Chapter 02 - What Qualifies You for Office
You can always see a new recruit to the army - white lines around their neck where they just recently had their hair cut short, ruddy faced and sure that they can conquer the world.
They think that they know what boot camp entails and imagine that "they will be just fine." They think that they can handle anything that is thrown at them.
It does not take long though for them to reel under the pressure and the continual change that is expected of them. It is no different from the prophet who is first called to the ranks in God's army.
When the call first comes, you are ruddy faced and excited to take on this new challenge. You imagine days of beating up the devil, giving profound prophetic words, and changing the Church with a single prophecy.
Then reality hits. Training begins and you realize that before you can change the Church, the change must originate from your own life. Your prophetic words, which were once so sought after, are soon rejected and you wonder what it is you did wrong.
You know how it goes. As you submit to the training, you become fitter. Your spiritual legs become stronger and soon the ruddy faced recruit is replaced by an officer who is ready to take up their position.
Everyone knows that a commander is not made overnight. He rises up through the ranks and he stands up to command others because of the price he was willing to pay in his own life.
So what is it that sets a commander apart from a new recruit? Other than the obvious fitness level, it is something quite beyond skill or even desire.
What makes the troops obey a commander and not that little private (who might even have a better idea)? The answer is quite simple... authority!
This is something we sadly misunderstand in the Church. We mistake "skill" for authority. We mistake anointing for authority, however these two are quite different. Consider these passages.
2 Corinthians 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification, and not for destruction.
So what has all this training been for? To make you into a better prophet? No, you do not yet understand. This process has been for a single purpose... to qualify you to carry the authority of the prophet.
Here is where we begin to separate prophetic ministry from prophetic office. Up until now you have functioned in prophetic ministry. You have learned how to hear the voice of God.
You have learned how to prophesy and walk in the spirit. You have learned how to do spiritual warfare. In fact, I would daresay that you have undergone quite the transformation over the last couple of months.
You have shed the flesh and gained the Spirit of God. You have become more keen to the sound of the spirit, and you can spot a demon if it tries to sneak past you. With all of this knowledge and ability though, you are still not in prophetic office.
How so? Well consider this natural illustration. If a private in the army shoots and runs better than all his companions, does this automatically make him their commander?
Just because a new recruit is highly skilled at something, does this give him the right to order the others around and wear a new uniform? Hardly. His attempts might make others notice him, but it is only when he is given that promotion that he will carry that authority.
Until that time comes, it is quite possible that the very skilled recruit will have to submit to a very harsh and (possibly) very unskilled Sergeant Major!
Can you see why this has lead the Church astray? As a believer receives their call and begins to move in the gifts of the Spirit, this skill is recognized, mistakenly, as authority.
Any believer can flow in the gifts of the Spirit. Any believer has the potential to hear from God. So if everyone can do
it, what is left for the prophet to do? Well by now, you should know exactly what all is involved.
HOW YOU QUALIFY
In fact, through the last six books in the series, I have outlined your training and your job. You are just lacking one more thing, and I promise, that missing piece is not more anointing!
That missing piece is what I like to call, the prophetic key. The authority to root and to plant. It is the kind of authority that seals a person into a position whereby they are granted a piece of God's authority, just like it tells us in Romans 13:1.
Now apostle Paul understood that authority. When he tells us of the work he is doing in 2 Corinthians 13:10, he makes sure that we know that he is doing it, "according to the authority which the Lord has given me..."
He might have been a great teacher, but his teaching skill is not what he placed his boast or position on. He proved his place by the authority that was given to him directly from the Lord.
So how can you "earn" that authority? Well the first thing you should have realized by now, is that no amount of righteousness or begging will get it.
There is no amount of works or holiness that will help you qualify for it. In fact, I would daresay that there is a single principle that ensures your placement of authority and it lies in this single word... obedience!
Acts 5:32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.
I am not going to just mention this and then leave you hanging. I have entire chapters on the subject of the prophetic key and prophetic authority.
There is one reason why you are standing on the cusp of prophetic office today, and I promise, it is not because you got it right. I do not need to tell you that though, because as you stand looking over this unknown land spread before you, you see your flaws.
You see your inability and you compare it to the grace that the Lord is about to give you. You tremble, realizing that your flesh is capable of so many nasty things. You feel the potential pride inside of you.
You sense your fear and even some guilt from failures of the past. If you were to put all of that on a balance, your shortcomings would undoubtedly win out every time.
Thank the Lord for His grace. Thank goodness that He chose you because of what He can do and not because of what you can do. Thank the Lord that He is able to finish in you what He began.
You need not start in the spirit and end in the flesh. Rather you can just let the Holy Spirit finish the work now and take you by the hand as you step over this final threshold and allow Him to put the weight of the authority on your shoulders.
It is obedience that opened the door in the first place remember? The Lord called and you obeyed. The Lord told you to give up family, friends and church... and you obeyed.
The Lord asked you to give up worldly things and you put away the television, burned old books and deleted things that had no place on your computer. The Lord challenged your love and although you had no more to give, you obeyed and gave the bit you had.
What you do not realize is that with each process you have gone through, it was always obedience that took you a step forward and it is obedience that will take you up another level again.
Like I already said, it is your obedience that has qualified you to move forward with each phase of your training. The reason why this is so powerful is what obedience has helped shape in you.
You now have the anatomy of a prophet! As you have submitted to the hand of the Holy Spirit on the potter's wheel, you have not only proven your loyalty, but you have been keenly shaped to become the exact vessel to do the job He needs you to do.
Your part was to obey. His part was to shape you. The more you obeyed, the more He shaped you.
Now you can never stand up and say to everyone, "I am self-made!" because you know the truth.
You know that every last etching in your soul and brush stroke of color was made by the Holy Spirit. Your only boast is that you did not move from the potter's wheel. He was the real artist, and you? Well you were just a shapeless piece of clay until He got going.
Funny how we all start out thinking that our misshapen piece of clay is "the bomb", only to realize as we mature, how messed up we really are!
You look now at the new recruits around you, and you smile on one hand and cringe on the other. They are so bold and confident in what they think they have to offer God. They come with their long list of credentials and you see how much that stands in the way of their true potential.
No worries though. If their calling is genuine, they will go through the same process you did, and before long, they will be looking on the newbies with the same understanding of maturity that you now have.
There is nothing quite like having gone through boot camp and have engaged in the prophetic battlefield to knock you down a few notches, is there?
So now, you do not qualify because you can speak in diverse tongues and minister to more people than anyone else. If that was the case, the leaders we would see in the church would all be brilliant and above reproach... but they are not, are they? No, they were just obedient in the thing that God told them to do.
Their obedience opened doors just like it did for the New Testament saints. Jesus told them to "go forth." They "went forth." They started a movement that we are still riding today. Simple really.
To fulfill that mandate though, the Lord had to bring about some change. He had to add a few key players, but because the Church had been obedient, the ground was prepared for that change.
Is the ground of the Church prepared for the change to come? Well it is going to take your obedience to bring her to this point, so we must move forward, because we have a lot of work to do.
Obedience alone does not qualify you for office. Also, being obedient just once does not cut it either. A recruit is not going to make it to officer status if he works really hard one day and then goes AWOL the next! He has to be consistent and push through no matter what, if nothing else, just to stand in the ranks!
It is the same with you. A single obedience is not what is going to get you to office. So you obeyed the Lord and followed His call, but then you did not want to give up your bitterness. The first obedience does not overrule the next. Why? It is because your continual obedience is essential for continual change.
Do you remember this passage?
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
As you continue to look at the Lord, you are continually changed. It is this change, along with your obedience that qualifies you.
No one is appointed to officer status until they have gone through the full training process and qualified! The same holds true for you.
So often the prophet-in-training wants to skip to the end and just be placed! I have seen this so many times
mentoring prophets. I had one student who was really going through the throes of training. She barely hit the Prophetic Warrior phase, and decided that she was further along than we would admit and wanted to go directly to the teachings on prophetic office.
She could identify with some of the training and deemed that she had enough qualities now to "cut it". Unfortunately, though, she did not see the process through. There were some things that were not in line yet... her marriage, for example! Her husband was unsaved and nowhere ready to give her the kind of support she would need.
Instead of obeying God and allowing Him to bring this final change to her circumstance, she jumped the gun. Back to the wilderness she went.
CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES
It is exciting to see God change you through the Prophetic Boot Camp phase. You begin to flow in the gifts as never before. You hear the Lord Jesus so clearly and you are swept into the beauty of His presence.
You become keener in the spirit, discerning what is the enemy and what is the Lord. It is in this moment you might be tempted to think that you are ready for the final phase.
Now it could well be that you are spiritually ready for prophetic office... but are your circumstances and the people around you ready?
This is why obedience is essential. It is not just for the purpose of shaping you, but for preparing the Church as well!
Moses might have thought he was ready to bring deliverance... but the people sure were not! It took them time, and it will take your circumstances and spouse time as well. The Lord is well aware of that.
WHEN YOUR TRAINING IS PUT ON HOLD
I consider my own journey and how often the Lord held me back so that Craig could be put in place as well, so that we could walk together.
I have had the Lord put a prophet's spiritual training on hold to do nothing else, but invest into their marriage for a long season. Why? Because it is going to take a lot more than just you being ready to unleash you on the Church!
Your circumstances and the people in your life need to be in the right position as well! Are you unmarried? Has it occurred to you that the Lord has your training on hold, because He wants to bring you a spouse first so that you can grow together and be equally yoked?
You should realize by now that achieving prophetic office is not for your benefit. Do generals and commanders exist because the military wanted to make a nice place for gifted individuals?
No! These positions were instituted for the benefit of the nation. If the man in that position does not qualify, it is a nation that suffers. It is those under them that pay the price. So do not think that prophetic office was made for you.
Prophetic office was made for the Church, and both you and the Church need to be ready for that.
It depends on where the Lord wants to send you. Is there a local church that He wants to send you to? Is there a particular ministry or vision that He needs you to accomplish?
Well before you reach prophetic office, there are some things that need to be taken into account first.
Firstly, have you been obedient? Are you exactly where the Lord needs you to be right now?
Secondly, have you stayed on the potter's wheel and completed the full cycle of change that the Lord wanted to bring about in you, in spirit, soul, and body?
Thirdly, are your circumstances in line to allow you to take your place once you are placed?
Finally, are your relationships in line and can they accommodate this office? Is your marriage and family in order? Will these relationships assist your call or destroy it from the inside?
You are about to learn exactly what kind of doors need to open and what you need to do to fulfill your prophetic office, so before you run headlong into it, make sure that everything is in line and that you are ready for it!
So let me bring all four of those points together for you, so that you can gauge for yourself exactly how ready you are for prophetic office.
Now, short of working on relationships and being obedient, what can you do right now to ensure that you reach prophetic office? Yes, we know that the Holy Spirit is the only one that can do the work. He is the only one that can shape you.
But surely, there has to be something that you can do right now to help the process along. Fortunately, there is! So let's take a quick look at what you can do to take these final steps towards prophetic office.