The Bible says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (I Corinthians 12:1). Yet, we live in a day when most Christians, even those who claim to be mature, are ignorant concerning spiritual gifts. Unfortunately, this ignorance is a choice in the lukewarm church. They purposely chose to ignore the Spiritual gifts because of the many abuses and the inclination for pride among those who claim to use them. So, instead of picking out the Spiritual gifts that have less controversy they throw out the whole lot. To do so not only is a rebuke against the Holy Spirit, which grieves Him, but it also stunts the growth of God’s children not allowing them to experience the full measure of their transformation in Christ. Denying or embracing the gift of tongues, which has the most controversy, should not be an excuse for ignoring the other precious and powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit. Quite frankly, the lukewarm church would have no need of their so-called professional counselors if they unleashed the power of the Holy Spirit working through all of God’s people in their respective churches. They have no need for slick advertising and their grandiose promises of fun, friends, and fellowship if they taught their people how to discover their own unique Spiritual gifts.
To say that discovering your unique Spiritual gifts and using them is the second step to transformation clearly indicates just how quickly this needs to be done in the process. I am convinced through study and the indwelling Spirit that He comes into the life of the new believer immediately. The process begins on day one. No waiting involved. Why is this so important? It is because the Holy Spirit is our Teacher, He is our Counselor, and He is our Guide. Nothing happens without Him and His work in us. So, it is a tragedy that the lukewarm church puts this off and rarely discuss it in the beginning. Unfortunately, the stress is put on the new converts own decision instead of putting the stress where it really belongs, which is on God and the unction of the Spirit extending the call, convicting the heart, and drawing them into the Kingdom. He is already there before they walk the proverbial aisle. So, they need to know about the work of the Holy Spirit and also the gifts which He imparts to the new believer in Christ. For some reason, the lukewarm church no longer trust God to teach His disciples through the indwelling Spirit but wants to hold Him at bay while they fill the new converts with all the doctrines of man and the doctrines of the established church. How tragic.
Anyone doing a quick survey of the Spiritual gifts will see immediately that they are meant for building up the body of Christ, the Church. Not only do they build up others in the church they also greatly benefit those using their Spiritual gifts to the glory of God. There is no greater joy and satisfaction than having God work through us as He touches others. The more we help others with our own unique Spiritual gifts, the more we grow up in Christ, the more we experience transformation in Christ. We see the great benefit of teaching new converts how to discover their own unique gifts right at the beginning of their pilgrimage. Let me stress right here that these gifts are not the same as our own natural talents. Unfortunately, again we see the lukewarm church fanning the flames of one’s natural talents, while ignoring their most valuable gifts from the Spirit. There is definitely a place for natural talent, but there is a greater need for the Spiritual gifts to be used in God’s Holy Church. That is, among His beloved children for the edification, encouragement, admonishment, discernment, teaching, and helps. Why do we fear the greater gifts of prophecy, wisdom, healing, and miracles? Why do we limit what God can do through His beloved children? Thank God that He gave us the greatest gift of love that binds them all together in perfect harmony without pride and the self-seeking spirit.
After many years I have witnessed many wonderful and powerful gifts come and go as God had a need to use them in and through me. Let me say in all humility that these gifts were not by my own power, or by my own righteousness. Often, they came unexpectedly through faith, which not only helped others but was a great joyous benefit to me. Not only did they increase my own faith but helped me to grow closer and stronger in the Lord. They may never happen again and if they do then I pray that God receives all the glory. Over the years I have had the great honor and privilege of seeing people healed through the laying on of hands and prayer, seeing the devil flee from another individual as I stood my ground; seeing food miraculously multiplied when times were tough; and, receiving a prophecy through dreams and a vision. However, the greatest of these gifts were the divine appointments of seeing hardened individuals weep and rejoice in repentance; seeing a brother delivered from a horrible trespass through admonishment at the proper time; seeing people restored through a word of encouragement; building others up when they were broken and ready to give up; and, the great joy from using my gifts of teaching, writing, and preaching. Let me stress again, although I am sure that many others were helped, I feel the greatest benefit was to my own spiritual growth and transformation by not holding back but allowing God to work through me.
So, why does the lukewarm church keep the brethren from experiencing this great joy and transformation in their own lives? Why do they pay a staff to do all the work of the ministry while the rest sit idly by in their pews becoming stagnant in their spiritual growth? This is tragic. Let me encourage every group that calls themselves a church to help their people grow by taking this second step to transformation. First, they need to learn about all the Spiritual gifts recorded in the Bible. Help them to discover what their divine purpose is and how they were used in the New Testament times. Then lead them to pray about each gift and see how the Holy Spirit leads. As He leads then try out the gift and be ready to use if He leads. As I have already stated some of these gifts come and go as God has need for the gift. So, we must always be ready. Trust me, He will not ask you to use the gift without success. I can remember each time the Holy Spirit called upon me to use my Spiritual gift; you truly feel the unction of the Holy Spirit. You may even feel a bit trembling, but you learn to step out in faith. Let’s be clear, these gifts will never hurt another individual or the cause of Christ. They are meant for the opposite, for building up the body of Christ, His Church.
Finally, the Bible says, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (I Corinthians 12:18). Let me be very clear, that God chose you from the beginning. He is the one who brought conviction upon your heart and called you into His Kingdom and has placed you in a specific body of believers, the local church. Furthermore, it is God who has chosen the Spiritual gifts for you. We did not do the choosing, nor are we allowed to choose our own gift. I cannot stress how important this is, for many have gone astray thinking that they have one of the greater gifts when God never gave it to them. This is the problem we see today in the lukewarm church, where everyone sees themselves as a prophet, healer, or has a word of wisdom. As the learned Apostle said can we all be the hand? Of course not! We need every gift to function properly as the true Church of God. So, every member must be doing something in the local church. They must be using their unique gift that God has called them to use. There is no wonder that the lukewarm church is so weak and worldly. Let me please encourage everyone reading or listening to this article in one of our Tribulation Radio Shows to discover you own unique Spiritual gifts and use them to the glory of God. The benefits are amazing for you will grow and will be transformed as you take your second step. Amen
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