"I will send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. He is coming, says the Lord of Hosts.says the LORD of Heaven's Armies" (Mal. 3:1).
I have not been able to escape this passage, as it reveals how quickly the Lord desires to pour out His Spirit. Consider the language of His "suddenly" coming to His temple. Likewise, I believe we are positioned in an hour where the Spirit of the Lord is poised to come suddenly to His church. What will prepare the way, however, will be a "messenger" anointing that is not the result of one lone-ranger prophet claiming to have a monopoly on hearing the voice of God. In fact, any so-called prophet who randomly emerges out of the woodwork, who has no history, no accountability, and no submission to any other five-fold ministry context should be immediately red-flagged.
The blessing of New Covenant prophetic ministry is that anyone can prophesy. The drawback? Anyone can prophesy. I believe the Lord is raising up communities of prophets to provide a place of relationship and accountability for those carrying the messenger anointing for this hour. Just as John the Baptist was forerunner for Jesus' first coming, it goes without saying that prior to the Lord's return, there will be an increased outpouring of the Spirit which will manifest itself through prophetic activity, as clearly evidenced in the fulfillment of Joel 2. The language of outpouring is the language of the prophetic—hearing, seeing and receiving revelation from the Lord.
My dear friend, Ana Werner, and co-author of this prophetic word, has provided the following keys to help prophets and prophetic voices remain in check as we operate in this new wineskin of a collective of prophets:
1. Accountability is so necessary and healthy for each of us. Those who not only hold up our arms when in the battle (Ex. 17:12), but also those that will keep us in check. May we never lose our teachability and ability to receive wisdom and correction in humility.
2. Maturity: Pride goes before the fall, I believe is the saying. The Lord is calling us each individually and at a corporate level, to maintain a bar of maturity by holding onto the values of humility, intimacy with Jesus first and right standing before the Lord, knowing we are a son and daughter first before a gifting or anointing.
3. Celebration of Streams and Successes: With this embracing of all the parts, or different streams of ministry, the ability to intentionally celebrate others advancements or successes needs to happen. After all, it's all for His glory, right? Never are we to be in competition with each other but to embrace the kingdom as a family. After all, family is a beautiful thing really. We all have much to learn from each other and should want to help each other advance forward, in the same way we should be cheering for our actual brothers and sisters to succeed.
4. Breaking the spirit of entitlement through honor. I am so grateful for the Prophetic generals and pioneers who have gone before us and plowed the ground. What I love about the young prophets that I see rising up is that we are not going along with an "Us vs. Them" mentality. I just sat with a minister who is older than I am, and she shared with me her pain: "This generation rising up, carries so much of an entitlement spirit. It's like they feel they have earned the right to all have their voice heard, when so many of us have had to work for an honorable position to be heard."
My heart broke for her, but it so revealed to me the greater need for a collective of all of us operating together independent of our age range, or years in ministry. Honor must be maintained if we are going to bring in the greatest harvest. Although different, we can learn to honor the freshness and beauty we each carry to the banquet table. This isn't a "us and them" separate mentality, but that "we" together can do more.
5. Authenticity is your greatest strength. Please, please do not put on someone else's mantle. Step into your own! People can read right through inauthenticity, and it poorly represents Jesus. Hold your line as close to truth and purity as you can. Do not exaggerate a testimony, to build up your own platform. Remember, we represent His name, and the Lamb is pure. There is no one exactly like you, who carries your story, who has walked in your shoes. You being You is the best gift to the world.
6. Lastly, I implore you, rise up, you prophet of God! The enemy will always come and try to silence the voice of the prophet, but we need you to speak up! Be a fearless lover of Jesus, who walks in humility, carries fire, maturity and loves God more than the calling.
Prophetic word presented by Larry Sparks and Ana Werner.
Ana Werneris the author of The Seer's Path, and also the associate director of the Heartland Healing Rooms in Lees Summit, Missouri. Ana travels and equips people internationally on seeing in the Spirit, moving in the prophetic, and healing ministry. Her transparency as she shares on the realities and experiences she has in heaven, bring Holy Spirit, the love of the Father and the power of God into the room when she speaks. Ana is passionate about leading people into encountering Jesus' heart. Learn more about Ana's ministry at anawerner.org.
Larry Sparksis co-author of the book, The Fire That Never Sleeps with Dr. Michael Brown and John Kilpatrick. Larry's mission is to help teach all believers how to experience and sustain personal revival—enjoying a deep relationship with God through encountering the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. To this end, he maintains a blog through Charisma magazine, is a published author, teaches revival seminars, and is the co-founder of Renewing South Florida, an organization committed to uniting the local church for regional outpouring. Larry holds a Master of Divinity from Regent University and presently serves as vice president of publishing for Destiny Image Publishers.