Mar30FriMarch 30, 2018
Do you ever have a moment where you know that this wasn’t just coincidence? On Sunday at Crossings, I spoke on three specific gifts that speak and then watched those gifts in action as we had a guest speaker come to share at the Manor. Pastor Daniel who originally is from India came to speak and share his story how God led him from worshipping the many millions of gods of Hinduism to the point where he cried out to Jesus as a young teenager while dying in the hospital. He was there feeling that none of his gods were answering his prayers for healing so in desperation He reached out and prayed,
“Jesus Christ, if you are the true God, I surrender from this day onward to you, alone. Reveal your power to me, and then I will know that you, alone, are God…soon after praying, I felt as though a tube of light had gone to my heart. I felt like I had been released from something”
He was healed in that moment, confirmed by a surgeon the next day, and now faithfully serves God through his ministry, New Life Project, in India.
So, on Sunday after sharing, he began to pray in tongues and prophecy over the people who were attending our service and had their hand raised asking for prayer. It was such a powerful moment to listen to him pray not knowing anything about the people that he was praying for. I could see how he was using the gift of prophecy to speak truth specifically in areas of their life that I knew they needed encouragement in. It was a fantastic day.
Let’s study more in depth the gifts that were in action today.
Three Gifts That Speak – The mouth of God
The Gifts Defined
The gift of tongues is a supernatural utterance given by the Spirit-filled Christian proclaiming in a public meeting a message from God in a language unknown and not understood by the person giving it. It is always used in conjunction with the interpretation of tongues. It has nothing to do with the mind or with a person’s intellect.
The gift of the interpretation of tongues is the supernatural unfolding by the Holy Spirit through the believer the meaning of a message in tongues delivered in a public assembly so that the church can be encouraged and built up.
It is not the translation of tongues as it may be shorter or longer than the interpretation. Tongues and interpretation of tongues are together equal to the gift of prophecy since the end result would be the same in that it is given under the anointing of God. It’s goal is to edify, encourage and build up those who are listening. It also must be in agreement with the Word of God.
The gift of prophecy is a supernatural message given under the anointing of God to edify, encourage, strengthen and comfort. Prophecy must also be in agreement with the Word of God.
It has been also defined as “God making use of someone to tell someone what He thinks about their present situation or what his intention is for the future or what He know they need for that moment or situation.
The Word of God is the safeguard and the guardrails for what is spoken to be recognized and affirmed by those who are in leadership within the church.
The Importance and Use of the Gifts
Let’s first talk about tongues.
Tongues are a sign for unbelievers 1 Corinthians 14:22
When a non-believers hears someone speaking in tongues, it may be a sign that something supernatural is happening. It may lead to curiosity, to questions and possibly someone coming to know the LORD.
Acts 2:7,11,12 best example when people recognized that followers of Jesus were speaking in languages they could not have learned.
Paul is clear in 1 Corinthians 14 that tongues are pretty much useless in the church unless someone is there to interpret what is being said…bottom line, if there’s no interpretation or someone revealing that the language that is being spoken is being understood by them, then it needs to be shut down.
However, it is important to point out that Paul also states in the NLT , “I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy.”
Now I also want to bring clarity and differentiate between the gift of tongues and the grace of tongues, often called praying in tongues or praying in the Spirit. There is a difference between a public gift and the private grace.
Praying in the Spirit is often accompanied by an initial filling of the Holy Spirit, but not always.
Practically speaking we have to open our mouth to allow God to work. It is a prayer language, unique to all of us that we can use to pray to the Lord and Paul is distinguishing between both here in 1 Corinthians 14. He is doing a balancing act. He is attempting to bring correction and order to the way it was being used in the public meeting and at the same time he doesn’t want to discourage them from the private grace of tongues, prayer language that we can use in our own quiet time
1 Corinthians 14:4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.
Romans 8:26,27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Praying in tongues or “prayer language”
Praying with the spirit is generally taken to mean praying with the understanding with an access to spiritual power. Praying with the spirit is quite different from praying with the understanding (I Corinthians 14:16). You cannot pray with the spirit unless you speak with other tongues. You can pray in the Spirit with the understanding (Ephesians 6:18) but such prayer does not reach the realm of mystery and miracle presided over and directed by the Holy Ghost. (1 Corinthians 14:2).
Harold Horton in The Gifts of The Spirit page 137
1 Corinthians 14:14
My experience of this prayer language first and foremost came strongly upon me as I was praying at the wailing wall in Jerusalem. I have also prayed in the Spirit especially for breakthrough with my children when I felt words were not enough
Cheryl Bridges-Johns in a lecture at Regent College speaks of tongues as a sacrament that signifies the presence of God. Tongues are a theophany; they make the presence of God visible and tangible as well. They express the freedom of the Spirit and the divine initiative of the Spirit of God as well.
1 Corinthians 14:39
The ministry of the prophetic
1 Corinthians 14:1
This verse challenges us to pursue love, but really go after prophecy.
The purpose of prophetic ministry is to really best likened to going after treasure.
The starting point for all prophetic ministry starts with the understanding that anyone who is saved, a child of God, can hear the voice of God. You can’t get saved unless you did. The way you became a Christian was by responding to the Holy Spirit as He spoke into your spirit and convicted you of your need for God.
The still small voice of God
- There is a small and gentle voice of God that we hear in our spirit that comes to us as we wait on God in prayer and meditation
- God speaks to us this way for our personal instruction and encouragement
- It needs to be judged in light of our own desires. We know that the heart is deceitful so if we are listening with our own selfish gain, we can get stuck in being absorbed with self and only hearing or listening for what we want to hear. We can even misconstrue what He is telling us. I remember one lady coming up to me after my message and saying I now know what to do…I need to divorce my husband. I remember thinking my message had nothing to do with that subject and how she was obviously listening for what she wanted to hear.
Thoughts, Feelings, Emotions
- He uses our thoughts and feelings
- What many people consider a coincidence are actually valid prophetic impressions from God. Acts 14:9
- He uses our emotions in a specific situation to bring awareness to what might be happening in our lives or the lives of others. Hebrews 4:12 We can discern what is coming to us, our senses, and discern what is from the LORD
Our physical body
- We get also get impressions in our physical body. Many people receive words of knowledge about pain or healing by the LORD making them aware in their own body. I have listened to a number of stories of believers experiencing this and allowing them to speak, pray and even see healing in another person’s life. The best example of this is found in Jesus’ ministry when he recognized that the woman suffering with an of issue of bleeding for 12 years. Luke 8:45,46
- This is our spiritual sight. This is when God gives us very distinct pictures in prayer or in a dream that speak again into our life or the life of our church. 2 Kings 2:15
I can remember clearly a janitor in one of my previous ministries coming up to me and saying that while she was praying God gave her a picture for me. I was climbing up a fence and literally racing into a bullring where I was being pursued by a bull nonetheless pretty intently. The sense that she got was that I was running ahead of the people that I was leading so much so that I was becoming the target for them in a bad way instead of leading people to the better target that was knowing Jesus more.
I also remember another lady standing up in one of our services at another church that I ministered. It was that morning that I was speaking on the prophet Haggai and spoke of doing an extreme makeover on the church in a spiritual sense. I came in with a tool belt that morning to church. When she saw that, she knew she had to share. In her spiritual picture she shared how she saw a concrete ceiling on the church that spoke of a time where there was a lack of revelation. She then saw me with a hard hat on and that there was an opening being created in the roof and light shining through. She spoke of a time coming of new revelation and awareness for the church. Unfortunately for most people in the church, all that they could focus on was the concrete ceiling.
There are four components to prophecy or a prophetic word.
- Revelation – This is the information that we receive and it is not something that we could know in the natural or deduce from our observation.
- Interpretation- The understanding that God gives us about the revelation that we have received. What is God saying and what does this mean.
- Application – the understanding that we have to know what we need to do with what we have received. Are we to pray about it? Are we to bring it to the person that we have received it for?
- Delivery –this is huge because it is important that we don’t put our “spin” on it The way that we say it is so, so important. Remember it is for encouragement, it is comfort , edify and build up. So we need to remember our tone, our wording and please don’t say “thus says the LORD”. Instead, try starting with, “this is what I sense the LORD saying to me in my spirit.
Also remember to give room for growth in this area. Mistakes will happen, we won’t always get it right. Ministering prophetically is obeying God and learning to minister in love to His children so that they may see Him more clearly, love Him more too.
We need to also recognize that walking in this gifting takes a great amount of faith. We will need to get past our feelings and fears.
If you are receiving a word of prophecy
Sometimes we may not understand in the moment, but receive it in grace.
Keys To Hearing God
Dwell in His presence - as we spend more time in His presence, we will have a greater sense of how He is speaking to us through His Word, worship, prayer
Focus on God’s purposes – ask God what is your desire, what is your plan, your purpose
Grow in love towards others
Become a lover of God’s Word – He will store up great truth and revelation in you
Do A “Body Check” – ask God, “Is there someone you want me to minister to today?”
I remember Sharon telling me this story not too long after she began walking this out in her own life. She prayed on her way into a Wendys, “God if there is someone you want me to minister to today, have them sit right by me.” Well, as it turned out, a couple did just that. She then said, “God, what do you want me to tell them?” In her spirit she sensed God saying, “The LORD will provide” Proverbs 3:5,6 So, she went to the washroom and said, “God, if they are still there when I return, I will tell them.” Well, they weren’t there, but she said, “Ok, if they cross my path again”… and they literally they were pulling out of the parking lot right beside her. Sharon tapped on their window and said “I don’t even know if you are Christians”…they nodded yes. She then told them and tears began to fall from their face. They shared how they were going to the bank to find out if they got approval for a mortgage for a house they were looking to buy. It meant so much to them and confirmed that this was a decision that God was leading them in.
Nay, every generation needs a living Christ, and every new community needs these ‘signs following,” to confirm the Word. Until He comes again the world will never cease to need the touch of His Power and Presence. “God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders…and gifts of the Holy Ghost according to his own will.
AB Simpson page 57 in The Gospel of Healing
Let’s remember that everywhere we go, we carry the living presence of Jesus and the power of His Holy Spirit in us to reveal to others this amazing God that we know and serve!
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
**My thanks to Amy Ward from YWAM, Robert Morris in “The God I Never Knew’ for their teaching in this area that I have compiled my blog from.