My guest blogger today is my friend Bryan Anderson.
A commonly misunderstood concept that has grievous consequences, and often causes needless wounding and confusion is the idea that it’s the primary purpose of those in prophetic ministry to prophesy. Prophecy is not the primary purpose for the New Testament prophet, and yet many budding prophets fall into this commonly held expectation.
The greatest purpose of each ministry be it pastor, teacher, prophet, apostle or evangelist has not changed since God’s mandate in the garden, which was to be fruitful and multiply. We are to reproduce after our own kind.
New Testament prophets may and do prophesy but our greater call is reproducing in others a heart burning with a passion for intimacy with the Lord; to multiply this fiery love and to see others ignited and ablaze with hearts whose greatest joy, delight and treasure is being with, loving on and worshiping Jesus, the Lover of our souls.
Ephesians 4 says these ministry callings are for the purpose of equipping the church to do the work of the ministry. More than winning souls en masse, evangelists equip us to have a passion to see others come to Jesus and impart spiritual gifts to supernaturally aide us to that end. They also lead and teach by example, the practical “how to’s” they have received from the Holy Spirit to skillfully be “fishers of men”.
Similarly, prophets equip others to hear the voice of God themselves. Just because we know things by the Spirit or “have a word” or vision doesn’t mean it’s advantageous to share it. Sharing too much can rob others of learning to hear for themselves. True prophetic ministry aims to strengthen your walk and relationship with the Lord, so that you accurately have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying for yourself, others and situations, with greater and greater clarity. We want our heart and giftings reproduced in, and imparted to you and we want to help you learn to steward, to grow, and to mature in them.
Giving personal prophetic words and ministry is but a small part of a New Testament prophetic call. This post is really more for like-hearted prophetic ministers as encouragement; a freeing reminder to not feel pressure to give everyone who wants to hear from God “a word” or share the visions and dreams, words of wisdom and knowledge etc. with them unless the Holy Spirit says to. Rather – give yourself the more to intimacy with Jesus, to worship, to doing only that which you see the Lord doing and saying what you hear Him saying. Equip others. Impart. Teach. Inspire. Lead by example. Find your joy in seeing others foundation and floor equal your current ceiling so they can go higher than you have.
Above all, clothe yourself in humility, esteeming others better than yourself. We seek the lowest place both out of self-preservation and out of the wisdom which understands the “greatest among you will be the servant of all”; the last will be first.
Even so, it doesn’t matter since we are called to lift and complete others, not to compete with them; their success is ours as well. It’s our part to “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God” and up to Him if, when and how He decides to “exalt you in due time”.
He is the potter, we are His clay and we exist simply for His glory however He sees most fit