If you are of the opinion that the gifts of the spirit are not
for today, then stop right here. Pray for understanding. Find out what God
thinks about it. After all, if God thinks one way and you think another who
would be wrong, you or God? I've got a
on what the Bible says about it.
"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily
prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings,
helps, governments, diversities of tongues." 1Corinthians 12:28
I had read that verse many times and acknowledged those gifts in my
head. I had never known anyone with the gift of healing, but felt it
existed. I have a good friend who speaks in tongues and I attended a Bible
study once where a group of women spoke in tongues. I knew I had a gift of
discernment, even though I didn't see it listed here. I knew I had a gift of
I was aware of the jobs the Old Testament prophets had. I also knew
that in the Old Testament it said if a prophet spoke wrong prophecy he was
to die. Ah, I didn't want that gift. If I made a mistake I would die. Thank
you, but NO!
I had met some people on the Internet that were Christians and had
been corresponding with them. They were curious about the details of my
experience where God told me He didn't want me getting a job. After much
correspondence I learned about the differences between the Old and New
Testament prophets. New Testament prophets were not under the "you must die"
rule any more. They told me they had that gift and they felt I did, too.
They even sent me a prophecy that was supposedly from God for me.
Whoop! Hang on! Stop the train! I'm not wasn't going to swallow that
nonsense! I was just the pastor's secretary and a Sunday School teacher. I
wasn't equipped to do any more than that, nor was I going to be gullible and
swallow that prophecy they sent me. I put the prophecy on the back burner in
my brain. I always test things against the Word when they don't sound quite
Welllllllll, during my "learning how to listen to God" experience
the prophecy they had given me came true. It was as big as life. There was
no mistaking it.
Then I began discovering some interesting things. Anyone can learn
how to hear God. Not everyone "hears" Him in the same way. As I stated
before, He meets you where you are. He will speak to you in whatever way you
are spiritually able to hear. However, a prophet hears for others as well as
for himself. God gives information about others to a prophet for the sole
purpose of edification.
Sometimes the prophet is expected to just intercede with prayer for
the individuals or the group that God revealed to him. Sometimes the prophet
is supposed to go speak to the one(s) God mentioned. The main thing is that
the job of a prophet is edification of the body of Christ.
God began revealing some things to me that required me to go into
action in one way or another. I was given encouragement for some people. I
was given some warnings for our church and pastor. There were different
things at different times. So, even though I was sure I was not equipped for
any heavy-duty type ministry it turns out God thought otherwise.
(It seems mostly God shows me what He desires as it pertains to the Body
of Christ or to an entire church or church leaders. It's OK if you
want to write to me and ask me what God tells me about you, but I probably
won't be able to answer you. It isn't very often that He speaks to me
about an individual.)
You may want to know how I know for sure what I am hearing is God's
voice. Well, that's where the dying-to-self process is helping. God is
helping me to deal with opinions, habits, and other things that would hinder
my hearing abilities. He is helping me to dump my opinions and to have His
opinions. I am not always sure that what I hear is His voice. However, He is
faithful to make sure I know.
If I ask Him to help me know if it is from Him
He will gently tell me again and again until I grab hold of it. He never
crams anything into my head and nothing He says will ever contradict the
It is necessary for me to continue reading my Bible so I can be sure
that what I hear does not contradict it. Perhaps that is why it took me so
long to get to this stage of the game. Maybe God wanted to make sure I had
gotten enough of His Word into my heart. Only He knows why He does things
when and how He does things!
When God gives me something I need to find out what He wants me to
do with it. Sometimes I am just to pray, sometimes I am to speak up,
sometimes I need to take action, and other times I am just supposed to wait.
There are so many things I don't know. I am praying for wisdom and
In April 1998 I discovered I had the gift of tongues. Now I can pray
when I know prayer is needful, but I have no idea for what or whom I am to
pray. I can just begin praying and know that the Holy Spirit is providing
I feel many Christians are unable to be used by God because of the
box in which they have tried to place God. They just cannot believe that it
is possible to move a mountain with enough faith. They just cannot believe
that God will speak verbally through a prophet. They have been taught by
their parents or by their pastor what God can and cannot do. GOD CREATED THE
UNIVERSE! Is there anything He can't do? Did God lose His voice? Is God
In my wildest dreams I would never have imagined the things I have
experienced lately. I believe God is able to use me because I have tried to
keep an open mind. I have tried to remember, "And Jesus looking upon them
saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things
are possible." (Mark 10:27) I have also thought a lot about the scripture,
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own
understanding." (Proverbs 3:5) I have kept in mind that God said, "For my
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the
LORD." (Isaiah 55:8) I did not fully understand those scriptures. I had them
in my head, however. Now God has been able to transfer them to my heart.
I am finding out that there are very few people that I know that
understand what is happening in my life. There are a few that think I've
jumped off the deep end. There are others that just don't want to listen.
There are a few that understand. The unfortunate thing is that my pastor did
not understand. He was in an uncomfortable position. He's the pastor of a
Southern Baptist Church. It appears it is "against the rules" to believe in
certain gifts. Sigh. I am no longer going to that church. There were other
reasons as well that were factors in our leaving.
Since then we haven't really been able to find a church home. My
poor family is not really sure what is going on. Sometimes a church we
visit feels COLD and void of the Holy Spirit to me. Other times I hear
pastors teaching things that are not in the Bible. Other times I sadly
watch as they "play church" and don't even invite God to play with them!
Other times God shows me what we wants done in a church and the leadership
rejects it because "we've always done it the other way" or they look at me
with a look that says, "you poor crazy thing, we already know what God wants
and have been doing it that way."
Under other circumstances I would feel self conscious about what the
Lord is doing in my life. I would feel it necessary to defend myself and
what I am doing. However, I read something that really ministered
to me. It said that God can defend His own reputation. In other words, if
God tells me to say something I say it. I don't have to worry about what I
said, even if it is about something that hasn't happened yet. It is only my
job to say it. It is God's job to take care of the details. Plus, as it says
in Acts 5:29, "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought
to obey God rather than men." I need to be obedient to God and not worry
about what people think. Of course, many times it is easier said than done,
especially if I resurrect those old feelings of low self-esteem!
is trying to destroy any chance of my getting together with
others with complimentary gifts. He is afraid of what control he will lose
over people and over situations. It appears satan is afraid of the things a
prophet can do to strengthen and build up the body of Christ! God, in
His wisdom, put prophets in the churches to help the leaders determine His
will. However, most pastors seem to be of the opinion that they are
the only ones that know what God wants.
(Here's some different
on the differences between prophet and pastor.)
I guess God feels I can handle the stress of being a
prophet. Maybe that is why I've had so many trials throughout my life. I
have come through many fires and haven't been burned to a crisp. I have been
on a lifelong "learning how to be a prophet" process. So, here I am. As I
exclaimed above, "Oh my gosh, I'm a Prophet!"
6. Growing in the Lord