Now with much space and a relaxed atmosphere, I have been happily paying visits to the craft shops with the aim of coming up with new designs and products. (This is with the desire of helping those in need, generate an income once the vision of the centre for singles becomes a reality). In the process I also end up creating with love gifts for those dear to my heart. The designs of the same product keep changing so that all don’t have identical products. Of course each one’s favourite colours are used for truly customised gifts. However, as I keep making these things and going through the process I’m realising of ways to improve it or to simply the process. My reaction to my discoveries is then, “Doh… why didn’t I think of THAT before?”. Well, practice makes perfect I guess – well near perfect as knowing my reduced Martha personality (and hopefully increasingly reduced too) I will keep coming up with ways to perfect the imperfections of the previous version! Yes it becomes a bit like INFINITY I guess!
Reflecting on this blurb of mine, I realised this is what happens with the spiritual gifts that God bestows on us. Initially we make mistakes or even oversights in what we hear. We can filter His Word through our flesh to make the Word either sound good or be politically correct or whatever reason. Oops… To help understand this, let me confess something that happened today along these lines despite the many years of operating in this particular gift. ..
I do try to spend time fasting and praying on a regular basis, not as a religious hard and fast practise but simply spurned on by a desire to suppress my flesh and its ways to hear God’s voice clearly above all else, above all that competes to get our attention, to feed the flesh. Of course those are the days that the phones will keep ringing or you feel unusually hungry or someone brings over your favourite dessert.. the list goes on. This is the ‘test’ I guess!
Today while I was spending such time with the Lord (the way it often does happen), I felt a strong word coming from nowhere for a loved one who lives across the oceans. Even within that split second or so, my mind raced through the word analysing it. Well, what would the recipient think if I said this? Would she think I had ulterior motives for wanting this to happen? No, it can’t be that particular ownership but obviously has to be the other ownership… Besides isn’t the ‘situation’ I’m hearing in the word applicable to the latter and not really the former? The “Word” mirrored my subconscious decision. I whipped out my phone and sent out an email then and there with just this message.
I got an instant reply from her saying that she stands in agreement. Then my phone beeped again. There was yet another email saying that she would call me as there is much to tell. It turned out that the “Word” was indeed a word of knowledge, confirming what had taken place.. She began the conversation saying what you wrote was indeed a word. Having ‘tested’ the word, she continue on to tell me “however it’s not for the setting you mentioned but for the other setting. It was indeed the” earlier scenario that I thought of not the latter!” A totally unexpected twist to the situation had taken place and there had been things all along that I didn’t know of either. God had answered her prayers and intervened – which is what He had shown me.
As our relationship with God intensifies, and as we learn to ‘sharpen’ our ears we are increasingly able to discern His voice. Of course it also takes a lot of humility to stop filtering it through the flesh or adding a head and tail to it through the flesh too. There may be times the Word is conveyed just as it is – or there may be times that we do respond in the flesh. Remember Moses deciding to HIT the rock when he was clearly told to SPEAK to the rock. Remember Paul making a note,
“To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord)” in 1 Corinthians 7:vs 10 and then in verse 12 he writes… “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord)”
(This is why it is important that we test any “word” that we hear as all vessels are humans after all…) On the other hand, there may be times when we don’t want to respond! Isn’t that what Jonah did? He didn’t want to take the prophecy as he knew that if the people did repent, God would relent and that would make a ‘fool’ out of him!
Of course there are also times when the Word given isn’t fulfilled due to rebellion in the recipient. For example, the person could have been given a condition along with the promise in the Word or the person could have had a condition that they promise to meet in connection to the request. They may have asked for it for themselves but also to bless others. However, as the request begins to materialise with paths opening up, and they are now looking forward to it, they become greedy and don’t want to share. They decide to hold back all of the blessings for their children and not for others. God then suddenly puts a STOP to the paths that were being made straight. In the event of God still going ahead with the ‘giving’, He will add ‘woes’ with it. Ananias and Sapphiras held back from giving the full amount from the sales of their own property. It was their own property so why did they have to die? They sold with a heart to give but then decided to ‘cheat’ God. This is interesting to note that this is in the New Testament, after the work of Christ on earth!
Other times we realise the purpose of a Word given to us is not for the person concerned to necessarily know about it, but rather for us to intercede or wage warfare or even step in to help the person in the need that God has shown to us or even perhaps as a warning to us for not treating the other person rightly!
Practise makes perfect! We learn to understand the error of our ways or learn to be aware of the areas where we can easily slip and distort the Word, we learn to improve the way we hear and relay the message or what to do in response to the message etc.
When we do err in the operating of the gift, we don’t need to condemn ourselves or refrain from responding to the next ‘Word’. God understands our weaknesses and a ‘broken and contrite heart He will not despair”!
Keep on keeping on – but keep watching out and tuning in as you do so!