1 Peter 4:10-11 – God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
I can say that my journey as a Christian has been one of many stops and paths. I was raised in a Missionary Baptist Church. I then found myself in a Southern Baptist Church. After that, I ended up with The Wesleyans, and eventually with those that were of a charismatic foundation, the Assembly of God Church.
To a large extent, much of it was the same terms of the practical aspects of worship and faith. But there was definitely a difference when it came to how each approached the subject matter of gifts of the Spirit.
Some thought that once the Bible came in its present written form, there was no more need for much of the spiritual gifts. Therefore, such things as speaking in tongues and laying hands on another to heal them in the Spirit had passed. Many in between simply embraced the power of prayer and hid any position about spiritual gifts at all to avoid controversy.
And then there was the charismatics where I ended up in law school. I remember my first day in chapel service at Oral Roberts University. There was an individual sitting just behind me when, during the praise and worship part of the service, he jumped to his feet and began to speak in tongues. I had no idea what he was saying. It sounded like gibberish. Ultimately, within seconds after he finished, another individual across the chapel jumped up and appeared to interpret the language that I had no idea existed with a message to obviously edify and encourage the room of believers.
Even today, as I was doing a search about gifts of the Spirit, I was amazed at how many different results I received in my Google and Yahoo searches. There were articles starting with a discussion of the five gifts of the Spirit. Others of the seven gifts of the Spirit. Some of the 12 and 13 gifts of the Spirit, and then finally even others of 17 gifts of the Spirit.
I read them all, and after having spent some time praying and thinking about all years of my journey, I came to realize they’re all right — and they’re all wrong. No matter what we do, we will never be able to contain the power of God through the Holy Spirit. We cannot define it, and we certainly may not limit it.
Even now, I am sure there are many gifts of the Spirit that I’ve never even discovered or heard of yet. And maybe someday, the Spirit will endow me with a gift that none of you have ever seen or heard of. To approach the power of Christ through our guide, comforter, and advocate is foolish as those who Christ Himself openly ridiculed in their attempt to limit and define God.
The most important thing to realize is that the gifts of the Spirit are not for your greatness but rather to help others, whether they be Christian or non-Christian, to be drawn to Christ.
I have always yearned to be given the gift of laying a hand on another and through me, the Spirit healing them. But it has never been because I want to be great, but rather because I want to be the vessel and conduit to bring the glory and grace of God to all around me.
So, what’s the message for the day? Seek your gifts and welcome them. But no matter what they are, do not waste them. They are for a purpose, to lead, edify, and win the world to Christ.
Stay healthy and have a blessed weekend!