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. 
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. 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 take? Before taking any action, we can submit both the word and our personal guidance to leadership. This accountability is our safety net. 
5. Don’t Forget Timing is Involved
Sometimes our sense of timing and God’s can be different.  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.
 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?
 See How to Make the Most of Your Personal Prophecy for more insights about weighing up your prophecy
 Following are two important articles on this subject:
 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:
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
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