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Did God give a prophetic vision to guide Tua Tagovailoa?

Binoculars set up on Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia Credit: Instrinsic Image/Flickr/Creative Commons

Binoculars set up on Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia Credit: Intrinsic Image/Flickr/Creative Commons

People describe Alabama Crimson Tide’s comeback victory over the Georgia Bulldogs in the National Football Championship on January 8, 2018 as nothing short of miraculous.

Alabama was losing 13-0 at halftime and the coach pulled the team’s starting QB and threw in rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa, 19, who led the team to an overtime 26-23 victory.

After the huge win, Tagovailoa, a Spirit-filled Christian, ran into the crowd to pray with his family and when asked in interviews after the game how he remained so calm in the NCAA’s biggest game of the year, Tagovailoa said he spoke in tongues.

But now more is coming out about how the gifts of the Holy Spirit played an even bigger role in a game watched by 28.4 million people.

Tagovailoa played high school football in Ewa Beach, Hawaii where he attended Message of Peace church pastored by his uncle and aunt, Tuli and Sai Amosa. While waiting offers to play college football, Tua’s mother Diane shared a prophetic word that Tagovailoa received about Tua’s future.

But it came in a different form, a vision:

Diane said Pastor Tuili received a prophetic vision of what lay ahead for the star high school QB saying, “I see Tua at Alabama.”

Alabama has one of the top college football programs in the US and Diane was shocked the Crimson Tide would be interested. Galu, Tua’s father, quipped “No one from Hawaii gets recruited by Alabama.”

Then the pastor’s wife, Sai, turned to Isaiah 60 and prophesied that the kings of the earth would be coming to Tua.

Two months later, Alabama sent Tua an offer to play football for the Crimson Tide and with a prophetic word confirming this was the direction to go, Tua accepted the offer.

Dreams and visions are one method that God used in the Bible to communicate with his people. While on a missionary journey, the Apostle Paul received a vision of a man calling them to come to Macedonia. Paul believed God was giving direction where He wanted the team to go and immediately made plans to head in that direction:

9 A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to [a]go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. (Acts 16:9-10 NASV)

In the Old Testament, we actually see two branches of the prophetic gifting. There were the prophets who received prophetic words that they delivered to the people and then there was a group referred to as seers:

29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of [b]Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? (2 Chronicles 9:28 NASV)

Seers basically saw the prophetic word versus hearing it. God communicated with seers through visions or prophetic images in their minds that they would share and often interpret so the people understood what God was saying to them.

A friend of mine functions as a seer-prophet and he explains it this way. When he first received this gifting, he would see it like it was playing on a small TV screen in his mind. These were moving, video-like images, not just photos. Initially, it was in black and white. However, while at a church camp several years ago God said he was giving him a new TV tube and overnight the video changed to a large screen TV in full color.

Because of the bigger size, he now sees much more detail. He has noticed over the years, that often the key to understanding a vision is not looking at what appears to be its main focus, but rather by studying what is happening in the background.

His biggest challenge is properly interpreting the vision for the benefit of its recipient.

One of the Bible’s major prophets also functioned as a seer. Concerning one prophetic word, God specifically asked Jeremiah what he saw (versus what he thought):

11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” (Jeremiah 1:11a NASV)

In Jeremiah 1:11-13, the prophet reports that he sees an almond tree and a boiling pot. While the almond tree could be a photo, the boiling pot indicates a video-type of image. Then in the four verses that follow (1:14-18), Jeremiah interprets it.

The Book of Zechariah, which I consider one of the more prophetically-profound books in the Bible, is basically a series of visions this seer prophet received.

One of the Bible’s major prophets also functioned as a seer. Concerning one prophetic word, God specifically asked Jeremiah what he saw (versus what he thought):

11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. (Jeremiah 1:11 NASV)

As we enter the end times, I believe God wants to re-emphasize the spiritual gifts to both guide and even protect us (2 Kings 6:10).


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