Monday, 21 May 2018

Understanding Interpretation and Power Gifts

I wrote this series in large part to talk about how the manifestation of the Spirit is commonplace and doesn't happen with labels attached. A person will have a sudden 'knowing' about a friend's situation, or a friend's name or face will cross their mind and instantly they will know they need prayer or are 'down' or under stress about something - those words of knowledge and wisdom are given by the Father that we might first pray, and then perhaps, perhaps, reach out to that person. But He doesn't label them for us at the time - He just does it and the labels are given merely to help us understand how He communicates to us. 

The point is that these things are normal Christianity that occur as a matter of life, here and there, as He directs our steps. We read the gospels or Acts which are compressed periods of time - the gospels focused on 3 1/2 years and Acts over 30 years, and wonder why God doesn't move through us like that every single day. 

We need to drop wrong thoughts like 'When is the Lord going to use me?'. "I'm not doing anything for Him, I feel so useless", to focus on the fact Christ is in us, and He will provide opportunities as we look for them as a matter of the course of life. 

Other gifts
There are other gifts like the 'energy' gifts I mentioned in the first of this series. These are gifts the move us, energize us, motivate us to do things. Paul names these manifestations of the Spirit in Romans 12:3-8 and they include such things as giving, organizing, teaching, mercy, serving, exhorting, seeing things right/wrong, and so on. These are more than our personalities, these things move us from within to interact with others, and they are as much as the Spirit of God as giving a prophecy. Paul says each person has their grace, and we can only live in our grace, not another's. 

In the Old Testament we see still more gifts, especially around the building of the tabernacle of Moses. In Exodus 31:2-6, 35: 26-35, 36:1, 8, God describes men and women in whom He put wisdom as He calls it, to work with wood, metal, stones and gems, linen and weaving and sewing, and all manner of skills so they can build the tabernacle. They have that 'wisdom' or we might say talent or skill or know-how they are born with, because the Lord put that in them. Those things that motivate people are a manifestation of the Spirit of God as much as prophecy or healings!

The rest of the charismatic gifts that I didn't spend time on: Healings, special faith, and miracles, are gifts where you have to be in a special situation to see the Spirit of God manifest. Most of us don't want to be in those situations that require special faith or miracles. Healings of people are a manifestation of the Spirit like prophecy or knowing how to work with fabric or wood, and it is plural in the Greek. Gifts of healings. 

Some people find they have a gift for certain types of healings. To one maybe nearly everyone with a muscle/bone issue they lay hands on gets healed. To another maybe it is system things like circulatory or electrical systems of the body they have a gift for. It varies. It doesn't matter what manifestation one might commonly see, for we are all told to lay hands on the sick. The Holy Spirit will manifest as needed rather than sticking to such and such a gift. In other words, we have the One who manifests Himself for a person's good in us, rather than just us being limited to 1 manifestation of the Spirit and that's all we get.

Miracles such as bread multiplied, ax heads floating, water parting, are not common, but they happen to those in situations that need that manifestation of the Spirit. Special faith is what carries a widow through a funeral or a sudden knowing someone has about a tragic situation, and they know their loved one is safe - it tends to 'drop in' a person, that special faith for the special circumstance. 

We have the Source in us
You will never find yourself in a situation where He won't do what He needs to do to help you. While certain manifestations of the Spirit flow with your personality better than others might, you have the Holy Spirit in you, so whatever you need is what He will do - you don't have x gift and that's it, too bad if you find yourself in a situation that needs y gift!

He deals with us according to how He created us
The day after a noted teacher had spoken at the church where I was on staff, I had an Bible school student come to me saying, "I wish the Lord would talk to me like He talks to him. The Lord talks to directly to him, so bluntly to him."

I asked her what she would really do if the Lord talked that bluntly to her, and she replied: "I don't know, probably dissolve into a pool of tears because that seems so harsh." And yet she wanted that kind of bluntness.

I told her that her laid back, easy going positive outlook on life is the way He created her, so He will speak to her gently, as a process over time rather than confrontational. She looked amazed because she said, she was always jealous over people who had the Lord talk bluntly to them. That day she learned that some of those people would probably like Him to be more laid back with them and gentle, and she had peace. 

A person's personality may naturally work well with prophecy, especially if they are naturally an encourager, a story teller, one who naturally comforts people. But that same person would not necessarily flow with the discerning of spirits, which sometimes requires confrontation and directness in the Spirit and often to a person's face. 

A person who sits quietly and observes may naturally flow with words of wisdom and maybe specific healings, but because they are naturally quiet they won't be given to prophecy or interpretation of tongues. 

Paul told the Corinthians "Those who compare themselves with themselves are not wise." That's good advice. Don't look to how the Lord deals with others or how He moves through others, focus on Christ in you - learn how He moves within you. Very often He is within speaking in one way, but a person is so unhappy that He doesn't speak or manifest Himself through them they way He does with x person, they miss His voice, gifts, and flow through them. 

First, learn to shift your mind's attention from the natural senses to what is in your spirit man - do this regularly, train yourself in it. Feel His presence anytime you want simply by doing that. If you learn to do this, how He manifests Himself in your life will take care of itself, for His presence in us is the point - that is the focus. It is from that intimacy and presence all you need in life flows. Amazing grace! New subject next week, until then, blessings,
John Fenn,

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