Growing up in a Pentecostal church, the supernatural gifts were an accepted part of every Sunday meeting. People came seeking more than a sermon; they came hungry for a move of the Spirit, an encounter with God. Whether that looked like a prophetic word, or being "slain" in the Spirit, there was an anticipation that something would happen.
I sat and watched this every Sunday. I even stood in altar calls, hoping to experience the amazing power that seemed to flow around me. Although I felt something at times, I can't say whether I was going with the crowd or I was genuinely experiencing God. Possibly, my lack of discernment indicates it was the former more than the latter.
There was little awareness, if any, that God was speaking to me personally. Over time I began to believe that God was ignoring me because I failed to experience anything particularly supernatural. This sense of failure compounded until I began to feel estranged from God.
Then one night, in a matter of minutes, everything altered. As a young woman, I struggled to find my place in the world. I dearly wanted to be accepted by the world, yet I never quite fit. Feeling disillusioned with life, I went to back to church desperate to find what I was looking for.
As I stood there, crying out for God to show me there was more, a pastor had a word of knowledge about me. In that moment, it was as if heaven opened up over me, as he prophesied God's heart for me and spoke purpose over me. That prophetic word was a key that unlocked a door to the heart of God and the supernatural, setting me on a journey of seeking God's face and discovering how to release the prophetic voice within me.
One of the biggest hurdles that I had to overcome was believing God wanted to not just communicate with me but to commune with me. Father God is relational and desires that we dwell in constant communion with Him. He made this possible through His beloved son Jesus.
When we are saved (which is a work of the Spirit in itself), the Holy Spirit transforms us into Christ's likeness (John 16:7-15) by dwelling within us (John 14:17). We become temples of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:21, 1 Cor. 6:9) as God wants to be in constant communion with His children.
God takes ordinary people, and by living in them, He transforms them, giving them meaning and significance. Paul tells us this in Romans 12:1-2 (MSG), "Take your everyday, ordinary life ... and place it before God as an offering ... You'll be changed from the inside out ... God brings the best out of you ..." Paul teaches that as we operate in constant connection with Him, we become a point of difference to the culture around us—and that is a good thing!
Learning to walk in the supernatural gifts is a part of our inheritance as children of God. Paul writes in Romans 8:19 (NIV) that "... creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed." Paul further exhorts that we should desire the gift of prophecy most of all (1 Cor. 14:1).
The prophetic is a powerful gift that can bring healing, freedom, deliverance and purpose to people as it is released. This is where we are a point of difference for those around us. God wants us to commune with Him, hear His voice and release His solutions to the world that needs Him.
We have already received this gift through salvation; it is up to us to start unwrapping and using it. How do we do this? Practice!
You were designed to listen to the Holy Spirit and perceive what He is saying. Jesus said in John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me." The word "hear" in this verse means to listen and comprehend what is heard.
To discover the four ways to release your prophetic voice, listen to Episode 6 of Abiding Matters on the Charisma Podcast Network.
Charissa Steffens is a writer, teacher and former editor-in-chief of Indulge Magazine. She hosts the podcast Abiding Matters with Charissa Steffens on Charisma Podcast Network and writes for various online Christian publications. She holds a bachelor's degree in business, post graduate diploma in education and a Master of Arts (biblical studies). Charissa loves to write and share using prophetic wisdom and biblical understanding. To contact Charissa or learn more visit her website Abiding Matters.
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