What to Expect When you Get those Spiritual Gifts you Asked for
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Today’s guest post is from Lauren, one of our IHS students. The past several years Lauren has been on a journey of discovering her spiritual gifts and learning to walk in a supernatural lifestyle. Things like hearing prophetic words, seeing angels and demons, and having God-given sensitivity to other’s thoughts and feelings. She’s going to share some of her story and the questions she wishes she had answers to when she first started to experience the supernatural. (Also be super impressed that she wrote all of this typing on her phone, mad thumb typing skills!)
Ever since I was in high school, supernatural miracles and spiritual gifts have stuck out to me when reading scripture. Reading all of these crazy things and not really knowing how to process it or even have a grid for it. Always wondering why so many awesome things happened right after Jesus’ ascension but never hearing of resurrections and healings etc happening today (for history of healing in the Christian church since Christ checkout this book set). Especially when Jesus said plain as day that we would do even greater things than He did!
The story of the men lowering their friend through the roof to be healed really struck me in high school. Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven so that the religious people would know by what authority He was healing. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this before, but it said the Pharisees WONDERED IN THEIR HEARTS/MIND who Jesus was equating Himself with God. They didn’t express these thoughts out loud for the room to hear. Jesus was able to discern their feelings and maybe even hear their thoughts. Mind blown.
I distinctly remember praying and asking God that day for me to be so in tune with Holy Spirit that I could hear/discern the thoughts of those around me. Sounded really cool at the time. Obviously the reality of possessing that gift is far from fun or exciting most of the time. Learning to steward that gift is challenging and humbling.
I thought I was asking for a trip to the movies and I got sent to boot camp. Nevertheless I’m so thankful God trusts me and is patient with me as I continually learn how to serve others better through the gifts He has given me. If I had to say one thing, it would be to remember that the gifts are not meant for you to keep for yourself, it is for others and for glorifying God.
Questions I Wish I could Have Asked Someone Early On:
What if people think I’m crazy? Who do I share this with?
For the most part, if you aren’t weird about spiritual gifts and the supernatural, other people aren’t going to be weird about. That being said, pray about who you should share these gifts with, and when and how you should share.
I didn’t really ask God who I should share this new, very intimate, information about my relationship with Jesus with and it smacked me in the face. Just because you hope the people closest to you will understand doesn’t mean they will. I pray and hope that the people you surround yourself will accept and be interested in this new step in your faith, but if not, I pray that God sends you wise counsel and friends to come alongside you and help you on this strange and exciting path.
After being burned by most of the people closest to me after sharing the crazy and fascinating things God had been showing and telling me, I kept everything to myself for a couple of years. I told no one except for one or two people I felt specifically lead to share with. Very recently though, God has been asking me to tell my conservative Christian family members about what I’ve experienced.
Honestly I was prepared for them to rebuke me and tell me I wasn’t aligned with scripture but I believe because I waited for God’s timing they were very receptive. Not only were they receptive, they wanted me to teach them about what God had been showing me and how to have it for themselves. Ultimately I believe it boils down to trusting God’s timing and constantly being in prayer about your next move.
I’m seeing demons and angels. What am I supposed to do with that?
Welcome to seeing in the spirit! It can be overwhelming, but learning your authority over the spirits you see can bring you a lot of peace. I remember the first time I saw a demon I was wide-eyed and afraid, but demons are afraid of you! Afraid of you learning, understanding and functioning in the power you have through the blood of Jesus Christ. Your identity in Jesus gives you authority over things bothering you or the people around you by the power of His blood.
You do NOT need to fear. The demonic is afraid of YOU and better yet the God living inside of you. You don’t even have to address it directly. You can ask Jesus to handle it and he will.
I’ve woken up from a bad dream to realize a demon was over me and I just said, “Out! In Jesus’ name!” And it left. I used to be intimidated when I knew something evil was around but there’s no need for that.
Though personally I’ve not had a lot of experience interacting with angels, They carry out God’s commands to protect you and seeing angels is honestly pretty fun and exciting for me. Blake Healey has a great book called The Veil that has a lot of awesome, helpful, informative stuff in there when it comes to seeing in the spirit. It helped me a lot in the beginning.
How do I know when I’m supposed to share something or when I’m just supposed to pray about it?
This is a little tricky at first. Usually, if it’s good or encouraging it’s probably safe to share. If it’s something like taking a look into someone’s pain or cyclical sin, you’re probably just being informed so that you can pray or so you can declare the truth about who they really are to help set them free. Some other things that are usually not best to share are dates, mates, and babies.
If you get a specific date about something be careful how you share that with another person, if you’ve heard wrong or interpreted wrong and you give them a specific date they may feel crushed and miss out on the actual encouragement God had for them in what He showed you.
Mates are another topic that need to be handled carefully. A lot of feelings have been majorly hurt by bad prophetic words about marrying a specific person, dating, etc. If you get specific information about a mate pray about what if anything you need to communicate. It may just be a general encouragement, or if it’s someone you know well and are willing to bear the risk of giving the word it could be something more specific.
Babies are the last category you want to be extra careful with. Even if you get a super clear vision of them having a baby don’t just rush out to give that prophetic word. It could be that they’ve miscarried recently and you need to be praying for them, it could be symbolic of something being birthed in their life that has nothing to do with children. Whatever the case may be, take extra caution to pray about what you should share and how.
What do I do if I get overwhelmed by what I’m seeing, hearing, or feeling?
Honestly, this happens more often than I’d like to admit. I think part of being overwhelmed is feeling like because you have knowledge that now you have to fix everything going on around you. That is just so not true. Ask God to help you focus on what it is that He’s wanting you to address. A lot of times if I get the feeling of being overwhelmed, I ask for peace and God’s Holy Spirit to fall on the room, train or space that I’m in at the time. That usually helps ease the stress and pressure I feel. Ask God for specific things to pray about instead of getting overwhelmed by the big picture.
Another thing that has helped me as a super-feeler is Yarrow Shield flower essence. It’s helped me be able to feel all my feels and not get overwhelmed by feeling everyone else’s feels all the time too.
Now that I have these gifts, do I need to keep growing in my relationship with God?
“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29 (NASB)
Yes, just because you can see in the spirit or discern spirits etc. does not necessarily mean that your relationship with God is in good condition. The gifts certainly work better and are clearer when you’re in a good place with God but they don’t get taken away just because you’re not nurturing your relationship with God.
The gifts can be extremely dangerous if you’re not maintaining a healthy relationship with the gift Giver. Love should always be your source when giving a word or sharing something you see or hear. Be careful not to pursue the gifts and cool stuff of the Spirit over pursuing God.
Spiritual gifts are also not a replacement for sound doctrine and scripture. Be careful that your experiences are always interpreted through the lens of the Bible and not the other way around.
How can I grow in stewarding these gifts well?
Definitely start praying for and seeking wise counsel. Wow is that important! Sometimes you get so clouded you need an outside perspective from someone who knows what you’re going through and can help you. I know that can be difficult but just be diligent in prayer and God will provide a mentor or someone to act as your wise counsel.
A couple books that really encouraged me and helped me a lot were, Wendy Alec’s Visions from Heaven and David Herzog’s The Courts of Heaven. Grab a box of tissues for Vision’s from Heaven. If you had a rough season before seeing some of these gifts manifest, this will be of GREAT encouragement for you. The Courts of Heaven talks about authority and how to walk in it humbly. And of course as I mentioned before, Blake Healy’s The Veil is super, super helpful for giving you a grid for what’s going on around and in you. I really love these books and they have helped me in more ways than I can explain.
Last but certainly not least, I love listening to sermons from Bethel, Shawn Bolz and Kris Vallotton. I really love their preaching style — how they break things down intelligently and don’t make it weird. I’m always encouraged and enlightened after listening to them.
At the end of the day, what I’m really trying to say is, it’s not about you. It’s about Jesus, His power, His authority and His glory. He will guide and teach you in the way you should go. You’ve been given a gift, your job is to steward it, not be the battery pack that fuels it. So don’t worry, always remember to be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey. Trust God to do His part and learn what yours is and walk in confidence and power in Jesus’ name.
Lauren is a makeup artist currently taking on the big NYC. She’s learning how to live a supernatural lifestyle while navigating the subway and getting weird looks from strangers for being so friendly. You can find her on instagram here.