What is a Prophetic Calling?
‘Prophetic’ speaks of Father’s intention for your life—the purpose and destiny that you are created for.
‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ (Eph 2:10)
A prophetic calling does not mean that God has a rigid set of plans that you must adhere to. Your prophetic calling has ebbs and flows, like a river. It is a journey; your personal walk with Jesus.
When it feels as though you have missed the mark, or in a prolonged time of waiting for your prophetic calling, God’s grace is there for you. You find that the Holy Spirit has been at work all along.
Then, when least expected, you enter a season of Divine acceleration and God unfolds His prophetic calling for your life in ways beyond which you have dreamed.
7 Ways to Prepare for Your Prophetic Calling
Do you feel called to prophetic ministry? Here are 7 ways to prepare for your prophetic calling, inspired by those called to the ministry of a prophet in the Bible:
1. Focus on Intimacy with God and Prayer
Anna was destined to be a prophetic voice at Jesus’ birth. Leading up to this time, she spent many years ministering as an intercessor at the Temple, fasting and praying. (Luke 2:36-38)
When the Prophet Elijah suddenly stepped on to the stage (1 Kings 17:1) to address King Ahab and announce drought, he already had a mature relationship with God, as well as a strong, anointed prophetic authority. He later took his successor, Elisha, through prophetic apprenticeship. However, the Scripture reveals nothing of Elijah’s own apprenticeship with God. It was accomplished in the private place of intimacy.
Focus on your intimate relationship with God, your prayer, Bible study and devotional life—in the secret place, before anybody sees the result of it.
2. Serve Faithfully Where You Are
Deborah was a prophetess who was called by God to ultimately be instrumental in delivering Israel from twenty years of bondage to a cruel oppressor. As a prophet, she must have foreseen that day would come. And yet she spent years leading up to that time faithfully serving as a judge to Israel, listening and settling disputes, enduring decades of oppression. (Judges 4)
Serve faithfully in the ministry you have, while waiting for God’s ultimate purpose and destiny to open up for your life.
3. Stay on Track During the Hard Times
Wilderness periods are a recurring Biblical theme, especially for those who have a significant call of God upon their lives. John the Baptist spent a long time in the desert, preparing for the call on his life to be a prophet who would prepare the way for Jesus. (Luke 3:2) Moses endured failure and 40 years in the wilderness before being raised up as a prophet and leader to Israel.
There are no shortcuts to a prophetic calling. Many times God calls us to endure seasons of waiting and wondering, whilst He is at work behind the scenes preparing our character, lining up people and circumstances for what is ahead.
4. Embrace Secular Work
Elisha was working in his family’s business the day Elijah came by with his mantle and prophetic calling. Peter and John were fishing—busy and successful in their family’s small business, when Jesus came by and called them. Daniel discovered that his prophetic ministry was to be carried out in the marketplace. He had the ear of Kings and was promoted to one of the highest places in the kingdom.
Family, business, government, and education—all of these things are significant in God’s sight. He is raising up powerful prophetic ministries; those like Joseph and Daniel who will serve Him primarily in these areas. Do not assume that a calling to prophetic ministry means that you will never work in secular employment. Even when called to ministry as a primary vocation, work wholeheartedly in your secular career until God releases you to move on.
5. Honour Leaders—Even During Times of Trial
Elisha had Elijah and the disciples had Jesus, but not all those who had a prophetic calling in Scripture enjoyed the benefits of healthy leadership. David continued to serve Saul as a warrior and musician when mistrust and jealousy were operating in Saul’s life. When Saul was pursuing David to kill him, David refused to kill Saul even when it appeared God had granted him an opportunity. His words were ‘But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.’ (1 Sam 26:11)
Samuel faithfully served as a priest under Eli’s leadership, even though God’s hand of judgment was against Eli for his weakness of character and allowing corruption in his family and ministry. Samuel waited for God’s timing for his ministry as a prophet and national leader to emerge. (1 Sam 3-4)
Keep a heart of honour towards your leaders, even during the hard times and serve their vision faithfully. Stay where God has planted you, unless He has released you to move on. Make it your mission to finish well.
6. Be Planted in a Local Church
When we first meet Agabus, a prominent prophet in the New Testament, he is one of a ‘company of prophets’ in the Jerusalem Church. (Acts 11:27-28). The Apostle Paul began his ministry serving in the local church at Antioch. In spite of the powerful prophetic call on his life, he waited until church leaders confirmed the timing of that call before he launched out in his missionary calling. (Acts 13)
The context for prophetic ministry, and for the Christian life, is within the community of a local church. Seek out and embrace the community of a church and flourish under the pastoral oversight God gives to you.
7. Move Past Your Comfort Zone
God challenged Jeremiah to speak in spite of his youthfulness and timidity. “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” (Jer 1:6-7)
In order to grow into your prophetic calling you will face times of stretching again and again. These are points of decision, orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, in which you have the opportunity to follow and obey God’s call upon your life.
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