Way back, while still in high school, I andsome other young Christians had a "Bible Bookstore" at the Newport Beach pier in CA.
All of us had agreed that we freely received the Word of God. Therefore in our young minds we were going to freely do the same. So we approached several book sources and bible tract sources with our idea. Everyone liked it and freely supplied us with Christian books and tracts etc...
We never sold anything to anyone. I think that this experience helped to mold my understanding of "God Guides, God Provides" and "The calling of God is the enabling of God." Even our storefront rent was paid in an unusual manner, non of us had the amount required each month. Usually someone would just hand us the exact amount needed, even though they had no knowledge of what our rent was. For you see, we never took our rent need to anyone but the Lord. I recall not having the rent right up to the day it was due, and the morning rent was due, we would sometimes find an envelope slipped under the front door with the needed amount in cash in it. God never once let us kids down!
Greg Laurie was one of the kids from school who participated with us. All of us would go into the back storage area of the store and worship and pray. We stood in a circle holding hands. I recall this inner knowledge would come to my mind of who was not "entering in" and I would have this over whelming compulsion to encourage them to let go of the cares and whole heartedly worship. No matter how I would try to ignore "knowledge" it would well up in me to the point that I couldn't do anything but act on it. Encouraging and prompting the others to worship with total focus on Jesus.
We would sing songs we learned from attending Calvary Chapel. Then when the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit came, we would shift into singing in the Spirit (Tongues). And yes, Greg would be right there with us in this activity. This experience was so awesome. All of us would be in the Spirit and filled to overflowing.
It was at this point that we would go out and witness to others at the beach.
Now my point is, in my young baby Christian days, I was moving in gifts of the Holy Spirit without knowing what they were or how they operated etc...
I would be ministering to others and somehow just know things about them. Now I know this to be "The word of knowledge." And these coincidences were always happening to me. I would be somewhere and run into someone and the Holy Spirit would come on me as we were talking, I would become aware of some sort of a shift in the relation to the other person. Suddenly I had this sort of authority as I would share my faith with them. Scriptures would come to mind and I would quote them as they did. The person would then give their life to Jesus. This would happen so frequently that I started to make my self available by hitch hiking between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, sharing my faith with others. I now call these "divine appointments." And I today, realize that I was walking in an evangelistic calling at the time.
God would give me something to say to others that I had no way of knowing. He would bring to mind things that I did not understand. For instance, the other day I was driving home from work. My cell phone rang in my pocket. I was on the freeway as I struggled to get the phone out of my jeans while paying attention to the road.
I answered it in time before it went to voicemail. It was pastor Tilson. Now I greatly dislike talking on my cell while driving, especially on a freeway. Tilson just says, "I have someone here for you." And the next thing I know I hear another voice saying, "Hi this is Bishop."
Now I an fast approaching an area of the freeway where traffic merges from another one. This portion of the road takes one's full attention because people are crazy in their driving there. I know this because every time I come to this portion of the road over the years, people drive very poorly.
So I am thinking to myself, "I am going to have to cut this call short." I have learned over the years that God has given me this ability to, by faith, go into my spirit man and bring forth a Word from the Lord. Some say this is not even possible. I don't know about them, but for me personally, it has always happened. I call it "going to the well of Jesus with my bucket of faith to bring up a Word from God.
John 7:38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
So I do this. I get a vision in my spirit of Bishop, who I do not know anything about, having never met him. In the vision I see him surrounded in a white fog. As I realize what I am seeing, the Word of the Lord comes to me.
I tell Bishop what I am seeing and what God is saying to me. God tells me that he is a bearer of "The Presence of the Lord" to others. He brings the presence of the Lord to the mind and hearts of others. Then God shows me that this calling over Bishop requires a building up of his faith beyond what he himself thinks he can take so that he might be built up in his faith.
Then Bishop hands the phone to pastor Tilson and after saying a few more things I am off the phone, and now can navigate the difficult stretch safely.
The next day I call pastor Tilson. He informs me that after I spoke with Bishop, there were tears streaming down hisf ace and he was glowing like an angel. Unknown to me, Bishop had been given only three more months to live because of kidney failure.
God had told him 25 years ago that he would be a bearer of His presence, so the Word that I delivered ment something to him personally because it reiterated what was told to himso long ago. The current crisis in his life was stretching his faith big time.
On my end of things I knew nothing about the man of God. Nothing.
This kind of encounter has always happened to me, my whole Christian walk.
You see, I walked in the gifts of the Holy Spirit before I even knew what they were and how the operated. I just did what the Holy Spirit seemed to indicate to me. Of course today I know about the gifts and their proper operation etc.
Perhaps today you are moving in gifts of the Holy Spirit and are not fully aware that they are gifts in operation in your life. At some point you realize that something supernatural is happening by the Holy Spirit.
I believe that there is a woman of God reading this right now and thinking to herself, "Yes, that is what has been happening to me."
May I say to you, obtain a copy of Eileen Fisher's book "Embracing The Prophetic." Eileen describes her journey with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and her own prophetic calling. A good read.
Although I don't think her example of selling all things spiritual on a website should be followed. You know my early upbringing in the Lord proved to me that we don't have to take that route.
Today it is so sad to me to see genuine prophetic people sell out for the dollar, "Touching the Gold" as Lonnie Frisbee used to say to me.
Here you have prophetic individuals who get recognition and market all things spiritual and find some ability to buy nice homes and fine cars etc... But all too soon they find that interest in their wares in the market place lessens and they are stretched to keep up financially with their materialism. So they make the conference circut and sell books videos CD's etc to try to make ends meet.
The net result is these men and woman of God have been entrapped and now no longer have the freedom they once had to do the work of the Kingdom. You can see them collected together on websites hawking their wares to the public like merchants of all things spiritual...in hopes of meeting their financial needs.
Is that what God desired? If the Word of the Lord is freely given through me to others, dare I market it? Dare I copyright it? If what I have to sow into your life from God will benefit you spiritually and build you up, dare I package it and essentually hold it ransome until you can pay up? Dare I only release what God gives to me to only those who have the ability to pay and not to those who can not pay?
I have been a house painter for over 40 years, self supporting like Paul the tent maker. Asking no one for anything for the things of God that might flow through my yielded life.
Now this may be something that others bristle over. There are some very anointed men and woman of God that you or I have never heard of. Nameless faceless people ministering to the Body of Christ at large. Doing the work of the Kingdom for Christ. Not touching the gold, not buying homes and vehicles and jets, just simply following the Holy Spirit where he leads them as best as they can.
At our "Lonnie Frisbee Grave Site Meeting" pastor Tilson wanted to hand me a card. As he stretched out his hand to offer it to me, something in my spirit man recoiled. Pastor Tilson insissted that I take it, for he had promised the card owner that he would do just that. So I allowed him to place it in my hand.
The first thing that came to mind was the card had half of it dedicated to a woman's face and the other half was typed with a ministry called after her own name. The Lord indicated to me that she was not serving Him but serving herself. She was fully into self promotion and unaware that she was destroying any anointing that her ministry would be having in the process.
Months later this woman's "track record" came to me, by the Lord, through several unrelated sources. She was like a spiritual "black widow." Using people to get what she wanted of them and discarding them after she got what she wanted from them.
We do not want to be like this, ever!
John the Baptist was the least and he was the greatest for it.
John 3:30He must increase, but I must decrease.
The sooner we get this into our spirits the sooner we will actually grow in our gifting in the Lord Jesus Christ. Where in this text of scripture do we see self promotion? Nowhere.
John 1:38 What seek ye?
Some of us want to be spiritual, so that we can bring and influence people, so that we can become somebody. What are you seeking? Some of us want money and in ministry, if you work it wrong you can get lots of money.You can get real secure in it. Some of us want a place to hide. Some of us want a placd where people do for us, where we don't have to do for ourselves. What are you seeking? Some of us are seeking for ourselves rather than the Glory of God. What are you seeking? I can go on and on.
We all have found in ourselves a little bit of each of those things, and we have to repent and seek God and say, "Please take these things out of me, Please clense me of these things, of this selfishness."
There is no website playground where you can dwell with Him, but His dwelling place. He will not dwell in your own playground. He will not, in fullness and in blessing and in all the things and the ways, dwell with you in carnality and sin, and selfishness. You will not be able to appreciate it and receive the full blessing of His salvation.
We are not to keep trying to get attention. We are to point the way to Jesus.
John 1:29Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
This is the great glourious Son of God. This is the Messiah that has come into the world. This one being the child of Jesse, the son of David and the lineage of Abraham. This is the One, this is the One!
We worship You, we adore You! You are worthy of our praise!
You alone are worthy of all praise. And yet You give us gifts. May we use our gifts wisely and not for material gain or recognition. May we be servants with servant hearts that only seek to point to you and not ourselves.
We praise You.