From Failure to Graduation: The Prophetic Calling

When I look back at the journey of my prophetic calling, there is one thing that stands out:

The times I have grown the most—the life-defining moments that have taken me to greater levels—have been mistakes and failures!

And interestingly, the failures that were the most painful, the ones I learned the most through, weren’t acts of wilful disobedience. They were decisions and actions that I made with good intentions, but because I lacked wisdom, had a character weakness, or had a gap in my understanding, I failed.

There are some graduations that our Father has for us, that can only be achieved through mistakes and failure.

And He will actually allow us to make mistakes—even engineer circumstances that may lead to our failure—because He has the bigger picture in mind. This is especially true of those who have a prophetic calling.

God can Turn Your Failure into an Upgrade

Peter is an example of someone who meant well, who loved Jesus, but he had a character weakness. His intentions were good, but he was prideful and trusted in his own strength. And Jesus allowed circumstances to expose his weakness. Remember He said to Peter:

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32, NIV)

Jesus knew there was a demonic assignment against Peter; He knew failure was up ahead! And yet He allowed it to run its course.

Peter’s failure—and the restoration that came afterwards—marked a significant graduation in Peter’s life and ministry. Not only was he humbled and empowered, but God used him to help birth the church and transform nations.

It is our Father’s grace and kindness towards us, leading us towards repentance.

Our Father is seeing something that we don’t; a glorious vision of who He has called and created us to be.

God is molding and shaping us until we are formed into His likeness. As Isaiah wrote: ‘O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.’ (Is 64:8)

Some of the reasons God allows us to fail and make mistakes is because:

  • We may have a blind spot or a character weakness—and God’s purpose in exposing it is to turn it to our greatest strength
  • We lack wisdom—and failure is the fast-track to gaining that wisdom
  • We are depending on our own strength or on something or someone other than God. Our Father is allowing circumstances to reveal the weakness of what we are leaning on in order that our life, work and ministry can be founded upon Jesus

7 Keys to Turning Your Failures into Favor

Today perhaps you can relate to this as you have regret about a mistake or a failure. But there is good news. You can cooperate with God to turn your failure into favor and a future that brings Him glory.

1. Own your mistakes—don’t give in to the temptation to shift the blame onto other people or circumstances outside of your control
2. Take time for restoration, and make whatever restitution is needed
3. Accept God’s forgiveness (and forgive yourself)
4. Learn and gain wisdom from the failure
5. Step into the upgrade your Father has for you
6. Release regret. Refuse to allow it!
7. From now on, see that failure as a marker of God’s graduation in your life

Related Posts:

Release Regret and Embrace Your New Season

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48 thoughts on “From Failure to Graduation: The Prophetic Calling

  1. Anon

    Hi Helen,

    This resonates 100% with me and where I’m at in my journey with God at the moment. I started a degree in July last year which brought on some internal and external challenges. Last year I failed a test of personal integrity and this morning I received a low grade for an assignment that I expected to do better in. However I believe these mistakes and errors of judgement were part of a lesson to develop me further because'”I lacked wisdom, had a character weakness, and a gap in my understanding”. I have been given feedback and am supported on this journey by good leaders/teachers and so I can look forward to graduating with God’s grace.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Ian praying for you now. God’s grace is abundant towards you! You are still on track in spite of things that have happened, and that gives Father pleasure. Keep on going for it, great things are up ahead.

    2. Oryina samuel

      Thank you very much for the write up it has blessed me ,If there is a second chance with God I want it, I come to a point in my life that I think I have failed God, and that God is disappointed with me due to my mistakes and failures and what the stagnation I am experienceing is as a result of my character weakness,
      And also because I lack wisdom.
      Yes in my late twenties I senced one of the gifts of the holy spirit in my life, i am 30 plus but up till now I have not done anything as how to use this gift for the edification of the church.
      Is being one failure of the other all this years.
      Is God still working on me? Or is there something I have to do?

  2. Anonymous

    Hi Helen,
    This is all so true. I was very upset about a failed marriage in my life… As you said I did it thinking it was good. A believer as Bible says, arranged marriage, trusting God and my parents to take the right decision for me. Prayed that God would shower his wisdom on my parents to lead me.
    But still I failed somewhere. I can’t find where, can’t figure out how. And I have tried all that I can, prayed day n night. Yet…I m divorced.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      That’s a very difficult thing to experience. there may have been mistakes along the way (and in relationships that goes both ways) but there does come a time to release the regrets, receive healing and move forward, I pray that you will receive His supernatural comfort and empowerment and be released to move forward

  3. Sandra

    Thank you very much for this post which has moved me to write to you out of the pain of my own circumstances. You see the Lord has placed me on a faith walk but the environment that I am in my heart for this faith walk transformation, I did not want to be physically be(Jamaica) . This has brought me much frustration and pain as I struggle to regain my footing. I literally feel that I am in a holding cell waiting for that Pharoah moment from God where my earlier Canadian life which I had to leave behind will be restored including some of the prophetic and healing gifts that I was supposed to have. There are times during the intense battles within the spirit realm that I have failed to exercise faith and I have cried to God-How long? I have had my share of spiritual failures and I can therefore appreciate where you are coming from. Thank you so much for the blog, it blessed my heart. I will make a donation soon.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Sandra, praying for you – these ‘dark nights of the soul’ to have an end where we see more fully why God has allowed the things He does and we see His greater purpose. I pray His hope and joy touches you today. There IS more up ahead for you and you are on track for your Divine appointment

  4. vera

    I was so blessed reading this wonderful piece. I lost smt which was due to my mistake. I think am happy now knowing fully well God was teaching me smt. Am glad you sent me d mail.God bless you all.

  5. Naomi

    Hi Helen
    I have had Peter’s failure on my heart these last two days. I feel God is ministering to me about my feelings about my marriage and memories of sensing from him direction in different ways many times to not proceed, and it was not his best for me, (and directing me to another more suitable person) but at the time I did not neccessarily recognise clearly it was God. I was doing very well at ignoring my intuition and probably his spirits communications. I knew something wasn’t right straight after we married. I had had all sorts of doubts even up until the wedding day. Now we have been married for 15 years with many problems. I have had so much grief as only recently I feel God has chosen to highlight the memories more clearly of all of this. I have had some sort of denial up until now probably to cope. We are both Christians but chalk and cheese it feels it almost every other way and life is stressful often. I have problems with the memories of the relationship I feel God was pointing to as it was a deeper, more accepting, and emotionally connecting love, which I now see was a healing gift for me from God and many other reasons it would have been easier and more suitable and exactly what I had prayed for and I feel the enemy stole from me and I allowed him too far too easily. There is great grief in my heart about all of this. Your article was definatley Gods blessed timing today and I breathed this sigh of relief seeing it’s topic…

  6. Evans

    Dear Hellen,
    Thanks for allowing God to use you.
    Many years back I,in two different occasions received confirmations from people who don’t even know me that God will use me to preach. I perceive God has graced me as a teacher of the work. Time has gone by and seems as if I am the one not doing something about what am called to do and as such feel I have failed because many years have passed.
    Am worried.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Evans, I believe it’s God’s purpose for us to be empowered, not helpless, in our calling. On one hand there is the time of waiting and this can certainly be years – I experienced ‘many years’ in preparation for the full manifestation of God’s call to preach, so I encourage you in that – a lapse of years does not mean you are disqualified, it just means God’s timing is closer. But just like Joseph, in our seasons of waiting, we can be developing the skills, serving where we are and preparing faithfully. And I pray you have the wisdom and keys to know what that means in your current situation.

  7. Angel

    Hi Helen,
    This is very true because recently I was affected by my relationship severely. But I had asked God to make me understand the bigger picture which I couldn’t see back then. And I have been understanding alot of things which were going wrong due to my mistakes, lack of wisdom and not depending on God fully. However, I completely understand that if I didn’t have that failure in my life then I wouldn’t have humbled myself infront of Jesus. Now, Jesus is the first priority in my life and I have realised that I have been called to share how Yahweh gave me hope. So, I can glorify the Lord even through my broken situation. I am still patiently waiting for recovery in my relationship and for God to amend what was broken into a blessing. It’s definitely hard but I have now 100% faith, trust and hope in the Lord to make a way and fulful his promises. Prayer is my only form of happiness and peace now. He has an amazing purpose for his people. Thank You for sharing this. And God bless you

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Angel, such a beautiful, trusting response. I pray you experience God’s empowerment and breakthrough in your situation

  8. Martha

    Hi Helen;

    I am often encouraged by your emails. Right now am going through a phase of failure. This is in regard to my petition to God to have a family. I have made some mistakes and many times failed in my walk with my God. The desire to pray and seek of the Lord had diminished after seeing no visible signs to God’s answers yet knowing what the scriptures say. I made a mess of things, in my quest for marriage, thinking it was God leading me, only to realise that it was not him at all. Today after reading your email , i choose to let go of regret and appreciate once again the leading of the Lord. You mention a book you wrote in your email concerning your failure and restoration in prophetic ministry. Wondering if i can get more details about it. Thank you and God bless

  9. Moses

    I’m very thankful for this post, my entire past two weeks are resolved within every line of this post. I’ve come to accept and learn from the failures that have sneaked up on and pulled the rug from beneath my feet – God has a plan and a purpose for my personal growth. Thank you so much, Helen. God bless you!

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Moses, I’m glad this has been an encouragement to you – God is good!

  10. James Chihombori

    Thanks Helen for such a powerful word. It is quite helpful to me since I am finding myself operating in the prophetic these days. Let me also point that your blog has been of great help to me and to most of us in Ministry.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi James, thanks, I’m very happy to hear the blog has been helpful. I pray you are blessed and continually enlarged in the Spirit

  11. jose ramos

    Las cosas como que no han marchado bien en mi ministerio…fracaso en lo fisico,economico,y ademas problemas con aquellos a quienes apasiento.En ocasiones pienso que Dios ha obstaculizado con algun proposito todo esto.Pero no lo entiendo.Gracias,espero ayudarle economicamente en el ministerio.Saludos,oren por Mexico,lo nesecita,oramos por ustedes.

    1. Ric Taylor

      Estimado Hermano Ramos,
      Esperamos que esta cartita le encuentra quedar con salud excelente, lleno por SU ESPRITU SANTO. Hermano, lo mas que decirte: Quedese fuerte para con su fe en JESUCRISTO; DIOS no es limitado por nuestros fracasos en ninguna forma. Cuando nosotros no le expectamos, se abre una puerta, sin duda ninguna que EL lo hizo por SU Gloria. Quedese fiel, Hermano. Sin duda, le mantenemos en las oraciones al SENOR. Su hermano en CRISTO JESUS, con todo amor

    2. Helen Calder Post author

      Hello Jose, I’m sorry to hear of your continued trials – today I am praying you will know God’s Presence, strength and joy and for faith to see what your Father is doing. I stand with you in prayer for your family and circumstances and your breakthrough.
      Greetings from Australia

  12. Shanniel

    Thank you for the post….I found great insight reading it, currently experiencing almost all the post states.

    God bless you, Father God knows what his children needs/ to carry them to a greater purpose.

  13. Shinua Morris

    Amen God’s hands are upon in the abundant way he’s preparing and it’s beautiful, praise and glorify God, sister u be blessed in Jesus name Amen

  14. Lily

    Wow!! I was in a marriage that ended when my husband died suddenly several years ago; I got with him because I thought he was the man that had been prophesied to me to marry. He wasn’t; he was a counterfeit sent by Satan to derail me from God’s purpose and stain my testimony. I often wonder if my failure by marrying him anyway because of trying to right our “moral failure”, might mean that the prophesy of the man God has for me has been annulled because of my failure, when God was making it clear my late husband wasn’t the one He had for me……

  15. Ann

    Awesome Insight! I am going through a situation now that I, like Peter, had good intentions, but things went down hill quickly with people I love and relationships are not the same as before. I am having trouble moving forward because I feel “how could have things blown up this way” Letting go of regret is a lesson that is important and needs to continued to be shared. Thanks for your obedience!

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Ann, praying for you right now, may you know His joy, be empowered and free to let go and move forward <3

  16. Estelle

    Dear Helen

    I just want to thank you for all the articles, which really have been a blessing to me thus far. I subscribed towards the end of last year and am actually looking forward to the next e-mail/video each time. It is amazing how God’s timing with your choice of topic is always so perfect. If I watch or read something relating to my current situation on TV or the internet, there would be confirmation through an article that you shared, or vice versa, shortly after.

    I am most definitely in a season of testing and transition and also recognise the need to “cross-over” this time. I also know that the crossing-over or breakthrough or ascending to the next level depends solely upon my response to the process. I watched your video for this teaching on You Tube on Wednesday morning, and links to sermons from another source were on the page, and I decided to listen to one sermon in particular. It turned out to be about King Jehosaphat’s example when faced with impossible circumstances, and how he sought the LORD’s counsel first, and how they received a fresh word from GOD via the prophet, as they humbled themselves before GOD. In the evening I turned on the TV to watch a particular broadcast and that teaching was about King Jehosaphat, too! A week before, I programmed a broadcast to watch on TV, tuned in late and just happened on the end of the program and caught the last sentence… it was about taking responsibility for our actions. So this article again, has arrived in my mailbox exactly at the right time! Praise GOD! Our Heavenly Father is so absolutely awesome and gracious and faithful and patient with us… providing us with what we need, when we need it, and repeating the message until it has sunken in!

    I wish I could have shared my whole testimony up to this point, and all the ways GOD has been using Enliven’s teachings (and a couple of teachings from David McCracken Ministries as well) to be instrumental in preparing the soil and sowing seeds of “a word in time” – all of which have been a tremendous blessing to me, not only in opening up my understanding of what has been/is going on in my life, but also in providing practical steps for progress.

    Helen, may the LORD bless you abundantly in the work you do, so that this ministry will continue to expand despite and beyond difficult times, and that these much needed teachings can keep on reaching the multitudes that are hungry for an intimate, personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, so that they may fullfil His call upon their lives and bring glory to His Name.

    The risen GOD is an inconvenient truth for Satan… JESUS IS LORD!

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Thank you Estelle for your wonderful comment, which is a great encouragement to me! God is so good!

  17. richard

    amen, good morning everyone .this is very inspire me because I have been faced a lot challenges , difficulties ,disappointiment and failures in my life amen .thank you so much for this week topic. it helps me

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hi Richard, I’m sorry to hear about the trials, I pray you receive a fresh empowerment of the Spirit this week.

  18. Ric Taylor

    Amen! Greetings Friends. Yes, those things do not destroy us, but allow us to continue on with power and wisdom. This is of course to the Glory of GOD and to the strengthening of HIS Church.
    Since only JESUS Is Perfect, we can expect to encounter many stumbling blocks along the way.
    We are of course to be of “Good Cheer”. HE has Overcome this world. GOD Bless!

  19. kudakwashe

    Hi Helen my name is Kudakwashe .firstly i would like to thank you ,your blog is so helpful.My story is that i am not understanding what is happening to me ,i dream dreams which i can’t understand or even see things in a flash while um awake,i asked some coleagues and they said i have a Prophetic ministry in me.How best can i understand this.

  20. Mpho

    Awesome. After reading, I was reminded of my calling that I have put aside. Now I understand why I am going through what I am going through. Thank you for clearing my vision. I now got it. God bless you

  21. Amy

    Thank you. Its so hard to go through these things. Thank you for the encouragement and helping me to understand how to move past my regret. Do you think that when we fail or disobey, that we lose out on a blessing that can never be given again? Do you think that we could fail so much, that we become like King Saul and lose our calling?

  22. Pearl Great Daniels

    This for me is very timely the experiences are not sweet not at all . Mistakes that are powered by weaknesses but I’m grateful to God this is an eye opener really. And now I also know that this is not to kill me but to speak to me and take out that which as a weakness will limit my ministry . God bless you Helen for this teaching ,though not very recent but it has blessed me greatly.

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