Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Burden Bearer

Have you heard the term 'Burden Bearer'?

How about 'Empath'?

There is a spiritual gift of intercession. Generally people who have it aren't happy about it. It's challenge. It's painful. It's exhausting.

When people realize what it is, why they think and feel things on behalf of others, and take it to God, then it becomes a joy.

Feeling things for others is burdensome. It causes people to cry themselves to sleep at night, though they don't immediately know why. They often feel isolated, or seek to shut themselves away from people for a time. They sometimes feel rejected by God, even though they know the truth. They cry out to God in sorrow for pains in the world. They can read people, sometimes they can finish someone's question or sentence. Sometimes they seek to escape, because these things are painful.

This isn't an exhaustive list, to be sure. It's just some of it.

People that bear the burdens of others are often accused of being overly emotional, or too sensitive.

In the church it is eschewed. I've heard a few teachers go into detail about how to respond when emotions are overwhelming, but for the most part, I've heard that becoming overly emotional is useless.

The truth is that it's uncomfortable. When someone is crying, few people know how to respond. Even the person that is crying!

Let's teach each other.  If you are feeling some overwhelming emotion that doesn't seem connected to yourself in someway, PRAY!  Ask God what you need to know about this emotion.  The Holy Spirit will tell you what you need to know, and whether you need to speak to someone.

Often, the prompt is so that you will pray for a person in regard to whatever the emotion is.  Usually, you will keep it between yourself and God.  You will let the person know that you are praying for them, but usually you won't have a specific thing to tell them.

Sometimes, rarely, there will be a message for someone. The Holy Spirit will let you know.

If you are a burden bearer, you have been one all of your life.

If you didn't or don't have a relationship with God, you may believe that your gifts of prophecy and/or intercession, and burden bearing are spiritual in other ways. Often people with this gifting become fortune tellers, or seers, or witches. Really, those 'principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness' ' that Jesus people talk about (Ephesians 6:12) look to exploit and sully this gift with lies that sound good. Lies that allow people to convince themselves that they should profit, somehow from this gift, or that something that they do or practice gives them this gift. That they have power or control over it. It can seem like a psychic ability.

When I discovered that I could 'see' things, sometimes, I was spooked. I didn't like it. I asked God to take it from me. I didn't want to see what I could see. I didn't want to know what I was given to know. I didn't want to feel what I was feeling. Knowing I needed to tell someone something that they likely didn't want to hear, or that would be encouraging, but could cause skepticism about my sanity, made (still makes) me feel like vomiting. I've been physically ill over having to give a message. I'm willing, now, but glad it isn't often required.

I used to have deja vu often. Quite often. I could tell you exactly what the would happen or be said next. The location. I could have claimed to know future events. I could have called on gods and spirits to show me these things more often. I could have profited.

I have predicted small earthquakes. Just a few times. When you tell someone that there is about to be an earthquake, and then it happens within seconds, they tend to be pretty freaked out. What should I have done with that? Pray, perhaps for people that might sustain damage or injury. What I could have done is boast about it, and profit from it.

There is a responsibility to interact with the Holy Spirit in regard to our gifting. To do otherwise is irresponsible. To claim anything other than God in these situations is a lie. To pursue this gifting apart from God is a path to trouble for someone, if not yourself.

There is no mortal control over this gift! It comes on a person when the Spirit wills. It is the job of the gifted to commune with the Spirit

There is also this: Jesus is the ultimate burden bearer. People do pick up burdens for one another. But sometimes, even when it's gifted for intercession or prophecy, the burden must be laid back down.

Receiving this gift, and using it well is a deliberate acceptance. You are picking up someone's cross and bearing their burden with or for them. It's an enormous undertaking.

All of those who follow Jesus are spiritually gifted in some way. All of those gifts should bring the gifted closer to understanding the character of God, and to emulating it. It should also always point to Christ. Using any gift for personal gain and/or for profit is trouble.

Look at Ezekiel. He bore some heavy burdens. He bore them, and messages were delivered through them. Many people thought he was insane, but the people who knew God, who believed in his Sovereignty and his truth understood. He was pretty close to God. He heard directly from him! But he still learned. He still pointed people to truth.

I pray that I use these gifts well, too. That I point to Jesus. That I don't mix my opinion with the Spirit's messages. That I recognize the Spirit moving and communicate right away. That I point to Jesus, that I allow my words to be God's, and not riddled with my own strife.

If you have this gifting, it's certainly in conjunction with other gifts. Read the scriptures, talk with God. Learn how about it. Be careful where you study. There's a lot of wonky stuff online. There are so many people and groups that quote the bible to support their own theories, rather than finding their truth because of the scriptures. Be discerning. Ask God. Seek accountability, and ask this person to pray for you, too.

This kind of gift is on that is little understood, because people don't talk about it. It's taboo.

I've stepped on many toes with this post. I've more than ruffles some feathers, I'm certain. But it wasn't my message. There are some of you reading this who needed to know that God is getting your attention, and wants you walk in a deep relationship with Him.

Pray! It's 'just' talking with God. No special vocabulary required.

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