I can’t count the number of times people have talked to me about their leaders not acknowledging the destiny on their life.
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, and maybe you know deep down that you’re called to lead, to impact culture, 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 being aware of your season, God’s timing for your life, the preparation He wants to cultivate in you, and then… waiting humbly for Him to promote you.
I want to be clear that 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!
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.
Between the promise and the palace, there should always be a process that is natural and needed. The process prepares you for your promotion. I asked one of my spiritual sons, Ben Armstrong (who will be speaking at the School of the Prophets this year), to share about his prophetic process today.
I’ve had the honor of watching Ben keep his heart humble as he has navigated the prophetic call on his life. Through the many years that I’ve known Ben, I’ve seen him work through the same challenges that many prophetic people face with grace, courage and unhindered submission to the Lord. He has emerged on the other side of those challenges with wisdom and revelation that I know will help many prophets in their own journeys! Ben and his wife, Heather, pastor the Cascade campus at Bethel; they are a dynamic couple and provide much insight and leadership in our environment! I know you’re going to gain so much from Ben’s story. Check it out:
1) Q: Tell us a little about yourself, your passions and your ministry.
A: I’m the Prophetic Ministry Director at Bethel Church and my wife and I are the new campus pastors at the Bethel Cascade. I have the honor of teaching in Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), Bethel’s local church, and traveling the world to train and equip in both prophetic ministry and dream interpretation.
2) Q: How did you receive your call as a prophet?
A: My call came in a dream encounter I had almost 20 years ago. In the dream, I was sitting in the passenger seat of an old car and Jesus was in the driver’s seat. We were having a conversation and He leaned over to me and said, “Here comes your dad.” I looked over at the tree line at the edge of the park and I expected to see my earthly dad, but it was actually you, Kris.
At the time, I wasn’t connected to you so I had no context for you being a father in my life at all. As you know, I was raised in Weaverville, CA, but I left for university before you ever started your prophetic ministry there. So when Jesus told me you were my dad, I was surprised! In the dream, you walked over to the car and handed me a signet ring of gold with a black stone on it. You actually told me to wear the ring with the stone on the inside so I wouldn’t show it to people. Although I am a dream interpreter, sometimes the meaning of our own dreams is hidden from us. I think that is the grace of God, as there is a process that has to happen in us before the full understanding comes.
Seven years later I got invited to be a Revival Group Pastor at BSSM, and seven years after that point I became the Prophetic Ministry Director at Bethel. I now understand that the dream meant that you would be a spiritual father to me and help me in the journey of walking out my prophetic call over the years that followed.
3) Q: What was the process like (and how long was it) from getting your call to actually stepping into it?
A: For me, it was a 14 years process from the dream to actually becoming the Prophetic Ministries Director at Bethel. Whenever we are promoted in a healthy way, it is a combination of two things: the favor of God and the favor of man.
The favor of God can be judged by the fruit of the Spirit. Let me be clear: NOT the gifts of the Spirit but the fruits! Beyond that, the favor of man is two-fold — it lies in both the community you’re leading and the leadership that recognized you.
4) Q: What advice would you give to someone struggling in between receiving their call and stepping into it?
A: I have been learning that God is in love with process! He is not in a panic and He is not trying to get people to their future too fast without actually allowing them to go through the process that helps them gain strength and momentum. Process gives us the things that are needed to sustain the greatness that God wants in our life.
The truth is we never get to be a person who “arrives” in life!
One thing that I wish I could tell all prophetic people is to fall in love with the process. Realize that if it’s taking longer than you expect to fulfill your destiny, it may be because there is a greater gift that God wants to instill in your life and He is making sure that you will be able to sustain it. So embrace the process and try and get all of the good things that God is trying to teach you in your present season. If you lean in, you will be a lot more mature and a greater resource to the people you are ministering to.
5) Q: If there was one thing you could tell your younger self about the prophetic, what would it be?
A: Because prophets can see so much of the future, sometimes the trap of pride can take hold in their lives. It’s easy to think, “I know more than someone else; I have a special relationship with God.” Personally, I had to die to a lot of pride. It’s important to anyone who can see the future in people lives and who have a propensity towards the prophetic to learn patience and to humble ourselves enough to help people navigate the bread crumbs to their future.
Trust me because I did the whole gig where I impressed people with powerful prophetic words, but it never helped promote them into the future. In fact, it was actually an obstacle to their future because it was too big for the moment they were in. I learned through the School of Hard Knocks to give bread crumbs that led people along the path and helped them move to the future without keeping them from the steps that God had in mind from them.
6) Q: What do I feel like God wants to do at the School of the Prophets this year?
A: I had a dream about 3 weeks ago and the interpretation of the dream gave a few important keys for prophets in this season, and specifically for the School of the Prophets this August.
Through the dream, it was made clear that as we invest in the world, it’s important that we get rid of the “mess” that can get on us in the process. I believe that one thing that prophetic people can miss, and God is warning us about, is that we don’t always create a place to clean out the bad thoughts and wrong-thinking we pick up through life.
Many times we can partner with oppression or even false imagination, and that can hijack us and cause us to get stuck. Instead, we need to learn how to filter the toxins that can fill our spirits. I see the Lord teaching us how to build “filtration systems” and clean the lenses through which we see the world, God, and the prophetic visions we receive. I like to say that prophets should be some of the most emotionally stable people in the world and I believe the practice of keeping our hearts and minds pure will help us to do just that so we can run and thrive! I’m really excited and can’t wait to meet everyone who attends!
Do you resonate with Ben’s story? How do you navigate the process of waiting for your promotion? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and what you see God doing on the earth now, in the comments!
I’ve found so many people hungry to understand more on the subjects of prophecy and prophetic calling lately! It’s inspiring to see people burning to hear from heaven and speak words that bring life and hope to those around them! So I put together a free resource for you — The Prophets and Prophetic Series. If you love audiobooks and podcasts I think you’re going to love this! It’s a free audio teaching series with over 5 hours of content designed to help you gain a clear Biblical understanding of the subjects of prophecy and prophets, and activate you into your gifts and calling.