Is it even possible for the School of Theology to conduct a Gifts of the Holy Spirit class through Zoom? The class of 2020 witnesses the omniscience of the Holy Spirit.
By Zhu Minying and Gracie Lepcha
The “Gifts Of The Holy Spirit” is one of the modules taught at City Harvest’s School of Theology. It covers the biblical understanding of the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, and also includes practical lessons on how to receive and apply them.
In a usual classroom setting on a normal year at SOT, this practicum is one of the most exciting sessions in the school calendar. Students are required to step out in faith to practice their gifts on one another. This year, due to COVID-19, SOT has been conducting its services via Zoom, and so Pastor Choong Tsih-Ming conducted this practical lesson online.
In true Pastor Ming style, the lessons were filled with funny moments—including an illustration of the body, soul and spirit featuring a plush Patrick Star, the starfish from Spongebob Squarepants, and a chicken toy. But this did not make his teaching any less impactful.
However, the question remained in the students’ minds: is it really possible to practice your supernatural gifts online with tangible results? Two SOT 2020 students share their experiences.
ZHU MINYING: NO LIMIT TO THE MOVE OF GOD
“Is it even possible to conduct ‘Gifts of the Holy Spirit’ class through Zoom?”
This was the only thought I had in my head as we prepared for the start of a brand new course, the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” with Pastor Ming. Ask any SOT graduate and they will tell you that GOHS is a course to look forward to. It is one class where many experience the tangible power of God through various ways such as prophecies, provisions, and physical healings.
To be very honest, I was skeptical. Having spent about four months attending SOT lessons through Zoom, I wondered how Pastor Ming was going to move in the Spirit, especially since he could not even see our faces clearly. Certainly, there are limitations to technology, right?
And of course, God proved me wrong once again. If there is one lesson I have taken away from having classes online, it would be that there may be limits to technology but there are definitely no limits to the move of God.
In one session, Pastor Ming taught us about “words of wisdom” and “words of knowledge”. Then, he suddenly paused and said, “Now, I want you to pair up in your teams, and pray for a word over your partner.”
Immediately, I heard my phone buzz. It was one of my teammates, and he shared with me the four words that he saw. I was blown away because I had not shared with many people about that part of my life, and it was truly a word in season for me. God is so good. Even in the next few days, I continued to receive accurate and encouraging prophecies over my life.
I also had a chance to try prophesying to my friends—I need more practice moving in the Spirit but hey, I am glad that I stepped out in faith to try! At the same time, God also reminded me of an analogy that a mentor shared with me recently: “Faith is like a muscle, and it only grows when it’s being worked.”
Similarly, moving in the Spirit requires much practice. With that in mind, I decided to stretch my faith by blessing a few of my friends with a prayer. Many said that they were very blessed but what touched me the most is the fact that God honored my determination and used my words to encourage others.
Personally, the biggest revelation I received out of the week learning from Pastor Ming is of the power of prayer and the importance of Scriptural support in our prayers. He encouraged us to dig deeper and to always ask for Scriptures from God in our prayers.
I usually pray just before I go to sleep and 80 percent of the time I end up not completing my prayer. One day, as Pastor Ming was leading us in a closing prayer at the end of the class, I felt God deposit Matthew 6:26-27 into my heart:
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”
As I am currently in a season praying for providence in many areas of my life, through this verse, I felt God remove my anxiety and assure me that He will provide. Feeling encouraged and faith-filled, I wrote declarations over my life on Post-It notes and made a promise to pray over them every single night without fail.
I just want to encourage whoever that is reading this to not just pray, but pray abundantly with expectation. We serve a God who wants the best for us, so ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find. Whatever things that you are praying for today, I am declaring and confessing the promises of God over your life together with you.
GRACIE LEPCHA: ON PRACTICE AND CONFIDENCE
Last week was fascinating as we learned about the “Gifts Of The Holy Spirit”. One of the lessons we covered was the Gift of Prophecy—personally, it was a new and overwhelming experience. I had always thought that these are the extreme gifts which are so exclusive, but Pastor Ming made them sound so simple and so interesting.
As he was sharing his own experiences, Pastor Ming taught us that it is important to practice the gifts. He showed us how to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and do according to what He tells us.
Although we did not expect to have many chances to do practical ministering, since all our lessons are conducted online, Pastor Ming creatively found ways for us to practice and apply what we learned after almost every lesson.
We were given homework: to pray and ask God for a word of prophecy, a vision, a picture, a verse or a word. That evening I sat down to pray and I asked the Lord to give me a word. I believed and trusted the leading of the Holy Spirit, and I received one word: “game-changer”. I prayed for more details about what He was saying, but again just the one word came. I realized then that I was trying to reason with the Lord—“God, is this from you, or am I just using my brains? Seriously, just one word? Does it work that way?” My head was burning with so many questions.
When I calmed down and started thinking over the word, it made so much sense. “Game-changer” doesn’t even need an explanation. We, the Class of 2020, are being trained and equipped in a way that is so very different and unique, and I truly believe that after SOT, we are definitely going to be “game-changers” in the field of ministry.
Immediately I messaged my team leader Jacqueline and sent her the word. She encouraged me and told me that she was very blessed by the word I received. She pushed me to explore this gift further.
What I basically learned from this experience was that, first of all, we need to practice the gift of prophecy. Secondly, we need to be confident in the Lord, as the Bible says our confidence comes from the Lord. When we receive a word, sometimes we over-think and end up not sharing the word. That blocks what God wants to do. I learned that even when it’s just one word, it may be something significant for the people around us.
This experience has truly changed the way I see the gifts of the Holy Spirit.