DISCOVERING YOUR PROPHETIC DESTINY
The Path to Promotion
Before we jump into talking about your prophetic journey, I want to lay out my intentions for this devotional.
I didn’t create this devotional to tell you that you’re a prophet. The truth is that only God can do that! Whether you’re called to be a prophet or not, I know that God’s will is the best place for you to be. It’s where you’ll find abundant life, dreams fulfilled, and deep purpose.
So my encouragement for you as we move forward in this devotional is this: do not seek out a title or office, but rather seek out the kingdom and the King.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mathew 6:33)
Remember that God has plans to prosper you. If you’ve asked for it, His love gives more; if you’ve thought it, His love takes it higher. If you’ve dreamt big, His love for you dreams bigger; if you’ve aimed high, His love aims higher.
Any job, title or position you can work your way into without God does not compare to the joy that comes from being in His will for your life.
My prayer is that the next three days will help you understand what a prophet is and how they function. Yes, we will talk about prophets, but there are principles for kingdom life that will apply to every believer in these next few days.
Beyond that, I want to help you go deeper on your prophetic journey, and gain clarity on the subjects of prophecy and prophets. I hope that you’ll walk away with clarity in what God is calling you to and deeper hunger for and confidence in His voice. I know He will guide you in your next steps!
Your Process Matters to God and to Your Destiny
I can’t count the number of times people have talked to me about their leaders not acknowledging the destiny on their life… specifically the call to the office of a prophet or prophetess. Typically they have some sort of prophetic word or personal experience in which God commissions them as a prophet. They take this as a license to operate in the office of prophet in their local church or ministry.
Maybe you’ve had an experience like this? Perhaps you’ve had a dream that felt so real that there’s no questioning God was on it…maybe you know deep down that you’re called to lead, called to impact culture, called to ministry or yes, even called to be a prophet…but still haven’t stepped into living out this calling in its fullness.
It can be frustrating, discouraging and, if left unaddressed, disheartening, to know something to be true for your life but feel like nobody else sees it.
Often the key for waiting for your promotion into your prophetic destiny with peace lies in understanding the level of favor in which you are operating. I’ve noticed that people often fail to realize that to have authority in any community you must have the favor of God AND the favor of man on your life. In fact, even Jesus himself kept “increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men,” (Luke 2:52).
Let’s take a look at how the principle of favor played out in another human life… a man that wasn’t by any means perfect, but who still delighted God’s heart — King David.
Samuel the prophet was instructed by God to anoint a man king from the house of Jesse. The Prophet went to Jesse’s house and commanded all of his sons to pass before him. When the last of seven sons stood before Samuel, the Prophet was bewildered, “are these all of your children,” Samuel inquired?
“No, there remains yet the youngest, and he is tending the sheep,” Jesse replied.
“Send and bring him to me,” Samuel insisted.
When David finally arrived at the house, the Lord said to Samuel, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward,” (See 1 Samuel 16:1-13). Now, not only was David anointed king, but also the “Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him,” (see 1 Samuel 16:14).
If you didn’t know the biblical account, you probably would assume that David became king that day. But the fact is, David didn’t become king for fourteen long years!
Let’s pause for a second and let that soak in.
Point to Ponder: Perhaps the length of time of your waiting and preparation doesn’t mean that you’ve missed your prophetic destiny! Or that your leaders have failed to notice what’s on your life! Have you confused God’s favor and timing with being overlooked?
Okay, back to David’s story —
In the meantime, Israel lived with an unrighteous and insane king until he finally died in battle. David had several opportunities to kill King Saul but he refused, “to touch God’s anointed.”
Finally, King Saul died in battle and, “the men of Judah came and anointed David king over the house of Judah,” (2 Samuel 2:4). And then seven years later, “all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel,” (2 Samuel 5:3). It’s important to note here that David was anointed to be king three different times; once by God (through Samuel), and twice by men.
The point that I’m trying to make here is that God may have called you to be a prophet, but until the leaders in your sphere of authority recognize, invite, and empower you to have influence and authority, you are only a prophet to yourself. The same is true for you if you don’t feel the call of a prophet but rather feel called to lead, to influence, to pastor etc.
A prophet is a leader and John Maxwell says, “He who leads and has no followers is only taking a walk.”
But… that doesn’t mean you have to wait for a throne to start acting like a King or Queen! Start leading yourself well today.
Point to Ponder: You may not be leading the masses or living in the fullness of your calling just yet. However, there are things you can do today to begin walking in your prophetic destiny with what’s right in front of you. What has God given you in this season that you can be stewarding well?
Favor With God and Not With Man
Let’s break down the favor mishaps that occur when you don’t wait for favor with both God and man…
If you have favor with God but you don’t yet have favor with men, and you decide to take your “rightful place of authority,” you’ll probably find yourself like the Old Testament character Joseph; he was thrown into a pit long before he was promoted to the palace.
Joseph was the youngest of eleven brothers but his father favored him above his siblings because he was the son of his old age. Joseph’s brothers were extremely jealous of him because his father loved Joe more than the rest of them. Then one night Joseph had a dream from God in which he saw himself as a great leader and ruling over his brothers and his parents. Instead of keeping the dream to himself and waiting for God to fulfill his call, he came out of his bedroom and told all his brothers about his dream.
As you can imagine, this further strained his relationship with his brothers until they finally hated him so much that they threw him in a pit and then sold him into slavery. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Joseph got falsely accused of raping his master’s wife and gets thrown into prison! But by divine province and a series of miraculous circumstances, Joseph becomes the ruler of all of Egypt under Pharaoh, (see Genesis Chapters 37-41).
Personally, I think there were many paths to the palace. I don’t believe that Joseph had to be sold into slavery and then be put into prison to become the ruler of Egypt. I think God determined Joseph’s destination but his lack of wisdom and arrogant attitude determined his rough pathway to promotion.
God is opposed to the proud but he gives grace to the humble (see James 4:6).
Whatever you’re called to by God, there is wisdom in waiting for the Lord to grant you favor with men.
Point to Ponder: Have you tried to take your “rightful place of authority” without waiting for favor with men? If so, how can you repent and choose to serve the people in your life instead of attempting to lord your authority over them? Favor With Man and No Favor With God On the other hand, there are certain people who have the uncanny ability to gain favor with others without, (or long before), they have favor with God. These people remind me of King David’s son, Absalom, who won the hearts of the people and usurped David’s kingship. Let’s look at the story together:
Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king.” Moreover, Absalom would say, “ Oh that one would appoint me to judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to and I would give him justice.”
And when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel…Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”
David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise and let us flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword,” (2 Samuel 15:2-6,13-14).
Absalom won over the hearts of the people with flattery, selfish affection, and false promises. This is the political spirit at work in the hearts of people. I have watched this spirit splinter and destroy countless congregations, while devastating numerous families as some self-appointed person claws his or her way into prominence by stealing the hearts of people away from their leadership.
Self-promotion has become a way of life in the 21st century. Social networking has helped to elevate image above reputation and like Absalom, it has created a platform for people to market themselves as trusted experts when in fact, they may even be deceivers.
I want you to take caution today — there are side-effects to self-promotion (to creating your own favor with men in places that God hasn’t granted you HIS favor in)…
Point to Ponder: Have you partnered with self-promotion in your life? It can be tempting to push your way forward into the places you know God is calling you. Today, choose to rest in His perfect timing and trust that He will be faithful to accomplish the good work He began in you. (Philippians 1:6)
Self-Promotion Leaves You Unprotected
You’ve probably heard the expression, “greater levels…greater devils.” This expression typically means that when you get promoted you should expect more intense warfare in your life. Yet what we have failed to realize is that when God promotes us He also protects us!
For example, when a person gets promoted to the office of president of the United States, they are immediately assigned the protection of the Secret Service. We would never think of promoting somebody without protecting him or her.
But the challenge comes when we promote ourselves! Many people promote themselves beyond their protection and then wonder why their lives are in a constant state of turmoil. Let me be clear, I am not saying if God promotes you to the office of a prophet and your leaders recognize His call and commission you, that everything in your life is always going to be rosy!
I am simply trying to point out that scratching your way to the top can leave you uncovered an under-protected. Embrace the Process
I wanted to start Day 1 of our devotional talking about the process to promotion because this foundation — being able to assess and embrace where you are today in your journey towards your prophetic destiny — will help you process the information we will cover in the next two days.
Being self-aware and being self-centered are two different things. It’s important that we know how we are affecting the world around us, (self-aware) so that we proactively, on purpose, have a positive influence on our world. However, being self-centered is simply arrogant.
Remember, James 4:6 says, “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
God is opposed to the proud…He resists them…but He promotes the humble. Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. If you’re waiting to be promoted, one of the best things you can do is to choose to live humbly. Here are 15 signs of true humility:
- You are teachable.
- You are influenceable.
- You can be corrected without defending yourself.
- You rejoice when others are celebrated.
- No job is to small for you.
- You don’t have to be right.
- You naturally seek the advice of others.
- You actually do pray.
- You freely admit your flaws, mistakes, and failures.
- You live to help others succeed.
- You aren’t entitled.
- You are patient.
- You don’t promote yourself.
- You let other people have a better story than yours.
- You honor other people when they are talking.
Between the promise and the palace, there should always be a process that is natural and needed. It is the process that prepares and develops us so that we have the character that it takes and the skills that are necessary to be successful in the metaphorical palace.
The spiritual pressure of a governmental office in the Body of Christ cannot be overemphasized. Although the weight of the fivefold ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers), is invisible, it is not intangible.
I have watched many inexperienced and unprepared people, who were genuinely called to a fivefold office but commissioned prematurely, be literally destroyed by the very thing that they are destined to become. Many of them get disillusioned and leave the ministry forever simply because their leaders did not use wisdom in preparing these precious people for their God-given purpose.
The apostle Paul emphasized this principle in his letter to Timothy with reference to leadership when he said, “men should first be tested and then let them serve…,” and later he wrote, “do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and therefore share the responsibility or their sins…,” (see 1 Timothy 3:10 and 1 Timothy 5:22). Although Paul’s subject in these passages is not the commissioning of prophets, the principles are still applicable.
1. Go back through the “Points to Ponder” throughout our teaching today and journal through any of the points that God highlights to you.
2. Read through the list of the attributes of humility and allow God to breathe truth over your heart and gently convict you of any areas of your life that may be under the influence of pride. I believe this exercise will bring you greater freedom!
3. Ask the Lord for one truth He wants to speak over your current season. He may give you a Scripture verse or a single word. I know that regardless of your season, whether you’re still in process or in the middle of promotion, that His heart is to draw you closer to Him and to guide you into abundant life!
Pray with me:
“Father God, thank you that your plans are to prosper me. Thank you that the dreams you’ve put in my heart are your ideas. I pray today that you would give me clarity to know what spiritual season I am in so that I may receive the fullness you have for me in this time of life. Help me to steward the things you’ve put before me so that I may be fully prepared for whatever you are bringing me into next. May my life be a demonstration of your goodness, grace, and guidance! Amen.