This is the day of the young prophets. God is raising up his prophets to help usher in the next phase of his kingdom. Powerful men and women of God who will speak with heaven’s authority and sensitivity. Prophets who have God’s anointed word in their heart and on their lips, along with a passion for holiness.
The calling of prophet is not an indication of spirituality, nor is it a free pass for someone to avoid certain kinds of discipline from the Lord. Actually, with the call comes the Spirit’s cry for greater consecration, separation, and imitation.
Imitation? Yes. Imitating what’s observed from the older generation of prophets.
Young prophets are not called to boot out of ministry any of the “old timers”. God takes care of all the timing issues. Since he’s the one who gives the words to the prophets, he has something to say about how his new prophets function.
Take Samuel for example. He didn’t kick Eli out of the way. He actually was mentored by Eli. He learned a number things about hearing God’s voice and judging the people. Sure, Eli wasn’t the greatest example but God still used him.
“Now the young man Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.” (1 Samuel 2:26 ESV)
“Now the young man Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.” (1 Samuel 3:1 ESV)
“And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19 ESV)
It’s of utmost importance that the young prophet remain humble and submissive to God given authority, regardless. It doesn’t matter if it is taking too long to get “their ministry” off the ground. God won’t bless or anoint someone who pushes others out of their way.
Samuel grew into his ministry under the covering of Eli. He would eventually replace Eli, but that was God’s operation, not Samuel’s.
Young prophets, you need your elders. You need to hear what they have to say, watch what they do, and imitate their faith. You need to sit at their feet as a student, not towering above them as a successor. You must honor them, esteeming them highly for their work’s sake.
Your “promotion” does not come through your “contacts” but by your contrite heart.
Eli hadn’t lived exactly the way he was supposed to. Plus, his boys were selfish, greedy, guys. Out of control. God told Eli that a change was coming. Then he told Samuel. But Samuel kept his heart tender to God and loyal to Eli.
That, friends, is a must. The next step follows for the ones who would rather have a “slow start” in ministry than act in an untoward manner.
“And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.” (1 Samuel 4:1 ESV)
Some day, young prophets, should the Lord delay his return, you will be old and gray. Your body may not be what it was when you first began in ministry, but your spirit and mind will be very much alive. You’ll be able to discern the voice of God even better than today.
Remember this along the way. It is the plan of God to raise up your replacements; to pour into them all you can.
Both Eli and Samuel failed in this regard. God used them mightily, especially Samuel, but there was no replacement when it came time for Samuel to move on.
“When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.
“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” (1 Samuel 8:1-9 ESV)
God always works with multiple generations. Are you?
Are you pouring into others? Are you imitating an older person?
A prophet’s ministry has much more to do with God’s anointing, than the actual words he speaks. It has much to do with character, and little to do with contacts and charisma.
And it has everything to do with humility.
Has God called you to a prophetic ministry? Who’s mentoring you? Who do you have as an “understudy”? What’s God speaking to you in regards to these days of shaking and pruning?