3 Reasons Why Some People Reject Your Spiritual Gift

By Helen Calder of Enliven Blog and a member of David McCracken Ministries

Have you ever tried to reach out with a spiritual insight, such as a prophecy or discernment to someone, only to be rebuffed or criticised?

It is sad when people resist the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They miss out on an encounter with God and the gift He has for them.

This can be difficult, especially when we have done our best to be obedient to what the Holy Spirit is telling us.


3 Reasons Some People May Reject Your Spiritual Gift—and What to do about it

Here are three reasons why using your spiritual gift, such as prophecy or discernment, may upset some people—and some ideas to help you respond appropriately when each occurs.

1. It Happened to Jesus—and it will Happen to us

The power of the Holy Spirit was continually manifesting through Jesus’ ministry, and not everyone liked it. Instead of rejoicing that people were being set free from demons, the religious leaders of His day accused Him of being possessed by a demon Himself!

Jesus told His disciples that they would experience the same persecution that He did. He said, ‘If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul [prince of demons], how much more the members of his household!’ (Matt 10:25) [1]

Jesus warned His disciples that being like Him was going to get them into trouble. (see Matt 10:24-25)

The Apostle Paul gives instructions on how to respond to persecution:

  • ‘Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.’ (Rom 14:14)
  • ‘Do not repay anyone evil for evil’ (Rom 14:17a)
  • ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom 14:21)

Our natural human response to persecution is to be defensive, to get offended and leave the situation hurt, or even to lash back.

However, persecution is a signal that the Holy Spirit has a special gift for you. He gives you power to forgive, to speak well of your accusers, to be gracious, and to move in the opposite spirit of goodness, acceptance and love.


2. Spiritual Warfare is Taking Place

‘The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.’ (2 Cor 10:4)

Spiritual warfare can impact the way people perceive your ministry and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We need to be especially aware of this when sharing with non-Christians, and pray accordingly.‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’ (2 Cor 4:4)

Spiritual warfare can also come against us personally—for an example, consider the way Jezebel responded to Elijah when he had a powerful victory over the prophets of Baal. (1 Kings 19)

One sign of spiritual warfare is confusion. The enemy attempts to twist or distort what people hear. There is a negative or resistant atmosphere.

There are many ways that you can combat spiritual warfare. [2] These include:

The enemy hates your gift and wants to shut you down. But God has a plan and purpose for your gift. He has fruitfulness and influence for you to step into.


3. Your Approach to Using the Gift Needs to be Adjusted

When people take offense at our spiritual gift of prophecy or discernment, it is easier to look to something outside of us for the source of the problem—such as demonic attack, or the other person. But what if there is something that we are doing that is causing the problem?This is something I learned the hard way! [3]

Some signs the issue may be with us personally include:

  • There is a regular pattern of people getting offended or upset when we use our spiritual gift of prophecy or discernment
  • The offense happens between us and a leader in the church—especially if it happens more than once, or in repeating situations
  • Non-Christians often resist receiving a prophetic insight from us

What can we do when we see these signs taking place? Here are 4 things we should always check when we are ministering in prophecy or discernment, especially if people are responding negatively to what we are sharing:

A. The Love Check (1 Cor 13:1-2)

  • Am I genuinely tuned in to God’s love for this person?
  • Am I expressing the insight from God in a loving way?

B. The Attitude Check

  • Am I free of judgments (negative opinions or criticism) towards the person (or group) I am ministering to? (Rom 14:4, Matt 7:1-2)

C. The Culture Check (1 Cor 13:1-2)

  • Am I sharing my insight in a natural and relaxed way?
  • Am I refraining from using Christian or prophetic language the receiver may not relate to or understand?
  • Am I ministering in a way that is in harmony with the environment? (This includes the culture of my local church)

D. The Accountability and Accuracy Check

  • Am I sharing the insight in a way that gives the recipient room to weigh it up? [4]
  • Do I honour the leadership of my church?
  • Have I followed existing protocols and guidelines relating to using prophetic gifts?
  • Do I personally have accountability in my prophetic gift? [5] Have I discussed this situation with my oversight and been open to adjustment?

Don’t let one person with a problem stop the flow of the Holy Spirit through you.

Resist the temptation to respond to offense by becoming hurt or discouraged, or being afraid to step out again. Instead, use the opportunity to grow—in humility, in character, and in your gift of prophecy or discernment.

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