So, for the past few weeks, we have been on a new series of teachings on how to be witnesses for the Lord.
We have started out talking about the power to be witnesses because as Jesus taught us in Acts 1:8, before we can be His witnesses in our own proverbial Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, we have to receive the promise of power in the person of the Holy Spirit.
You see, I can have a lamp, but if I don’t have any power, the lamp does me no good because it needs to be plugged into a source of power that enables it to do what it was designed to do. Likewise, in order for our light to shine to this dark & perverse generation, we have to be plugged into the power of God—and this is the Holy Spirit.
We then learned how having the Holy Spirit empowering us to be a quality witness for Jesus works together with the various ministries He provides, such as His calling to convict, counsel, comfort, strengthen, intercede, etc. We went through these different things and learned how there is a lot more that the Holy Spirit is willing to do in and through us that not only helps us in our own personal walks but helps in being a light to others.
Now last week, we began looking at arguably the most important way that the Holy Spirit helps us to be Christ’s witnesses—through His fruit & His gifts.
You see, the New Testament reveals to us that there are two sets of nine things that the Holy Spirit performs in and through our lives, and these play a big role in our ability to effectively be Christ’s witnesses.
First of all, we talked about how the most important way the Holy Spirit helps us be Christ’s witnesses is by the fruit He produces in our lives. That’s why it is called the fruit of the Spirit. This means that these nine fruits are what the Holy Spirit is meant to produce in our lives, which are a big part of our witness. Therefore, the love, joy, peace, etc. that we have manifested in our lives speak to and validate our faith to the world around us.
Didn’t Jesus teach us that we will know the nature of wolves by their fruit? Well, if that’s the case with those who are not Christians, then it will also be that way with us who are. Yes, the world will know us by our fruit.
You see, Jesus taught us that the world will know that we are His disciples by our love for one another (See John 13:35)? Well, that’s fruit #1, isn’t it? And what Jesus was saying here is that the world isn’t going to necessarily know we are Christians because we have a t-shirt or a bumper sticker; it’s by how we love!
But we also saw that love isn’t the only fruit that testifies of Him. No, the rest of the fruit also witness of God’s goodness.
Speaking of goodness, what does the Bible teach us leads men to repentance? It is the goodness of God (See Romans 2:4). So how do you figure this works? Is God personally showing forth His goodness from heaven so that unbelievers are repenting hand over fist? No, that’s not how it works. Although He is good, and he makes the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust, it’s the fruit of His goodness in the lives of His children that will draw men to repentance. Amen?
Yes, these nine fruit being produced in our lives will cause people to look at these here branches and say, “Yup, that’s a Christian tree! And that’s the tree I want to eat from!”
So we looked then at how this fruit of the Spirit is produced in our lives, so if you missed that, I’d highly recommend going back and listening to that message because, nothing makes us better witnesses than us being fruitful Christians. Amen?
Now although producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is the best witness we can have, there is something else that the Holy Spirit is there to produce in us that also helps us witness for Christ, and that is His gifts!
Yes, I trust that most of you have heard of these things, but the vast majority of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ has little to no revelation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thus the exhortation given by Paul in First Corinthians 12:1 to not be ignorant of them has come to pass in the Body of Christ, because it’s a small percentage of us that have a good knowledge & understanding of the Spirit’s gifts. But I am here to tell you today that these gifts described to us in First Corinthians chapter 12 are still a very real part of the church today! On top of that, they are a big part of our witness!
Now, first of all, I want to point out something about the phrase “spiritual gifts” in First Corinthians 12:1—and that is, how the word “gifts” is in italics. That means that it was added by the translators and was not in the original Greek manuscript. However, in this case, I believe it was added correctly because spiritual gifts is the obvious context of this chapter. But I believe there is an important truth that can be seen from this point:
Since the Greek word for “gifts” (Greek charisma) was not used by Paul here, the more literal translation would be— “spirituals” (it is plural in the Greek). Therefore, a good translation would be— “spiritual things.”
Now there is an important principle to understand in this because, although the gifts of the Spirit are dealt with in the following verses, Paul was instructing this church (and the universal Church as a whole) of spiritual things and their proper order and importance in the Church. So, if we desire to be “spiritual,” then these things mentioned in First Corinthians chapter 12 should be a part of our life as well. In other words, the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit bestows on us are simply things that go into a life of true spirituality. Therefore, one cannot say— “Well, I am walking in the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and living a truly spiritual life,”—and there be a total absence of the gifts of the Spirit manifested in their life. No, these charismatic gifts are to be a normal part of a Christian’s everyday walk! Amen.
My purpose for bringing this out is because of the “denominational” mentality in most of the modern-day Church where there are certain groups of Christians and then there are the “charismatic Christians.” No, sweetheart, all Christians of all churches can and should operate in the “charisma” of the Holy Spirit.
Now I am not saying this mass of Christians who do not operate in the gifts or even believe that the gifts of the Spirit are for us today are not going to heaven. Heck, it might get them there quicker! What I am saying, however, is operating in the gifts of the Spirit is available to every born-again Christian and if we want to truly be a spiritual man or woman of God, then the gifts are to be a regular part of that spiritual walk.
But some avoid this subject like the plague because they see “spiritual things” as “spooky things.” In other words, some think that if you are spiritual then you are weird and peculiar. No, even though the Bible teaches that we are His own “peculiar” people, the expression does not mean that we are weird, strange, or odd. You can be absolutely “spiritual” and have the same personality you had, and good character to boot.
Actually, in First Peter 2:9, the word translated “peculiar” literally just meant a people who have been purchased, obtained, and possessed by God. So, no, it does not mean that we are strange; it just means that we have been peculiarly obtained as God’s own purchased possession. The Lord was the One who was peculiar—choosing a peculiar group of people for His own prized possession.
So, now we have no Scriptural precedence for believing a spiritual Christian is an odd or spooky Christian! To be “spiritual” is to simply be different—but not different in personality; different in fruit! We are different in that we can lay down and get a good night’s rest in a den of lions through the peace that passes all understanding and that we can sing at midnight in prison through joy unspeakable and full of glory. We are different in that our circumstances do not mold us, but we are the same no matter what life throws at us and we change our circumstances by God’s Word. This is what it means to be spiritual. It is the opposite of being carnal, which is to be led by our senses and moved by our feelings and circumstances. To be spiritual is to be full of the Spirit and to let His fruit manifest in our lives.
You see, some believe that if we are too spiritual that we won’t be good witnesses because we won’t be relatable to the world. But I don’t believe that—I believe that if we walk in the Spirit, producing His fruit & His gifts, then we will be better witnesses. Sure, there will be those who will ridicule and slander us for these manifestations of the Holy Spirit, but that doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong. In fact, it probably means we are doing something right!
Church, the world needs us to be different! They need to see true spirituality by seeing the power & life of God in us! This is what will draw people to Him.
YOU GOT CHARISMA!
Along these lines, did you know that the Greek word that Paul used for these “gifts” in these verses is the word where we get our English word “charisma” from. So the gifts of the Spirit are the “charisma” of God.
Now when we use the word “charisma” in our modern-day language, we use it to describe someone who has flare and a gift to influence and attract people’s admiration. It is often tied to people in positions of leadership—specifically because their magnetism is what launched them into that position.
Well, the truth is, if you have the Holy Spirit, then you have “charisma!” Yes, if the Holy Ghost resides in your heart, then all of the gifts that He gives are in you too! Amen? So, guess what that means? It means that you are gifted! It means that you’ve got flare! Yes, you’ve got charisma! All of which should make you attractive to the world.
But one of the ways the Holy Spirit gives us charisma before the world is through these gifts He provides. And church, these gifts are available to all those who will earnestly desire them! Yes, we can all see ourselves used in these nine gifts as we seek after and press into them in our lives.
Church, the truth is, if you have the Holy Spirit, then you have “charisma!” Yes, if the Holy Ghost resides in your heart, then all of the gifts that He gives are in you too! Amen? So, guess what that means? It means that you are gifted! It means that you’ve got flare! Yes, you’ve got charisma! Amen!
So, what we did then was we looked at the various times that this Greek word charisma is used in the New Testament and saw that the common usage is that we’ve already got it! Therefore, the point that the Lord was making last week is that we do not need to have the mentality that we are trying to get these gifts of the Holy Spirit. No, we’ve already got them—for if we already have the Holy Spirit, then we have the gifts that He gives. Amen?
Church, this is when I believe the gifts will begin to flow like rivers of living waters—when we tear down the dam of unbelief, complacency, and indifference. Let us believe God when He says that we have charisma and walk in that favor today! Amen!
THREE GROUPS OF THREE
So let’s quickly look at these 9 gifts of the Spirit and see how they can be used in being witnesses:
Now these nine gifts of the Spirit can conveniently be broken down into three groups of three:
THE VOCAL GIFTS
Let’s start with the three vocal gifts …
These first two—the different kinds of tongues & the interpretation of the tongues—work together in a lot of ways: We see how tongues can be us speaking in another known language for the purpose of ministering to people who speak that language. In fact, this was how the church got started in Acts chapter two—because when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit in the upper room, the people outside heard them speaking in their own native languages, which was obviously a testimony to them to listen to what Peter had to say.
But as Paul said, there are different kinds of tongues—and another kind of tongue is not the tongues of men, but the tongues of angels. In other words, the Holy Spirit gifts us with a heavenly prayer language that speaks directly to God and edifies us in the process. And do you figure if we get “edified” that will make us a better witness? I guarantee you it will. Yes, building ourselves up on our most holy faith will charge us up to be a better witness than we ever could have been in ourselves. For one, it will get us on the same frequency with the Holy Spirit, which will help the flow in witnessing to others.
Now the gift of the interpretation of tongues works together with the gift of tongues in that it allows us to supernaturally know what those other tongues were communicating. This can be helpful in witnessing because it can provide us with insight that will assist in sharing with others.
Now this next vocal gift—the gift of prophecy—certainly helps in being a good witness …
My definition for “prophecy” is that it’s a supernatural utterance given to us in a known language (which corresponds to tongues which are a supernatural utterance given to us in an unknown language).
And what is this supernatural utterance meant to do? Well, Paul said prophecy was meant to provide edification, exhortation, and comfort to people (First Corinthians 14:3). So, can’t you see how this would be helpful in regards to our witness? Yes, having this gift in operation when speaking into people’s lives is tremendously helpful in building them up, encouraging them, and bringing the comfort of the Holy Spirit into their lives—and it does this by supernaturally giving us the words to speak and by showing us pictures that we convey to them that “read their mail.”
So these vocal gifts can and should be used in our witnessing to others by using our mouths to share the goodness & love of God with others. But what about those revelation gifts—the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits?
THE REVELATION GIFTS
Well, it’s important to understand how these three gifts of the Spirit help us to know something, which comes in handy when you have someone in front of you that you might know nothing about.
You see, when we are witnessing to someone, there are obviously going to be times where we have no idea of who that person is, what they have gone through in the past, or what they are currently going through. Well, thank God for the Holy Ghost and these three revelation gifts that He gives us—for they will give us information we need to be able to minister to them more effectively.
Now the terminology is important here: You will hear believers saying that they have the “gift of knowledge” or the “gift of wisdom.” But these gifts are not just called knowledge and wisdom; they are called the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom.
So, these gifts of the Spirit of the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom are not just natural wisdom or knowledge that one can accumulate. No, they are a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom that are given supernaturally by the Holy Spirit.
So, what does this mean? Well, first of all, we need to understand that they are both a reference to the knowledge and wisdom of God: now we know that God is omniscient. This means that He knows everything. He is all-knowing. We also know that God possesses all wisdom as well. True wisdom comes from God. The Scriptures say specifically that God alone is wise. So, when Paul says that the Spirit will give us the gifts of a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom, this means that He will give us, of the complete knowledge and total wisdom that He possesses, a word of that knowledge and a word of that wisdom. Amen.
A great example of this is with the word of knowledge: The Greek word used for “knowledge” here is the word gnosis. This word describes a complete or thorough understanding of a subject.
We see this word used in Ephesians 3:19 in reference to Paul’s prayer for this church to know the love of Christ. He prayed in the first half of this verse that we would know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.
This seems like an impossible statement, does it not? How can you know something that passes knowledge? Well, the key to understanding this is in understanding the difference between the Greek words for “know” and “knowledge.” The word “know” comes from the Greek word ginosko which literally describes an experiential knowledge. Ginosko was more of a broad, general knowledge than the word that was used for “knowledge” here. Can you guess what the Greek word Paul used for “knowledge” here is? You guessed it! It is the same word gnosis as he used in the word of “knowledge.”
So, when Paul prayed that these saints would know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, he was praying that they would experience the love of Christ that could never be fully comprehended. In other words, He wanted them to taste in their minds just a bite of the love of God that they could never fill themselves up on. In essence, we could say that Paul was praying for them to have a word of knowledge concerning the love of Christ because he was saying, “Hey guys, you’ll never be able to completely exhaust the knowledge of God’s love, but I’m praying that you’ll get a word of the knowledge of His love!” In other words, he was praying that they would get a word of that knowledge. He was praying that they would taste and see that the Lord is love and He is good.
And that is exactly what the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom are. They are simply “words” that are given to us in specific and strategic moments that originate from the complete knowledge and understanding of the all-knowing and the alone wise Creator of all things.
And, no, I am not referring to “word” as in He only gives us one actual word, but “word” as in He gives us a communicated thought or a statement.
The Greek word used for “word” in both of these gifts is the Greek word logos which describes “a transmission of thought, a word of explanation, an utterance, a divine revelation; a statement, instruction, or oracle. It is a divine promise, a divine doctrine, or a divine declaration.”
So, when we see this word logos being used, we need to understand that it is more than just one actual word. It is the transmission of a thought from the mind of God. For example, the Bible is referred to as the living and powerful Logos of God (Hebrews 4:12). Well, the Bible is not all of that which God knows. It is not all the history of the human race. You know, there was likely a lot left out between Genesis 1:1 & 1:2. There were over 2,400 years of human history in those 50 chapters of Genesis. The Bible is also not all the truth and wisdom that there is in the world. It does not hold all the answers to every problem that anyone will ever have. But do you know what the Bible is? It is all of the knowledge and wisdom that we need concerning salvation and concerning knowing who God is and what His will is. In essence, the Bible is a “word of knowledge” and a “word of wisdom.” It is the Living Logos!
So, to summarize, we can conclude that these gifts of the Spirit called “the word of knowledge” and “the word of wisdom” are simply small fragments of God’s vast knowledge and wisdom that are communicated to us as the Spirit wills and for the edification of the body of Christ.
Now the word of knowledge is a fact from the past or present, while the word of wisdom is direction for the present or future. In other words, the word of knowledge is a supernaturally revealed piece of information that either has happened or is happening and the word of wisdom is the direction or guidance that is supernaturally revealed to us for what is happening or what will happen down the road.
Well, don’t you see how these two gifts can come in handy when witnessing with others?
Say the Holy Spirit shows me how a person was abused as a child and I share that with them, I can guarantee you that this person will be a little more open to what else I have to tell them. And then, I end up telling them how I know this and that the One who let me know loves them very much and has healing available for them. Then He gives me a word of wisdom of what this person needs to do to get that healing. Wow! Now that’s witnessing made fun, church—and it’s available to us!
Now notice that the other revelation gift is not called “the gift of discernment.” You will hear this phrase thrown around many Christian circles, but it is important to realize that the Bible makes no mention of a “gift of discernment.” Sure, there is a certain degree of spiritual discernment that every believer has the ability to walk in, where the Holy Spirit shows us things, but my point is that there is no mention in the Scriptures regarding a gift of the Spirit called “the gift of discernment.”
What many refer to as a gift of discernment that they possess is really just a knack for criticism and fault finding. They like to spiritualize their vice by saying, in their arrogance, that it is a gift that God gave them. No, friends, no one has a gift of discernment, but some do operate in the gift of the discerning of spirits.
So, what is this gift of the Spirit? Well, notice the terminology used in the New King James version: Paul called it “the discerning of spirits.” Most other translations say that this gift is the supernatural ability to “distinguish between spirits.” Therefore, the discerning of spirits is the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit which enables us to have insight into the spirit realm and distinguish between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God.
You see, the word “discerning” comes from the Greek word diakrisis which means to “distinguish, differentiate, or pass judgment.” But, like we said, it is not a gift that gives one the ability to pass judgment on people. No, it is the ability to be able to correctly judge something behind the curtain of the spiritual realm, which could certainly be a spirit motivating and inspiring a person.
Church, we need to understand that the spiritual realm is more real than this physical realm that we live in and can make contact with our five physical senses. In fact, God created the natural world through the spiritual world. So, we should be able to accept this truth that the spirit world is more real than the natural, because the spirit world is the parenting force.
But my point is that the spirit world is very real and, in this world, there are angels in abundance and demons on every corner. Someone might say, “Pastor, you are not one of those who see a demon behind every bush, are you?” No, I’m not—I see five or six demons behind every bush. In fact, if our eyes were to be opened to see clearly into the spirit realm, our jaw would likely hit the floor. We would see the most giant and majestic angels encamped around us, but we would also see the most ugly and vile demons as well.
This is the real world out there, saints—and God has given us the ability through this gift of the Spirit to perceive these spirits in specific situations.
You see, this gift is important in order to set people free. We need this gift in order to identify the cause of many spiritual, emotional, and physical problems that people we are witnessing to experience so that we can get them delivered.
For instance, this gift is extremely useful in the area of deliverance and healing. Sometimes in these situations, it is extremely important that we are able to discern a specific spirit that is causing their afflictions so that we can speak to the specific mountain that is keeping them in bondage. I am convinced that the reason that some stay sick or stay afflicted is because the one doing the ministering has not correctly identified the root cause and are praying amiss and are taking authority over the wrong things. Friends, we need this gift in order to distinguish what we are specifically taking authority over so that we can have better results when we pray.
You see, sometimes the person might be experiencing panic attacks or extreme anxiety because there is a spirit of fear that has attached itself to them. Sometimes a person might be in bondage to a certain lust of the flesh because they are bound by a spirit of lust. This is why it is so important to be able to discern the activity of a spirit in a person’s life. It is because in both of these situations the world and the church have their own ideas as to what the person is dealing with. For instance, with the anxiety, the world will just immediately label the person with some mental medical condition and try to band-aid the problem with medicine. Well, there might be a medical condition involved because people can certainly be sick mentally and emotionally like they are sick physically but sometimes people’s condition is a result of demonic activity. Likewise, in the church, if a person is dealing with a bondage to any lust of the flesh, we immediately say the problem is their flesh. But we need to understand that sometimes a spirit can be involved. Sometimes the problem can be an unclean spirit that is causing the unclean lusts.
So we need this gift of the discerning of spirits to be able to truly help those we are witnessing to, saints!
THE POWER GIFTS
Now we’ve already seen how the promised Holy Spirit is the promise of power. And this final category of gifts certainly falls under this idea of “power”—for these gifts are “the working of miracles, the gifts of healings, and the gift of faith.”
Let’s look at the “gifts of healings” first: Notice that this gift is not called the “gift of healing” but rather “gifts of healings.” In other words, the word “gifts” is plural and the word “healings” is plural. So, what does this tell us? It tells us the same thing that the gift of “diversities of tongues” told us—that there are different kinds of gifts of healings.
You see, Paul could have called this gift—the gift (singular) of healings—and that would mean that there is a gift that imparts different kinds of healings. And that is partly true. Paul could have also called this gift—the gifts of healing (singular)—and that would have meant that there are different kinds of gifts that bring healing to people. And that would have also been part of the truth of what this gift of the Spirit is.
But the apostle Paul said that this gift of the Spirit is “the gift(s) of healing(s)” (i.e. multiple gifts of different kinds of healings). In other words, this means that Paul is describing different kinds of gifts of different kinds of healings.
You see, the same principle exists with this gift as it did with tongues. While there are the tongues that every Spirit-filled believer can operate in, there are also other kinds of tongues that only certain parts of the Body can operate in. Likewise, there are different gifts of healings that are given. There is the gift given to all believers where we simply lay hands on the sick and see them recover and then there are the other gifts of healings where people are healed in other ways supernaturally.
So, let me explain what this means: It means that just as there are different kinds of tongues that the Holy Spirit gives us—some for one purpose and others for another purpose—there are different kinds of gifts of healings that are used for various purposes. For example, some people may have more success with healing cases of bad backs, where another may have a stronger anointing to heal cancer cases. In other words, the Lord will sometimes specialize on the kinds of healings He will want to do through an individual believer.
So we need this gift operating through us in our witness because how many of you know that we don’t need to just be coming with words when sharing the gospel with people; we need to bring healing to them in order to ring the dinner bell!
What about the “working of miracles”? The “working of miracles” is a supernatural intervention by God in the everyday, ordinary course of nature. In other words, this gift of the Spirit is God, through the Holy Spirit, interrupting the natural laws governing this earth. For example, a miracle would be things we see in the Bible like the parting of the Red Sea, the sun standing still, the floating ax head, (good) earthquakes that open prison doors and unlock chains.
Now it should be noted here the terminology: Paul called this gift— “the working of miracles.”
Actually, this word used to translate “working” is the same word used in First Corinthians 12:6 when Paul said that there are diversities of “activities” but the same God who works all in all. As we have already seen, this means that there are different ways that God works through the various gifts and ministries given to the body. In fact, these are the only two times this Greek word energema is used in the New Testament.
So, what does this teach us about this gift of the Spirit? It teaches us that what comes before the miracle is an activity or a working. What do I mean by that? I mean that there is an action or a work of faith that always precedes the miracle.
This is why I believe that the gift of faith usually works hand in hand with the working of miracles. Why? Because there is usually a supernatural, special faith that is deposited in the heart of someone before they step out and see the miracle.
You see, there has to be some sort of cooperation between us and God for the miracle to occur. He will tell us to do certain things that just don’t make sense in order to position us for a miracle. But if we don’t “just do it” then we won’t “just see it.” It is that simple.
In fact, if you look at the instances of most miracles recorded in the Bible, you will find that there were some pretty strange directions given that led to the miracles like “Go dip in the Jordan seven times! Throw a stick in the water! Stretch out your rod! Strike the rock! Speak to the rock!” On and on and on, you see God giving specific directions and when those directions were followed—leprosy was cleansed, axe heads floated, plagues came upon God’s enemies, and water came out of the rock.
There was a cooperation, and then, there was a demonstration! And why? It is because God requires faith! Faith always precedes miracles! There is to be a working on our part—not just “works” but the “works of faith” (First Thessalonians 1:3)—and when there are those corresponding actions of faith that are based on what God has said, then we see miracles. Amen!
And this leads us to this final power gift of the Holy Spirit: the gifts of the Spirit simply called “faith.” Now many see this gift of the Spirit called, in the King James Version, faith, and say, “See, not all have faith. It is a gift of the Spirit.” Well, that is not completely true.
The gift of faith that Paul is speaking of here is not the normal measure of faith that every believer possesses (See Second Peter 1:1). This is faith that far transcends where our faith is at. This faith can remove the largest of mountains, create planets, and give life to anything that needs it—and this is God’s faith!
You see, sometimes it will take higher levels of faith to receive a major miracle from the Lord, and where our faith levels will not be high enough or good enough to be able to do this, this is where the direct faith of the Holy Spirit Himself will then move up in us and pick up the slack with our own imperfect faith levels so God can then manifest the miracle that He will be looking to do through us.
And this is what this gift of faith is—It is a temporary impartation of His faith. Amen! In other words, it is the gift of faith by God taking a little amount of His faith and giving it to you for a specific situation.
This is why I do not like to just call this gift of the Spirit—faith. I like to call it special faith—that is, faith that is different than our own faith which we have received. It is a temporary borrowing of God’s wonder working faith (see the Amplified Bible’s translation of First Corinthians 12:9) so that we can operate at a higher level than we are at at that time. Hallelujah!
This too might be called upon when we are ministering one on one with someone because, for instance, the person has a need in their life that transcends where our faith is at. In other words, we have a hard time believing for that. Well, the Holy Spirit can grant us this “special faith” for those times so that we boldly declare to them— “By the time you get home, that situation will have changed!” Well, what do you think that gift of faith will do for their faith? I can guarantee you they will be more of a believer than they were when you first started talking to them. Amen?
EARNESTLY DESIRING THE GIFTS
And church, this is the point of all nine of these gifts. It’s so that our witness can be even more effective—for we do not want to come just in the wisdom of words, but also in the demonstration of the Holy Spirit and of power when we are sharing our faith.
Sure, it’s the Word that produces faith in people, but it’s the fruit & the gifts that make what we say more credible. So we need these nine gifts of the Spirit to operate in our lives to ring the dinner bell (so to speak).
So how do we begin to see more of this manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Well, I believe the answer to this is found in the Scriptures …
You see, we are told in various ways in the Scriptures that if we seek, we will find; if we knock, it will be opened, and if we ask, it will be given to us. Yes, we are promised that when we hunger & thirst for righteous things with all of our heart, we will be filled.
So I believe the main reason we don’t experience the full manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit is because we don’t honor those gifts.
Saints, I can assure you that the reason that the Holy Spirit is quenched in many different churches, gatherings, and Christian homes is because these believers are lightly esteeming His manifestations! In other words, they are not placing value upon and honoring Him—particularly the ways in which He manifests in our midst!
We need to honor Him—not just in respecting Him, but in actively and aggressively seeking Him! We need to be more like Jacob where He was hungry for the blessing and birthright and less like Esau where he was hungry for the things of the world.
This is why the apostle Paul exhorted the church of Corinth twice in First Corinthians to “earnestly desire the best gifts” and to “desire” that they may prophecy. (See 1 Corinthians 12:31 & 14:1)!
Does “earnestly desiring” the gifts of the Spirit make a difference? Apparently, it does! For why would he tell us to desire it if in the desire was not found more of the manifestation of it?
This is the key to seeing more of the gifts of the Spirit manifested in our churches, gatherings, meetings, and in our everyday life also … It is simply in getting hungry for the gifts! To earnestly desire them like we hunger for our next meal! To seek them as precious jewels! For when we seek for the things of the Spirit with our whole heart, we will find them!
Let’s get hungry for the Holy Spirit! Let’s not let a day go by where we do not say, “Welcome Holy Spirit!”- and not just welcoming Him, but welcoming the wife and kids as well (i.e. His gifts and His fruit!)
You see, what many Christians do is they are only open to some of the Holy Spirit. Sure, they want the Holy Spirit to bring the sinner to repentance in & through their lives, but they don’t want nothing to do with those gifts or fruit.
This would be like me, Shannon, and Levi knocking on your front door and you saying, “Trey, you can come in, but I don’t want her or that boy of yours in my house.” Friend, if you were to despise the presence of my wife and son, then you just despised me! And you certainly will not experience my presence in your home!
Holy Spirit, you are welcome in my life and ministry! And, by all means, bring the whole kit and caboodle with you! Bring the whole family! I am hungry to not just experience communion with you but also to experience communion with the gifts and with the fruit! I want it all! Amen!