God has placed within the church not only ministry gifts (specifically Apostles, Prophets, etc.), but also gifts of the Spirit to equip the various ministries.
One group of gifts is what many refer to as the utterance gifts: tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy.
Another group is known as the revelation gifts: word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits.
The third group is the power gifts: gift of faith, gift of healings, the working of miracles (all found in 1 Corinthians 12).
What happens when a person is desirous of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31), but doesn’t take the time to study the word, or have the humility to allow others to judge what they say or the spirit behind their utterance?
Confusion and every evil work.
Sometimes it may not be the minister who is operating with a false spirit, but a person who is so hungry to hear a “word” (for guidance, assurance, or whatever), they open themselves to all kinds of issues.
Many years ago I attended a Full Gospel Businessmen’s meeting where a guy from Dogpatch, Arkansas ministered. The man taught (don’t remember the message at all), then had those who desired “personal prophecy” to form a line along one side of the room.
About half of the hundred or so in attendance followed the preacher’s instructions, including myself. I wanted to hear something from God, something pertaining to my job and financial situation.
I remember telling a friend, who was also waiting in line, “I don’t know why I’m standing here. God has been showing me what I’m supposed to be doing.”
But I stayed in line, anyway.
When it was finally my turn, the man of God placed his hands on my head, closed his eyes, and prayed a short prayer.
Immediately following the prayer, with eyes still closed, he said to me, “I don’t why you’re even up here. God has shown you what to do, so go do it.”
I about fell over.
I was at a critical point in my life. Greatly desiring to be used of God, I could have been told just about anything and would have probably believed it.
“One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.” (Proverbs 27:7 ESV)
I was looking for something sweet.
But the scriptures don’t for a second teach we’re supposed to rely on personal prophecy for life’s direction. No, we have the privilege and responsibility to hear and know God’s voice, and follow His lead.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14 ESV)
If we don’t study God’s word and actively participate in a local church (for starters), we may wake up someday and realize we’ve been hoodwinked by the spirit of witchcraft. We’ve settled for the spectacular and missed the supernatural.
And it’s happening to many, many people.
In the next post, I’ll list at least 10 ways witchcraft has found its way into the Church.
Remember, witchcraft isn’t necessarily something involving omens and black cats. It’s much more deceptive than that.
To be continued…