All I could see was a hand reaching out of the impenetrable darkness. The people that were with me all stood around looking at the hand, but no one seemed inclined to reach for it. None of us were really sure what to do. All of the sudden, I was looking beneath the darkness that the hand was reaching from. I could make out a vague form, but didn’t know who it was. This person was holding on to some sort of light source, but was covering it so that none of it could shine to reveal who was beneath the darkness…
This was a vision I had after asking God to speak to me. I felt strongly that He wanted me to share this with my small group from church and so I obeyed his commands. Even though it has been a week after I shared this particular vision, it has still been on my mind when I have asked God if there is anything He wants to speak to me. Specifically, when I asked him what I should write about for this blog, that vision came to mind once again. So, I am writing about it. I hope God uses it to speak to one or many of you.
I would not consider prophecy to be one of my key spiritual gifts. If you were to ask me what my spiritual gifts are, I would tell you words of wisdom and that I am a shepherd. My go to has never been healing, visions, or anything that people might consider “out of the ordinary”.
Something my pastor said a while ago changed my ability to be used by God in ways I would have never thought possible. He told us that the spiritual gifts were something to be desired by all. Well, I suppose that Paul originally said that in 1 Corinthians, but I actually began to understand it after the words my pastor spoke. Paul really meant what he said: everyone should desire and ask for the gift of prophecy. And most would say that visions of the kind that I got fall under that category.
I think the key to receiving this vision is simple. I asked. I don’t think it is my strength, but I do believe that I should always be willing to allow God to use me in this way. I should be willing to build up and edify the body of believers around me. I don’t know if this is something God will make me strong in, but I do know that if I never try, if I never step out in faith, if I never make myself available, I will never prophecy.
Paul says, “Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing?…But eagerly desire the greater gifts.” I think in that series of rhetorical questions the answer is “no” to all of them. But it doesn’t mean we can’t be used in ways that we aren’t comfortable with. If we are to eagerly desire these gifts, wouldn’t you think that there would be some benefit? Would God tell us to desire something that is completely unattainable? I don’t think so.
This means that not only should I continue to ask God to speak to me in visions for prophesying, but I should be asking God to use me in the other greater gifts as well. And the ones I listed aren’t even all of them! This doesn’t leave me feeling overwhelmed and helpless, but rather expectant and joyous!
We each have our part in the body of Christ. We each have our strength and our place, but sometimes God needs us to step out and desire something greater. Sometimes He needs us to fill in where others might be unwilling. Sometimes we may be used to do things greater than we could ever comprehend.
I am willing. Are you?
P.S. My husband told me I was stepping into a hornet’s nest by posting this. We shall see…