As a late teen, and a fairly new believer, I was introduced to the realm of the supernatural. I started attending a church where there was a prophet and where they walked in a beautiful expression of the kingdom. I loved this new church family and I was intrigued by the gifts they were talking about and walking in. It all felt strangely comfortable to me. After a while in the environment they recognized a prophetic gift on my life and sent me to a prophetic conference for business people. Although intrigued, I left there unable to identify myself as “one of them” and set the pursuit of being prophetic down.

Fast-forward 12 years and you’d find me sitting in my friend’s living room at a meeting listening to this prophetess give profound prophetic words to the group. In the years prior, I had served in ministry, gotten married, planted a church in a foreign country and survived a mental breakdown. Although I sat there newly healed and connected to the heart of the Father, nothing that I had done in my life seemed worthy of praise. So I wondered, “what good she would have to say about me?”

Little did I know that this would be one of the most significant defining moments of my life.

It was my turn for a prophetic word and the woman looked at me sternly, and asked, “Now, you, why aren’t you using the gift God gave you?” I was mortified, but just for a moment. As I turned red and retreated to the Lord, I simply asked, “What?” He answered clearly, “It’s fear of man and fear of failure.” I humbly agreed and came back to the present conversation. “WELL?” she demanded still perturbed. Shocked I answered, “Oh! Umm, it’s fear of man and the fear of failure.” Disarmed at how quickly I figured it out, she responds, “Yes, that’s right.” She then began to explain to me that I was given this gift to bless the body of Christ and I was withholding what they needed from me.

I realized that my whole perspective was wrong when I viewed my role as someone with a prophetic gift. I had a threefold ministry grid, not a fivefold one that we read of in Ephesians 4:11-13. (See Danny Silk’s book, Culture of Honor, for further explanation.) You see, with the ministry model that I had known my whole life, I believed that if I was to operate in the gift of prophecy, then I needed to:

  1. Develop my gift.
  2. Gather a following.
  3. Take what I had created before the Lord and if He was pleased with me, then I would be successful.

Truthfully, none of these prerequisites were, at all, something I believed I was capable of, but she explained to me that I was given this gift to serve those around me. (I Corinthians 14:3) As my eyes were opened, the pressure to perform was destroyed. I thought to myself, “I can do that!” This started me on my way to being the fruitful, prophetically gifted, daughter that He created me to be. I’m so grateful for the atypical rebuke from that prophetess that day. It’s been a beautiful, crazy empowering journey ever since.

By Jill Talbot