I stumbled upon this site somehow and began reading the stories posted. These have inspired me to share my own. I am twenty-six years old and from a young age I was interested in ghosts, "psychic" experiences, and the like. I am very inquisitive and curious and would read ghost stories, watch ghost shows on TV, etc. They gave me a thrill and I wanted to know more, but I had the side effect of fear.
When I was in middle school, I went to a sleepover with a girl friend. She had a Ouija board and excited and curious, I agreed to "play". We contacted a spirit who claimed to be my Dad's mom (she died before I was born). After that night, I began having precognition experiences. I would get this awful pit or falling feeling in my stomach right before I learned a classmate or good friend had had a family member die. This went on for maybe one-three months and the feeling became more prevalent and I was scared to tears. I was attending a girls' Bible study at the time, and the leaders at one meeting discussed the occult, contacting spirits, witchcraft, etc. They said that when you use things like Ouija boards it invites and allows spirits/demons into your home and to follow you. I told them about my nervous stomach experiences and said I did not want it to happen anymore. They were very understanding and did not judge me and prayed for me. It went away!
Fast-forward about ten years. I have had a personal relationship with God for many years now which means to me, that I read my Bible, pray throughout my day, attend church, and try my best to follow God's commands. I believe I have a prophetic gifting since I am obsessed with finding and declaring truth. God has frequently given me dreams, less-frequently visions, and "words" concerning people and their situations. I know some things before they happen, and other things I know before I am told. I have found though, that the less God-obsessed I am, the less frequently He can speak to me. In other words, when I slack off in reading my Bible or going to church, or ministering to others or having personal time with God, I don't get those dreams, words, etc.
I find it interesting how many people are on this site that keep these experiences to themselves. Maybe I am extraordinarily blessed because I have found that the more I open up about my experiences, the more other people share their "odd" experiences. I do not go to a charismatic church. I attend a very conservative Presbyterian church.
I believe if you trust that God will do what's best (not what is most comfortable) for you and you allow yourself to want whatever God wants for you (which I think I huge things, bigger than we can imagine), you will be happy, content, and satisfied whether you have dreams and visions or not. I do pray for dreams, etc. As they are another way He speaks to me, but they usually reveal something I need to change in my own life. When it comes to others, I take much caution because I can be quite judgmental and opinionated on my own. I do not want to represent my words or thoughts as God's.
The flip side though is that when God does call me to speak and upholding truth (I believe as defined in the Bible), I tend to make those closest to me angry. Even when spoken in the most diplomatic of terms, people in general avoid the truth because it typically means they need to change (and that they are in the wrong). And who likes that?
I am careful not to call these gifts "powers". A power or ability or skill is something innate in ourselves. What happens to me is purely a God thing, I do not conjure things up, nor do I attempt to test waters or expand my gifting. God does all that for me if and when He sees fit. I think there are both God and demonic forces at work in the world. These are not opposites because God is bigger, but Satan is extremely deceptive, powerful, and more destructive than most people think. Pride in new gifts such as these can easily turn them into something for myself to brag about. When I start thinking "look what I can do", red flags should be going up. All of the gifts God has given me do one of three things; they either strengthen my relationship with Him, or they are used to strengthen the relationship of other believers towards Him, or to reach out in love towards any person.
God has been calling me to study other religions and occult practices for the past three years now. When I began, I heard voices whispering my name, especially at night where I worked. In my case, I knew it was not God calling me (God does not creep you out) and prayed for help and spoke against them. I did not pay them much heed and they went away after the 4th occurrence.
Deja vu happens often to me, but I am not sure if it really means anything or not. A person can find meaning in anything if they look hard enough. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
I believe we are all spiritual beings, but it depends on where/what (God/demons) your spirit is attuned to. I question any experiences of mine that do not help others in some way, and as directed by God. My dreams and words for others have almost exclusively applied to other Christians, rather than non-believers. Less-intense dreams or "mini-visions" when a non-believer pops into my head I take as a message to pray for them.
This was quite lengthy, so if you made it to the end I thank you! If you have any questions about anything I've posted on, please feel free to post a reply or email me at email@example.com
PS Interesting side note: I have been trying to post my story frequently for the last two days. My husband, a computer geek and techie at a large company could not figure out why I couldn't post. It seemed the link was broken. I prayed that God would fix the link if He wanted me to post, and sure enough when I clicked the link that time, it was fixed!