I talked to somebody today. He told me he has been asking God what his spiritual gifts are and for the longest time, he has been waiting for an answer. And then just recently, God spoke to him and told him he has the gift of prophecy.
This revelation, in its entirety, is quite overwhelming. That is why I was not surprised when in the next few minutes, he was already asking how he should be handling the gift and was saying he wasn’t really confident enough to prophesy in front of people. He wanted to know more. He wanted the gift. I mean, who wouldn’t?
I uttered a short prayer, asking God for wisdom. And then I told him, the first thing he needs to do is to guard his heart. Prophesies edify the church and so I believe that is why the Scriptures exhort us to “eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. -1 Corinthians 14:10” It is a gift that is so important that we are actually to, in other translations, “covet” it. Because it is an important gift, not that all the other spiritual gifts are of less importance, we have to be responsible enough to handle it and be careful enough to, at the end of every prophetic utterance, always bring glory and honor to God. I encouraged him a bit more and then the conversation ended.
The point I was trying to drive out, which I prayed became clear to him, was this: we should always be on our guards because pride can creep into our hearts anytime. Romans 11:29 says “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” but we are also told to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received. -Ephesians 4:1″
While I was preparing for bed, I thought of the conversation again and then it dawned on me: LOVE should be our chief motive. Nothing else. Whatever we do in the ministry should be done out of love for people – for those who are lost, for those who are broken, for those who need Christ in their lives. Before we are told to eagerly desire spiritual gifts came these words: “Follow the way of love…” I like how the New Living Translation says it:
“Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives — especially the ability to prophesy.“