Unfulfilled Prophecy About Your Life’s Calling

‘Unfulfilled prophecy’ refers to that space of time between the giving of a prophetic word and it coming to pass.

Unfulfilled ProphecySome prophecies take a long time to be fulfilled. I am seeing prophecies about God’s call on my life being fulfilled right now that were given to me 25 years ago. There are also personal prophecies I have received over a decade ago that have not yet taken place.

Following are some thoughts and examples from the Bible as to what to do while you are waiting for God’s word regarding your call and dream from God to come to pass. [1]


4 Things to do While You are Waiting on an Unfulfilled Prophecy

You know the prophetic word is true; it resonates deeply with how you are wired and the sense of destiny on your life. And yet the opportunity it speaks of has not yet opened up to you.

Sometimes that delay seems like a very long time. How do you make the most of the time that you are waiting for a prophecy to be fulfilled?


1. Stay in the Place of Accountability Regarding Your Calling

‘Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.’ (1 Tim 4:14)

In 1 Timothy 4, the Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy regarding commissioning prophecies made over his life. [2,3] Paul is keeping Timothy accountable to what God has spoken concerning his gifts and future role, as well as to the impartation received at that time.

Oversight helps us to weigh up prophecy and to discern what is truly of the Holy Spirit. (1 Thess 5:19-21) This process continues to be valuable as time passes, not only when the prophecy is first given.


2. Be Faithful and Serve Where God has Placed you

Unfulfilled prophecy can be a factor in wilderness seasons allowed in our lives by our Heavenly Father. During those times we may be tempted to become discouraged or frustrated. If we give way to those feelings we can rush ahead into something God is not calling us into at this time.

Remember David’s ‘bread and cheese’ ministry? Being faithful in the small responsibilities put David in a position for the larger call of God on his life to be fulfilled. (1 Sam 17) Elisha served faithfully as a lowly servant to Elijah before his own call could be fulfilled. (2 Kings 3:11)

So embrace opportunities to serve where God has placed you at right now. When you look back, you will see God’s wisdom in the lessons you have learned as well as the character growth that has taken place in your life.

Further, your history of faithful service does not go unnoticed by leaders and this may be the thing God uses to open doors into your next season. (1 Sam 16:18)


3. Exercise Stewardship Relating to your Prophecy and Calling

‘Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.’ (1 Tim 4:14)

When leaders have confirmed a prophecy and fits well with your gifts, your sense of God’s purpose for your life, and the Spirit of God within you, don’t just shelve it. Use it.

If God is indicating the use of a gift, ability or ministry up ahead, find ways of stewarding that call. For example, is God calling you to a ministry of healing? Take opportunities to pray for the sick. Learn what you can about the ministry and put it into practice. Find someone to serve or learn from who is ministering in that area.

Activate the word of God and the desires of your heart and stay focused. Your life’s call with God is a partnership with Him, which means that you must also do your part.


4. Recognise Opposition to Your Prophecy’s Fulfilment

‘I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well.’ (1 Tim 1:18)

Paul is recalling to Timothy’s attention personal prophecies spoken over his life as the younger man faces the threat of false teachers in Ephesus.

There are times when we need to use our prophecies to spur us on, to face opposition and to contend with roadblocks along the way. The word God has spoken over our lives (and the lives of others around us) is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare when times get tough.

One of the most important things we can do about an unfulfilled prophecy is to pray about it. This is especially true as the time draws closer to the prophetic dream coming to pass. [4]


Notes:

[1] In this article I am specifically discussing prophecy related to individual destiny, ministry and the call of God. If you are concerned about another type of prophecy that is unfulfilled, or discouraged about a prophecy you have been given, this article may help: Dealing with Prophetic Disappointment

You have not received a personal prophecy? These same points also apply to any personal guidance you have received directly from God concerning your future.

[2] You will notice that I mention accountability frequently when discussing prophecy. This is because accountability and honouring leadership are foundational in New Testament prophetic ministry. These are core values of our team at David McCracken Ministries and also one of the most important lessons I have learned along the way. For a brief outline of my story, see the Enliven Blog ‘About’ page here.

[3] See Prophetic Presbytery: What is it and How does it Work?

[4] See Is it Time to Birth Your Prophetic Word in Prayer?


What lessons have you learned about unfulfilled prophecy concerning the call of God on your life? Leave a message in the comments section or on Facebook. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder   Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

Personal Prophecies About Future Events

Personal ProphecyIt was a long queue for the prophetic presbytery that day, and I was one of the last waiting to receive a word.  

Most personal prophecies being shared were general words of encouragement—so I was surprised by the clarity and anointing of the message that was delivered to me:

“And the Lord says, ‘Daughter, you have got a very special gift of love and compassion that I need to spread over my Body, and I am going to use you like a spread upon toast, and I am going to spread you richly and warmly over the entire Body…  [You say], Lord I want to be a prophetess, and I want to do all those things”, and the Lord says, I am going to release you into a multi-faceted ministry.”

It was 1992.

Although I recognised God’s call upon my life, I did not know what a ‘prophetess’ was—let alone desire to be one. 20 years ago, I was simply a young mother, with a 2-yr old son and another child on the way, taking a break from a career in accounting. Our ministry involvement at that time was in the area of missions.

However, the personal prophecy I received that day proved to be a panoramic prophetic picture of what God would do in my life over the next two decades and beyond. [1]

Now, when I express my surprise to Father God at being in full-time prophetic ministry, He reminds me that I had at least 20 years notice!


5 Things I have Learned about Prophecies that Relate to the Future

1. Some Prophecies only make sense in Retrospect.

I have often heard it said of a prophecy, “That was spot on!” By this we mean that the prophecy makes sense to the person’s current situation, or in the light of what we know concerning the call of God upon his or her life.

But I have discovered that there may be some prophecies that do not fit within our current framework of understanding.

  • A prophetic word may be given to encourage us during a future difficulty or circumstance.
  • It may contain revelation—supernatural insights—that will only fully make sense in a future setting.

Consider this word given to Mary the mother of Jesus by Simeon in the temple:
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35)

The full meaning of this prophecy to Mary was a mystery until after Jesus’ resurrection.

2. Weigh up the Prophecy and Record it for Future Review

Even if we do not fully understand a prophecy, it is still important to weigh it up.[2] Once we have considered the prophetic word carefully and feel comfortable with it, we can keep it recorded and in a place where we can retrieve it and pray over it.

God’s advice to the Prophet Habakkuk was:
“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Hab 2:2-3)

I am glad that I kept the audiotape of my prophecy and wrote it out. I have also kept a record of words, visions and dreams God has given to me for other members of my family as well and encourage others to do the same.

3. Remember that a Personal Prophecy may be Conditional

Personal prophecy concerning a future call of God is conditional upon us walking in integrity and waiting for His timing.

The prophetic word that I mentioned above gave additional information about a work that God would do in my life. It spoke of a spiritual battle I would need to overcome, and the need for me to persevere and to stay submitted to leadership.

When I look back I can see several clear crossroads, at which I could have taken a wrong turn. I am grateful for God’s grace that has helped me to stay on track with his call on my life.

4. Be Cautious about using a Prophetic Word for Decision Making

I sometimes come across people who would like to use a prophecy to help make important decisions about their life.

A prophecy should be confirmation, not a primary means of guidance.

So what should we do if we believe a prophecy is confirmation of a direction we believe God wants us to takeBefore taking any action, we can submit both the word and our personal guidance to leadership. This accountability is our safety net. [3]

5. Don’t Forget Timing is Involved

Sometimes our sense of timing and God’s can be different. [4] Remember Moses?

I waited nearly 20 years to see the above personal prophecy fulfilled. I did not try to push open any doors—I simply cooperated with God every step of the way. At the significant points of transition, pastors and ministry leaders who recognised God’s call on my life released me into new ministry responsibilities. Today I am privileged to be on the prophetic team at David McCracken Ministries.


Notes:

[1] Prophecies concerning specific ministry (i.e. commissioning prophecies) should be submitted to church oversight. See the following examples in the New Testament: 1 Tim 4:14, Acts 13:1-3. For further information, see the article: Is Personal Prophecy Biblical?

[2] See How to Make the Most of Your Personal Prophecy for more insights about weighing up your prophecy

[3] Following are two important articles on this subject:

Do You Have A Ministry Call?

Personal Guidance For The Important Decisions Of Life

[4] If unfulfilment of a word that you were given in the past has brought discouragement to you, I recommend that you read the following article:

Dealing With Prophetic Disappointment


What have you learned about personal prophecies that relate to the future? Leave a comment in the comments box. If it is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

How To Make The Most Of Your Personal Prophecy

‘Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight.’ (1 Timothy 1:18)

The Apostle Paul considered personal prophecies given to his disciple Timothy significant:

  • Personal prophecies helped Timothy focus his life and ministry according to the call of God
  • The Apostle Paul kept the prophetic words in mind when it came to his leadership of Timothy and instruction to him

5 Ways to Make the Most of your Personal Prophecy

A personal prophecy can be a means of great encouragement and motivation. [1]

If you have received a personal prophecy, here are some ideas to help you benefit from it:

1. Record your Prophetic Word

Write out your personal prophecy. (Hab 2:2) If possible, keep an audio copy of prophecies that you have received. Sometimes an impartation takes place through the verbal delivery of a word that cannot be communicated in writing.

If a word was not recorded in audio format, immediately write out as much of it as you can remember, so that you can weigh it up, pray about it and review it.

2. Weigh up your Prophecy

‘Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.’ (1 Thess 5:19-21)

The Bible exhorts us to weigh up prophetic words. (see also 1 Cor 14:29) [2]

Some filters you can use include:

  • Is it in accordance with what the Bible says?
  • Do you have an inner witness that the prophetic word is from God?
  • Does it line up with the nature of God? In particular, with the nature of the Father as expressed through Jesus?
  • Will responding to the prophecy bear good fruit—the fruit of the Spirit in your life?
  • If the prophetic word concerns your destiny, does it line up with the way God has created and wired you?

Make sure that you include a process of accountability to Christian leadership in relation to your prophetic word. This is especially important if you are considering a change of direction in response to a word you have been given.

This also enables your leadership to nurture the gift and call of God upon your life, as Paul did with Timothy.

3. Pray about your Prophetic Word

Always take time to pray about any personal prophecy that you receive. Seek confirmation that the word is from God, and ask Him for further insights related to the message, its timing and any action you should take. Remember that fulfilment of your prophecy will be conditional upon you staying on track in your relationship with God.

Later on, you may also be led to pray about the fulfillment of your personal prophecy. [3]

4. Allow the Prophecy to Enlarge your Vision

A prophecy may be used of God to stretch our perspective concerning ourselves; who we are, Who He is, and what we are capable of doing with the enablement of His Holy Spirit.

A personal prophecy may speak into your identity and destiny. The Father is communicating His perspective about your life. And that may be beyond what you have perceived about yourself up to this time.

A personal prophecy is an invitation from the Father to see ourselves as He sees us.

The question is, will we accept that invitation? Or will we resist or ignore it?

5. Store your Prophetic Word for Future Reference

‘Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.” (Hab 2:2-3)

You may  immediately recognise that your prophecy is timely and relevant.

However sometimes the exact meaning of a prophetic word is a mystery at the time we receive it.

This does not mean that it is not of value. In fact, it may be of tremendous significance for a later date.

Consider taking a long term view of any prophetic word you receive, even if you believe it does relate to a current situation.

Sometimes a personal prophecy is like a puzzle piece—you are not sure how or where it fits in the picture until more pieces have been put into place.

And then when you do see the fulfillment of the prophecy, you are blown away. You realise that God knew the whole picture of your life before you had even been born. [4]

‘All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts,God! How vast is the sum of them!’ (Ps 139:16-17)


Do you have any questions or thoughts to share on the topic of personal prophecy? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


Notes:
[1] For Biblical examples of personal prophecy and a biblical basis for bringing personal prophetic words, see my article:

Is Personal Prophecy Biblical?

[2] For more information about weighing up prophetic words, see

How Do I Know If A Personal Prophecy Or Dream Interpretation Is From God?

[3] See the following post:

Is It Time To Birth Your Prophetic Word In Prayer?

[4] If unfulfilment of a prophecy you have received in the past is causing you discouragement, see my article on Dealing With Prophetic Disappointment


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

Prophesying Out Of God’s Love

Many years ago when The Hunk and I were ministering full time with a mission agency, we attended a meeting together at which a prophet was preaching and ministering in personal prophecy.

After sharing some words of encouragement with my husband, the prophet turned to me.

‘God’s got a call on your life that is totally different to that of your husband. He wants you to be really developing that, preparing yourself because He has things for you to do that will see you fulfilled in your own right as a woman of God…’

Although to an observer I was simply a young mother and wife of a minister, God used the prophet that day to express His love towards me and to remind me that He had not forgotten His call on my life.

Love is a Vital Ingredient of Prophecy

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Cor 13:2)

To prophesy is to communicate the intention and purpose of the Father.

This can be by way of simple encouragement to someone in your everyday life, or it may occur within the context of church life or ministry.

The Bible tells us that love is the prerequisite to prophecy in any situation. [1] Without love, the Apostle Paul says, we are nothing, and our words have an empty ring to them. (1 Cor 13:1-2)

Remembering this is vital as we develop our prophetic gifts and seek to grow in our ability to hear from God.

God’s Love is not Based upon what our Eyes see

 ‘He [the Messiah] will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears’ (Isaiah 11:3)

God looks beyond what is seen outwardly, to the inner heart of a person and speaks to the potential within.

My constant prayer is that I will not be distracted by what I see externally. ‘Holy Spirit, help me to see what You see.’

When the prophet Samuel went to Jesse’s family to anoint the next King of Israel, God spoke to him saying, ‘Do not consider his appearance… People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’ (1 Sam 16:7)

God’s Love is not Based upon our Ideas and Opinions

Whether negative or positive, opinions and preconceived ideas can hinder our ability to hear—and accurately share—God’s word. They also hinder the flow of God’s unconditional love through us.

This is especially true when we are ministering to people that we are personally acquainted with.

I have learned to be open to the Holy Spirit for Him to show me (and He often does)

  • judgments that I need to repent of, or
  • predetermined ideas that I need to set aside.

God’s Love is not Based upon our Feelings

When it comes to prophetic ministry, love is not based on an emotion that we feel, but upon seeing people from the Father’s point of view.

Here are three primary ways that we can become acquainted with His perspective:

1. Know what the Bible Teaches about God’s Love for People

We learn from God’s Word how much the Father values people—so much that He sent His Son to die for them. (John 3:16)

In the New Testament, the Father’s heart towards people is revealed through Jesus’ ministry to individuals.

For example, when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, He did not use the knowledge He had of her sinful lifestyle to condemn her, but as the means to invite her to salvation. (John 4)

When we step into this perspective, and prophesy accordingly, we are better able to express God’s love.

2. Catch the Revelation of God’s Love Towards us

If we have not experienced God’s love for ourselves personally, we will be unable to express His love towards others.

Being aware of His grace towards me in my own humanity and weakness enables me to communicate His love and grace to others.

3. Value Intimacy with God Above all Else

We do not need to feel an emotion such as compassion to express God’s love to another. However, as we grow in intimacy with Him, He shares His heart with us.

Further, as we prepare for prophetic ministry in prayer, we can specifically seek God for His heart as well as His plans.

It is in His Presence that our hearts are changed to become like His.

We Express God’s Love in the Process of Prophecy

‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.’ (1 Cor 14:1)

Love should guide the whole process of prophecy. [2] This process includes:

  • Weighing up the revelation we have received
  • Ensuring that the message we share is encouraging and empowering (1 Cor 14:3)
  • The way in which we deliver the word, and the timing of it
  • Allowing the person room to weigh the prophecy up, and so on.

Love also requires us to seek accountability in the use of our spiritual gifts. [3]

God’s Love Requires us to put Others First

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

The bottom line of God’s love is its sacrificial nature. Love places the interests and life of others above that of our own. (Phil 2:1-8)

For those of us with a tendency to blurt out whatever comes to mind, love may invite us to pause; to process the word further, or to share at a more suitable time.

And finally, for those of us who are shy and fearful—love compels us to step out of our comfort zones and speak.


Notes:
[1] Although my key focus is personal prophecy in this article, the same principles apply to other forms of prophecy such as prophecy to churches, groups or nations. For example, see How Do You Weigh Up What The Prophets Are Saying Pt 1

[2] For posts on the process of prophecy, view the following:

How To Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 1: Understand The Process Of Prophecy

How To Exercise Your Prophetic Gift Pt 5: Creating A Safe Environment To Deliver Your Prophecy

[3] Accountability is vital to providing a safe environment, not only for us to grow in our gifts, but also for people to receive a message from God. See Prophetic Ministry In Church Life: Why Have Guidelines?

For more insights on Personal Prophecy, refer to Is Personal Prophecy Biblical?


Related Post:

The Spirit Of Encouragement: Are You A Barnabas?


© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic TeachingOn team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog


Have you ever felt God’s love through a prophetic word? Do you have any experiences or questions to share about the topic of expressing God’s love through prophecy? Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


Is Personal Prophecy Biblical?

Personal prophecy occurs when a prophecy is given to a person through another individual. Prophecy is making known the heart, mind and intention of the Father.


Many people today are asking the question, ‘is personal prophecy Biblical?’ This response is not surprising, given much of which is purported to be Christian personal prophecy in the world today.

I regularly receive reports from people who have been misled or hurt, or pastors who have experienced trauma in their churches through damaging ‘personal prophecy.’

However, as a member of a prophetic team that ministers throughout local churches, I constantly see the benefits of personal prophecy [1]:

  • Receivers of personal prophecy are encouraged and motivated in their relationship with God
  • Individuals become aware of the Father’s love for them as they receive a personal word
  • Churches are built in faith as the Holy Spirit reveals knowledge about one of their members that is known to them but not to the giver of the prophecy
  • I frequently see people who have had a personal prophecy given to them during a church meeting rush to the altar at the close of the service, in a desire to recommit their lives to God
  • Recently I gave a prophecy to a non-Christian in a meeting, and he came to the altar in tears and gave his life to Jesus.

Personal Prophecy in the Old Testament

God walked and talked personally with Adam and Eve in the garden. But when humanity became separated from Him through sin, God communicated to His people through the law and His prophets. (John 1:45)

Because people did not have a personal relationship with God, they relied on the prophets to convey God’s immediate instructions to them. In the Old Testament (OT), this included commissioning, warnings, commands, judgment, foretelling, and encouragement.

Some examples from the Old Testament include:

  • In Judges 4:4 the prophet Deborah summons Barak and gives him God’s command to do battle against Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army
  • In 1 Samuel 2, an unknown prophet shared a message of judgment against the priest Eli and his corrupt family. This was soon confirmed through the boy prophet Samuel
  • In 1 Sam 22 the prophet Gad gave instructions to David concerning a warfare strategy
  • The prophet Samuel commissioned both King Saul and King David. In 2 Kings 9: Elijah sent an unnamed prophet to commission Jehu
  • Nathan the prophet shared God’s intentions with King David concerning his son Solomon’s building of the temple and his enduring dynasty (2 Sam 7)
  • Isaiah prophesied to King Hezekiah of his recovery from illness (Is 38)
  • Jeremiah prophesied to the scribe Baruch that his life would be spared (Jer 45)
  • The prophet Haggai brought God’s instruction to Zechariah and Zerabbabel concerning the rebuilding of the temple

Personal Prophecy in the New Testament

Personal prophecy continues in the New Testament (NT); however circumstances have changed. Through faith in Jesus, people now have a personal relationship with God. They can hear from Him personally.

Prophecy is now one of many gifts in the church body, interdependent upon other gifts and ministries and subject to accountability and leadership. (1 Cor 12, 14)

Here are some examples of personal prophecy in the NT:

  • Simeon blesses Joseph and Mary when they present Jesus in the temple and gives them a personal prophecy (Luke 2:25-35)
  • In Acts 21, Agabus gives a personal prophecy to Paul concerning his upcoming arrest. Agabus is not a loner—he is one of a company of prophets from the church in Jerusalem. (Acts 11:27-28) This prophecy is confirmation of what God is already speaking to Paul—perhaps even through other prophecies (Acts 20:23)
  • Paul exhorts Timothy to remember and follow personal prophecies that have been given to him (1 Tim 1:18-19)
  • Paul also refers to special commissioning prophecy brought over Timothy when the church elders laid their hands on him. (1 Tim 4:14) Acts 13:1-3 also indicates that commissioning prophecy takes place with the participation and oversight of church leadership
  • We see Jesus Himself giving personal prophecy to Nathanael (John 1:50-51) and Peter (John 21:18). The woman at the well is so taken with Jesus’ personal insights into her life that she says, “Sir, I can see you are a prophet.’ (John 4:19)

The Biblical Practice of Personal Prophecy

Personal prophecy is undoubtedly Biblical. However, the question remains, ‘What does the Biblical practice of personal prophecy look like for us today?’ [2]

Many of the damaging practices that have given personal prophecy a bad reputation are due to people modeling their ministry after that of the Old Testament prophets, and ignoring New Testament guidelines for prophecy. [3]

There are clear distinctions between the Old and New Testament roles of prophetic ministry, as I have mentioned above. These changes impact the practice of personal prophecy.

A Checklist for Personal Prophecy

Following is a checklist that includes NT guidelines for prophetic ministry in general—and personal prophecy in particular.

I encourage all of my readers to consider these things before giving a personal prophecy, or receiving personal prophecy from anyone.

These guidelines will also be helpful in weighing up personal prophecy that has already been received.

1. Accountability (1 Cor 14:29)

Paul states that prophecy should be weighed up—therefore it is vital that personal prophecy be given in an environment that facilitates this.
If a personal prophecy is not given in the context of a church meeting and goes beyond a general word of encouragement, it should be submitted to oversight. [4]

Both givers and receivers of prophecy should be in a place of accountability and members in a local church body (1 Cor 14).
A personal prophecy should be given in such a way that it allows room for the recipient to weigh up the prophecy and consider whether it is of God.

2. Love (1 Cor 13)

Personal prophecy should originate from a heart of love for God and for the person being ministered to. The prophecy should accurately reflect the Father’s heart towards the recipient of the word.

3. A Godly Life (2 Tim 2:20-26, 1 Tim 3)

A prophetic minister should demonstrate a lifestyle of integrity and righteousness. He or she should be commended, recognised and under leadership.

4. Confirmation.

(See the illustration of Agabus, above)

Because Christian believers have a personal relationship with God, prophecy is a confirmation of what God is saying, or will say in the future, to them—it is not direct instruction, as in the OT.

Personal prophecy should not be sought after as a primary means of guidance.

5. Encouragement, Exhortation, Edification

Paul said that ‘those who prophesy speak to people for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.’ (1 Cor 14:3)
Personal prophecy should be encouraging and upbuilding. It should move a person towards God and His purposes, and motivate him or her to live a life pleasing to God.

6. Fruit of the Spirit

(Gal 5:22-23)

A personal prophecy should exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit in both its expression and outcome: ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’

It should promote unity and consideration for others. (James 3:13-18)

The fruit of the Spirit does include conviction leading to repentance—but not condemnation.

In the OT, prophecy included words of judgment, but this is not the case in the NT. We are in an era of grace, one in which the Father is giving every person an opportunity for redemption through His Son, Jesus.

7. Biblical Content

Finally and most importantly, a personal prophecy should be in harmony with God’s will as set out in scripture. A prophecy will not contradict Biblical principles.

Note that commissioning prophecy (prophecy that indicates appointment to a place of position in ministry) should not be a part of personal prophecy. In the NT, commissioning is done by the church oversight (1 Tim 4:14, Acts 13:1-3). A person who feels that he or she has a word that is in any way commissioning, should submit it to the person’s oversight and not directly to the individual.


Notes:

[1] I am blessed to be on team with David McCracken Ministries.

[2] This article is limited to discussion on personal prophecy between Christians. These guidelines do also relate to prophetic evangelism—however this is a different topic altogether.

[3] For more discussion on this read my articles:

How Do You Weigh Up What The Prophets Are Saying Pt 1

How Do You Weigh Up What The Prophets Are Saying Pt 2

[4] We should be especially wary of prophecy given or received over the Internet (‘free personal prophecy’) where it is not possible to verify much of the above criteria.

More articles on personal prophecy from Enliven Blog:

How Do I Know A Personal Prophecy Or Dream Interpretation Is From God?

How To Make The Most Of Your Personal Prophecy

4 Things You Can Do With Your Personal Prophecy


Do you have any experiences or questions to share on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church