HOW DO WE USE THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT?
The Bible describes nine gifts of the Spirit. 1.Corinthians 12 is a very central chapter in describing the gifts. The 14th chapter writes a lot about speaking in tongues and prophesies. The gifts are given to us and we cannot use them unless they are given. These gifts are only given to the children of God. The 11th verse in chapter 12 is saying that it is the same Spirit working through all the gifts and God gives individually as He wills. The 7th verse is saying that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. The gifts of the Spirit are not given for us to be praised and glorified. They are tools for us to use in order to be more effective in the kingdom of God and to serve others both inside and outside the Church. I myself have experienced how the gifts can be used to help unsaved people. I have received a revelation and seen the root of a problem that I couldn’t know in the natural. When I presented that to the person, he or she started to cry and confirmed that this must come from God. He loves everybody and let it rain over the just and unjust. (Matthew 5:45) The gifts are activated when I minister to people seeking help. They work together with the Holy Spirit. Is it possible to help people without having the gifts? Yes, I believe so since the Holy Spirit is our Helper, but it is easier when we use the gifts.
What is a gift of the Spirit? We read in 1.Corinthians 12 about a word of wisdom, word of knowledge, a prophetic gift, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, gifts of healings and working of miracles and the gift of faith.
Some of you will ask if we can do these things without a gift of the Spirit and my answer is yes. In Mark 16 we read about those signs that should follow every believer. It mentions among other things that we should speak in tongues, lay hands on the sick and drive out demons. When the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, it came like tongues of fire on every one of those who gathered in prayers. When we speak in tongues, we pray in a given, heavenly language. This is described as a sign, not as a gift. The tongues can come as a message that needs interpretation or it can come as another language. It has lead people to salvation or been a great blessing to those who didn’t understand the spoken language where they were. I use the tongues a lot and I almost feel dependent on them before I start ministering to someone, but I have never gotten a message in tongues or an interpretation of one. God told me many years ago that He wanted me to expose the devil and all his deeds. In order to do that I needed the gift of discernment. This gift has helped and saved me many times. I have many times seen and heard Christians applauding manifestations coming from the devil and not from the Holy Spirit. One doesn’t always become popular with this gift, but God comes with power and encouragement. I have to be careful avoiding to mix my likes and dislikes with the gift. I am really seeking the Holy Spirit because I do not want personal preferences. It was easier to make a mistake in the beginning.
The word of wisdom, the word of knowledge and the prophetic gift are often called the gifts of revelation. One gets wisdom and knowledge that one cannot get by studying or any other natural way. All of the gifts can have different forms of expressions, also these. You might have attended a meeting where a preacher or an evangelist describes a sickness or a symptom. He might even have the symptoms in his body when he talks about it. He usually says that the Lord is healing this now. He might also get this as a picture or a word in his spirit. When these things happen, the person with the sickness, gets faith for healing. I have never functioned in this way, but I often get a word of knowledge describing the root of a problem or the solution for the problem. This comes supernaturally and I have no natural reason to know. This can also happen on the street. The person in question will get very surprised and does understand that the Lord has spoken and He cares for them. He is longing for a love-relationship with them. A word of knowledge and a word of wisdom are very close to each other. We are often in need of supernatural wisdom in difficult situations.
The prophetic gift can be used in many different ways. You might have been at a meeting where a person delivers a prophetic message. It could be to everybody, to the leaders, to the church or to one or more individuals. It could be an encouragement, a warning or something laying heavy on His heart. I have been to meetings where the prophetic messages were not received by the leaders, but they could have avoided the tragedy that the prophet warned about. The prophet was unfortunately right. I have to come with some warnings when it comes to individual prophesies. No one is called to control you and a prophesy saying whom you should marry is a manipulation. You should be led by the Holy Spirit and not by prophesies. A prophet is just a human being and can make a mistake without coming in the category of a false prophet. It is also a difference between a prophet and one with a prophetic gift. I have recently gotten a couple of prophesies that were not from God. I forgave the person and broke the words since they were foreign to me. God speaks first and foremost to us since all Christians have a born-again spirit. When it comes from the Lord, I can say amen and I get happy even if it brings something negative into the light. The first prophesy I got, was that I should become the biggest prophet in Scandinavia. I didn’t use the gift for a very long time since I knew that no human being is going to be big except for One, Jesus Christ.
We have gifts for healings and for performing miracles. We read in Mark 16 that every Christian believer should lay hands on the sick and get healed. Some people get gifts for healing and I presume that they are going to be especially used for healing. A healing can come instantly, but also over time. When we talk about signs and wonder, we often talk about creative miracles. We hear about legs growing out, blind getting back the sight and some get even new eyes. Others have a special faith for raising people from a wheel-chair or praying for deaf people.
Faith is listed as a gift of the Spirit, but do not everybody have a certain amount of faith? Yes, every believer has faith in their born again spirit, but everybody doesn’t have the gift of faith. I believe that one gets a special faith for special situations and there is no doubt and what you pray for, happens. It can be for anything that is according to His will.
The gifts should never be used to put the receiver of them in focus, but the Giver.
ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR HELP TO USE THE GIFTS FOR HIS GLORY AND FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS.