Signs of the Prophetic Ministry
Les D. Crause
If I am called to the Office of Prophet, are there signs that can confirm my prophetic calling?
Most of the information needed to answer this has been covered in the articles on the prophetic ministry. This is an advance coverage until everything is complete.
I assume that since you are asking this question you have some interest in and possibly experience with the prophetic ministry. The fact that you are asking for pointers, and that you are not absolutely sure if you are going in the right direction or not, is a good sign. Nevertheless the desire must be there for you to have pondered this question, so the chances are the Lord has already begun to speak to you about this ministry. If this is true, then one of the first signs is already there - you are not sure if this is the way the Lord is leading you.
The call of God is gentle and unassuming. The Holy Spirit is pictured as a dove, which is a gentle bird that is easily frightened away. When the Lord moves upon you by His Spirit He always does it in the same way. Because of this we often wonder if we are imagining it or if it is really the Lord speaking. The only question you need to ask yourself to make sure if it is the Lord, is whether what you are hearing is for the Glory of God and the extension of His Kingdom.
If your desire to move into the prophetic ministry is one of glamour, recognition and self-exaltation, then you are off the mark. Not only that, you are sincerely deceived, because the call to the prophetic ministry is a call to death, not glory. The preparation and qualifications for becoming a prophet are unlike any other ministry, except for the apostle. You have to be a failure before you can be of use. You have to have learned that you cannot trust in yourself.
With all of these things in mind, then, let me try to give you a few possible signs of the prophetic call on your life. These do not necessarily mean you are called to be a prophet, and they might not all be there if you are called. But if you are called to be a prophet, then you are likely to see a fair portion of them in your life and experience. Some of these signs apply to any major calling to the ministry. Some are specific to the prophetic ministry.
Sign of Prophetic Calling: No 1
A desire has been burning in you for a long time to minister to the Body of Christ. This is not a passing fancy but something that has burned in you for a while. It is not so much a desire to bring unbelievers to know the Lord, but more a desire to help believers in their daily walk. It might be a desire to warn people of certain dangers. It might be a desire to encourage and lift believers up. Whichever direction it takes, this thing has taken hold of you and will not let go.
The call of God comes from God and not you. All you can produce in yourself is sin. Paul says in Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for I really want to [do good] ; but [how] to practice that which is good I find impossible.
The desire to do the work of God is planted by God and grows over a period of time. If you desire to do something for God's glory then it must have come from Him. If it does not fade over time then it is not an emotional fantasy but something real.
Sign of Prophetic Calling: No 2
Not many people are likely to share your enthusiasm for what you want to do. They may warn you to be careful, to calm down. They might even accuse you of being paranoid. They might tell you not to 'rock the boat.' You may have begun to wonder if this thing is of the Lord.
Your ministry is unique, so do not expect others to share your burden. The fact that you want to do something different could be proof that this desire is from the Lord. The Lord tends to hide His prophets away until they are ready. So do not expect others to quickly recognize your call, unless you have ministered to them personally. If you have been rejected, ostracized or accused of going against the general flow, then there is a good chance that the early signs of the prophetic ministry have started to show.
Sign of Prophetic Calling: No 3
Your desire is other-oriented. You are not so much concerned with making a name for yourself as you are with helping other people. You will gladly give up things that are important to you so that other people may benefit from your actions. The prophetic ministry, like the apostolic ministry requires a total commitment to the work of the Lord.
Ministry is servant hood and is likely to cost you a lot. If your desire is not to help others then it is not a calling to ministry. Jesus said in Matthew 20:27-28 27 And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man did not come to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many
You must be prepared to pay the price before you can enter it. If your desire is not for the good of others, you have not yet even entered the door.
Sign of Prophetic Calling: No 4
Over a period of time you have found yourself ministering to a particular area of need more than others. It seems that you always end up ministering to believers who need encouragement and direction in their lives. And when you do something happens inside you and you sense a surge taking place. You may find yourself telling people which way they should go and what God's purpose is for them.
The Lord prepares you for ministry by creating opportunities for you. Often you will not be aware of this. You only know that you feel content ministering to believers and helping them, to set their lives and ministries in order. These are all signposts showing you the way.
Sign of Prophetic Calling: No 5
People have told you that you have helped them, even when at times you have not been aware of it. Sometimes others can see your ministry more clearly than you can see it yourself. Solomon said in Proverbs 18:16 A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men
If you have a prophetic calling you will not be able to hide it indefinitely. It will start to show itself in time and others will begin to notice it.
You feel unqualified to do the work of the Lord and usually feel unworthy to push yourself forward to suggest that you be given an opportunity. When appeals are made for help you wait for everyone else to step forward first before you offer your services.
Humility is a sure sign of your genuineness. The Spirit of God always leads gently. He is likened to a dove, that is meek and easily frightened away. Jesus is called the Lamb of God. A lamb is also a gentle creature that does not push its way. Since the call comes gently, you may even wonder at times if you heard right.
Sign of Prophetic Calling: No 7
The key ministry of a prophet is intercessory prayer. If you find yourself being led to spend a lot of time interceding for others and you have had times when you have been very clearly led and have seen definite results, the elements of a prophetic ministry are certainly there. The prophet is the key to what God does in the earth. God said in the Old Testament that He does nothing unless He first reveals His secret to the prophets.
If you have been led to pray things into existence or birth them in the Spirit through intercessory prayer, then your prophetic ministry is already starting to manifest.
Sign of Prophetic Calling: No 8
The prophet is sensitive to the moving of God's Spirit and has the ability to bring the anointing into a meeting. This is often seen in musical capability or a particular ability to lead effectively in praise and worship. If you have been effectively involved in leading the congregation in praise and worship and can cause the anointing of the Spirit to come upon a group when you lead, this can certainly be very clear evidence of a prophetic ministry in operation.
Sign of Prophetic Calling: No 9
If you are called to be a prophet, then your preparation will span many years and will be one of the most difficult and troublesome processes. The prophet will be battered and broken and brought to nothing in himself before he can be of any use to the Kingdom of God. He will have to learn not to trust in himself or in his own abilities. His knowledge and natural strengths will be tried in the fire and brought to naught before God can use him.
If your life has been one of intense problems, failures, oppositions, persecutions and pressure, then this could be a sign of preparation for the prophetic ministry. I have yet to meet a prophet who has had life of smooth sailing, easy success and personal recognition. As I said earlier, the prophetic call is a call to death. Like the apostle, the prophet must have the sentence of death in himself. He must sacrifice all for the sake of the ministry. He must die completely to self.
Well these are the main signposts I can offer to help you clarify whether the Lord has called you to be a prophet or not. Of course the best confirmation will always come through another prophet. God often calls a prophet to the ministry using a senior prophet, and even his training might come under the direction of one who has been in the prophetic office for a while.
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Signs of the Prophetic Ministry