Gifts of the Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit

Each of these 9 gifts are things God the Father wants His kids to have and function in. They are unique and special abilities that will make our journey as followers of Jesus on earth better. We could say it this way…we won’t accomplish what we are intended to without these gifts.

1 Corinthians 12v4-11

Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are all serving. There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another he gives the gift of special knowledge. The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy.

He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking.

These unique abilities are situation based. In other words, in the presence of someone sick, healing is the unique ability I am drawing on and requesting. What type of situation would cause me to request this gift?

If we look at the syntax of the phrase in the Greek, we can gain a better understanding of what this is:

distinguishing of spirits is the root phrase. It means to make a judicial estimation of where the influence of a situation is coming from. The root word carries a focus on deciding a dispute. The original language does not specify speaking. It is dealing with know what is the influence in a situation where it is foggy and unclear.

Spiritual influence is the issue.

What does this gift look like in function?

Acts 16:16-18

One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes.

She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”

This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.

Paul waits several days to act. Why?

I believe he was distinguishing the origin of her declaration. He is waiting to figure out what is influencing her. This was a situation where he was annoyed, but there was not enough clear evidence it was demonic. She could have just been an annoying little girl. So we see him wait until the Holy Spirit releases information to him and he makes the call.

What are the influencers of the Spirit Realm?

The Holy Spirit

Prince of the power of the Air

The Spirit of the Age (our sin nature & appetites)

There are some situations where it is difficult to know what is going on. These are situations where the demonic realm may be covering itself, attempting to cover up. In these situations, we need the supernatural grace from God to distinguish.

There are situations where we are bothered, but unsure as to why. In these situations, we need to know what is really going on.

There are situations where the enemy is being blamed and it is actually self-will or the sin nature to blame…we need to know the difference. If I don’t know which is which, I will mishandle them.

As we look at this, I have a thought that has been coming up about the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 2v2
You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s anger just like everyone else.

As I read this and studied this, something caught me for us:
“You used to live just like the rest of the world…following the passions and desires of your evil nature.”

Paul is talking about life with the Holy Spirit. He is talking about special abilities being released to the church. It would seem that he is writing from a place of assumption.

He is assuming we are living in a healthy relationship with the Holy Spirit. He is assuming, “we no longer follow the passions and desires of our evil nature.”

He is assuming we are living in the full expression of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

So my question is simple: Are we?

Be filled
Ephesians 5v18b
but be filled with the Holy Spirit and constantly guided by him

…living in a way that is inviting the Holy Spirit into my life

Walk in step
“walk in step with the Holy Spirit, since we derive our life from Him…the old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. ”

Do not grieve
Ephesians 4v30
Do not bring sorrow (grieve) to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live.

Do not quench
1 Thessalonians 5
Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful….Do not quench the Holy Spirit…keep away from every kind of evil.

The term, quench, means to extinguish. It is a term related to fire. It is the opposite of stoking a fire.

Walking in step is the idea of choosing a life pattern. Paul is advocating making life choices that are consistent with the desires of the Holy Spirit.

Paul creates a very clear picture: If we walk in relationship with the Holy Spirit, we will live consistent with what He desires. We will live joyful, we will live with our hearts focused on heaven, talking to God, we will be thankful, and we will choose to say no to sin.

This lifestyle and life choice allows the Holy Spirit to be revealed in our lives and allows us to stay in sweet intimacy with Him.

But when we choose behaviors that are born from our sin nature, taking the bait of the influences of hell, we reduce the expression of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

If the Holy Spirit is the one who releases the ability to know what is influencing a specific situation, how can we hope to receive that revelation without choose to live in the power of an un-grieved Holy Spirit?

Ephesians 5v1-15 (abridged)
Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like a sweet perfume to him.

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God….For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord…So be careful how you live, not as fools, but as those who are wise.

Am I living in the power of an un-grieved Holy Spirit?

Am I creating a life that affords clear and unbroken communication with the Holy Spirit?