The Church of Jesus Christ needs to get an understanding of the gifts and just how much God wants to lead His people into learning about and even developing and increasing certain giftings.
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.” 1 Corinthians 12:1
Here Paul says concerning spiritual gifts we should not be ignorant or unaware. In fact concerning any of God’s giftings, He does not want you to be unaware. So that leads us to our first hindrance concerning these gifts.
Lack of understanding
One issue with our understanding is that some would think they aren’t good enough to operate in the gifts.
- Flowing in the gifts is not about your lack of sin.
The Corinthian church was not flawless in behavior. One guy was sleeping with his stepmother and much of the church accepted it as an appropriate behavior. There was division and backbiting among them. And one of the most amazing things about that was Paul never said the gifts they were functioning in were demonic and not from God. He simply wrote them and clarified how to properly function in them with one another.
- Flowing in the gifts is not about spiritual maturity.
The Corinthian church also was not mature. They had strife among them, operated in spiritual gifts in ways that were very confusing, and showed favoritism due to social status. Even the twelve disciples had a great deal of maturity issues and they were hand selected by the Lord.
- Flowing in the gifts is not just for the spiritual elite in ministry.
“Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy…..” 1 Corinthians 14:5
“For you can all prophesy one by one…..” 1 Corinthians 14:31
It’s clear upon examination of the New Testament that the five fold ministry was clearly not the only ones operating in the gifts of the Spirit.
The Lord isn’t waiting for you to get everything figured out and right in your life before He uses you in the gifts. He will do it right now, growing and maturing you as you function and minister in them.
Young’s Literal Translation reads Hosea 4:6 as this, “cut off have been My people for lack of knowledge.” So many have been cut off from so much of the things of the Spirit simply because they had no understanding in that area. Or even worse at times, we’ve had misunderstandings and have often held a narrow view of how God moves and how the gifts should operate.
Many people hold a narrow view of ministry giftings. And in doing so they cut theirselves off to a degree in functioning in various ministry giftings that the Lord very well be wanting to move them into. A Pastor is not simply one who leads a church and preaches on Sunday. There is a gifting and anointing of Pastor and those two things may not be directly associated with it. The same thing for an Evangelist, most think that if someone travels and preaches from church to church, well that’s their gifting, Evangelist. Or if someone is a Sunday school teacher they must have the ministry gift of Teacher. And these things are just not so. If we Expand our vision of these gifts we may just open the door for some of us to begin to walk through into them.
We can do the same things with the gifts of the Spirit. We should expand our vision for all of God’s gifts to us and quit thinking that there is one specific way this gift to operate and function. We can get into a mentality where we think if we are used in the gifts and it’s not like I’ve seen in the past from others or in the Church we came up in then it must be wrong. The only person that has ever spoken to me in king James English is church people, the Lord has never spoken to me that way. That doesn’t make me wrong and at the same time precious ole sister so and so that prophesies to the Church in king James english isn’t wrong either. That is Holy Spirit using people according to their backgrounds, upbringings, personalities, and preferences. And I use this as an example because once we are comfortable with ourselves and how God is willing to operate through us we open the door to the Spirit’s flow.
“Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:3
This means the characteristic of anyone that will function in Spiritual gifts is that they will exalt Jesus in them. The gifts in manifestation will point to Christ and elevate Him. I’ve heard many people be fearful of missing God in operating in the gifts of Holy Spirit. But that’s to be expected, if we weren’t going to miss it at times why does the Bible tell us to judge and weigh the prophecy? The fact is we miss it at times, especially as we are first learning to hear and be led by God in Spiritual gifts proficiently. But in the end we should have more of an emphasis on exalting Jesus, and if that’s our hearts we are headed in the right direction.
I also want to deal with our understanding of how the Lord communicates these spiritual gifts to us. But to keep this post short we will cover that next time. There is much to say about how God speaks to us concerning these Spiritual gifts that have not been fully examined by much of the Church, I will go in full detail later about how God gives us leadings into and inclinations of these gifts.