Do you lack confidence in your prophetic ability when you compare yourself to those who are stronger in the prophetic gift or ministry? Today I want to encourage you. If you are not in ministry leadership, remember that you are a leader in your own life as well as in roles such as your family, work and relationships.
- Are affirmed in their ability to hear from God personally and as a leader
- Realise that the role of prophecy is primarily to confirm and support what God is already speaking to them as leaders (or what He will speak to them about in the future)
- Are empowered to oversee and pastor prophetic team members
- Gain insights to help them weigh up prophetic words, gifts and ministries
‘Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.’ (Acts 20:28a)
On the other hand, those attendees who do have a strong prophetic gift understand that their pastors and leaders have a God-given mandate, both to lead them and to weigh up their prophetic insights. They are encouraged to honour their leaders’ ability to hear the voice of God in the context of their leadership role.
So—how do leaders and pastors who do not have a strong prophetic gift, hear from God? Here are 3 ways that leaders hear from God in the course of their ministry:
1. Personal Relationship
‘For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.’ (Rom 8:14)
In our personal relationship with God, we are being led by the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us about the Father’s intentions and what is on His heart.
Leaders have the capacity to hear from God regarding their personal lives as well as for the group, organisation or ministry they are leading.
Some of the ways that the Holy Spirit communicates to us as individuals include:
- Insights through Scripture—verses, stories, principles—that prove to be a ‘now’ word of encouragement, exhortation or instruction
- Thoughts and ideas that come to mind and are sourced in the Holy Spirit
- Words spoken by others (for example, sermons listened to, thoughts that come up in conversation)
- Conversation with God (prayer)
- Other prophetic means such as impressions, feelings, pictures and visions
This is one of the key distinctions between Old and New Testament prophetic ministry. Insights and prophecies given from those who have a prophetic gift or office are now confirmation of what a leader is already hearing through relationship with God.
In addition to this, there are at least two further ways that leaders hear from God—and this is in the context of their particular spiritual gift as leaders and administrators:
2. The Gift of Leadership
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Rom 12:6-8)
The Holy Spirit speaks and leads through the anointed gift of leadership. Some of the ways this manifests include:
- An intuitive (Spirit-given) sense of the right direction to lead the group
- The Spirit-anointed ability to see the big picture and how everything fits together
- Leadership decisions and directives that are sourced in the Spirit’s anointing for leadership
An example of a leader’s capacity and authority to speak God’s purposes in the Spirit’s anointing is found in Acts 15. The Apostle James (Gal 1:9) is not one of the original twelve disciples, nor is he recognised as a prophet. And yet James’ judgment and clear directive is sourced in the Holy Spirit’s anointing for governing leadership on his life. Consequently, every other leader honoured his pronouncement.
This ability to lead under the directorship of the Holy Spirit’s anointing is what Samuel spoke about to Saul:
‘Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.’(1 Sam 10:6-7, NKJV)
3. Spirit-Empowered Wisdom
‘But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit… But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.’ (1 Cor 12:7,8,11)
Some of the ways that the Holy Spirit speaks and leads through the gift of wisdom include:
- Practical (but Spirit-sourced) wisdom to know the best timing and way to implement something
- An Spirit-inspired solution to a problem
- Anointed logic and reasoning that results in something being done well and in a way that glorifies God
- Spontaneous wisdom that is clearly from the Holy Spirit
In addition to wisdom, the Holy Spirit can also use other gifts such as discernment, to communicate and bring direction or adjustment.
The Miracle of Hearing God Speak
There is no hierarchy of the ways that God speaks. In God’s Kingdom, a practical, but God-breathed, word of wisdom is just as significant as an open vision.
Every word from God and all the ways that He directs are significant and have power for transformation, advancement and breakthrough. What matters is that the Holy Spirit is the source. Every time He communicates, regardless of how He chooses to manifest, it is a miracle.
‘There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. ‘ (1 Cor 12:4-6)
Has this article on how leaders (who may not have a prophetic gift) hear from God spoken to you, or do you have a testimony to share? Leave a message in the comments section, on Facebook or on Instagram. If the blog comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.