"Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort" (1 Cor. 14:1-3, NIV).
There is the natural tendency in some of us to try to systematize spontaneous experiences. We sometimes think that if we discover the method-key, then we can control it. If people are successful in their ministry (or only appear to be), then they might start using the methods to manipulate people as well.
People who are perceived as anointed men or women of God possess a potential for the power of suggestion. Whether it is being suggested that people will fall down, get a prophetic word or speak in tongues, this is manipulative power of suggestion.
Ministers with power and prophetic giftings who are not in relationship with a balanced local church team often allow their method-as-power tendencies to dominate their ministries. It is simply much more difficult to get away with manipulation and pretense when you relate closely to a balanced team of people who live in the real world.
The gifts and manifestations are given as the Holy Spirit desires.
Holy Spirit, I love the spontaneity of Your revelations to man. Keep me from manipulation or predictability in the use of the spiritual gifts You have given to me. And cause me to allow others the liberty to express Your words whenever and however You choose to use them.
Mike Bickle is the founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., and the author of several books.