In our age, building a platform seems to be on every person's mind. Getting on Facebook Live and preaching, singing and training whoever may stop scrolling and listen is what so many are doing to reach as many people as possible. They desire to get their message out to as many as they can. Often this can be a point of competition: Who has the most followers? Who has the most viewers? Who is drawing the most attention and getting other opportunities to speak, preach, teach or share their skills and expertise?
Now, I'm not saying any of this is wrong, but I want you to know that God knows how to get your voice out. God knows how to release your voice. He knows where your word needs to go.
As He purifies and matures your voice, He will bring promotion and set you before great men and women. He may give you a prophetic word for somebody. He may cause you to have a dream, like the apostle Paul did, of somebody saying, "Come over to our church, come over to our company, come over to our nation and help us. We need to hear your voice."
In Acts 16, Paul had a dream of a man pleading with him to come to Macedonia and help them. Paul had never been to Macedonia, but the man had asked him to come and help them. So Paul went to Macedonia, preached the Word of God, and revival broke out. His voice needed to be heard in Macedonia.
There may be places you've never been, but God can come to you in a dream and tell you where to go. He can show you people in your dream whom He wants you to contact to give them a word.
The apostle Peter provides another example of God speaking in a dream about where someone should go to deliver His word. In Acts 10:9-23, Peter had a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven, of unclean animals that represented unclean nations—Gentiles.
Immediately following the vision, God sent a messenger from the house of the Roman centurion Cornelius to Peter. The messenger asked Peter to go with him to Cornelius' house. Arriving there, Peter preached, and the Spirit of God fell on all who were in the house (Acts 10:44). They began to speak in tongues, and all of a sudden, the floodgates were open. As a result of their conversion, more Gentiles began to come into the church along with the Jewish believers.
As we've seen from Paul's and Peter's examples, your voice can go places you've never been. God can do it through dreams. God can do it through visions. God can speak to you. He can even have somebody call you.
I got a call once. It wasn't on my phone; it was through Facebook Messenger. I wasn't used to receiving calls that way, but I answered.
"Hello? Who is this?" I asked.
A guy with an accent answered and said, "Praise the Lord! Apostle Eckhardt, I am calling from Moldova."
Moldova? Moldova is in Eastern Europe, near Russia.
He said, "Praise the Lord! I got your book. I've been reading your book. I'm an evangelist in Moldova. I want you to pray for me."
I said, "OK."
I've never been to Moldova. I don't know anybody there. But somehow my book was there.
The man then said, "I'm a Russian evangelist. I speak English. When I preach in Russian, we go on the streets. I've been reading your books on the apostolic. Would you bless me?"
I said, "Well, if you had the nerve to call me from Moldova on Facebook, I'm going to pray for you."
I began to pray for him, and I prophesied over him on the phone through Facebook Messenger. He received the prophetic word, and my voice was going into Moldova—from the South Side of Chicago to Moldova.
Have you ever been to Moldova? Not many people have. I learned it is near Transylvania. I was in Hungary once, and my hosts pointed in a direction and said, "There's Transylvania."
I said, "Transylvania? Isn't that where Dracula is from?"
They said, "Yes. There are many witches there."
I said, "Well, God bless Transylvania. I am not going up there, dealing with Herman and Eddie Munster and Dracula. No, thank you. I am OK. I've dealt with witchcraft, but I don't want to deal with Transylvanian witchcraft."
The point here is that you can end up in strange places—places you've never been—as God begins to send you to people who need what you have.
Rise, Shine and Come Forth
Some time ago I was leading a congregation through a series of prophetic activations. We were doing one activation where we encourage people to hear the sound of the Lord. When you are tuned in to the Spirit in this way, sometimes the Lord gives you sounds. You may hear wind blowing, rain falling or birds singing. You may hear trains. This time, I heard the sound of an army marching. In the Spirit, I heard its boots marching. Then the Lord gave me a verse in Psalm 68, "The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it" (v. 11, KJV).
The Hebrew word translated "company" means "army." It is also translated as an army of women in some Bible versions. Somehow the King James Version left that out. Some people don't think women can preach or prophesy, but every married man knows women preach.
So as I was leading this activation, I began to see how America needs revival and breakthrough. There is so much going on in our country—perversion, rebellion, witchcraft, violence, hatred and injustice. But I believe that when it's the darkest, that's when prophetic people rise.
Elijah was the prophet when Jezebel was ruling the nation. Two of the most wicked people who have ever ascended to the throne, Ahab and Jezebel, were the ones controlling the nations, but God raised up Elijah. God has a way of raising up strong anointings when the world seems dark, when it looks like the devil is taking over and witchcraft is prevailing. The strongest anointings are raised up when things are bad. Strong people are raised up who know how to pray and fast, preach and teach—people who know how to rebuke, take authority and prophesy.
I believe no matter how dark it looks, the Bible says, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee" (Isa. 60:1-2).
When darkness tries to cover the land, that is when it is time for you to shine, rise and come forth. God is raising up a new breed of believers who will prophesy, pray, preach, teach, bind and loose. He is raising up a company of people who know that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise a standard against him (Isa. 59:19).
No matter how bad it looks, one word can turn a situation around. All it takes is one word from God to change a whole situation. So this concept of being a voice, being the heavens or having a voice that activates heaven is not just people saying, "Thus saith the Lord." It's about an army of believers God is raising up, an army into whose mouths God will put His word so that when they release it, something will shake and change.
Things are changing politically. There is a lot of division, particularly in America. Everybody hates everybody, it seems. We have problems with people in the military, with the police department, with authority, with racism, with prejudice, with Democrats versus Republicans and with drugs.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, so many things have come undone and need to be set back in order. But I believe God is going to send those with His words—with solutions, skill, wisdom and insight—and we will see that the best is yet to come.
How You 'Speak' Is Unique
Some of us are more evangelistic—we feel a sense of urgency to use our voices, gifts and talents to introduce people to the gospel of Jesus. Some of us are more apostolic—we feel motivated to use our voices, gifts and talents to help establish systems and programs that secure the church or other organization they've been put in place to serve. Some of us use our voices, gifts and talents to teach, coach, mentor or train. Others of us use our voices, gifts and talents to serve, administrate, give or pastor.
Each of us "speaks" with our different gifts and graces. We're not the same. Even two apostles can be different. Even two prophets can be different. Don't try to be like someone else. Be who God has called you to be. Go where He sends you. Don't be a copycat. Don't be a clone. It's OK to receive an impartation from someone, but God has created you to be different and unique. Don't be born an original and die a copy. We have too many copies out here.
As God prepares you to go to your Macedonia, know that you may seem different than what people expect, or the place He's called you to go may be different from where some people think you ought to go. Expect to be misunderstood.
Special Assignments, Callings and Mandates
When you walk in a special grace, special anointing, special ability or special talent, it opens you up to the realm of what I call special miracles. There is a class of miracles called special miracles. You can find evidence of this in Acts 19:11, which says, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul." This is telling us that there is the miracle realm, and then there is the special miracle realm. The word "special" simply means something unusual, something better or something on a higher level. In the New King James Version, the same verse says, "Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul."
As you walk in this new heavenly identity, you need to understand how important it is that the Lord performs special miracles for you and through you. This is how you demonstrate the things that are in heaven that can be loosed in others' lives. This is also how God will bless you so that by your words and actions—your hands—the special miracles of heaven will be released into the lives of those God sends you to.
For you and through you, God wants to do something different, something unusual. He wants to perform some unusual miracles. He wants to open some unusual doors. He wants to bring unusual breakthroughs. He wants to raise you to unusual levels. He wants to cause you to make unusual connections. He wants to do something very unusual for you and through you.
In studying the word "special," you will find that it is not a word frequently used in the King James Version. It is more often used in other translations such as the Amplified Bible, The Voice, the Passion Translation and The Living Bible. Then if you follow how the word is used, you will see it show up as "special messenger"—the apostles were called special messengers. You will see references to "special favor," which was given to Esther. But when we see "special endowments," the word is being used to describe an unusual impartation of the gifts of the Spirit.
The apostle Peter talks about this: "As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God's many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]" (1 Pet. 4:10, AMPC).
Paul told Timothy to stir up the gift, or the special endowment, that was given to him by prophecy with the laying on of hands of the presbytery. "Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]" (1 Tim. 4:14).
Spirit-filled ministry, especially prophecy and the laying on of hands, is a vehicle through which gifts or special endowments are released. Then in 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul told Timothy again to neglect not the gift God had given through the laying on of his hands.
Special endowments come directly from God through the vehicle of laying on of hands in prophecy. These are unique gifts: prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, faith, gifts of healing, the working of miracles, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, mercy, giving, exhortation, prophecy, serving and so on. (See Rom. 12.) All of these special endowments are connected to the miraculous—when you move in words of knowledge, words of wisdom and discerning of spirits and when you prophesy, speak in tongues or interpret tongues. Moving in these gifts releases miracles, as they are imparted as special abilities to individuals with special assignments, commissions or mandates.
You're reading this because God has given you a special assignment—a place where your voice will have great impact.
God has given you a unique way to speak and preach heaven. He has given you special vision and a special gift. This thing that God has placed within you is unique and different, and it separates you from others.
My calling out your uniqueness is not an attempt to feed your pride or a statement that you are better than anyone else. The truth is, the more special you and the things God does in your life are, the more humility you must have.
God gave Paul a special mandate to preach to the Gentiles but then gave him a thorn in the flesh, because the abundance of revelations given to him could have caused him to be puffed up (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Paul received special revelation from heaven. He understood the mysteries of God more than all the other apostles. There was special grace given to him, but there was also a thorn in his flesh to keep him in a place of humility.
God does give special gifts, special talents and special anointings—and we need them if we want to bring heaven into the lives of so many who are living in a kind of hell on earth—but these endowments are never given to make us think we are better than someone else. What we can recognize is that God does give people special assignments, special callings and special mandates—special things to do on behalf of the kingdom—and they may be different, unusual and not standard. Often when God gives us those kinds of mandates, we tend to pull back because we've never seen anything quite like it before.
John the Baptist was a special messenger raised up by God (John 1:5-15). After he was born, people wanted to name him after his father, Zacharias, but God said, "His name is John."
Zacharias may have thought, "But there's no one in my family named John."
Zacharias and those around him didn't understand that God wanted the child to be named John because he was special. He was different. He was unique. He had a special calling. He carried the spirit of Elijah. He was in the wilderness eating locusts and wild honey. He had a special garment of goats' hair. God was raising up a special kind of ministry to be the forerunner of Christ.
Samson was different. He was special. When Samson was a child, God said, "Don't cut his hair. He's going to be a Nazirite. He can't drink any wine, because he's special" (Judg. 13:5,7). God gave him special strength to use to bring deliverance to Israel.
Then there was Joseph. His father made him a special coat of many colors because he was different from his brothers (Gen. 37:3). He had a special assignment to go into Egypt before them and bring deliverance to his family. He had a special endowment—the ability to interpret dreams. It was something very unusual; no matter how difficult the dream was, he had a special endowment to interpret it.
Then God gave Solomon a special endowment of wisdom. Solomon received a special ability to walk in wisdom more than any other person of his day, and really, anyone in history. No one could come close to matching the endowment God gave to Solomon.
And there was the special endowments God gave Bezalel: the special skill and wisdom to construct the articles of the tabernacle and to design the garments of the priests and the tabernacle (Ex. 31:1-6).
John the Baptist was different. Samson was different. Joseph was different. Solomon and Bezalel were different, and so are you.
John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries in Chicago. With a strong apostolic anointing, he ministers throughout the U.S. and in more than 80 nations. He has written more than 40 books, including Prayers That Rout Demons and God Still Speaks.
This article was excerpted from the January-February issue of Charisma magazine. If you don't subscribe to Charisma, click here to get every issue delivered to your mailbox. During this time of change, your subscription is a vote of confidence for the kind of Spirit-filled content we offer. In the same way you would support a ministry with a donation, subscribing is your way to support Charisma. Also, we encourage you to give gift subscriptions at shop.charismamag.com, and share our articles on social media.
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