November 10, 2009
This article coves the basic steps to begin the process of developing your spiritual gifts or your prophetic promise. Following the short article is a questionnaire that, if you follow with patience, over time you will help you develop your spiritual gifts to fulfill your destiny in Christ. Please feel free to make copies and circulate as you wish.
The definition of personal prophecy may be defined as the opportunity to fulfill God’s will. We must understand that unlike Scriptures which are eternal, that personal prophecy is almost always conditional. They are conditional because they require a proper response. We are not born again as mature Christians, nor are we born mature in our gifting, but we mature through a growth process to gain the understanding, wisdom and experience that takes place over time as we walk with God.
The purpose of God revealing spiritual gifts or imparting them is to let us know that something of a spiritual dynamic is being revealed that needs our attention. The purpose of an impartation of a spiritual gift is to empower you with the tools that you need to fulfill your call. They do not come to pass automatically simply because someone gave you a “thus sayeth the Lord “word. Like any natural gift or talent, you must begin the process to develop your gift in order to fulfill the promise that will prosper His Kingdom and His people.
For instance, how many of us would like to listen to an untrained singer who believes they have a gift that is polished that will lead multitudes to Christ because of a prophetic word recently given to them? I have seen many stumble and fall because they stepped out to fulfill a prophetic word before they were properly prepared and trained to minister with integrity with some degree of competency!
Unfortunately, there are many who are wounded from being rejected that tried to serve new wine that was simply grape juice. The reason is they failed to understand the process required that takes new wine through its stages over time to where it is suits the palate of those who desire seasoned wine. It doesn’t matter what you put on the label, grape juice is still grape juice – sweet to the taste but not very mature. However, despite our immaturity, God still uses people as that’s how they grow! We must however, understand the level at which we are at and not presume upon God’s grace.
The Words are Seeds that are Sown
Jesus gives to us the parable of the sower that seeds, which represents the word of God. (See Luke 8:5-15) In this parable, He speaks of the process that is required to bear fruit, as well as that which will rob the seed of its eternal inheritance. He concludes the teaching telling us
“But the good ground are those with an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it and bring forth fruit with patience” (Verse 8:15)
By this parable of Jesus we know that patience is a virtue required to bring forth fruit. As Jesus taught, the fruit of all gifts first begins with a seed that is sown. Prophecy is the same way, it begins with a seed that you are to receive. Apples do not begin its journey as an apple, but as an apple seed. Such is the Word of God. In order to bear fruit, it first must be received by faith, then watered with the word of God) and cultivated to pull out the weeds and fertilized. Over time the dead branches will be pruned by the Lord. This pruning is accomplished almost always by the Lord using people. You know the church pastor, boss or family member that bothers you the most!
We must remain flexible as well as patient during the process from the time we revived an impartation to the time that we are bear fruit. We must also with patience understand that every trial and tribulation, every circumstance and situation is a gift that the Lord uses to forge us into His image and likeness, which is the source of every good fruit. Without God’s divine love reigning in our hearts, we would simply be making a lot of noise. (See 1 Cor. chapter 13).
Let’s use the example that a person received a prophetic word that they are called as a watchman. God has decreed this in heaven, but it still needs to manifest on earth. When God gives a prophetic word, tagged with it is the faith to fulfill its purpose (faith of Christ) that energizes us with new life – His. Along with the prophecy there is often a promise from the Lord but its fulfillment is based upon our response and how well we tend to His Word.
Simply telling the pastor of your church or your friends, that you are called to be a watchman does not make you one, nor does it require that others place you on the wall as a watchman. Is. 62:6 is very clear that the Lord sets watchmen on the walls. There is a vast difference between an impartation of a gift, and the person walking in maturity that reveals the fruit of that gift or ministry.
There is time involved between the call and being commissioned. If you are wondering if you have been commissioned then you haven’t been. What lies between the promise and the Promise Land is the wilderness. It is the wilderness that perfects us as well as the circumcision on the banks of Jordan that prepares us. (Circumcision cuts away the dead works of the flesh) We cannot cross over Jordan to inherit our promise until we have completed the process. The greater the call the greater the process that is required to fulfill the call.
Just look at the life of Joseph and David, both were anointed and called of God at an early age, but each went through a process that took them from prophecy, to prison to become a prince and in David’s case, the King of Israel.
How much time it takes depends upon our response to cultivate that which the Lord has given to us. Unfortunately, many fail to reach their potential for one reason- a lack of disciple and focus. If you have been receiving the same prophetic word over and over again, year after year, then you need to tend to it. Most people see repeated prophecy as encouragement and it is, but if it isn’t coming to pass, it’s quite possible that you haven’t done your part. Quite often the Lord doesn’t give a fresh word until one has properly on the journey to fulfill the first word.
For example, from the time that a person feels they are called to become a fireman to the time they are commissioned to fight fires, requires a process of training, practice and experience. It is not the prophetic word or even the gift that qualifies a person, but the training and experience along with a certain level of competency. If a person that is called to be a fireman just sits on the fence, he will still be there years later waiting for something to happen. But when they take action and are doers of the word, they will see that they know how to use the tools that are available to them to fight fires and when to use them.
Our very lives may well depend upon this as well as the lives of others. How many of us would like to fly with a person that believes they are called to be a jet pilot that has never flown before, or that has little flight time?
Likewise, spiritual gifts are not given to validate our gifting, nor to build up our ministry or to make our meetings better, but for the work of ministry. This is why the Lord has given to the church the 5-fold ministries. That is Christ the apostle, Christ the prophet, Christ the evangelist, Christ the pastor and teacher
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ” (See Eph. 4:11-12).
The apostle Paul tells us that the main purpose of Church leadership is not to do the work of the ministry, but to equip the saints to function in the church as God has called each one. (1 Cor. 12:18) A true apostolic is a church where all the fivefold ministries of Christ are functioning as a team equipping the ordinary members of the church to do the works that Christ did. However, at this time there are few churches that are following what we call the Ephesians 4 mandate to equip the saints in their gifts. This will change, however, this should not limit anyone as we have within us the teacher, the gift of the Holy Spirit who will lead us to all truth and reveal Christ to us.
Walking out the Process
So, how does one gain the experience they need to develop their gifts and receive hands on training? Because of the internet and media available today, one can obtain the training they need. Conferences and Webstreaming has become the major way that people are being equipped. I personally believe that the church should provide a School of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this, but until that takes place, many simply “Google” their gift on the internet that is bringing up a treasure full of resources that are available today.
Nevertheless, there is a process that we must navigate through for which I would like to make some suggestions. The following are some questions that you need to answer that will take you on the right path to fulfill your destiny.
What is your main gift or call?
What is the definition of this gift or call? Write it out in detail.
To know your vision and purpose, look to your heart! What is the greatest desire of your heart? In other words, what is your passion that burns within you for the work of ministry?
What does this ministry look like in a practical sense?
Have you written out your vision to make it plain in accordance with Habakkuk 2:2, which states, “Write the vision and make it plain, that he may run that reads it!
What spiritual gifts or natural talents and tools are required to fulfill your vision?
What is the role of this ministry in the New Testament Church?
What spiritual gifts compliment this ministry? (For watchmen it is the gift of discernment of spirits, walking in love, clear prophetic vision, understanding the nature of warfare and our weapons of warfare)
What specific area are you called to?
How will this gift or ministry prosper the Kingdom of God and His people?
Who in the Bible operated in this gift or ministry?
List from the Bible concordance the scriptures that refer to your gift or ministry and list them below.
From your biblical study of the above scriptures, what are some of the traits and characteristics of this gift or ministry?
Who is operating in this gift or ministry today that is nationally recognized?
Have you read their articles and purchased their material?
Who is your mentor in this area? (This is what we call the Elisha/Elijah principle. Before Elisha carried the mantle of Elijah, he was mentored by Elijah and attended the School of the prophets for a number of years. Who are you being yoked with? )
Are there Schools of Ministry or courses that you can take that will enhance your understanding and/or compliment your ministry? Conferences?
What are you doing to develop your Spiritual gifts or ministry?
Are their fellowships that you can join that specialize in your gifting? (It is important to join a fellowship for exchange, encouragement and fellowship.)
What vehicles or resources are available that can help you develop your ministry? (For instance, someone called to administration might consider taking courses such as learning Microsoft word, how to type, the use of the internet and computer programs, media such video, utilizing a website, creating teachings on PowerPoint etc.)
What creative ideas has the Lord given to you that will enhance your ministry? (
What are some of the creative ways you impact the lives of others for Christ?
Who are you training to equip others to do what you are doing? (Every person should not only have a mentor, but students, those that they are discipling to do what they do.)