The prophetic gift in ones life is developed over years of prayer, fasting, study of the word, failure, frustration, joy and a few “aha” moments along the way. Any one who begins on a path of desiring this gift will doubtlessly come across plenty of misunderstanding, confusion, and even at times accusation and hatred.
So why would anyone want to pursue this gift of God? A good starting point is that there is actually a scriptural admonition to pursue the gifts of the Spirit, especially prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1). Not only is there a command to covet the gifts, but for all the frustration involved there is nothing in this world like releasing a word to someone and seeing their life changed by the Spirit of God.
When asked once by a young man what would cause his gift to grow, I simply stated, “Fast, pray and know the Scriptures.” I want to tell you that after many years of ministering prophetically I still don’t have any better advice. Spiritual disciplines discipline you spiritually. They increase your capacity for the presence of God. If you want to grow, start with discipline.
So many prophetic Christians in our day want a superstar ministry. They want their face on the cover of a Christian magazine, or their word featured on a prophetic mailing list. They want fame and they are willing to use the Church to get there. This is the error of self-promotion, and may build a mans kingdom but does little for God’s.
Even with all of our striving, scripture still teaches that God promotes people who He knows will promote Him. 1 Peter 5:6 tells us “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” There are plenty of other scriptures about promotion in the kingdom as well, the problem is that Christians always have a tendency to think of themselves more highly than they ought, and we have so much trouble understanding “in due time” Because God’s timing is seldom the same as ours.
Most prophetic believers, especially those with an anointing on their lives to begin to transition into an office level ministry, struggle with a temptation to rush to their destiny. Many prophets declare themselves a “prophet to the nations” when quite honestly they haven’t mastered being a prophet to their own household. True ministry starts as an effective force in ones own life, then it penetrates into their family life, then your church, city, state and so on. Your gift will keep making room for you in increasing capacity.
Don’t get me wrong, God can pluck you out of utter obscurity and set you wherever He wants, whenever He wants, but this is would be an exception. God tests us at varying levels of ministry and grants us authority to walk in that level until He is ready to promote us to the next. Let us develop to our full capacity at the level God currently has us at because anything else will lack the power and authenticity of God. If God has you prophesying in intercession in the secret place, grow in that. If He has set you in a small church as a “house prophet”, speak boldly and submit to the training of godly leadership. You can be content where you are and still have great vision for the future. It is those who are faithful with what they have that God will eventually trust with more.