“Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts…” – 1 Corinthians 14:1
Paul told the Corinthians church to desire spiritual gifts, that he wished they all spoke in tongues but even more so (within the gathering together) that they prophesied. His words would be the same for us, that we would desire (have zeal to be given) spiritual gifts and would not be ignorant concerning them (1 Cor. 12:1).
Yet in the American church today, we often are ignorant of the need for all the gifts, do not even think of them, barely ask for them, or could not care less whether we have them or not. This indifference is one of the reasons perhaps that we do not find the abundant life Jesus promised to give us.
But another reason we do not seek the gifts is because of fear. We have seen them misused or abused or weird things associated with them (or read some blog post about the crazy things received when a person prayed to receive a gift that so-and-so heard from a reliable source who heard from a friend who read a story).
However, there is no reason to fear any of the gifts for three important reasons:
- Our Father is a good gift giver (Luke 11:11-13) – just as we won’t give crazy things to our kids when they ask for something, our Father won’t give us something that is harmful or unbeneficial when we ask for the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus was example for us of what the Spirit filled life looks like. When the Spirit descended as a dove upon Him, He did not start to act bizarre or uncontrollable or anything of the sort. In fact, we don’t see the early believers in Acts 2 do anything like that either. In both examples, we see empowered lives changing the world.
- The gifts are for the profit of all (1 Corinthians 12:7). God wants to give you a gift or gifts so that you can bless the Body of Christ. He wants you to be an active participant in the “Christian life” not just one who sits in a pew (or chair) each Sunday and just receives. He wants to use you!
If you have not asked for the Holy Spirit to empower your life today (or simply have never asked Him to empower your life period), make that your prayer now. Ask Him to fill you so that you can have victory over the flesh, the world and the enemy. Ask Him to empower you that you may be the light in a dark world. Ask your Heavenly Father for any of the gifts He desires to give you that you can make an impact on the world for Christ.
There is no need to fear – unless you don’t want to be used for His glory, in which case you should fear what you will say to Him when you see Him face to face and you have to give account for your service for Him!
This devotional thought comes from the sermon series “Power On” found on our teachings page (www.refugesanger.com/teachings). This series goes through the various gifts of the Spirit as defined and described in Scripture.