Thursday, January 5, 2012

What do you do when you see the train wreck coming?

What do you do?

I've read in the Bible that God has gifted his believers with spiritual gifts.  There are a few places where this is mentioned, but for sake of brevity, let's focus on just 1 Corinthians 12.  In this passage there is a list of spiritual gifts:  administration, apostle, discernment, faith, healing, helps, knowledge, miracles, prophecy, teaching, tongues interpretation and wisdom.

This is quite a list.  And there are a few things on the list I have never seen manifested in any of the church people I've come into contact with in my short (read - 54 years) life.  I would love to have run into a real healer.  I see the healers on tv and, well..., I just don't believe it.  I want to have faith, but I cannot muster it up for the guy with the giant comb-over or whoever else is charging big money for the healings.

It seems to me most people who believe in the gifts of the spirit and most people who believe they possess one or more of these gifts are fairly "out there" about them.  I can't tell you how many people I've met who have been gifted by teaching or knowledge or administration or discernment or faith.   Yep, they are out there.  I'm glad they know their gifts and I'm glad they are proud of them.  I'm also glad they are willing to use them.  Hopefully they will use them to serve others and not themselves.  I can always hope.

I've never been proud or happy about the spiritual gift I believe I have.  It scares me.  When I've shared it, people don't care much for me.  I was thinking about this while I was away from church and prior to returning to an organized church.  I decided, I'm not going to share my spiritual gift with anyone in the church.  While pondering this decision I spent time l discovering what happened to other people gifted similarly.

Isaiah:  suffered martyrdom by being sawn in two.
Jeremiah:  suffered martyrdom by stoning
Ezekiel:  suffered martyrdom in the land of the Chaldeans
Daniel:  Saved from martyrdom in a lion's den by angels
Micah:  suffered martyrdom in Jehoram
Amos:  tortured by Amaziah and then martyred
Johan:  remember being in the belly of a giant fish, yeah, he lived
Nahum:  died in peace (yay)
Habakkuk:  died two years before Israel was released from Babylonian captivity
Zephaniah:  I didn't discover how he died
Haggai:  ditto
Malachi:  died young
Nathan:  died old, but pissed off David regarding his infidelity with Bathsheba, so I'll bet his life wasn't so much fun after that.
There are more, but the bottom line is this.  Most people didn't like what they had to say.

Yep, these were the prophets.  It seems, most people do not want to hear what the prophets have to say.  Even if what they have to say is, "Hey, stop what you are doing.  There is a train coming.  Hey, you are going to get hit by a train."

I've thought, for quite a while, that my spiritual gift is prophecy.  Not the kind that knows what the lottery numbers are (darn it).  Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe it's just the kind of prophecy that mom's have.  I don't think it gives me the right to say anything I want.  I don't really know how to explain it.  I've discovered when I share my thoughts about God stuff in God centered activities, it isn't always well received.  (even when the result is exactly as I predicted)  As I write this, I see how strange this sounds.  As I find myself back in church and moving closer to God and spending more time with God, the visions the desire to share my thoughts with others is returning, as well.  I don't like this.

Thanks for letting me share this dilemma with you.  I welcome all criticism and correction on this.  I'm open to your opinions.  :)


  1. pray for discernment in how you should share it and with def is not always well received...sometimes that is becuase of them...others because of us...

  2.  Yep.  I think more prayer is a great place to begin.

  3. Maybe blogging is how you share your gift. But as Brian says...pray first...unlike winning the lottery, this is a prayer that will be answered.

  4. I'm gifted highly in prophecy, as well, but my primary gift is mercy. When I made myself available to learn and serve under leaders of pastoral care, I discovered happiness. My spiritual life cracked wide open in the best of ways. So I can't encourage you enough to find ways to really learn about your gift and use it in the edification of others. I agree with you: prophecy can be tricky. (I agree with the others: prayer!) So much boils down to not what you say, but HOW you say it. Truth in love. The minute a person comes across as critical, snarky, know-it-all (not saying YOU do, just saying in general) the hearers shut down. Wow, you really have me thinking, Evie. (You do that a lot; thank you.) I have best used my gift of prophecy, I think, in the context of my friendships w/ leaders who trust me. A couple have sought me out, repeatedly, for my "gut feeling" or my response to a dilemma after I've spent time in prayer. I have reached out to others. Always privately. I'm rarely shut down or out.

  5. Oh I wish you and I could have a LOOOONNG cup of coffee to discuss this! I've been thinking a lot lately about a gift I believe God has given me, and also thinking about the things I may have to give up in order to exert this gift. And it's all so sensitive I don't want to write about it online! Ugh. Than you for sharing - even when I'm too self-conscious I learn so much from those of you who have more courage. Unfortunately, though, I have no advice or anything like that... just know you're not alone wondering about these things.

  6. I like Brian's answer.  Very interesting post.

  7. It's so good to know I'm not the only one wondering about things like this.  Thanks

  8. I rarely meet anyone who feels gifted in prophecy.  We need to chat some time.  :)  I'm still praying for you to have peace in this difficult time.

  9. Thank you. I'm doing well emotionally/mentally/spiritually. Better now that I have my answer. Oddly, though, today's been my worst day, physically? My husband took the day off to watch the girls, and I spent a lot of time in bed. Rachel's bringing spaghetti: blessed in that. I really appreciate all your sweet comments and, even moreso, your prayers. You have a beautiful heart.

  10. Now I'm curious about Kati's gift: wondering if it's even "spookier" than prophecy. Tongues? They're all cool, and I particularly like Kati no matter what.

  11. No, y'all prophets are the coolest! I'm not spooky at all, just someone who seems to have a knack for putting myself in awkward situations. I think we should all share coffee someday. Something require a good face-to-face.

  12. You do a wonderful job or expressing your dilemma.  It IS tough.  

    One person I think of as a modern day prophet is Chuck Colsen.  He TOTALLY says "Hey, stop what you are doing.  There is a train coming.  Hey, you are going to get hit by a train." it makes many people angry and uncomfortable... but SOME people hear it... some people hear GOD in it.  I think that is the job of the prophet; say what God tells you.  The response is not in the prophet's hands.  God will handle the results - and people in their free will will choose their responses.  But man, yes, it DOES take courage to say the truth when the results seem scary!!!

  13. I wonder sometimes "did I SENSE this happening?" or "did I MAKE this happen?"

  14. I have an intuitive gift.  I don't know if it is spiritual. But it certainly was when I knew that my parents were going to die right before they died.  My father died the next day and I was "called" to be with him the night before.  I rushed to my mother's side right before she died but had that same feeling of being anxious to be with her as if I was being "called" again. I now believe this was a spiritual experience. 

  15. Friend I fully understand.  I have the lovely ol' gift of discernment which means I can tell when people are truly jerks and have to suffer through watching people date them only to have exactly what I knew would happen happen.  And a general knowing of who is awesome and who sucks.  I can see right through people's crap and it's annoying.  I almost wish I couldn't see it.  But then that's asking God to go back to the drawing board cause He must've made a mistake in the gift He gave me.  ;)  He ain't gonna do that!

  16. Grace Van BruwaeneJanuary 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    My husband and I had a long discussion about this two weeks ago. We think that one of my spiritual gifts may be prophecy and that may be why I had so much trouble at my last church.  (I had issues with a program people were getting heavily involved in and called them on it) It's like you said about seeing the train wreck.  I also have dreams that come true.  But I almost never tell people that because then they start to back away slowly.  However, I think the dreams are just to remind/reassure me that God is with me no matter what. I'm reassured to know that i"m not alone. 


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