Friday, April 20, 2012

Prophetic gifting: Being truth based

I am at odds with the label "Prophetic".  It has been twisted for me to mean, "False Prophetic" which isn't cool! I'm thinking of 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 Which says, "Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil." 

The truth is, every spiritual gift is powerful.  Which means it is very dangerous and destructive when placed in the wrong hands.  That's where we come in.  If we choose to use our gifting for our purposes, no matter how noble they may seem, we do a lot of damage! Spiritual gifts are meant to be guided by the Holy Spirit... and when they are... awesome things happen.  Lives are changed.  Huge mountains are moved! It's the difference between a gifted surgeon with a scalpel and a careless, angry child with a butcher knife.

The damage goes both ways.  If we use our gifting uninspired it's like an atom bomb, no one close to the detonation point is spared damage, especially the one holding the bomb! I have learned that lesson perhaps too well. Sometimes I am afraid to open my mouth for fear of the potential for damage.  That doesn't work either.

Going back to the label, "Prophetic", I like to use "Truth based" instead. I believe prophetic people are only comfortable when people are being truthful, open and honest.  They are not very good at small talk because it often contradicts what they "see".  It's hard to explain, but speaking honestly especially about the huge ignored elephant in the room is the best gift you could offer someone who is prophetic.  Prophetic people are called to bring what is out of order into order.  They are called to tell the truth. 

Children who are created to be prophetic are often labeled precocious, disrespectful, perfectionists, haughty, too black and white, too judgmental, too serious or hot tempered. As adults, sometimes when we wield our gifts uninspired we become what we are accused of, too black and white, perfectionistic and judgmental.  It's easy to become angry when things are out of order and we seem powerless to put them back as they should be.  It all boils down to who is in control.  Relinquishing control into the hands of our only wise God is vital for everyone and every gift. But perhaps it is hardest for the prophetic who see so much that is out of order but who aren't given the go ahead from the Holy Spirit to respond.

Romans 12:5-6 says, " so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;

It is an adventure to live life as God intended.  It's a dance of listening and moving as led. It is dangerous, but also amazing.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Freedom- breaking the yoke

Isaiah 58:6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?" What does that mean in 2012? (listening) I'm not sure about the rest of it but the part that is tugging at my heart today is the line, "To loose the bonds of wickedness" I don't know that I could define the word wickedness... oh I can say, "It means doing evil" but what does that mean?  I believe evil is much more subtle than we realize. How do you "loose the bonds of wickedness" ? Are we to get help people get free from their addictions, hangups and evil desires?  Or are we to free those who are trapped by the wickedness of others?  I suppose it could be both but the picture I have is of that trapped feeling I get when I'm out of options.  I'm thinking of domestic violence, or modern day slavery.  (listening) Hmmm can you sum up wickedness as power and control? I'm thinking that power is not wicked... it is a gift or a circumstance but the misuse of it is way wicked

I often feel trapped when I feel like I am given no voice. For instance, I feel trapped in our politics.  I live in an area that has one large population center and many small rural communities.  The rural communities vote one way, the big city votes another.   Because more people in the city, how they vote is how we then live for the next few years.  I feel impotent.  If the word oppressed were exchanged for trapped it has more meaning for me. (listening) Wow, how many people in our world feel trapped?  If I feel trapped in my circumstance, think of people in say, Syria or Somalia. The misuse of power is a great evil.  But how do we do anything about it? (listening) How can I let the oppressed go free?  (listening)

Interesting, the picture turned in my head to the passage in Romans 12:3 and beyond where it says to use the gifts that we have been given.  Hmmm, like freedom is both allowing those who are gifted to move in their gifting but also to walk free in your gifts because walking free in your gift, sets others free in theirs.  It is the opposite of power and control to walk free... like live free to free