Gifts of the Spirit

1st Corinthians 12: 4-11

"There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit.  There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord.  There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.

 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.  To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge.  To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages.  All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides."

How do you think of the Holy Spirit? As some kind of "power" or sort of the "The Force"? Or do you think of the Holy Spirit as a person? The scriptures pretty consistently refer to the Spirit as "he". In this particular letter Paul gives us a pretty good picture of who the Spirit is. He also makes it clear that the Spirit decides who gets what gifts and when. We can't manipulate the Spirit to allow us to heal or to discern spirits or to speak in tongues (this gift is hugely misunderstood today, anyway) or to do anything else that requires HIS power. He decides, and he gives the gift. And it's not like he gives the gift once and we have it our whole lifetime. He gives us the gift and allows us to use it when he decides the time is appropriate. Just because he gives someone the gift of healing today to use on a specific person doesn't mean that the person is now some kind of "faith healer" and can run around curing everyone they see for the rest of their lives (for a small "love offering", of course). 

People in general have a huge control issues. Having control of anything is an illusion, at best and a demonic manipulation at worst. God is in control. I can speak for myself - I have control issues. I need to get over myself. I need to submit to the Lord. When I'm granted a gift of the Spirit I need to acknowledge that he has a reason for giving it to me and that I should make haste to use it for the purpose he had in mind. 

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