Stir Up Your Gifts
I was asked recently how a person could obey the Biblical command to "stir up the giftings" within us. After all, no one I know wants to be considered the lazy, wicked servant Jesus spoke about in the Parable of the Ten Talents.
"For it is like a man going into another country, who called his own servants and entrusted his goods to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. In the same way, he also who got the two gained another two. But he who received the one talent went away, dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
"Now after a long time, the lord of those servants came, and settled accounts with them…. "He also who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn't sow, and gathering where you didn't scatter. I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.'
"But his lord answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and gather where I didn't scatter. You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest.… Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" [WEB, Mt. 25:14-30].
We don't want to end up in darkness, so we must continually stir ourselves up!
First, we must do those things the Scripture explicitly calls us believers to do.
- We are to assemble with other believers to encourage and stir one another to do good works and practice agape love [Hebrews 10:24-25]
- We are to honor God by setting aside the Sabbath [Sunday] as a holy day unto the Lord.
- We are to pay our tithe. [Speaking of paying the tithe may seem a bit odd, but it helps us to remember that our lives and our salvation are gifts from God. And it is an act of obedience.
- We are to heed sound Biblical teaching and meditate on the word of God daily.
- We are to guard our eyes, our ears, and our tongues. We should not allow our tongues to gossip, lie about, or curse anyone—not even ourselves [James 1:26, 3:6; Eph. 4:29; Ex. 23:1; Romans 10:17, Mt 5:28, 6:22-23]. We must not get comfortable with sin.
- We must bring every thought captive to the mind of Christ [2 Co. 10:5].
Then, if you think you are called to walk in a level of prophetic ministry, I recommend that you also do the following.
- Pray in tongues. I find that when I speak an hour or two in tongues, my ears are sharpened, and I can hear the voice of the Lord more clearly. The idea of praying in tongues for an hour seemed inconceivable at first. I began by praying for five. minutes, then ten…I have been through a tough season recently and realized that I wasn't praying much, so I now have to rebuild my "tongue muscle" again. I aim to grow and practice speaking in tongues until I do it three hours a day. Then I will go for five!
- Study good books on prophecy and the gifts. I gained confidence and received the necessary guidance reading Bishop Hamon's "Rainbow Three." I think these provide a solid foundation for the—young prophet to build upon.
Red book—Prophets and Personal Prophecy
Green book—Prophets: Pitfalls and Principle
Blue book--Prophets and the Prophetic Movement
- Other excellent books include The Prophet by James Roll, The Complete Wineskin [on the five-fold ministry], The Deborah Company and Dreams and Visions by Jane Hamon, and Divinely Commissioned: God's Delivery Service [I wrote this to provide a historical overview of prophetic ministry].
- Practice on purpose! Now don't grab people off the street and start praying and tongues or loudly proclaiming, "Thus, sayeth the Lord…". Instead, ask a waitress when you go out to eat something like this after you give an order, "Our gr up is about to pray now. Can we pray something for you? Then ask God to direct your prayer. Pray prophetically. Silently ask God for a word of knowledge [although you can't give specific details in public]. Oh, and leave a nice tip!
- If you are in a prayer group or home group, when someone asks for prayer, ask the Holy Spirit for revelation so that you can pray a word of knowledge or wisdom or speak prophetically over them in your prayer. Again, avoid a "Thus, sayeth…." When you finish, you can say you felt impressed to pray that way, and did your prayer have a particular meaning for them?
- If you are not the pastor in your church, talk to him. If he doesn't know much about the five-fold gifts, he may be leery and not much help. But ask specifically if you can send him an email about what the Lord would like to say to the church. Ask him to pray about the emails and to let you know if he thinks you hear clearly. If he gets seriously defensive or calls prophetic ministry ungodly, I would ask the Lord to release me from that local church and start looking elsewhere. However, do not leave just because your feelings are hurt!
- Connect with other prophets regularly. Iron sharpens iron. This is one reason I am a Christian International Apostolic Network member under the covering of Bishop Bill Hamon.
- Go to prophetic conferences and training.
- Get involved in the community. Ask God to give you words of wisdom and grace to speak publicly. If God has anointed you, you don't have to say, "Thus sayeth the Lord"-unless specifically told to do so—but you can speak a word in due season that people will hear and listen to.
[If I were called into some other area of ministry, I would search for a mentor, an association, training, and books that deal with that area of ministry.]