February 22, 2016
I can’t count the number of times people have talked to me about their leaders not acknowledging their office as 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.
What they fail to realize is to have authority in any community they must have the favor of God AND the favor of man on their lives. In fact, even Jesus himself kept “increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men,” (Luke 2:52).
Samuel and King David
King David is a great example of this principle. 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 1Samuel 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 1Samuel 16:14).
The Long Wait
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! 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.”
Although the Spirit of God departed from Saul, he still remained anointed to be king! (This in itself is a lesson to all of us. It is common for God to anoint people to lead who are void of His Spirit. Check out Romans Chapter 13).
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.
Wait to be Acknowledged
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 that metron (sphere of authority) recognize, invite, and empower you to have influence and authority, you are only a prophet to yourself. A prophet is a leader and John Maxwell says, “He who leads and has no followers is only taking a walk.”
For more on this subject, check out my book School of the Prophets.
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Have you struggled with not being acknowledged by your leaders? Tell me about it in the comments below.