You don’t hear about dream interpreters much anymore. We generally feel that everything has a scientific explanation. So when we have a dream, we assume it’s our mind trying to make sense out of some nonsense in our day. Likewise, since most people who speak in “tongues” are considered a little loony, you don’t hear about people interpreting tongues. Understandable, yet that probably wasn’t God’s intention.
The Apostle Paul talked about the gift of interpretation when mentioning other spiritual offices and gifts.
“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts
of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret
? But earnestly desire the higher gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:27–31
I’m concerned about the lack of interpretation in our churches. We seem to take most things on face value. And our version of face value is skewed in the direction of rationalism. I believe in reason, but I don’t believe everything can be reasoned away. It’s reason that convicts me and convinces me that the spiritual is essential.
Most of us place the spiritual in a box, only looking for it in spiritual services. Yet it’s all around us. Just like everything has some form of electrical charge (electrons), so the whole world has some sort of spiritual charge. And because the world is this way, interpretation is needed. We have to perceive how God is working—what He is doing.
Interpreters are few and far between today because those who recognize God’s constant interaction with us are few and far between.
Spiritual depravity travels. It works in us, on us, and slowly dwindles down our desire to follow Christ. It is not as if we have immunity to the forces around us.
I’m not sure when the gift of interpretation will become prevalent again. I would like to be hopeful, but I cannot be hopeful until I see us awake to the Spirit again. It’s not that the Spirit has stopped working; it’s that we have stopped acknowledging it.
The spiritual gift of interpretation isn’t prevalent anymore because the other gifts aren’t prevalent anymore. Or better put, they’re generally not acknowledged or identified anymore (at least not properly). Given, there are many who are interpreting the Bible well. There are many great biblical commentators. I’m grateful for these people, but their work alone is not enough. It’s one step among many that must take place. We need people on the ground, in our churches, in our communities, interpreting regularly.
So let’s listen this week. Let’s be intent on hearing Christ. Maybe we can turn this negative into a positive. What can you do to enable interpretation in your community?
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