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THE SPIRIT OF GOD RELEASES FAITH

1 Corinthians 12:9 – To another faith is given by the same Spirit.

Faith is always being exercised in the public gathering of the saints. Each believer exercises their faith simply by assembling with other believers. At times, special faith is required. There are times when the Holy Spirit will impart to an individual believer a special gift of faith. In the public meeting, the Spirit may choose to use one or two individuals in the “gift of faith” to meet a particular need. The Scriptures declare, “We walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Our daily walk is an exercise of our personal faith in our Lord. There are also times when we must operate in faith through the application of particular Scriptures in various circumstances we face. Perhaps you are trusting for healing, believing for a certain financial need, or facing some impossible situation. We all face these times.

In every believer’s life there are times when a special gift of faith is required. These are times when the Holy Spirit will impart a special gift of faith to meet a need or answer the cry for help as we come to the end of our own operation of faith. Paul operated in special times of exceptional faith. “God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out” (Acts 19:11-12).

I have personally had times when the Holy Spirit imparted special faith for a job to be done. I found this to be most often true when traveling into a foreign country and facing certain dangers. I knew, in these times, I was not operating in my normal walk of faith, but in special grace the Holy Spirit was supplying for a specific task. I do not experience the “gift of faith” daily, but over the years I have found the Lord to be so faithful to give me the grace of faith so I could accomplish what He had purposed for me to do.

Father, I pray that You will grace my life with special, even extraordinary measures of faith as needed. I pray to be reminded of Your ever-present help in time of need. I open up my spirit to the Holy Spirit, who is full of grace and gifts. Father, I thank you for the faith You have given me. I also thank You for the gift of faith available to me in those special times of need.

THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

1 Corinthians 12:8 – To another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit.

Paul reminds us that the same Spirit, who gives the word of wisdom to one, gives the word of knowledge to another. Paul is addressing the public gathering of believers and the need for godly order in the meeting.  The Holy Spirit, who is charged with distributing the gifts, is also residing in each believer. He can release a gift through any believer at His will. The “word of knowledge” is not the knowledge one receives by diligent study or from a teacher in the classroom, but rather a supernatural word the Holy Spirit imparts. It is information the Spirit is privy to know, He chooses to share this information to accomplish His particular purpose. The word of knowledge can be very helpful in assisting when ministering to another. At times, the Spirit of the Lord will give a needed word of knowledge to assist a believer in problem solving.  

I have experienced this gift operating when I had come to the end of my natural reasoning in a matter. I had exhausted my own resources of information and needed a word which the Holy Spirit held. Other times, while an individual is sharing with me their perspective, I will be praying, “Lord, give me Your supernatural knowledge of what this one needs.” Shortly, a word would come into my mind, or a picture that usually does not make sense to me, but communicated exactly what the other person needed.  Our God is great! He is close to us by His Holy Spirit, and so willing to share His gifts with all His children. Develop a discipline of asking the Holy Spirit for a “word of knowledge” and see if He begins to share with you what you need to know. On a personal note, when I have lost something, I have asked the Holy Spirit to give me a word of direction to find the lost item. Many times, He has. It is not magic, but His word of knowledge freely given.

Go ahead. Begin to ask the Holy Spirit for the word of knowledge to operate in your life. Thank Him for the times this gift has operated, even though you did not recognize the knowledge you had received actually came from Him. He is closer than most of us realize. Nurture the relationship we have been so blessed to have with the Living God!

THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

1 Corinthians 12:8 – To another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit.

Paul reminds us that the same Spirit, who gives the word of wisdom to one, gives the word of knowledge to another. Paul is addressing the public gathering of believers and the need for godly order in the meeting.  The Holy Spirit, who is charged with distributing the gifts, is also residing in each believer. He can release a gift through any believer at His will. The “word of knowledge” is not the knowledge one receives by diligent study or from a teacher in the classroom, but rather a supernatural word the Holy Spirit imparts. It is information the Spirit is privy to know, He chooses to share this information to accomplish His particular purpose. The word of knowledge can be very helpful in assisting when ministering to another. At times, the Spirit of the Lord will give a needed word of knowledge to assist a believer in problem solving.  

I have experienced this gift operating when I had come to the end of my natural reasoning in a matter. I had exhausted my own resources of information and needed a word which the Holy Spirit held. Other times, while an individual is sharing with me their perspective, I will be praying, “Lord, give me Your supernatural knowledge of what this one needs.” Shortly, a word would come into my mind, or a picture that usually does not make sense to me, but communicated exactly what the other person needed.  Our God is great! He is close to us by His Holy Spirit, and so willing to share His gifts with all His children. Develop a discipline of asking the Holy Spirit for a “word of knowledge” and see if He begins to share with you what you need to know. On a personal note, when I have lost something, I have asked the Holy Spirit to give me a word of direction to find the lost item. Many times, He has. It is not magic, but His word of knowledge freely given.

Go ahead. Begin to ask the Holy Spirit for the word of knowledge to operate in your life. Thank Him for the times this gift has operated, even though you did not recognize the knowledge you had received actually came from Him. He is closer than most of us realize. Nurture the relationship we have been so blessed to have with the Living God!

THE VARIETY OF THE SPIRIT

1 Corinthians 12:4 – Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

The Holy Spirit chooses many ways to manifest His presence. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul discusses nine spiritual gifts that are manifestations of the Spirit. In verse 4, he lays the foundation for discussing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He begins by helping us know that it is the same Spirit regardless of the individual gift operating in the believer. The Holy Spirit chooses through whom He will manifest a particular gift. He chooses when and what gift to release. He is doing this everywhere in the earth through many different believers. He indeed is the Omnipresent God.

The Holy Spirit is manifesting His gifts through the various ministries our Lord Jesus has operating in the earth. The Spirit anoints individuals as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. He operates through the Deacons and all those who have Help ministries in the body of Christ. He expresses His gifts through the Administrators in the body of Christ. In fact, every believer can be used of the Spirit to express Christ’s love to His body the Church and through His body to the world. If you are a believer, you then are a candidate to be used of the Spirit of God in any variety of ways.

Our part in the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to allow Him to impart the gifts He chooses at any particular time. The rationalization of our mind is our biggest problem. God does not call us to give up our mind, but rather to yield our thinking to His Word. God’s promise is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who produces God’s divine nature in the believer. This is what Paul meant when he said, “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). His divine nature which was manifested in Jesus Christ is now revealed in His children by the presence of His indwelling Holy Spirit.Ask the Holy Spirit to help you turn your mind over to Him. Ask Him to help you let the gifts of God operate when He so chooses. Ask Him to cause you to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and to be filled with the faith of the Son of God in every situation. Father, thank You for Your reservoir of gifts made available in the Holy Spirit. I am Your servant to be used as You choose.

THE FRUIT OF LOVE

Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love.

Many today will be celebrating what is called Valentine’s Day, a day that has been set aside to remember those we love. The love of the world has deep roots in the natural and the sensuous dimensions of love. This is not wrong when kept in the context of God’s designs for a man and woman. Paul contrasts love with the deeds of the flesh. This is why Paul uses the conjunction “but” as he begins his statement about the fruit of the Spirit, which consists of nine parts. Paul begins with “love.”

Love is the singular action that connects us to God and to one another. Jesus summed up the law with the word “love” in Matthew 22:37. In the upper room, Jesus gave His disciples a New Commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Love is central to the work of the Spirit because it comes from the very nature of God Himself, who is love. God’s love is like light, revealing the darkness of the works of the flesh.

Whether speaking of redemption or operating in the gifts of the Spirit, love must always be the motivating force. Agape love is the Father’s love, a love which is always putting others first. The Holy Spirit always leads with others in mind. He came because of others, He convicts because of others, and He saves because of God’s love for others. In everything you do, think, “How does this affect others?” Become one who is thinking about the other person. You can only do this by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our basic nature is a self-nature, but the Holy Spirit wants to produce in us Christ’s nature. His nature is a love nature. He cannot help Himself because He is Love.

Today, ask for Christ’s nature to be revealed and fully matured in you. Ask the Holy Spirit to fully accomplish the work of maturity in your life. Celebrate this day with a choice to yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him release the love of God through you to all those you touch.

SPEAKING BY THE SPIRIT

1 Corinthians 12:3 – I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

An interesting scripture follows Paul’s expressed desire for believers not to be ignorant of spiritual gifts. The Corinthians had come from a pagan religious background of idolatry. Idolatry, by its very nature, brings people under the curses of the particular religion with which it is associated. Jesus, on the other hand, has delivered us from the curse. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Jesus became a curse for us by bearing our sins. The good news is that He is alive from the dead, having carried our sins to hell and He now lives to bless those who put their trust in Him. He is a King who blesses, not a king that curses. The Holy Spirit has come to enable us to say, “Jesus is Lord!” In these chapters, Paul is contrasting the believer’s former life lived under curses and our new life found in blessings from our risen King.

The Holy Spirit is God’s agent in the earth to help God’s people overcome and throw down all idolatry. The Holy Spirit exalts the Lord Jesus through the people of God as they proclaim Jesus’ Lordship. They do works of power demonstrating the kingdom of God is present and the enemy’s kingdom has been defeated. There is a continual process of judgment taking place through the Lord’s people until the final Day of Judgment before God. “This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). We think in terms of days, but the Lord is thinking in terms of a day.  God sees this period for the Church as the day He is raising up a people who are judging the world by the Lord Jesus through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Captives are set free by being “delivered from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).

Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you with His gifts so that you can share the good news of the gospel of the kingdom, not only with words, but in demonstration of power by the work of the Holy Spirit. Let those gifts declare to others that Jesus is Lord!