Dream word – SENSE
“Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.” NKJV.
I have three confessions to make to you tonight. First that I am not a Christian who believes that some of the spiritual gifts have ceased after the primary apostolic era. Second, that I am also a Christian who believes in the fact of real signs and wonders following the preached Word and third, that I believe we are probably living in the time of the end. Now let me tell you tonight friends, that such a triple combination of belief, can lead you into giving charlatans all your loose change and hitching your wagon to some of the wackiest, way out, whirling dervish Christian circuses that have ever toured the land! And by the way, there are more and more of these each and every year. Fortunately I am from that great county of Derbyshire, where a good dose of brutal common sense was a free side order with every bag of chips. In all these things then folks, let’s speak plainly and let’s not be stupid!
Now having said all that, allow me to make some spiritual observations about the manifestation of spiritual gifts in the church. Considering something so very important, frankly there are hardly any decent and practical books on the subject available. I think this is a triple testimony to our historical fear of the charisma, our respectable embarrassment of some of them and our utter disdain of that mixed bag of manifesting fruitcakes who rob us blind, and yes, I am talking about of being robbed of more than money! Nevertheless, maybe this brief thought will assist some of you this evening.
In the physical, material world, synaesthesia, literally “with sensation”, is a neurologically-based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway, leads to automatic and involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. In other words, people may hear what they see, or more commonly maybe, see what they hear, in terms of colour, shape and form. Yes, they may even taste a shape! Two well-known synaesthetes would be the artist, David Hockney and the great composer and musician, Duke Ellington. Both of these guys used their probably hereditary gift of synaesthesia in artistic exploration and expression. Of course, drug use and neurological damage can so traumatise the brain that it might also produce similar synaesthetic mixing of the senses. Yet this is quite different from the natural hereditary and genetic gifting of the same. Well so what?
I am fascinated by the descriptions of heaven in the Scriptures, and so I should be! I am a citizen there and it is my eternal home. What is most wonderful for me however, are the descriptions of the marvellous composite creatures, so special to God, that they surround and seem to live the near the very vicinities of His mighty throne. Whilst no doubt being both emblematic and metaphorical, I believe these creatures are also so very real! The power and the abilities of creatures of such combinational sensory perception must be extraordinary. Again I hear you say tonight, well, so what?
What I am about to suggest tonight will assist some of you pastors to better counsel your flock and it will also assist some of you folk who think you are going barmy, for it has been my observation, and I just lay this out tonight for your simple consideration, that in terms of spiritual perception, in terms of spiritual “seeing” even, there is a vast amount synaesthesia involved in this type of spiritual gifting, especially for those with the gifts of discernment, mercy and prophecy. I leave the questions of whether or not such a gifting may have physical manifestations, or if such anointing is also spiritually heredity, for another day. Simply to say tonight then, that many of you “seers” in the church, actually experience, and should delight in such experience by the way, this cross-sensory expression of communication. This, to you, will be a most personal and tailored way of experiencing the spiritual realm. I believe in the life to come we shall all bathe in similar but far more intense cross-sensory perception, however, for now, here in the church, some people in comparatively small measure to the future life, already experience thisspiritual syneasthesia.
It is important for people of spiritual gifting to band with those of the same gifts, for mutual encouragement and for investigation, instruction and correction. I wonder if many more church organisations should have “schools for prophets” for example, instead of schools for profits? There is safety in this, for heresy happens! In any event, many of you tonight, nevertheless need to see what God is saying in your ear, and maybe allow yourself to feel the colour of both His nearness and instruction. There is strength for the church in such spiritual synaesthesia. So to those of you who experience this may I say to you, “Those who have ears to see, let them taste!”
Listen: “After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying.” (1 Samuel 10:5 NKJV.)
Pray:- Lord, may all our “synaesthetic seers” be welcomed in Your church and subject to both Your written word and Your chosen leadership. Give to each of them O God, a good dose of Derbyshire common sense and good friends and pastors to advise and aid them in their journey. Make them a blessing to us all, in Jesus name I pray, amen.
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