For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:3-8
At one point in your life, you may have taken a spiritual gifts test with the notion of discovering, out of the seven gifts listed, which ones are most prevalent in your life. I decided to write a series of blogs on this very topic, but with a twist. Taking experiences from my own life, I find that we are born with these gifts, or personality traits. They are enhanced when we are saved and have the Holy Spirit with in us. The word that is used in the Greek is charisma. The dictionary definition of charisma is a divinely conferred gift or power. God creates us and gives us charisma to do His will, the powers to get His will complete. I think all spiritual power is added to these gifts and when we allow God to work in our lives, they are very important to our makeup and character. The seven gifts are, prophesy, serving, teaching, encouragement, giving, and leading. You are born with some of these, and you can have all of them in your life if God stretches you that way. The best thing you can do is never compare yourself to anyone else. God has created you to be you, so be the best you, you can be. Whatever your gifting, use it to the full extent you can. You may find other gifts that you were not aware of being a part of you. The best thing you can do is know where you are in the body of Christ. Let’s focus on the first gift, prophesy.
In the bible, we find prophets all over the Old Testament revealing God’s will for their lives and what God was going to do with the redemption of whomever. They would tell the future and show a certain people what God has planned for them if they didn’t repent and change their ways. Prophesy fulfilled is sometimes a tough pill to swallow. They would also tell you in the least tactful way in coming straight to the point. Prophets were never welcomed because they usually brought bad news. To me there are several different ways one can use the gift of prophesy. The first one is with tongues. Speaking in tongues is usually prophetic speaking from the Holy Spirit of God. Here we have to be careful not to mix speaking with tongues with praying in tongues, which I feel is not a gift and something we all have the capacity to do if we allow the Holy Spirit to control our prayers. Speaking in tongues is sharing God’s future plans with others. It has to have interpretation to go along with it. Which interpretation is another part of prophesy.
Another gift of prophesy is sharing truth in a direct way. If you have the gift of prophesy you are usually direct with your interpretation of the truth and are not very tactful in giving it to the person receiving it. Sometime tough love has to happen and thank God for those of us that have this gift. It won’t make you a popular person, but popularity is not something that is sought if you have the gift of prophesy. The prophets of the Old Testament were a lonely bunch, but they relied on God to get rid of the loneliness.
The last type of prophesy gift is being able to interpret scripture in a practical way and share that truth with others. Pastors are a great example of this. They interpret scripture and share that in a practical way to teach us God’s truth, so that we will be equipped to help others find Christ. The gift of prophesy is an awesome one to have, but when you use it, it might be a good idea to have the person who has the mercy gift to be there to soften the direct truth you share with someone who needs tough love.
© [David Howard], [David's Body Temple], 2011-2015.