3 Characteristics of Your Gift and Ministry’s Hidden Phase

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, [1]).

Paul’s gifts and calling unfolded progressively throughout his life, and it will happen that way in ours too. [2]

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) [2]

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.


Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts ~ Now Inside the Prophetic School

If you are feeling stuck, or have undergone hardship in relation to your prophetic or prayer gift, this book will encourage you and provide you with keys to move forward in developing your gift. Learn how to:

  • Identify the season you are currently in for each of your gifts, including a season of wilderness and trial
  • Find out how to break through to the next level
  • Maximise opportunities in the current stage of growth in your spiritual gift

The book, ‘Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts’ is now available as a bonus PDF inside the Enliven Prophetic School.

I have completed the first stage of basic teaching modules and am now taking an Australian Summer break from production.

In the meantime, you can find the Prophetic School here.


Notes:

[1] I write about this in my book ‘Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts’. You can find ‘Grow Your Prophetic and Prayer Gifts’ for sale as a single eBook here on the eStore.

[2] 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.

[3] See_https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/paul/timeline.cfm


© 2017 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family

4 Signs You Are in Transition in Your Gift, Role or Ministry

Do you feel as though you are in transition in relation to your spiritual gift, prophetic ministry or calling?

Transition can be a difficult time. We are uncomfortable with the status quo, and yet the new opportunity that God for us has not yet manifested.

In spite of the trials, transition is powerful—it heralds the fact that a new season of fruitfulness is on its way!

Following are 4 signs that you may be in a God-appointed time of transition in your gift or calling, along with some keys to help you move forward:


1. Experiencing a low time in your ministry

Transition leads to greater fruitfulness“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2)

You may have felt as though you have been in a lull, or having a time of barrenness in relation to your calling. You may have experienced a wilderness season.

If you feel as though you have been cut back in some way, that does not mean you have failed. Neither does it mean that you are in the wrong place. It may simply be a sign that God is at work, preparing you for greater fruitfulness up ahead.

Transition is a time for strong hope. ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (Jer 29:11)


2. God is at work in your heart

‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.’ (Prov 4:23)

Your gift and ministry flows from your heart. So when God is preparing you for a new season, you will find that His Spirit is ministering to you at a deep level.

Perhaps during this time of transition, hurts are being brought to the surface for healing. You may even feel vulnerable. By His Spirit, God is wooing you. He is calling you to intimacy with Him.

Mindsets that you have had are being tested and challenged. Father is saying, ‘You cannot take that thinking with you into your next season.’ It is a time to foster a mindset of faith.

Transition is, by nature, a time in which you have difficulty finding satisfaction in your current role or achievements. Now is the time to rediscover and rest confidently in your identity as a son or daughter of God.


3. Feeling you don’t fit, sensing there is more

In the past, you may have fit very well in your current ministry or role. However, during transition you find that you are no longer comfortable. You may feel as though you are like ‘a square peg in a round hole.’

Because of this tension, transition can be a test of attitude, character and faithfulness.

‘Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”’ (Col 4:17)

If a season is being brought to a close in your role, make it your aim to finish well, with honour and integrity.

There may be spiritual warfare at the transition stage. Your enemy wants to rob you of your destiny.

You may be presented with a ‘shortcut’ that is not God’s best for you. Transition is a time to check options that come your way with the Holy Spirit, with others close to you and with Godly oversight.

Be assured that as you remain faithful during a time of transition, your Heavenly Father is at work in the background. He is lining up people and circumstances, and preparing the way for the new opportunities that lie ahead for you.


4. Travail

‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ (Matt 6:10)

Travail is God’s invitation to participate with Him in birthing your new season. This will be primarily through prayer and your relationship with Him. Allow the Holy Spirit to draw on the longings of your heart, to pray and intercede for what lies ahead.

During transition, your vision for the future may be clear, or you may lack clarity.

Don’t be afraid to dream and envision the next stage. Give God your imagination; give Him something to anoint, direct and work with.

‘Travail’ may also mean that practical preparations, study, or extra work is required to position for what lies ahead. Transition is not necessarily a time to slow down—be open to hearing the Holy Spirit urge you to pick up your pace.


Transition in the Life of Elijah

When God appoints a time of transition, He has already provided you ahead of time with everything that you need.

By the end of 1 Kings 18, Elijah had experienced a great victory. And yet shortly afterwards, he was on the run, fearing for his life. He was also exhausted.

God chose this brief, painful time as a transition in Elijah’s life. He encouraged Elijah to rest and gave him supernatural nourishment. Then, He gave Elijah instructions for the next fruitful season of his ministry. (see 1 Kings 19)

Elijah’s story is a reminder of the grace and goodness of God. He gives you the time needed to grieve, rest and be replenished, when you need it.

Then, at the pivotal time, God leads you into a fresh encounter Him. There, He provides you with the guidance you need to move forward.

The time has come to stride boldly into your new season.


Related Posts:

Going Through a Testing Season in Your Spiritual Gifts

3 Benefits of God-Appointed Transition


Do you feel as though you are going through a time of transition? Which of the above do you most relate to?  Let us know us about it in the blog comments section, or on Facebook or Instagram. If the blog comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© 2016 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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