Who Says "No" to a Gift?
Pillar 2: Living in His Power
If Jesus needed all the gifts of the Spirit to do the work of building the Kingdom of God, don't we??
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills. — 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 (ESV)
The Holy Spirit is like a toolbox we receive when we become a follower of Jesus Christ. He distributes, in His timing and to whom He wants, the tools that are needed to do the work of building the Kingdom of God.
That means that at any given time God could use you to:
- heal the sick
- cast out a demon
- teach someone about Jesus
- share a spiritual word of encouragement
- and even raise the dead!
…if that is what God wants to do through the power of the Spirit in you. The gifts were necessary for Jesus, and they are necessary for us. That is why Paul encourages us "to eagerly seek or desire spiritual gifts." 1 Cor. 14:1
Many people who follow Jesus are afraid of certain gifts, because they don't understand them, have not experienced them, or when they have been around them, the gifts have been abused or used to hurt people. Well… welcome to being a part of the jacked-up family of God! Sorry, but we have all heard bad sermons, or have been in bad discipleship groups, or have seen people hurt others with Bible bashing, but we don't abandon those aspects of the Christian life.
It is crazy to allow the enemy to confuse and discourage you!
Yes, he is the one who would love for you to avoid desiring all that God has for you and all that is necessary to fight the spiritual battle to which God has called us. The enemy would love for you to try and defeat him in your own natural power. Why? Because he wins every one of those battles.
Paul says to the Ephesian church,
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
The battle is a supernatural one, fought in the spirit. Without God's power in us (the Holy Spirit), and if we don't fight with spiritual weapons (gifts of the Spirit), we lose every time. But remember, the same power that raised Christ from the dead is in you!
God's desire is for you to seek Him and eagerly seek these gifts He has for you. You can't earn them or make Him give them to you. In 2014, begin to ask God to pour out these gifts in and through you for His glory. As He opens doors, just walk through them, using the gifts He gives you. The results are up to Him. Pray with expectation, and I think you will be surprised at His response!