The Pentecostal Gift of Ears
One Sunday a pious business owner, following his weekly custom, attended church. As he prayed the penance rite, “I have greatly sinned…,” a commanding Voice roared in his head: You fraud! You don’t really believe you’ve sinned, but you have! You’ve cleverly scheduled the hours of many of your employees so they only work part-time and so you don’t have to give them their just benefits. You damned counterfeit Christian—and I do mean damned! Quickly, the businessman stumbled out of his pew, and fled fearfully from the church.
That same Sunday, the pastor held aloft a big black bible while passionately shouting, “God says here in Leviticus 18, verse 22, that you shall not lie with a man as with a woman, such a thing…,” and then he threw in, “‘homosexuality and gay marriage…’ is an abomination to God!” Instantly, a Voice thundered inside his head: I never said that! Ancient tribal elders 2,500 years ago said those words, and to give them credence and authority claimed that I, their God, said them!
Frustrated, the pastor attempted to regain his composure by pretending to cough repeatedly. As he did, the Voice roared on: Stop slandering my good name you hypocrite or else in roaring thunder I’ll announce to the people in this church your…little secret! To the stunned astonishment of the congregation, their pastor, his face pale with panic, clumsily stumbled out of the pulpit and ran screaming out of the church.
If you have ever wished you could hear God speaking to you, don’t anymore! Mindful the Spirit’s gifts come as surprises, be careful what you say when you pray. Whenever reciting prayers or singing hymns always look ahead to see the words you’re about to say. If they aren’t what you truly feel—or what you really believe—don’t utter them, lest you hear God talking to you.