue to trust God. He's not making a way. It's already made.
Followe Tera Carissa Hodges on Twitter @TeraCarissaHodges
Or visit her Tera Carissa Hodges website www.teracarissa.com