3 Characteristics of Your Gift and Ministry’s Hidden Phase

Do you identify with a sense of waiting, or being hidden, in your spiritual gift, vocation or ministry calling?

When the Apostle Paul—then Saul—became a follower of Jesus, God revealed to him that a powerful apostolic ministry was up ahead.

  • But although Paul’s gift of teaching and preaching was evident from the outset of his conversion, there was much more to come.

Years later, Paul was still ministering as a teacher at the church in Antioch, when the church leaders heard from God that it was time to send him and Barnabas out from the church as missionaries (Acts 13).

From this time onwards, Paul’s evangelistic and apostolic ministry, along with gifts of signs and miracles, emerged in Paul’s life (Acts 14:3, [1]).

Paul’s gifts and calling unfolded progressively throughout his life, and it will happen that way in ours too. [2]

Today, no matter what your experience of life in the Spirit has been, God has more for you.

Here are three characteristics of the hidden phase of a spiritual gift or ministry. If you relate to any of these, take heart! God has not forgotten you. Today, hear Him say, ‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.’ (Isaiah 49:16 NIV)

1. A Desire that is Sometimes Intense

When God gives you a prophetic calling, He sows the desire for your destiny along with it. There is a place in your heart and life that will one day be filled with the operation of that gift, ministry and service to God. And until it fully manifests, you notice its absence.

God is using your hunger and the desire of your heart to draw you towards your destiny. That very hunger will cause you to prepare, to search and to pursue Him.

Desire is a gift given by God, that causes us to pursue Him, until He gives us what He has longed to grant us all along. This is the level of hunger that kept Elisha in pursuit of Elijah to the point of no return, until he received the mantle destined by God to be his. (2 Kings 2)

“So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9, AMP)

2. Prolonged Times of Waiting

Times of waiting until the gift, ministry or service to God is fulfilled, are a common theme throughout the Bible.

You may have experienced early signs of a gift, calling or ministry. You may have received a prophecy, or hold certain Scripture verses close to your heart that reflect God’s call upon your life.

But now, you wonder what happened to that calling. It may even seem as though the very opposite is taking place.

In a time of waiting, it is common to hit a ‘ceiling’. You are engaged at one level of ministry for a long time, whilst deep down you know God has more for you. Think of all the years Paul ministered in the primary role of a teacher, when his apostolic call to reach nations was still ahead!

If you can relate to this, know that your Father has your timetable in His hands.

Look at Paul—none of his time on earth was wasted in God’s sight.
‘For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim 4:6-7, NIV)

3. Obstacles and Opposition that are Specific to Your Call

There are times when God allows us to experience trials specifically related to our calling. These hardships are designed to stir us, prepare us and propel us forward.

Joseph was called to rule—and yet was sold as a slave. Daniel was called to govern, but God positioned him as a slave in captivity. Paul was called to impact nations—and then spent years in his home town of Tarsus, waiting for the church to be ready to receive him. (Acts 11:25) [2]

So it can be with us. We are called to heal—and yet we or someone close to us struggles with sickness. We are called to pray—and face the most difficult prayer journey of our life.

The enemy also targets us at the very point of our calling, using tactics of fear, intimidation or direct, blatant attacks aimed at knocking us off course.

If you can identify obstacles or pressure that shout, ‘don’t go that way!’ ‘That calling is not for you!’, be encouraged.

  • That pressure is a signpost; you are headed in the right direction!
  • That obstacle will become a stepping stone into your promise from God
  • That trial will become a testimony
  • That giant of demonic opposition is coming down

As you stay on track by the grace of God, nothing and no one can stop God’s plan for your life coming to pass.


[1] I write about this in my book ‘Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts’. You can find ‘Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts’ for sale as a single eBook here on the eStore.

[2] Paul’s first recorded miraculous sign is in Acts 13:8-11. It is not until years later, in Ephesus (Acts 19), we read of many ‘extraordinary miracles’ of healing being worked through Paul.

[3] See_https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/paul/timeline.cfm

© 2017 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family

13 thoughts on “3 Characteristics of Your Gift and Ministry’s Hidden Phase”

  1. Fui llamado como apostol y profeta despues.Hace años de todo esto.Al principio asi fue,hubo manifestaciones de poder y autoridad,manifestado en sanidades,discernimiento,liberacion…y hubo un in pace de años.Creo que me he secado,no he dejado de orar por horas al Padre de la Mies,porque El suelte su uncion apostolica y profetica,y a penas,muy apenas veo un deslumbre de ello,he orado por endemoniados,y son liberados,,,y !Y PUM SE APAGO!,…
    Aclaro,no he dejado de orar y creer que soy un apostol y profeta para estos ultimos tiempos.Ore por Mexico,Mexico lo nesecita,!AHORA!.Gracias por su apoyo,yo la apoyare mas adelante en su ministerio.Saludos desde Mexico,saludos a su esposo e hijos.

    1. Hello Jose,
      Your intercession, the cry of your heart is powerful and effective. May Mexico experience a powerful revival and move of the Spirit.
      Your experience and wisdom is greatly needed in the times ahead.
      Thank you for your prayers, too

  2. Thank you very much for the mail. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as EAGLES. Lord will use mightily for His purpose with special MANTLE. We are SIGNS AND WONDERS FOR OUR LORD JESUS. AMEN.

  3. Dear Helen, I am so blessed by all your comments. The oppression and depression that comes with being an intercessor. My verse is ,”Pray with a willingness to wait, and wait with a willingness to pray. Love all your insights, Beth – California

  4. Hi Helen my name is Ncence I always read all your post I found them interesting .I grow up as a child having prophetic dreams things they come to pass. Having lot of bad dreams fighting with devil water sexual. I grow up as a child having low blood pressure. People who have demons they used to hate me as a child. I didn’t undurstand cose i see myself as having demons because of bad dreams of dead talking with them. I went to a church they prayed for me i became deliveted from bad and scarery dreams. But i never stop to dream of coming event what is frustrating me I never be happy in the church i am. I am always hungry for God as if something more i can do to help. I go through lot of wilderness my life if up and down .I feel lonely rejected as if i don’t belong anywhere. At work i make lot of mistake at church i m not happy.
    I have a problem with my pastor i told him about the deram I have of a ring in my finger i take it out and my finger was bent and painfull. He said i have demons. When he pray for me my life became worse of troubles everything sleeplessnight. He was always angry. What helps me to overcome i make a humble prayer and ask God to intervene. I was in hell seeing things saw myself naked in the church in dreams. I lay down and pray more in my house when i am in the church scared. But God help me to overcome. Lot of people say i must go out in the church.
    My gift is stuck i don’t know whether God want to use me or not. There’s a cry in my soul.
    Pray for me and ask God what is that I can do to change my life.

    1. Hi Ncence,
      I’m sorry to hear of the torment and struggles you have had – your inheritance in Christ is freedom and I’m praying for you right now, that you will fully receive all God has for you, all Jesus has won for you personally on the cross.
      A book came to mind as I read your story, and if you could find a copy online in eBook or PDF it may have some keys to help you break free. That’s ‘Spirit Wars’ by Kris Vallotton.

  5. Wooow. I so needed to hear this. I have had so many prophetic words, dreams and visions that I was called to nations. At some point, I even went out and was used in this call but to a certain degree and now it has felt like it was over. This article has awakened me and encouraged me to stay on course and to wait for God’s timing. God Bless you Helen

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