How is your vision?When I was around seven years old I was poked in the eye with a scissors by my neighbor accidentally, so to this day my right eye has bad vision.I grew up in a small school in the wilderness of Washington State and somehow my eye issue wasn’t observed by the nurse until I was like ten and by then the eye doctor said my left eye learned to overcompensate so they said I didn’t need glasses but just to be careful with harming my good eye.So if I took an eye test right now and covered my left eye all I would be able to see is the top letter on the chart, yet with both eyes open I don’t even notice that my right eye is legally blind.
A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study has found that although 94 percent of Americans aged 12 and older have good vision, the remaining six percent, or 14 million, are visually impaired. Of these, more than 11 million have uncorrected visual impairment, such as nearsightedness.
It is good to get our eyes checked and see if there are ways to improve our eyesight but most importantly God wants to improve our spiritually eyes.That is the mission of this year that we will attain clear 2020 vision in the Spirit.We are called at Praise Tabernacle to be an Apostolic Center, a place where people are equipped and sent out to serve everywhere.The key to being sent is knowing where to go and that takes prophetic vision.Our vision becomes impaired by the power of the Spirit through applied Truth, it purifies the heart and the result is clearer vision.
Have you ever given gifts to your kids that you later regretted because they were out of control or they were being used incorrectly?
This is the issue in the church of Corinth, as Paul addresses in chapter 14 the Corinthians were abusing the gifts God had given them and so Paul was writing instructions to bring order out of chaos.
We learned what the spiritual manifestation gifts are in chapter 12, in chapter 13 we learned what love is and apart from it the gifts are nothing, and here in chapter 14 we gain the instruction manual on how to use the gifts out of love.
So love is to be our highest goal but because of our love, we desire the gifts so we can be a greater blessing to others.
I was recently asked what gifts are most commonly used? The answer I believe is right here in this chapter; Tongues and Prophecy. Why?A whole chapter is dedicated to these two gifts. Tongues are needed individually to remain strong in the Spirit, Prophecy is needed to remain strong corporately. This chapter seems to compare the two gifts and place Prophecy as more important than Tongues. Remember, we must always understand the context in order to interpret correctly. This chapter was written to instruct the church regarding order when they meet together. Tongues edify the individual but Prophecy edifies the whole church. Tongues are needed to be build up in the Spirit so when believers gather together they are ready to build up one another.
Since 2020 is the year let’s make it our goal to have clear vision, where we see Him and His Church through His eyes of love.The Word is what His Spirit uses to transform us.Tongues and Prophecy are two spiritual gifts that are additional key exercises for our spiritual development just as weightlifting and cardio are necessary exercises for physical development.Let’s now dive into 1 Corinthians 14 to learn how to use these gifts effectively.
Prophecy: A Superior Gift (1 Cor. 14:1-25)
Prophecy is to be sought above all other gifts. (vs. 1, 12)
It speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. (vs. 3)
It builds up the church.(vs. 4)
Gifts like tongues only benefit the church when they can be understood. (vs. 6-11)
Prophecy is used to convict unbelievers.(vs. 24-25)
Tongues is a language that is most often directed to God.(vs. 2)
It builds up the individual.(vs. 4)
We are called to think more about others than we do ourselves. (Phil. 2:3)
When we speak in tongues among fellow believers interpretation must follow.(vs. 5, 13, 15)
Interpretation of tongues is used to convict unbelievers.
If tongues are spoken without an interpretation it will leave unbelievers thinking “these people are crazy.”(vs. 22-23)
We are to pray in tongues for our personal edification as much as possible. (vs. 18)
Order in Church Meetings
All things are to be done for edification.(vs. 26)
Whether it is a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, another language, or an interpretation.
There is to only be 2-3 Tongues shared with Interpretation in a Meeting.(vs. 27)
If there is no interpreter the person is to remain silent.(vs. 28)
There are to be only two or three Prophets who speak while the others evaluate.(vs. 29)
Prophecy must be done one at a time, as each one receives a message the other stops, so that everyone can learn and be encouraged.(vs. 30-31)
One must remain in control or they are operating with a false spirit. (vs. 32)
When a meeting has disorder and lacks God’s peace it is unholy.(vs. 33)
Anyone who is disruptive in a church service are to be made silent.(vs. 34)
Questions or concerns are to be addressed privately.(vs. 35)
Anyone who doesn’t follow God’s ways is out of order and should not be recognized as a leader in the church.(vs. 36-38)
Be eager to prophesy and continue to pray in tongues but be sure that everything is done properly and in order.(vs. 39-40)
To have clearer vision it takes the continual purifying of the heart. Our charge therefore is to get in the Word daily and let the Spirit go to work.Make sure you grab a bible reading plan for 2020.