“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1Cor. 12:7)
We have been talking about God’s power within our churches…
Yesterday, we mentioned that when we are “operating” in the Gifts of the Spirit – God is doing His work through us. Power is not just miracles… power is found in the revelation of God’s Own Character and Nature (by God) – through our lives.
This is why Gifts of service and mercy can be just as essential (and powerful) as Gifts of healings or miracles. Some of Jesus’ most powerful revelations of the Father were when He showed compassion for the downtrodden… or served those in need.
God designed His Church to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
But sometimes we have made this empowering a scary or uncomfortable thing. We have tended to make the Spiritual… too spiritual – failing to see the fullness of God’s purpose in giving us His Holy Spirit. We need to understand that the Gifts of the Spirit (God’s power at work in and through us) are eminently practical and purpose-driven.
Sometimes we can even get the idea that when we receive a Gift of the Spirit, from God, that He is just reaching into a big “grab-bag” at His side and randomly pulling out Gifts for indiscriminate distribution. We might get “lucky” and get one of the more exciting Gifts – or we might get stuck with one of those lesser, “behind the scenes” kinds of Gifts. It’s all just the “luck” of the draw…
But this is not the case. God has had something in Mind for us from “the foundations of the earth.” (Ephesians 1:4) Our Gift will fit us perfectly – not make us into something we were never designed to be. God designed us to be ourselves – only empowered by divine ability… to be the best us we can be. Only when we are divinely empowered can we be that best person – only by God’s Spirit can we BE all that we were made to be.
An illustration might be helpful…
If you and I were to go out into the dark of night I would probably grab a flashlight. The purpose of a flashlight is to bring light out into the darkness. It was designed to do just that – bring light to darkness. So flashlights were designed and made to dispel darkness with light.
But the one thing you always do before you head out into the darkness (with your flashlight) is to turn it on… while you are still inside. You power it on to make sure that it does what it was designed and purposed to do. If the batteries are dead (or not even installed in the flashlight) it cannot do what it was made to do. A powerless flashlight cannot fulfill its purpose.
This is a picture we need. We were designed by our Creator to fulfill a purpose. It may be to perform miracles or healings. Or it may be to simply help those who are the neglected or the needy all around us. The Bible tells us that there are many different purposes – all ordained and empowered by God…
Each task that is necessary for this life has garnered the attention of the Great Designer – who made certain individuals to fulfill tasks that meet specific needs. God designed each of us to meet a particular need. But He also made it so that those tasks can only be fulfilled when those individuals are empowered – and only the Holy Spirit is able to empower us to fulfill our purpose.
God’s promise is that He has made His power available to us so that we can be what He has designed us to be – we just have to make sure to allow Him to BE our power Source.
Prayer Focus: God help me to understand and appreciate Your Gift to me… and show me how to utilize Your Gift in my everyday life.