Apostles and Prophets must work together to establish the Church and prepare it for the mission of establishing God’s Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. I once heard that “apostles will take you deep in the Word” and “prophets will take you high in the Spirit.” According to Jesus, we need both the Word and Spirit to be complete in Christ (John 4:24), so these two gifts must work in tandem for the success of God’s work. When prophets are being trained for release, there are eight characteristics that should be evident in their lives.
- Understanding timing. Jesus operated as Prophet and was keenly aware of God’s timing in His life. John 13:1 ESV states, “Now before the feast of Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” Prophetic people can wait on God to move before they move, a very key element of a prophetic lifestyle.
- Understand that revelation is progressive. Hebrews 6:1 KJV, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God…” Prophetic people will build the Word of God into their lives “line upon line and precept upon precept” (Isaiah 28:10 KJV) because they are aware that God operates in a systematic way, and they are not jumping ahead of where the Spirit is trying to instruct them at the time.
- Understand Divine restraint. Paul told the Corinthians that the “spirit of the prophets was subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians14:32 KJV). Prophetic people will learn to restrain the urge to manifest their gift until it can be done, “decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV).
- Stay on fire for God. Jeremiah said the the Word of God was like a fire shut up in his bones. (Jeremiah 20:9 NKJV). Staying on fire is a matter of keeping the Word of God alive in our hearts. Prophetic people don’t just live by the anointing upon them but by the revelation within them.
- High regard for the written Word of God. “Knowing this FIRST, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-20 KJV). Prophetic people learn to live by the written Word of God, not exclusively by the prophetic utterances that come forth because they may change, being conditional upon man’s cooperation, but the written Word of God never changes.
- Spontaneous and flexible. Jesus said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth…” (John 3:8 KJV) meaning God changes directions in our lives at times without prior warning. We have to learn to be flexible as prophetic people and make adjustments to our course when it is unexpected. Some people who had a prophetic word have become stagnated because God changed plans and they were unwilling to let go of what was no longer God’s will.
- Sharp and discerning. The Word of God is a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 KJV). The more of God’s Word is abiding in your heart, the more prophetic you will become, and all the more discerning. Prophetic people are able to make righteous judgments in situations due to the clarity of their discerning. Jesus didn’t entrust himself to certain individuals, “because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man, for he knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25 KJV).
- Praisers. “..and it shall come to pass, when thou art come hither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets, coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tablet, and a pipe, and a harp, before them, and they shall prophesy” (1 Samuel 10:5 KJV). Prophetic people have learned to break into high places of Spirit through praising God and have made a lifestyle of praising God. Prophetic people can maintain the atmosphere of open heavens due to the high praises of God.
When training people to live in a prophetic anointing, these eight characteristics should be encouraged by leadership.