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Articles Darren Hibbs Prophecy Spiritual Gifts Supernatural Stuff

Origins of the Spiritual Gifts Test

I have never liked “Spiritual gift assessment” tests. Every one I’ve ever seen has seemed to be a way to compartmentalize the working of the Holy Spirit to best suit a church or denomination’s needs and beliefs.
 
This article just confirms what I already felt–that they were developed not to enhance the Holy Spirit’s activity, but to combat activity and theology counter to those developing them.
 
The first spiritual gift test was developed by people educated at Dallas Theological Seminary, a house that had a longstanding tradition of barring entry to anyone willing to admit having ever spoken in tongues. All other tests, including Wagner’s, were copycats of that original test–which was nothing more than a copy of a Myers-Briggs test.
 
The best way to discover your spiritual gifts is not to take a test, but to learn how to commune with the Holy Spirit. He is the one who gives all the gifts from prophecy to helps, not a 126-question survey. Paul tells us to ask for the spiritual gifts we want, especially prophecy (1 Corinthians 14).
 
You don’t have a “gift-mix.” You have a Holy Spirit. He will give you as much as He wants and as much as you ask for, so please, ask for more.
Please read the linked article for the background I’m referring to here.
 
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Naturally Supernatural Spiritual Gifts Supernatural Stuff

Episode 001 – Prophecy

Welcome to Naturally Supernatural, the podcast for those who believe the Holy Spirit still works in power today just like He did in the Bible, or for those on the fence and are curious to learn more.

On our inaugural podcast, Caleb and Darren are going to discuss prophecy – what it is, what it isn’t, how to abuse it if you so desire (please don’t desire that) and how to allow it to flow beautifully in the life of the church.

We’ll also discuss the term “Jezebel Spirit” on our Charismatic Glossary, as short segment we do each week discussing terms from the “charismatic lexicon.”

We know you’re going to enjoy the podcast as much as we do making it, so subscribe on iTunes today so you don’t miss an beat. New episodes come out every Tuesday.

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Bible Study Spiritual Gifts

3 Keys to Hearing The Holy Spirit

3 Keys to Hearing the Holy Spirit

In my opinion, one of the most neglected aspects of teaching in the church today is on the role and importance of the Holy Spirit. His activity in our lives is critical to victorious Christian living.

So how can we grow in our understanding and relationship to the Holy Spirit?

Here are 3 Keys to hearing the Holy Spirit:

1. Ask

When James said that we don’t have because we don’t ask, it really is just that simple. Most of the time we lack wisdom, faith, money, healing – you name it, simply because we don’t ask or we give up after asking a few times.

The best way to overcome this is to create repeatable and strategic ways to help you remember to pray. Post it notes, lipstick on a mirror, computer desktop backgrounds – whatever works to remind you! Just ask for the Holy Spirit to speak!

2. Minister to People

God loves people! He loves you, He loves me, He loves the lost in the city around us. If you want to get in the way of the Holy Spirit, ministering to people around you is a great place to do it.

Pray for sick people you run into at the grocery store. Bless the gas station attendant and ask if they would like you to pray for them. Volunteer at church or at the food pantry or the homeless shelter. Just get around people and start listening to what the Holy Spirit will tell you about them and how much He loves them!

3. Study God’s Word

This one is sadly very neglected today. Why would we expect God to speak to us through the Holy Spirit if we are not diligent to listen and study the things He has already given us in His Holy, ageless scriptures?

Many of you follow my blog because you are hungry for the Holy Spirit’s working in your life, and one of the primary ways I try to encourage people in that is through Bible study.

I’ll say it as clearly as I believe it: If 99% of the revelation you receive from the Holy Spirit doesn’t come from Scripture, I would be nervous about what you’re hearing. The Bible is just that important.

My Focus On Bible Study

That’s why my focus recently has been on writing and podcasting intensive studies of God’s Word focusing on growing our relationship with Him, not just our knowledge of Him.

Would you join me for the podcast I’m broadcasting right now? It’s free, it’s easy and all you have to do is subscribe via iTunes or Google Play.

If you implement these three simple steps, I know you will begin to encounter the Holy Spirit more in your life!

What has made a difference in your life to hear the Holy Spirit? I’d love to hear from you.

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Prophecy Spiritual Gifts Supernatural Stuff

Remembering John Paul Jackson

I’ve been very sad lately over the loss of John Paul Jackson. I think it’s because John Paul had a very similar heart to mine. He longed to see every believer released into the prophetic ministry, which is one of the greatest motivations in my life apart from seeing people come to know Jesus.

The reason I want everyone to experience the voice and touch of God through prophetic ministry is because it is absolutely transformative. It won’t keep you from sinning or any other thing that is common to man. No, prophetic ministry doesn’t change anything about your fallen human nature, but it changes something about your born-again nature.

That First Encounter

After we encounter God speaking to us, something forever changes. You can never not know that God is very real, very loving and very involved in your life after you hear Him speak for the first time. I still get misty-eyed when I think about the first time I encountered God in a powerful prophetic encounter. He told another person about everything I did while I was in another country, out of communication with everyone I knew. God saw me, He knew me and He shared that with someone else to encourage me. I wrote about it here.

I was forever changed, and every time after that when God would speak my heart would be tenderized. Those that know me well know that the past several years have been the hardest season of my life. The thing that often keeps me going is when I look back over all the times God spoke to me. Many of them were powerful encounters, and I feel the presence of God today when I just remember them and meditate on them.

A Father

John Paul longed to see everyone encounter that because he knew the power of it for himself. So do I, and I can’t stand the thought of any believer not knowing and experiencing that. I believe John Paul to be a prophet, as many esteemed him to be, but prophecy is one gift that God promised all believers could walk in. We may not all be evangelists, pastors, teachers or prophets, but we can all prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:5). So many prophets bask in the glory that their gift brings them and they want to shelter that gift to set themselves up as special, but John Paul wanted to give that away. In that way, he was a father to our generation like Moses.

27A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” 29But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”

Numbers 11:27-29

I believe John Paul Jackson was one of the greatest gifts to the body of Christ today. I hope you’ll go his website, http://www.streamsministries.com, and check out the things that John Paul offered. I know you will be encouraged.

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Prophecy Spiritual Gifts Supernatural Stuff

The Flaw of the Spiritual Gifts Assessment Test

the flaw

Have you ever taken a spiritual gift assessment test? Were you told that God has gifted you in prophecy because you have “strong beliefs and the need to communicate them to others?” Or were you told that you have the gift of administration because you like to “perform menial tasks for the church to the glory of God?”

If you have taken those tests and been told what your spiritual gift is as a result of a multiple choice test, I have some bad news for you.

It’s probably wrong.

And that really matters, so read on.

Faulty Foundations

The problem is that the tests originate from a flawed assumption. Though it may sound good to infer what your spiritual gift is based on a questionnaire, it simply isn’t biblical because that’s not really how spiritual gifts work. The concept of a spiritual gifts test comes from modern psychology, not from scripture.

Ever since mother-daughter team Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers based their iconic “Myers-Briggs” personality test on the work of Carl Jung, the idea of taking a test to better understand yourself is deeply imbedded into the American Psyche. I believe the Myers-Briggs test is actually a useful tool to understand yourself better. There are other psychological profile tests that also work well. They work because they analyze the psyche. They look at who you are, who you have been and who you will be for the foreseeable future.

But your spiritual gifts are different than your psyche. Your spiritual gifts are not a part of you, they are a part of God. Let’s look at scripture to better understand.

Biblical Foundations

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:1

Let’s start here. This is actually very straightforward. Paul tells us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially that we would prophesy. Why? Because when we prophesy, we are receiving direct communication from God through the Holy Spirit for direction, correction and encouragement. If the prophetic word is clear enough, we don’t have to second-guess what God is saying. But at no point is God’s voice a part of our own psyche. It is not something we can evaluate based on a personality test.

By telling us to “eagerly desire” spiritual gifts, Paul is encouraging us to pray for them. To ask God to give them to us. Paul did not say, “uncover the spiritual gifts inside you,” or “find the gifting God has given you.” No, he said desire them. Seek them. Ask God for them.

The flawed foundation people have is that they think spiritual gifts are given to us and are inside us awaiting our discovery from the moment of salvation. This isn’t found anywhere in scripture in relation to gifts. Spiritual gifts aren’t in us from salvation, but they are available to us from the moment of salvation. That is why Paul tells us to seek them. It is also why he is interested in prophecy above all.

So how do people get confused about this? I believe it is because it sounds so logical because we are used to tests like Myers-Briggs. People are also confused about another statement Paul made just two chapters earlier in 1 Corinthians.

Ordained Gifts

27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret? 31Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31

What we have here is Paul explaining that spiritual gifts are given by God’s sovereignty. We are not all prophets or apostles or teachers because God has appointed some to be those. Everyone will not be an apostle. Not everyone will be a prophet.

The difference here is that these are positional gifts. A prophet is someone who has been ordained by God to hear from Him a lot, with great authority. Does that mean that others cannot prophesy? Paul makes it clear that we can, and should, all prophesy in chapter 14. Because some ordained positions contain spiritual gifting does not mean that all spiritual gifts are ordained and set in stone. Paul makes that clear in this very passage by telling his readers to desire the “greater gifts.” He tells us prophecy is the greatest gift in chapter 14.

Stop Finding Your Gift

What does this mean to you? It means your time would be much better spent praying and asking God for spiritual gifts instead of trying to find them within yourself. Do like Paul said—eagerly desire all the spiritual gifts. Start by asking early and often for prophecy, because all the others flow easily from a position of faith in hearing God’s voice.

The gifts are not inside of you awaiting your discovery. They are available to you if you ask for them. They are gifts given freely by God, but He awaits your request for what He has already prepared for you.

If you are ordained by God to be an apostle, prophet, teacher, etc., it won’t be because you took an assessment test. It will be clear because God would have made that known to you through prophetic words and encounters. Please, please do not claim to be a prophet because an online test told you that, but please, please do ask God to speak to you prophetically every day.

It’s time to stop looking for your spiritual gifts and time to start asking for them.

Would you like to know more about spiritual gifts? Buy my new book today!

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