• Category Archives gifting
  • Reader’s Question

    Mystery Book CoverRecently a reader asked about how spiritual gifts fits in with being highly sensitive. I thought it was a very good question that perhaps many people have. So I turned it into a blog post! Here’s my take on the question…

     

    People who are highly sensitive are also spiritually sensitive–spiritual sensitivity is just another manifestation of high sensitivity. If you are highly sensitive, you are sensitive across the spectrum of experience—to light, sound, touch (texture), taste and environmental things like heat, cold, pollen in the air, or smog and food sensitivities, chemicals, etc. Your high sensitivity is also what makes it possible for you to hear from God.

     

    Being highly spiritually sensitive is not a Christian thing exclusively. There are highly sensitive people who are secular, atheists, and practitioners of other faiths as well. They tend to be the artists, poets, writers, the “religious,” witch doctors, shamans, etc. When these people come to know Jesus and are born again this sensitivity can be dedicated to The Most High and as you partner with Jesus to do Kingdom work, Holy Spirit guides you.Highly Sensitive JPEGThe issue of “spiritual gifting” is a real problem for most highly sensitive Christian people. Being HS means you are generally very itelligent and highly creative as well as empathetic.  So there are many things you can do, interests to pursue, and you are probably quite good at whatever you put your mind to. One caveat to that is how incredibly sensitive some Downs Syndrome and folks on the autistic spectrum are.

     

    I admit to you that I had the same problem with figuring out where I fit and who I should be. People would say, “You should be a counselor,” “You should be a teacher,” “You should sing,” yatta, yatta! For a long time, my bottom line was, “If I did all the things I should do and all the things I could do, I would never do the things I want to do!”

     

    The Lord finally came to my rescue. He told me that at times I will prophesy, at times counsel or teach, other times bear burdens, write, paint, do music, be a mom, grandmother, wife, etc. Other times the Lord and I will spin tales and weave yarns, but at all times I will be His friend. We don’t have to wear labels or feel we have to do one thing exclusive of all the others. He wants us to be fully developed—just like Jesus was.

     

    In your job you may speak prophetically to a colleague…but you won’t do that everyday. At times you will need to discern spirits, so you will…when that is needed. There is that scripture in Romans 5:3-5 that says, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” There are times when being highly spiritually sensitive can cause you to suffer. It may come as a result of bearing someone’s burden, your own internal angst over who you are and where you fit, or as discrimination or rejection in the work place. When that happens, it is no fun. But please, do not hate the way God made you. He smiled and said, “that’s good.”

     

    As you see in the list of character traits above, one character trait is added to another. Fathers are admonished to teach their children line upon line. In other words, God wants us to build character a bit at a time. He wants us also to build spiritual character in the same way and to add relational skill sets, rounding out our personalities. So as we develop, God will gift us again and again. The more you work with God to mature and become skilled at hearing Him and prophesying then He will start working on another aspect—maybe training you to have razor sharp discernment. Then He will begin to work on developing another aspect without dropping any that you already have under your belt. There is also the passage in Hebrews 5:14 “who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” He expects us to put ourselves in positions to receive training. You need to practice each and every gift you have so you become good at it.

     

    Don’t be disheartened or think that you have to have just one “gift.” Although, just as we are predominately right or left-handed, there will probably be one gift that will be dominant. Jesus had a whole fist full of spiritual gifts. We are to strive to have the full stature and character of Jesus. The “full stature” means that you will need more than just prophesy, or discernment. Spiritual sensitivity will lead you to develop the full potential of your design. One man I know tried on each one of the spiritual gifts for a whole month. Some of them he quickly learned were not his! This is one way to narrow down the list so that you can settle on what you need to learn and practice.

     

    So, I would say that your calling first and foremost is probably to be a friend of God. You may exhibit any number of the spiritual gifts at any given time. He designed you with a highly sensitive nervous system. You take in more sensory data than most people—this is what allows you to sense the Holy Spirit’s guidance and tell the difference between good and evil. You sense what is going on in other people’s experience—that is to inform your intercession on their behalf. Some highly sensitive “Pre-Christian” people may use the information they gain about people’s vulnerability to control or manipulate them. God gave you that ability for purposes of burden bearing and intercession, for encouraging and building up the saints, not control and domination.

     

    You will find that He places you in “assignments” where you will be able to either learn or hone a skill set or a spiritual gift. These assignments will change but there is something to learn, develop, or solidify–so I would just advise you to enjoy the journey and not be overly concerned about gifts. The enemy has a ploy to push you to do more, be more and drive you into burn out or to so focus you on one aspect of your walk with God that he can distract and trip you up. Just enjoy God’s presence and let that be your focus. Be the very best you, you can be. Along the way He will guide you to fully develop your potential and that will bring you a great sense of fulfillment.

     

    If you would like to learn more about spiritual sensitivity from a Christian perspective, check out The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and its companion volume Highly Sensitive. Both are available from my website.

    Hope this helps.  Blessings, Carol Brown, shedding a little light!

     

    Wilderness-cover-B P.S. The Wilderness, my next book, a devotional/memoir is with the        publisher now. It is a memoir of my recovery journey after a major attack of multiple Sclerosis–I was catapulted into my wilderness. We are hoping to have it out in out in May. We will keep you posted.


  • Welcome Blog Hoppers!
    Tomorrow is the last day of our blog hop, don’t forget to sign up again today to give yourself more chances to win in the Giveaway drawing! It has been fun acquainting myself with other bloggers works and chatting with those of you who left comments. Today I want to share with you from the FOREWORD of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity, written by John Sandford of Elijah House Ministries.

    Many have written articles, and some have composed books
    that include passages about burden bearing. 
    Some have inadvertently revealed how little they really understand about
    this most mystical and mysterious of the Lord’s callings upon our lives.  Carol Brown has written a comprehensive tome
    replete with comprehension because she has lived burden bearing from its
    bumbling beginnings in her heart to its climax in expertise.  She knows the subject inside out, and so will
    you if you persevere not only in the reading but in the practice of burden
    bearing prayer and ministry.
    “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea
    4:6).  As the Holy Spirit has tumbled us
    into new revelations and gifts, increasingly since the middle of the twentieth
    century as Joel 2:28 is being fulfilled before our wondering eyes, we have all
    come to understand that Bible text experientially, sometimes ruefully.  It seems we can’t enter into anything new in
    the Spirit without suffering the pains of trial and error.  Which is probably the Lord’s providential
    wisdom, else how would we come to fully own what He wants us to know?  Pearls are the symbol of wisdom because when
    a grain of sand irritates an oyster, it works to cover it, and beauty is
    formed.  So it is with us.

    Burden
    bearing, though a most basic calling for all Christians, has been almost
    totally neglected by Christian teachers, and very little understood by
    most—teachers and pupils alike.  The
    depths of it remain new revelation to all but a miniscule portion of the Body
    of Christ.  Now comes Carol Brown,
    uniquely prepared by the route of trial and error and the fires of the illness
    of MS to expose the secrets, and joys, of burden bearing to the Body of Christ.

    As readers will learn, burden bearing is not something
    exotic and thus the exclusive property of a few elite.  It is a calling upon us all, and an elevation
    into ministry to the very heart of our loving Lord Jesus Himself, a constant
    practice in the art of loving others as Jesus loves, a supreme labor that is
    love itself.  As Galatians 6:2 tells us,
    “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus
    fulfill the law of Christ
    ” (emphasis mine). 
    The law of Christ is to love as He loved, which is to lay our lives down
    for each other.  Hopefully you will come
    to appreciate the fullness of what that means as you read and put into practice
    what you learn here.

    Precisely because burden bearing is such a priceless gifting
    and high calling, it can to that degree be subject to error and consequent
    suffering.  Carol makes that abundantly
    clear throughout her book, and teaches how to avoid pitfalls and bear burdens
    rightly in our Lord Jesus.  You may find
    great relief as Carol explains the dynamics of burden bearing in marriages and
    other close relationships (in Chapters 5 & 6).

    For more than forty years Paula and I have pioneered in the
    discovery and teaching of inner healing. 
    Know then our qualification when we say that except possibly for the
    field of deliverance ministry, we know of no other calling more fraught with
    pains and aches from lack of knowledge than the field of burden bearing!  That is one reason why Carol Brown’s book on
    burden bearing is so timely and so desperately needful for the Church in these
    days, as the Lord purifies His servants a la Malachi 3 for ministry to His
    broken and tattered world.  We are going
    to have to know the rightness and the pitfalls of burden bearing intercession
    and ministry as the times crescendo to mountains of need and the Lord calls His
    own to stand in the gap for the multitudes. 
    And as He trains us for the coming greatest revival in all of history.

     “Faith comes from
    hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:7).  We all know that.  But how often did Jesus say, “Let him who has
    ears to hear, hear”?  Many if not most
    peoples’ hearts are too laden and confused for the mind to hear the good news
    of the gospel.  Therefore, all too often
    the preaching of the “word of Christ” falls on deaf ears.  There has never yet been a great revival
    without first great intercessory prayers.  Burden-bearing intercession uniquely prepares
    the hearts of people to hear God’s word and respond.  If multitudes are to be converted, and then
    healed unto salvation, thousands, even millions, must come to join the ranks of
    God’s burden bearing intercessors.

    And beyond the great revival, as the prophesied tribulations
    of the end time increase exponentially, we are going to have to have an
    increasing army, a vast host, who know how to stand for the Lord in burden
    bearing intercession and ministry for the transformation of the Father’s broken
    children.  Today, there are yet too few.

    Read with expectancy. 
    You are being led onto the ground floor of the vast newness God is
    building.  You are privileged to be part
    of it, partners with Him in the coming glory.  Therefore, study to show yourselves
    worthy…this book is full of revelation.  John Sandford, founder, Elijah House Ministries.
    Thank you all for stopping by. Tomorrow is our last day of hopping and the last chance to sign up for the drawing. Tomorrow I will feature my second book on spiritual sensitivity, Highly Sensitive. Do leave a comment if you have one.
      
    Blessings, Carol

    Blog Hop Participants:

    1. Lorilyn Roberts (John 3:16 Network Blog)http://john316mn.blogspot.com/

    2. Lynn DoveWord Salt (Host blog)http://wordsalt.wordpress.com/

    5. Carol A. Brownhttp://porchlight.joystarters.com/

    6. April Gardnerhttp://www.aprilwgardner.com/

    8. Thomas Blubaughhttp://tomblubaugh.net/

    10. Heather Bixlerhttp://heatherbixler.com/

    11. Joy Hannabasshttp://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

    12. Deborah Batemanhttp://www.DeborahHBateman.com

    13. Kimberley Paynehttp://www.fitforfaith.blogspot.com/

    14. Rose McCauleyhttp://www.rosemccauley.blogspot.com

    16. Alice J. Wislerhttp://www.alicewisler.blogspot.com/

    17. Amanda Stephanhttp://www.thepriceoftrust.com/

    18. Saundra Daltonhttp://gracetolivefree.blogspot.com/

    21. Deborah McCarragherhttp://www.godmissionpossible.blogspot.com/

    22. Lorilyn Robertshttp://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com/

    24. Martin Rothhttp://www.military-orders.com

    25. Janet Perez Eckleshttp://www.janetperezeckles.com/blog

    26. Kenneth Wintershttp://www.lostcrownofcolonnade.com/

    27. Eddie Snipeshttp://www.eddiesnipes.com/

    29. Janalyn Voigthttp://janalynvoigt.com/

    32. Marcia Laycockhttp://www.writer-lee.blogspot.com/

    34. Nike Chillemi http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/

    35. Elaine Marie Cooperhttp://wp.me/PVo1a-1vM

    36. Sidney W. Frosthttp://christianbookmobile.blogspot.ca/

    37. Jairus B. Kinghttp://ministerjking.blogspot.com

    38. Bill Burt http://kotbooks.blogspot.com/

    40. Bob Saffrin – http://bobsaffrin.com/

    42. Ray Lincolnhttp://blog.raywlincoln.com/

    44. Valerie Kinghttp://www.valeriekingbooks.com

    46. Pauline Creeden http://fatfreefaith.blogspot.com/

    47. Katherine Harms http://livingontilt.wordpress.com

    50. Melissa Main http://www.mainwriters.com/

    51. Kevin Mainhttp://mainchristianbooks.com/

    52. Sandy Humphreyhttp://www.kidscandoit.com/blog/

    54. Hallee Bridgemanhttp://www.bridgemanfamily.com/hallee