Untwisting the Gospel: (#1) Untwisting Gifts

This is the first in a series of blogs "Untwisting the Gospel" regarding the untwisting of God-given gifts that have been twisted, causing major problems in the lives of people and the church.  (Credit goes to my friend and colleague Baxter Kruger for the title of this series).

People around the world have been asking for counsel and prayer concerning the same problem.  They have profound spiritual gifts, but they want to give them back to God.

You may ask, ‘Why would they want to do this?’

Their desire comes from negative experiences.  Most of these people have some kind of prophetic gift, but all they see and/or hear through the gift is torment and destruction.  They feel that they have no control, and much of what they see in dreams and visions comes to pass.

My response to each of these sisters and brothers is basically the same:  the gifts are from Holy Spirit, Jesus and Abba.  They are a blessing and not a curse.  They usually respond, “Then why do I only see and/or hear terrible things?”

Then I explain the following main possibilities to help them in untwisting the gifts.

First, these children of God have roles as intercessors.  They have these gifts to change the possible negative events into positive.  They have to learn to stand and work from Holy Spirit and take control of these circumstances, commanding blessing and life over possible curses, sickness, harm or death.

Consider how Joseph through the gifts of dreams and interpretation of dreams was able to avert major tragedy for Egypt and his family.  The future is not completely written that things cannot be twisted straight again—from a curse to a gift—by the children of God when then are serving as co-heirs with Jesus.

Second, the enemy walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).  He knows that people have these gifts and he sends fearful thoughts and experiences their way.  He uses an intimidation tactic to try to have them wanting to return the gift and/or avoid using it.  He wants to devour the children of God and their gifts.

Consider Paul in 2 Corinthians 12.  Here he discusses his third heaven experiences and what happened shortly thereafter: there was a messenger from Satan sent to try to beat him down from being too elated over these experiences.  Look at Paul’s dialogue with the Lord, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this (the Satanic messenger), that it should leave me.But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (12:8-9).  Paul learns to trust the grace of God to be his power and to let him to turn weakness to strength in defeating the enemy.

Grace is a gift to transform and overcome.  Paul sees that his issue is a matter of perspective: “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (12: 10).  Paul discovers resting in Christ and boasting in everything the enemy has sent his way.  In this Paul continues to be dependent on Christ for victory--one already won--in bringing His kingdom further to the world with the gifts of signs, wonders and mighty works (12:12).

Talking with the brothers and sisters suffering in their gifts, I tell them that the enemy’s method is consistent.  He tries to attack those who have these type of gifts.  The enemy sneaks in and twists the gifts for his own coiled purposes.  Ultimately, he wants either the child of God to fear the gift and never use it—or even better to have her/him use the gift for evil purposes.

We need to assist both believers and unbelievers how to stop allowing the enemy to interfere and use their gifts for blessings.  They can do this by believing and focusing on the untwisted gospel: who God is (Abba, Jesus and Holy Spirit is love) and who they are in Him (they are beloved sons, coheirs and temples).

When they experience this they will see that they have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).  They will also experience what Jesus promised them, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you” (Luke 10:19).

Gifts are God-given blessings to bless others.  Encourage people to untwist the gifts.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).