Why is it that we seem to want to create others in “our own image? In our own likeness”
Instead let us ask: Where has God placed you at this time, and what has He called you to do, and what is your spiritual gift?
I am here to remind us that we are the “Body-of-Christ” and are all individual members of that Body. “For as in one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:” (Rom. 12:4-6).
It is amazing the diversity of the Body of Christ throughout the world! We come from diverse backgrounds, histories, families, cultures, etc. and yet, we are all the children of God, brothers and sisters, in Christ!
I want to begin with an example of our different gifts and callings, but the same Holy Spirit working in and through us. I have a great friend, who loves the Lord and who gets visions at times. The Lord has used him powerfully in my life! We will pray together and while I sense in my spirit the words to pray, and they seem to flow from me naturally, in my own tongue (English), and come with authority. Well, when I am done, he will say he sees a picture in his head of a hand coming down from heaven opening and Hebrew words being poured into my mind as I pray. And I would say thank you for putting into a word picture what I sense happening but am unable to articulate. And I am encouraged. But “I” have never had a vision when I pray. But I am given words to pray. What I am trying to communicate is there are those who have spiritual experiences or gifts where they receive visions or dreams from God because God made them that way. And there are those who don’t, but who receive other experiences and gifts from the Holy Spirit which are just as “spiritually given,” and just as valuable.
Here is what I have observed: It seems to me that those who “naturally” are more visual, and like painters, musicians, and who are more artistic, they are more sensitive to visions and dreams from God. At least those who pursue and focus on this. Not saying God does not do this. I am saying what I have seen and heard is the Spirit may use their natural makeup, or “how they are made”. However, those of us who have more “critical thinking skills” or who are more “logically minded” (I am not saying anything degrading here!) You know, how we are born and raised. The way we naturally think and process information. It seems, God uses us as Bible teachers, or as Apologists (the critical defense of the faith), or as scholars and professors, or as prophets (speaking God’s will/truth to the Church). So, the spiritual gifts which would fit the first group of believers may be “visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy (in the form of vision/dream) and the other group, maybe “knowledge, wisdom, prophecy (biblical truth telling), teaching, etc. I truly do not know how it all works. These are things I notice, that is all. However, closely examine, slowly, these verses below. Paul, writing to the Corinthian churches who are “anxious for manifestations of the Spirit” (1 Cor. 14:12). He writes:
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Cor. 12:4-11, emphasis mine). Please, take the time to carefully examine each statement here. It seems to me that “some” believe that all must speak in tongues. Sadly, much of what is considered “speaking in tongues” and even prophecy is nothing more than heightened emotion and adrenaline and caused by the setting, the lights, the atmosphere, and is false. But certainly not all of it is! There is the real thing. But if we are not “grounded” on the Word of God, we cannot expect to discern what is true and what is false.
“So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church” (1 Cor. 14:12) Lastly, Paul, through the Holy Spirit exhorts us to pursue love and to desire the greater gifts which, “build up one another” like Prophecy, or any other gift…except, speaking in tongues. So, let us encourage each other in holiness, in sanctification, in good works, through love, in standing firm and… looking up. (Side note: I have spoken in tongues many times. The nearer I draw to the Lord, I do it less. In my intimacy with the Lord, I talk to Him as a friend. But If you have the gift, use it “as the Spirit gives utterance” don’t force it. And don’t force it on anyone else).
I pray that you will allow the Lord to use you where He has placed you, according to your makeup, according to your call and according to your spiritual gift! Blessings. By the way: there are “spiritual gift” tests online which “can” be a place to start to discover your gift, if you do not know what it is already. But many times, it is revealed by our passions and burning desires which come out as we seek the Lord and love one another. Also, those who love us can help point our gifts out.