Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Gift of Prophecy...The Ozell Story

Have you ever looked at someone in a store and had a thought go through your mind like, "Man, she is having a rough time with her marriage?" If so, you may may have the gift of prophecy.

Have you ever had the urge to start praying for someone, perhaps an estranged friend or someone at work or church, ....at random...a thought that just won't go away? If so, you may have the gift of prophecy.

Have you ever been teaching or preaching and, out of nowhere, new knowledge that you did not have comes to mind that needs to be taught (that was not in your notes)? If so, you may have the gift of prophecy.

Have you ever known someone was sick (without previous knowledge) and felt an urge to pray for them? If so, you may have the gift of prophecy.

Have you ever had a burden laid on your heart for someone, to the point of experiencing the hurt or loss that person is going through? If so, you may have the gift of prophecy.

A prophet is one who speaks the words of God. In I Cor. 12, it is the message of knowledge and the message of wisdom. It means knowing something you wouldn't or couldn't ordinarily know about someone. God gives you knowledge about them so He can minister to them. He may want you to speak what he gives you to let the other person know He is watching, that He sees what is happening in that person's life and cares. And sometimes, the message is for the speaker as much as it is for the listener.

An example from a newby. I was doing my morning walk, praying that God would use me (my walking time is my prayer time). I was walking around a trail at a park and passed a large (6'4, 260) black man that I had never seen before in my life. I heard God speak to me, "Talk to him." So what did I do? I said nothing. I am new at this whole prophecy thing!

I was walking on a oval trail so I passed him again and again I heard the same thing, "Talk to him." So I said, "Hey." He said,"Hey" back. I felt God say to me, "Say more," but I was afraid of making a fool of myself, so for several times passing him, so I said nothing....OK, so I am more like Jonah than Elisha here...Read on. Self preservation over proclaiming resurrection.

Finally the press for me to talk to him was so great that, as he passed me, I turned around and started walking with him and found the courage to talk to him (and learned his name was Ozell). I chit chatted with him (which is NOT in my nature to do) for a half lap then said, "I am being chicken."

"What?" Ozell said.

"God wants me to give you a word but I am chicken to say it!"

Ozell said," If you are my brother in Christ and God is giving you a word for me, I need you to talk to me." Wheew...good he at least won't beat me up because he is a Christian...

Ozell wanted me to talk, so I said,"God wants you to know..."

I pause here because God only gives me four or five words at a time to speak, not the whole message. As I am faithful with a little, He gives me four or five more words. God wants me to know that it is HIS message, not mine.

"...that He heard your prayer this morning .....for a new job .....so you can spend more time with your family ....and He is going to answer your prayer..." I spoke with him about 5 minutes, giving him the message God laid on my heart.

Ozell's jaw dropped, he started crying and praising God...LOUDLY...right there in the park. Ozell said, "I don't normally walk at this park, but God told me He wanted me to walk here today. The Lord said He had something for me. When I passed you the first time, God said you were going talk to me, but to be patient because you were new at this. (Now I am crying.) I needed a new job because I don't get to see my daughters. I was desperate this morning because I can see how my kids need me but my job keeps me from being involved in their life." I also learned his daughters went to the same school as my son.

He talked about overcoming his addiction to drugs and how he became a Christian. He talked about how God had constantly met his needs and how much he loved the Lord.

Then we both laughed because we had both walked 7 miles, just waiting for me to get the courage to speak to him. He said, "Next time just come right out with it, or you'll wear yourself out trying to be faithful to God." We sat down on a bench and I laid my hands on him and prayed for him (not in my nature to do so). He wept loudly and proclaimed the goodness of God, loudly....remember...public park...Ozell didn't care who knew....God was speaking to him through me. So we parted ways.

So, fast forward three weeks...I am sitting in the parking lot at school waiting for my son. Out of nowhere, a large black man shows up in my window, scaring me half to death. Ozell is LOUD...real LOUD...He had a new job, better hours and twice the pay. He was really LOUD...too loud for my Caucasian comfort zone...But God had been good to him and he didn't care who knew.

That is one story about how God used me. Do you have a story? Have you received a word or given a word from God? Please post it so our faith can be strengthened.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this story. I could not finish it without tears in my eyes. Praise God, he is good.

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  2. I agree, Orion. I think God wants us all to be His messengers in this world and when we are, the world is a brighter, more hopeful place. Tahnks for reading.

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  3. Awesome story. It is wonderful how He gifts His people to be used for the edification of each other and the wonderful glory it gives to God!

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