excerpt from – The Road Ahead, Chapter 3
3 Gifts (Reaching Higher)
Who I am
by a touch
that gave me
and grow into
God gives gifts[i] that turn out to be larger than my asking. Often I feel disappointed in a gift given from God because I don’t quite understand what I’ve been given. I’ve learned to live with that disappointment for a bit as I do my initial stumbling about walking into each new unknown. A recurring “thank you” from me to God when I’ve been given such a gift is, “Um, thanks? It’s not what I expected, but I bet in 2 years time, I’ll think it’s really cool. So, be patient and show me into this gift.” Turns out I gave the same kind of gifts to my kids. They were sometimes beyond what they currently wanted. But, I heard a year or two later, “I really appreciate what you gave me”.
Vineyard Conference #3 – I’d like a gift
On my third trip to the Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship Worship Conference, I asked God for a gift from that conference. I had experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence in a variety of ways at the previous 2 conferences, so I asked for either the gift of healing, or the gift of prophecy.
Towards the end of the week’s conference, during a worship time, the band was playing and I was enjoying worshiping, the Holy Spirit fell on me and I was totally wrapped up in praising, and moving my arms with the Spirit. I was laughing and crying at the same time. At some point, the Spirit receded a bit and I sat down as the band finished its set. I was breathless and wondered, “OK, What was that?!”
Just then, a woman behind me said, “I so love to watch the Spirit fall on people.” (and I thought, “go watch someone else!” feeling embarrassed at being a spectacle). She continued, “Wimber says, as a rule of thumb that when the Spirit gives someone a gift and they laugh, the Spirit has given them the gift of healing. And when they cry, the Spirit has given them the gift of prophecy.” (and I thought, wow! I’ve got both!) and she continued, “and when they laugh and cry at the same time, the Spirit has given them the gift of intercession.”
Whoa, that was disappointing. I don’t remember what I said to the woman. I hope I said thank you, but I felt like I’d almost gotten what I’d asked for, but that I had to settle for “prayer”
But, I knew by then that when God said something to me or gave me a gift or a word, that I always felt disappointed, but that in 2 years time, I would have come to understand just what I had been given and would have grown to love the gift. So I told God, “thanks. Just so You know, I’m disappointed. But probably in 2 years time I’ll feel very different about the whole thing.”
It took a while, perhaps even 2 years. But I discovered that the gift of intercession incorporates the gifts of prophecy and healing, and in fact its what Jesus is doing before the Father, making intercession for us. [i]So now I am indeed very grateful to be on this journey of intercession, in conversation with the Spirit, able to partner with Jesus, holding people, attitudes, and false gods before God and making intercession. I’ve been graced to see answers, progress and new ways of looking at things as I’ve grown in intercessory provision and authority.
[i] Romans 8:34 – Jesus is making intercession for us
[i] Ephesians 4:7-8 – God gives gifts