Many years ago, I was a young girl whose prophetic gift was just beginning to awaken. It was exciting, exhilarating… and it seemed to get me in more trouble than all of my previous years combined!
I was constantly sticking my foot in my mouth and other people’s mouths, sharing prophecies at the wrong time, speaking with harshness, and carrying a pride that I was the one who “heard God”. I made many mistakes, both costly and not-so-costly, and offended a whole lot of people.
I was basically a ticking time bomb of “raw zeal waiting for a place to happen”, and it is truly by the grace of God that I grew past that stage with most of my soul intact. What I really needed was a mentor.
Most people are wary of mentoring the prophetically gifted, especially those who are just learning to prophesy. Why? Fledgling prophetic people are often stubborn, proud, rebellious, and unteachable — and it requires a great deal of time, patience, love, and forbearance to walk together dealing with each of these issues. But beneath the many layers of “roughness”, these prophetic people are precious gemstones that, once uncovered, will be a huge blessing to the world. The mark of a good mentor is that of a servant-leader (it will often require us to lay down our life & our rights, giving without receiving back), and not many leaders are ready to serve people in such mentoring relationships.
God is searching for prophetic mentors, those who are willing to pay the price to parent a new generation of powerful leaders He is raising across the earth — those who would be patient to wait past the immaturity of the rising prophetic person, to get past the dirt, and see the gold & His plan for them. God is looking for those who will lead by example, modelling servant-leadership.
The great news is that God is raising up a wave of prophetic fathers and mothers who will take the emerging prophetic under their wing.
These fathers and mothers have been given a special grace for the task (because without grace, they will be tempted at times to throw up their hands and give up!) and to be just as tenacious in their love as their disciples can be stubborn. The tenacity of their love will be stronger than the stubbornness of their prophetic protégé, and that will enable them to love the growing prophetic person into maturity.
How To Be Mentored
Whether you are wanting to grow your prophetic gift (everyone has a prophetic gift to some measure) or you have a prophetic call on your life you want to walk into, a mentor is one of the provisions of God for you to get there. Each of the different five-fold giftings mentor in very different ways.
Firstly, ask God. There are seasons when He wants to tutor us directly, and seasons when He will teach us through mentors. Ask God if He has a mentor for you in this season, and if so then ask Him to show you who it is.
Once you know who you’re called to align with and learn from, ask that person if they would be your mentor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “If so-and-so is meant to be my mentor/pray for me/give me a word, God will tell them.” I used to say such things too, until Holy Spirit began to show me the irresponsibility in that statement which has its root in the fear of rejection.
Our spiritual growth is our responsibility, no one else’s. Yes, God will speak to the prophet who is meant to mentor you, but He will speak to you too. A key factor to spiritual growth is hunger. Elisha pursued Elijah, and he ended up with Elijah’s double portion! Take charge of your destiny and spiritual growth. Ask God for discernment, and pursue boldly the mentor God has chosen for you.
2. Define The Relationship.
Once you’ve found your mentor and “sealed the deal”, you’re ready to begin your journey! Sit down with your mentor and define the relationship — What are both of your expectations? Are both of you on the same page? What are the boundaries of this relationship?
There is a difference between a coach, a mentor, and a spiritual parent. Each one has an increasing degree of access and priority, but also a corresponding increase in the level of responsibility required.
For example, a person to whom I am a spiritual mother would have more access to my time, resources, and trust than a student that I coach in the classroom Antioch Academy, and the student would have more access to me than a person who isn’t part of the Antioch community. But the person to whom I am a spiritual mother would also have more expected of them. I require a much higher level of honor, submission and responsibility in my relationships with my spiritual children than with those I merely coach or mentor.
What level of intimacy are you prepared and willing to pay the price for? Each of those relationships can be blessing. Ask God for wisdom to choose the one that’s best suited to your needs and capacity in this season.
Define the relationship, then resolve to be committed to it. This commitment will help you stay the course, especially when the road gets rough. A mentoring relationship will push some of your hot buttons and prod at some of your raw spots; this helps you to grow, but it will be painful at times and that’s when your commitment to God’s process needs to be stronger than your instinct to retreat.
It is important to note that if you don’t really take hold of the benefits of mentorship, you can be in a mentoring relationship for years and never ever get through the preparation stage. The following are points you need to keep in mind if you have a mentor.
3. Be Transparent.
Be totally transparent with your mentor. Let your walls down and let them see what’s really in your heart — the good, the bad, and especially the ugly. They need to know what’s in there so that they can help you identify what God is doing in you.
It will mean you being vulnerable and admitting where you fail and mess up. It also means being prepared to let them come into those places and point them out. Yup. It’s never fun to have somebody’s fingers in our soft spots, and really not fun to have our weaknesses pointed out. But if you will let a mentor come in, you will identify the flesh + die to self + grow so much more quickly.
4. Be Humble, Submission Is Key To Growth.
By golly, this is a tough one. Many people behave in a way that communicates, “I would love to have a mentor that gives me direction, affirmation, prayer support, and help through the tough times… but the rest of the time I want to do things my way!” That’s not mentorship, that’s really bad parenting that results in spoilt children.
Submission is key to accelerated growth. Your mentor has been given to you by God, so trust in His process and submit to them. It won’t always be fair; not every test and chisel that your mentor will give you will be fair. In fact, quite the opposite is true. You will probably find that it is quite unfair but that is all part of the testing. It is all part of the process! Let the Lord use your mentor and submit.
Submission cannot be conditional. “I will submit when it comes to advice, impartations and decrees, but I won’t submit when he/she tells me to die to a certain area of my flesh.” Complete submission builds our character, which leads to maturity.
Get confirmation about every direction you sense God gives you with your mentor. Submit every revelation you get to them so that you can discern, learn, and rise up.
An aspect that needs to be addressed in fledgling prophetic people is an aloofness, an independent and argumentative spirit. One way to work against our pride is to have a teachable spirit. Knowing it all or “hearing God for yourself” can lead to having an unteachable spiritual attitude, which leads to deception. One tell-tale sign of having such a spirit is getting defensive when a mentor is giving advice.
A good guideline is: If it is a corrective word, don’t close up. Try not to justify yourself. Even if you don’t agree with everything that is said, some of it may be true. Usually more of the advice is true than we first want to admit.
Don’t skip steps in dealing with the Spirit. Some lessons – such as servanthood, submission, humility, discernment – are foundational, and if you try to avoid them they will just arise in your life in another way. Those who miss the lessons God wants them to learn have to “go around the mountain one more time”. Some people go around the mountain so many times because of their pride and inability to submit that they never get out of that cycle.
This is a really tough one to live out, but I promise you that if you do, the rewards are far greater. Not only will you emerge from that season with a deep humility that is so pleasing to the Lord, you will also have established trust and earned the respect of your mentor and those around you. You will be positioned, ready to be launched and entrusted with the mysteries of God.
5. Be Prepared For Tests.
The Lord uses the waiting + preparation time to season us. Along with this comes tests to gauge how ready we are, and whether we are seasoned to be launched out.
Cindy Jacobs says, “An important measure is in the words the disciple uses to communicate what he or she is receiving from the Lord. I watch those with whom I am working to see how they are coming along in their servant-leader growth. Occasionally, I will give them a verbal test to see if they will rise to the bait in pride. This may be in the form of asking them to do something that might seem menial, and then listening to their responses. This area of testing is one where many young leaders flake out on the call. They don’t want to pay the price to be tempered.
The area of presumption is one stronghold which many prophetic people become blinded to. It comes from presuming that we know what to do without first checking it with other leaders. This is where a good relationship with your elders, pastor, or mentor is vital.
A good mentor will work with an emerging prophetic person in the area of pacing themselves personally. Prophets, who are not properly tempered, have one speed: fast forward! Everything they hear from God has an intangible immediacy about it. Most prophets would burn themselves out without tempering, as well as everyone around them.”
Wise leaders know to watch those in their church who are prophetically anointed for at least six months before approaching them in any way. Many of these gifted ones become angry and just move on. They fail the test. Just because a person is anointed doesn’t mean they have been proven trustworthy for the higher calling. God can anoint anyone. He’s more interested in your maturity & character than your anointing.
This is so closely tied to humility and submission. Trust God, and trust the mentor God has chosen for you because the one He’s chosen for you will love you and want only the best for you. Submit unconditionally, serve and obey even when it seems unfair — both God and your mentor want you to pass the test and launch into the fullness of your destiny!
5. Align And Run With Your Mentor.
The mentor that comes from God and carries His Father’s heart will want to see you soar. They will set a pace for you to accelerate your growth in the Lord. Learn to run with them — this will mean an alignment not just in word or deed, but in your spirit as well.
The best way to align and run with your mentor is to serve and honor. Ask God what it means to be an ARMOUR-BEARER, and do it wholeheartedly. The armour-bearers will receive the double-portion of the mantle of their mentors.
A godly prophetic mentor will be one who runs with the Lord, in tune with His times & seasons. Run in pace with them. It might be a steep learning curve at first, so ask questions when you don’t understand. Keep communication channels open. Take the initiative to ask for help. Let your mentor help you keep up with their speed.
I believe a new generation of the prophetic is arising in the spirit of Malachi 4: 6, mentored by prophetic fathers + mothers God has called to take these fledgling prophetic under their wing and raise them up into the atmosphere of heaven.
A new dawn, a new breed, a fresh approach to growing in the prophetic — one that is rooted in fatherhood and covenant and the freedom in sonship. Exciting times!
(If you are looking to be mentored in the prophetic & your other five-fold gifts, prayerfully consider joining us for Antioch Academy 2018.)