God wants to use his believers to exercise their prophetic calling and usher God’s presence into the lives of the discouraged. In last weekend’s service, Pastor Gary Heyes taught the church how they can learn to use the gifts of the Spirit.
Over the weekend of 22 and 23 July, the founder of Speak Life Global, an international prophetic ministry, Gary Heyes delivered an edifying message to City Harvest Church.
“I believe God wants you to be the next person that He could use, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to impact lives,” Pastor Gary said as he opened his message. “And I believe God wants to use City Harvest Church for great things. He already is, but I want to challenge you to be the next person.”
He urged the churchgoers to read Isaiah 50:4-5 with him: “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.”
Pastor Gary imagined how Jesus would have awakened one morning and heard God telling Him to go to Samaria to meet with a woman at the well. God had a word to give to the woman and He used Jesus to speak life to her and lift her from a place of discouragement. “God wants to give us a sensitive spirit, one that is willing to be awakened each morning to hear His voice and learn what to speak,” said Pastor Gary, noting that there are many discouraged people in the world who need this. He encouraged the church to be that voice to speak life into them, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, God will pour His grace upon him. The pastor defined grace as “the divine influence upon our heart and its reflection in our life.” It is God nudging his believers to do what He wants them to do and then allowing His power to work through them.
“God wants us to be a prophetic church,” he declared, “moving out of the walls into the city, into the nation of Singapore, into the nations of the world, prophetically moving by the Spirit of God, listening to His voice.”
3 THINGS CHRISTIANS NEED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
In Acts 9:10, Jesus spoke to a disciple Ananias, whom Pastor Gary pointed out was only mentioned a few times in the book of Acts. Paul described him as a “devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews”. Paul had encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus and in Acts 9, and the Lord told Ananias to go to Paul’s house and restore his sight.
“Ananias could be anyone of us, an ordinary disciple,” Pastor Gary noted. At that point, the early church was still in its infant stage and the disciples were just learning how to hear the voice of God. “Just like you and I, he was someone who was daily learning to walk with God and to hear God’s voice. Here’s the question: will you be the next person that God speaks to?”
Pastor Gary went on to share three things this “next person” needs.
Discernment is the ability to hear and identify the voice of God. It is an ongoing journey of listening to God and growing in intimacy with Him. Pastor Gary referenced the message preached during the previous weekend by Pastor Bobby Chaw, “Primacy of Prayer”.
“Sensitivity through prayer is one of the ways that God helps us to develop discernment,” he explained. “It’s praying for people to specifically hear God’s heart for them, to learn of the needs that they’re facing and how to minister to them.”
It could be a prompting from God to text a person and ask if they are doing okay. That could lead to a conversation or prayer the other party needs. “A sensitive person is one who is learning to listen to God’s voice, [to pay attention to] the promptings of the Holy Spirit,” he taught.
“God has a cause. God has people he wants you to reach. When we pray, we trust that God is going to lead us to the right people, that God is going to use us for His glory,” Pastor Gary added.
Other ways to discern are to have a vision and to hear God’s voice (Prov 20:12). Pastor Gary preached that God wants to awaken His believers’ spiritual eyes and ears so that they can tap into the supernatural.
The pastor shared an incident that happened when he was learning to listen to God. He was preparing a message to preach at his friend’s church and he heard a few things from the Holy Spirit which he wrote down. Among the things were the words “Bob”, “engineer”, “contracts” and “healing”.
The next day, after he ended his sermon, he asked the church if anyone knew a Bob. No one did, but the Holy Spirit assured Pastor Gary that he would meet someone else who knew Bob that day.
True enough, over lunch with some friends he discovered that they knew Bob. It turned out that Bob was a music engineer. He was sick and was hesitant to sign some contracts in case he got too sick to work. Pastor Gary was able to connect with Bob and pray for him, assuring him that God was going to heal him and that he could sign those contracts in peace.
Faith is the inward assurance based upon what you hear from God (Rom 10:17) Going back to the story of Ananias, Pastor Gary noted that Ananias had heard about Paul persecuting Christians everywhere. Yet he mustered the faith to go to this man and heal him. “Faith always involves risk and faith will always involve an extension of yourselves to people,” Pastor Gary elaborated.
He went on to share a few things he observed from this story. Firstly, God is the initiator of activity in people’s lives. He uses people who are willing to listen and obey. Secondly, God does not want His believers to be prejudiced against anyone. Even if they do not agree with someone, they need to obey God and do what He says.
“The gospel and the power of the Spirit will change people’s lives,” the pastor said, encouraging the church to be bold and reach out to those God has put in their hearts.
Obedience is the timely response to speak and act on what one has heard from God. Ananias was willing to step out in obedience and believe that God was leading him, even at the risk of being challenged. ridiculed or oppose,” Pastor Gary preached. “When we align our heart with his will, He pours out His grace and His power to help us.”
He encouraged the church to operate and stir up the gifts of the Spirit to minister to others like Ananias did.
Pastor Gary shared the story of how once, he stepped out in obedience to speak a word of knowledge to a waitress. Upon the nudging of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Gary spoke to the girl about her relationships as well as her financial problems. He assured her that God would bless her and help her to pay for her studies.
After finishing their meal, Pastor Gary was planning to give her a big tip when the manager of the restaurant came over and told them that because of what he had done for the waitress, their meal was complimentary. The manager asked if Pastor Gary could give a word to another waitress, who was not a believer. Pastor Gary was able to accurately discern the things that were happening in her life and the second waitress gave her life to Jesus.
At the end of the service, Pastor Gary gave an altar call to those who wanted to receive Jesus and those who wanted to live out their prophetic calling, and he prayed for them.