The Who’s Who List of socialites sat in the tea garden, listening to the internationally acclaimed concert pianist performing a Mozart concerto.
When the pianist finished, the ladies clapped their hands. The pianist stood and bowed.
One lady, sitting near the pianist, proclaimed, “Oh, I would just give anything to play the piano like him. Just anything.”
The pianist pivoted around and stared at the lady. “No, you would not,” he said.
The crowd gasped at the man’s rebuke of one of New York’s most respected women. How dare he make such a disrespectful remark?
Tears streamed down the embarrassed lady’s face onto her Paris designer dress. In her hurt, she defiantly mouthed, “Yes, I would.”
The man stepped toward her. “No, you would not,” he proclaimed. “Because if you truly meant that, you would have given up your childhood and your teenage years practicing the piano. And even now, you would be willing to give up eight to ten hours everyday practicing so that you could play like me.”
He pointed toward her. “You see, there’s a price to sit on this bench. I’ve been willing to pay it and you haven’t!”
This story illustrates a truth, one that is especially true about the prophetic gifts.
Perfect character is not a mandatory requirement for the spiritual gifts. But just like a soldier in the U.S. Army, there are different levels of marksmanship for these spiritual tools or weapons. Consider the spiritual gift levels to be akin to marksman, sharpshooter and expert.
To raise above the entry marksman level demands godliness and a continuing effort to be like Jesus…
The Body of Christ needs believers who are willing to pay the price so that they rise above the entry grade of just giving low-level prophetic words. We need sharpshooters and experts for what’s waiting ahead of us, just over the horizon.
So, what does the price involve, right?
*I have used the word prophesy in a general sense to denote prophecy, words of knowledge and words of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10).
(Continued in Part 5)