Allowing the Holy Spirit to Speak through You to Encourage and Affirm

For many of us, we can look back on our lives and pinpoint when people have spoken lifegiving words to us – which ultimately helped us confirm what we were good at or where God was leading us. I’m sure once you begin to reflect on these moments, you might realize that when people were bold enough to relay promptings from the Holy Spirit, it made all the difference.

Time and time again, the enemy targets our gifts or the callings we’ve received from God. Without the encouragement from those around us, it can be easy for us to begin second-guessing, doubting or even forgetting about the guidance we’ve heard from the Holy Spirit.

For many people within the ministries of Global Partners, it’s become an intentional focus to “call it out” when they see glimpses of what God has in store for the people around them. With the ultimate goal of multiplying, Executive Director Dennis Jackson’s life message and passion has been to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading by “calling out” a future for people. Traditionally for those within Global Partners, sometimes this means handing someone an “ICNU” (I see in you) card with a written explanation of what is seen in that person.

Dennis said he has seen the benefits of stepping up to this challenge play out in a multitude of ways. Not only does he find himself seeking and listening for the promptings of the Holy Spirit when he’s with people, he said he’s also found that he’s rarely the “first voice or call.” Instead, his voice has been a confirmation of how God has already been speaking in that person’s life.

“Often when I am with people, I sense Him asking me to speak to someone about a call, an affirmation of a quality in their lives, a leading they should follow,” Dennis wrote. “I have decided that I would rather be wrong than to not share what the prompting is . . . early on, I doubted and failed to share. I regret that deeply.”

This practice isn’t just important to missions, Dennis said, it’s critical.

“. . . In many places the missionary call is not being given by pastors and leaders,” he said. “But Holy Spirit is communicating the call. Many are receiving it, but don’t even know what it would mean. It’s critical that we offer not only a confirmation of the call, but then pass on the direction of what they could do to fulfill that call.”

Dennis said he has met too many people who will tell him they received their call to missions when they were young, but regretfully never went. He said this makes him wonder – did anybody ever confirm the call that God had on their lives? People tend to admire young people who have this call, but will they affirm it verbally and support them moving forward?

James*, director of mobilization with Global Partners, said he has been striving to step up to the challenge of “calling it out” in people as well. This could be asking pastors or leaders if they know of anyone who they think has a call to missions, or speaking into the lives of people he comes into direct contact with – and he has already seen how it impacts people.

Just recently, when attending West Side Youth Camp in the Northwest District, James specifically prayed over three individuals, seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit. He had noticed leadership qualities in one, a call to ministry in another, and saw the third as a strong influencer. James said he decided to pull them aside and tell them what He felt God was telling him.

All three were very appreciative and James was able to visibly see the impact of these words on them as they processed what they had been told. Even though he said he doesn’t know what will happen moving forward, James said they were cool moments to be a part of.

The benefit of calling things out in people’s lives, is that it helps people to see something in themselves that they don’t see, or you’re affirming things they may have suspected, James added.

“Sometimes I think as the person calling it out, you’re kind of like ‘well I don’t want to be manipulative, I don’t want to be forcing something’ – but you do so in a sense of prayer,” James explained. “Praying specifically ‘God help me to see people, see opportunities to speak truth and to encourage people.’”

Putting this into practice can feel a little bit intimidating. Dennis wrote that he has some ways to keep it in mind on a day-to-day basis.

  • First, ask Holy Spirit to prompt you when He is sharing insights about the people around you.  Trust Him that He wants to use you in this work.
  • Next, share it with the person—with the explanation that you have been seeking promptings and sensed you have just received a prompting from Holy Spirit about them.
  • Make it easy for them to receive it: “I don’t want to speak for God, but these words are what I sensed I heard.  No pressure—just wanted to make sure I shared it with you.”
  • If it helps and you have time, or aren’t with the person at that moment, jot the prompting down and pray for an opportunity to share—be careful not to delay sharing. Again, I would rather have missed the clarity of a prompting then miss out on what He wants to share with someone.
  • If appropriate, pray with the person a short prayer of confirmation of the prompting.
  • Release the person to God’s plan.

*Last name withheld due to security guidelines