I had a good friend once tell me this quote concerning the church: "It's supposed to be a non-profit organization, not a non-PROPHET organization" (props to the quote from my man Austin Williams).
When he first told it to me, we were both just laughing about it for a little while....then we realized how grave of a quote it really was and how, unfortunately, necessary that quote is for the church to hear and heed. I feel like the main body of the church today has been ignoring one of the biggest gifts God has given us to be real warriors down here on this earth...that gift being prophecy. Now don't get it twisted right off the bat. I'm NOT hating on the church. Come on people, our battle isn't against flesh and blood but the principalities and rulers in heavenly realms (a.k.a. Satan and demons) DUHHHH. The devil is working HARD to make us as ineffective as possible for the kingdom of heaven and he is doin' a pretty freakin' good job at it. I bet if 1000 Christians read this post less than 100 would actually know what I'm talking about when I say that prophecy (and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit) can single-handedly, RADICALLY, change a life. I can tell you first-hand because it happened to me.
A few years ago I went to this home group (or Bible study type of thing) with these random people that I didn't know nor did they know me. Everything was cool, there was no weird chanting going on, no incense being burned, no funky robes being worn or anything like that. It was just regular dudes and regular ladies getting together to "do the stuff." Now, when I say "do the stuff," I mean to do the things God has commanded us and given us the authority to do via His word in the Bible. Part of that "stuff" happened to be practicing the gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, tongues, healing, miracles, worship, teaching, and many other ones as well. At this time, I had no idea what any of this stuff was.
Long story short, the leader of the group asked if they could all pray for me, and I was totally down. So everyone took about 5 minutes silently praying to God and basically asking Him if He had anything He wanted to say to me or about me. Then magic happened.....
I promise you, these people had never met me before and I had never met them. Somehow though, they knew EVERYTHING about me: things I had never told anyone but God, inside jokes between friends and I, even the fact that I play the game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64 almost religiously. I was seriously just freaking out. Then God started speaking through them telling me things that He wanted to say to me. It was all TOTALLY encouraging and confirming. He told me about my past, my present, and what He wanted and was going to do for me in my future. It was gonzo-nuts. I COULD NOT stop smiling!!! I had like an insta-grin for the next 3 weeks. It absolutely rocked my socks off. There is no higher form of flattery than the God of the universe taking time to individually speak to you. It was insane. The thing that blew my mind the most though, was when they told me that I could do the same things they were doing: seeing visions, having prophetic dreams, and all sorts of things. It wasn't that these people were special or that I was special, ANYONE who follows Jesus and accepts His Holy Spirit can do all these things and more too.
I could keep talking more and give more detail about that experience, but that's not really what this post is about. The point I want to get across is that all of these amazing things that are so powerful and, let's just be real, EXTREMELY tight are being wasted all the time because we are too timid or scared to even talk about them in a church let alone actually practice them. I've dreamed about having super powers all my life and now finally I realize I CAN have them.....DANG! It's almost too good to be true, but trust me, it all IS true.
You guys might be thinking, "So Braeden, you're telling me that you now prophecy and see visions?" And my answer to that is, "Yes, yes I do, and so can you."
I was skeptical because you see those pastors on TV slappin' people on the forehead yelling, "BAM!" and knocking people over, and it just looks like a WWE match trying to trick people into following Jesus. Now, I don't know how much of THAT stuff is real and how much is totally exaggerated, but I can tell you with full certainty and from experience that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and active and at our disposal today just as much as they were with Peter, James, John, and Paul.
The Bible itself constantly urges us to be pursuing Spiritual gifts. The very first thing the apostle Paul says when he addresses the issue of Spiritual gifts (in 1 Corinthians 12) is to not be ignorant of them. Don't ignore them. He also says that the best way to pursue them is through love. Basically, if you aren't pursuing them to use for loving purposes, then God won't allow you to use them at all. I could quote these verses for you, but I'd rather everyone just go read it for themselves. Oh, and that reminds me, if there is ever anything in this blog that you find erroneous or inconsistent with what you think the Bible says...don't take my word for it. Read the BIBLE! Don't read this blog, read the Bible. It will help you a lot more than I can.
Now in the words of one of America's finest heroes, Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that. If you guys have any questions or anything you want me to answer or address in this blog, just hit me up. Until next time, PEACE!