Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Being a Prophet

Being a Prophet

The Bible says that every born-again Christian is given at least one spiritual gift. That gift is not to be confused with a talent or skill that one had before one was saved, but is instead a supernatural gift bestowed on the believer for the purpose of edification of the body of Christ. I will not spend a lot of time in this post on spiritual gifts, but will point out that the “sign gifts” of healing, speaking in tongues, prophesying the future, etc. have ceased (I Corinthians 13:8) but there are still many spiritual gifts being given to believers today. There are some excellent online spiritual gifts tests (here's one) that can be taken to determine one’s own gifts, and I encourage every born again believer to find out what their gift or gifts are, because God gave them for a reason – and we should study and pray that we use these gifts as God would have us to use them.

I have the spiritual gift of prophecy. I scored really high on prophecy and discernment – they were tied. Teaching and administration (ruling) were second.

Having the gift of prophecy does not mean I stand up and say “Thus saith the Lord” and proceed to predict what will happen in the future at a 100% accuracy rate. That kind of prophecy was for Old Testament prophets. And if they were truly of God, they WERE 100% accurate. In fact, if they claimed their messages were from God and they were wrong on even just one prophecy, they were to be stoned to death.

New Testament prophets see everything in black and white. We see sin and point it out. We see everything in light of what Scripture says. We sometimes come across as judgmental or holier-than-thou, and if we aren’t careful, we aren’t very much fun to be around. We are harder on ourselves than on anyone else when it comes to sin. The truth is, for several years now, after discovering that I had this gift, and having God work it in my life, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want it. It was frustrating to me. I saw people doing wrong and shaming our Lord and wanted to do something about it. But what? Women are not to be preachers (I Timothy 3:2) and are not to usurp authority over men (I Timothy 2:12), so what was the use! I prayed and asked God to take the gift from me. I didn’t want it. It made my life miserable.

Habakkuk’s prayer (and mine!):
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.” Habakkuk 1:3-4

I didn’t see any way for Him to make this a productive part of my life. I sought counsel with one of the pastors on staff whom I knew was a prophet as well. His advice – pray and ask God what He wanted me to do with it. He also said God doesn’t put too many prophets in one church because if he did, we’d make everybody mad and run them off! He said we have to learn to speak in love and mercy (I scored (-1 - that’s “negative one”) in mercy.)

So as I trudged along miserably, seeing sin at every turn and in every direction, I did what could only be a Holy Spirit guided act. I started telling people, as nicely as I could, and in a gentle way, that what they were doing was wrong – and it was against Scripture. One person had a problem with a foul mouth, and I confronted them and told them they needed to stop – to ask God to change them, and told them I’d pray for them. I told another person who had told me that they didn’t care about their ministry anymore that they SHOULD care, because they were in a position of leadership, and that I was going to pray that God would change their heart. Others who came to me seeking scriptural advice were told what they were doing that was causing their problems, because they were out of the will of God, and I told them I’d pray for them.

Things started happening. The person with the cursing problem came to me and said God was dealing with them about it, and they were cleaning up their language with His help. The person who didn’t care about their ministry anymore suddenly had a dramatic change, and a revitalization in their work in the ministry – so much that others took notice. This scenario started happening again and again, until it suddenly hit me. Just as Nathan said “Thou art the man”(II Samuel 12:7) to David, and David was convicted of his sin (II Samuel 12:13), God showed me that my job is to point out the sin in love, and then pray fervently for that person for God’s help in overcoming. Because without the love, the message is not going to be received well.

As for my own pitiful sinful self, I do the same thing. I point out my sin to myself (or rather, Scripture does it for me), but instead of beating myself up over it, I begin praying for deliverance from that sin, asking God to convict me even before I do it. My God continues to amaze me. He’s ALWAYS a step ahead of us.

God’s answer to Habakkuk (and to me!):
Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” Habakkuk 1:5

Other Scripture references:

I Corinthians 13:8: “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

I Timothy 3:2: “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;”

I Timothy 2:12: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

II Samuel 12:7: “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;”

II Samuel 12:13: “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.”

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11 Comments:

At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must point out that 1 Corinthians 13:8 does not say the Gifts have ceased. It says they will some day fail.

1 Corinthians 13:10 says the Gifts will fail "... when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away."

The "perfect" has not come yet.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Thanks for taking the time to post a comment, theway2k. I realize everyone does not agree with me on this particular passage of Scripture, and I will, respectfully, give you some of the reasons why I disagree with you. But it will be in the next day or so, because for now, I'm headed to praise team practice and an evening of worship. Have a wonderful rest-of-the- Lord's day!

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Out of curiosity I took that test you linked to, and I was ashamed of many of my responses, but...

My dominant gift is Teaching, followed closely by Administration. The teaching I pretty much knew already, the administration, though... I wouldn't have guessed on my own, but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense.

I've been wanting to go to a local Theological Seminary (right down the road), but there are a couple of obstacles that first need to be cleared.

Thanks for the post.

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Angella214 said...

I decided to take the test too...

Came up (1) Administrative...which I wouldn't have guessed, but after reading their description, I see it (granted the "not a procrastinator" part was off LOL!)...and (2) Exortation...that one didn't surprise me too much. I think the part I found MOST interesting was the analysis they gave of the things to watch out for - those were SO on point...

Thanks for the site!

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Angella214 said...

I decided to take the test too...

Came up (1) Administrative...which I wouldn't have guessed, but after reading their description, I see it (granted the "not a procrastinator" part was off LOL!)...and (2) Exortation...that one didn't surprise me too much. I think the part I found MOST interesting was the analysis they gave of the things to watch out for - those were SO on point...

Thanks for the site!

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger Angella214 said...

I decided to take the test too...

Came up (1) Administrative...which I wouldn't have guessed, but after reading their description, I see it (granted the "not a procrastinator" part was off LOL!)...and (2) Exortation...that one didn't surprise me too much. I think the part I found MOST interesting was the analysis they gave of the things to watch out for - those were SO on point...

Thanks for the site!

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

I got teaching and mercy. LOL! I wouldn't have thought that about myself!

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Neil said...

What great timing - I was just thinking about a spiritual gifts test the other day!

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger nanc said...

teaching and administration. hmmmm.

 
At 7:59 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

I challenge each of you who take the spiritual gifts test to prayerfully consider where God would have you to serve Him with those gifts. After all, that is why He gave them to you!

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger nanc said...

okay - i'll take it, but i believe before i take it, it'll show prophecy. back in a moment or seven.

 

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