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, ).
Paul’s gifts and calling unfolded progressively throughout his life, and it will happen that way in ours too. 
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) 
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.
 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.
© 2017 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family