This past weekend I had the most incredible experience at an equipping session for those working in the prophetic. I have never been to anything like it, as truly God Himself has been training me in everything I do for the past three and a half years. I was very excited to go with a dear friend, who too has similar spiritual gifts as I do. I had no idea what to expect, but what I did not expect was to be blessed beyond measure.
Being in a prophetic community was absolutely wonderful. God poured out His Spirit over me, over and over again, lifting me into a place of such deep awe for my loving Father. How God could treat me in such a special way is honestly beyond me, but He proved that I am indeed loved. How does a woman who has spent her whole life living in shame and worthlessness take such declarations of love from God? With a lost of tears and appreciation.
One of the best parts about being in a community where the gifts of the Spirit are encouraged and freely used is not feeling so unusual and alone. For me, my gifts are very strong and not something that I control. I get visions, prophecy, and discernment every day, and it is just a part of who I am. It is so much a part of who I am that before this weekend I could not tell you when I was pouring out prophecy and when I was discerning spirits. It just all flows together so naturally to me that there is not differentiating.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:7
I believe there are many people out there who are walking with wonderful gifts from the Holy Spirit, but do not realize they are doing so. They are not in a community that can help foster those gifts or teach them how to use them. They may even be in a community that is against them, and therefore don’t even realize what these gifts look like or how they work. The Holy Spirit has given each one of us good gifts to use as He determines. These gifts are meant for the good of the whole body, and to be used to help others.
I have walked strongly in all of my gifts since I was a very young child. However, the environment I grew up in was one that had absolute hatred towards those gifts. I grew to believe that my gifts meant I was crazy, evil, bad and more, and so I tried very hard not to use them. I was greatly punished for using them, because they were clearly a gift of God. Those who are enemies of God will always try to impede gifts of the Spirit, because they further the mighty work for the Kingdom.
It was not until I began truly giving my life over to Christ, every part of my being that I possible could, that I began to see the fruit of these gifts again. It was not that they were gone or lost; I don’t believe that ever happens. It was that I was too afraid to allow them to manifest into full power in my life. The devil instilled that fear into me, just as he has into many areas of the church. Many Christians are told and believe that all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are dead and gone. As a matter of fact, I have even been told that if you use these gifts you are actually partnering with the devil.
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:1
Of course the devil wants us to believe that. He wants nothing more than to stomp out these amazing gifts that bring healing, grace, edification, encouragement, and so much more, not only to ourselves, but to the entire body. When one person walks with the Spirit of God freely, it empowers those around to do the same. We should not live in fear, but have courage to follow Jesus unhindered. We need to do this, because the world is desperate for the signs, wonders, and miracles that these gifts bring to this dark world.
I know a lot of people wonder how they can tell if they have a gift, or if they have a gift how to use it. My best advice really is just Jesus. Jesus is the one who can teach us and guide is in every single question. We know from 1 Corinthians 12 that every believer will receive spiritual gifts, so my presumption is that you most likely already have one. In order to truly understand the spiritual gifts that we have and how to use them best, we need to go to Jesus. If He feels we need outside resources to learn and grow, He will surely lead us right to them. We must have faith.
I have been walking in my spiritual gifts as a Christian for almost 4 years now, but it has taken this long to get a grasp and understanding of these gifts, what they are, and why I even have them. All of this knowledge has only come from the Holy Spirit Himself. Reading books and articles and watching videos or listening to speakers is great, but it is only walking with Jesus, asking Him the hard questions, and leaning on Him for guidance that has truly led me to growth and understanding.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit–the Father will send Him in My name–will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
The Apostle make makes it clear that every believer should desire to speak in tongues and to prophecy. This means that every believer has the ability to speak in tongues and to prophecy. These are spiritual gifts that freely flow through the Holy Spirit to each one of us. Speaking in tongues does not necessarily mean delivering a message in tongues, but more likely praying in tongues. Praying in tongues is using tongues as a personal prayer language. This allows you to connect with God on a deeper level when you have no words, or it is a powerful weapon when you are in a bad place. Praying in tongues edifies your spirit man, as well as others you pray for.
Prophecy is used to edify the church as well as other believers. Prophecy does not necessarily mean predicting the future, and it should never be used as a means of divination. Prophecy is a wonderful gift that should be used to build an atmosphere of hope and brings revival in the hearts of those that hear it. We need to always be very careful when giving messages as well as receiving them, because many people with good intentions have brought curses on others with their false prophecies. False prophecies are a result of being connected with the wrong spirit, who yearns to deceive and bring down the elect.
While we should all strive for spiritual gifts, we should never try to force them. They should flow out of a deep connection with our Father, not because we want to make them happen. While I wholly agree we should all walk in the gifts of the Spirit, I also believe that we may need to walk through deliverance to relieve oppression or strongholds that are hindering our abilities. This is also very important because, as I mentioned before, if we do not clean our houses (deliverance), then we could be harnessing powers of the Second Heaven , which is the Kingdom of Darkness. This does not mean we are bad or evil, it simply means we need to go deep into our souls to break away any ties that are harmful to us, and others.
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
During my weekend equipping session I witnessed believers who were connecting to the Second Heaven through their God given spiritual gifts. I saw a woman who used painting as a form of worship. She was incredibly talented, but during each session I saw her painting things of a very disturbing nature, things that were of a spiritual nature, only seen with the spiritual eyes. I also saw a worship singer who was lacking confidence and channeling the power of Second Heaven to bring in a soulish form of worship. He too was very talented in his God given gifts, but he did not realize that he was tapping in to the Holy Spirit and the Second Heaven at the same time.
Each of these individuals is loved and important to God. He does not look down on them for what they are doing, but instead He understands exactly why they do this. He loves their worship, because truly their spirits are worshiping God, even though their souls are not. God has a purpose and plan for us all. He uses all these things for our good. I fully believe that He wants us to all come into greater levels of healing so we can come to know Him more intimately. We just have to be willing to look at the dark places inside of us that He has allowed to remain hidden for our own good.
God knows the perfect timing in which everything in our lives needs to happen. He is not worried, and we should not worry either. Wherever we are with our spiritual gifts, God is there with us. We need only continue to lay out our hearts to Him, even if it means just giving Jesus one piece at a time. That is exactly what I am doing. I am far from perfect, and I am very thankful that God loves me exactly where I am right now. And I am very thankful that my desire to use spiritual gifts in His Kingdom has brought about a closer relationship with Jesus, that has helped me to bear good fruit for Him.
I pray we all allow our desire for spiritual gifts to bring us to greater revelations of who God is, His great love for us, and a greater love for each other. I pray that each of us begins to walk with the Spirit, in Truth and in love, allowing the Holy Spirit to mold and shape us into who He originally designed us to be. I pray that through this we create revival fires everywhere we go, setting the peoples of this earth on fire for more of Jesus Christ. Bless you, my dearest brothers and sisters.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7