1 Corinthians 12:11 – One and the self-same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
We have spent a number of days in our devotion considering the work of the Holy Spirit. We have especially considered His work as it relates to the gifts He gives in the body of Christ. Paul wrote that the one Spirit works everything according to what He wills. As believers, it is not necessary to strive over the gifts the Holy Spirit distributes. We must learn how to rest in His provisions. As our relationship with the Holy Spirit matures, we will become more available for Him to work through us for the sake of others.
A considerable challenge for a believer is to traverse the relationship between the spirit and the soul. The spirit of a person is drawn to the mystical side. This embraces areas outside the natural realm and focuses on the unseen realm. Paul calls this “spiritual” and not natural. At the same time, it is important that we do not throw our reasoning out the door. A key is to consistently bring our natural thought process to the Holy Spirit and invite Him to affect how we reason. This means that we need to study the Word of God. The Word of God reveals God’s viewpoints. The Spirit of God will help affect our reasoning through His Word. At the same time, be bold to ask the Holy Spirit to allow His supernatural gifts to be given to you as He wills. I have prayed for over forty years, “Lord, give me heaven’s point of view, and help me see things from Your perspective.” I have asked many times for the Holy Spirit to help me by giving me an operation of His gifts. He has been so faithful to help!
Father, I surrender my natural mind to the Holy Spirit. I ask You to open my understanding of Your Word and freely distribute Your gifts through my life as You choose. Holy Spirit, I give You complete control of my life. I pray that I may be a faithful steward of what You entrust to me.
1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another, the interpretation of tongues.
The gift of interpretation was very important in the early church. There were many languages spoken throughout the Roman Empire. In Acts 2, we read about all those from around the empire that had come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. They spoke the language of their homeland. Those speaking in tongues were speaking of the kingdom of God in the many languages represented. Tongues were a sign gift to the Jews that the Spirit had come and the Kingdom was being established. In Acts 10, we see this sign gift of tongues given to the Gentiles. As the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, it was a sign to the Jews that God had accepted the Gentiles in His kingdom. Supernaturally, the message of the Gospel was given in an understood tongue by some but needed interpreting for those who did not understand the language by which the Spirit was speaking.
Today, the gift of interpretation is still relevant. There are testimonies from the mission field of tongues and interpretations being helpful in the sharing of the Gospel. From time to time, a message in tongues will come in a gathering of believers. If only the gift of tongues is exercised, there will be no edification for those who do not understand the language spoken. Interpretation provides others an opportunity to be encouraged as understanding is brought to the hearers. Paul encouraged tongues in the corporate gathering, but only if the gift of interpretation is exercised. Paul went on to say, some speak in tongues, some interpret, but all can prophesy. The Holy Spirit has made provision for the many languages spoken in the nations to hear the Gospel and has given an opportunity to receive Christ’s offer of forgiveness and life.
Rejoice today in your time of devotion with the Lord, in how He has made provision for all people to hear and understand the good news of the Kingdom of God. If the gift of tongues is exercised in a public meeting, maybe the Lord would use you to interpret what was spoken for the edifying of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians12:10 – To another, the distinguishing of spirits.
The Bible reveals four areas relating to the subject of “spirit.” The first is the Holy Spirit, for whom this devotional is dedicated. Next, the human spirit, which becomes regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit when one repents and is converted. The third is angels, who are called ministering spirits. The fourth is demonic spirits, who are associated with the realm of darkness.
In the Gospels, these spirits of darkness are referred to in a number of ways. They are called devils, evil spirits, and unclean spirits. The gift of discernment, translated in the NASB as “distinguishing of spirits,” is a gift the Holy Spirit gives so the body of Christ knows with what realm of the spirit world it is dealing. This is a necessary gift in helping to bring freedom to those bound by evil spirits. It is also beneficial to help an individual find God’s eternal purpose for their lives as they learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Because of the influence of the occult in society, both in Bible days and in ours, the problem of spirits is a real issue. Many people come to Jesus, but have not received ministry regarding their past, when evil spirits attached to their lives. The early church understood the spiritual battle in which they were engaged and ministered “deliverance” from evil or unclean spirits so that the new believers could walk in freedom in their new faith in Christ.
The gift of discernment is a powerful tool that the Holy Spirit wants to impart to willing believers. It can be used to discern spiritual realms in the corporate gathering, in times of ministry to an individual, and in our personal walk with the Lord. God wants us to know how the enemy is battling against our success in Christ. The Bible is clear about our warfare not being with flesh and blood. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Ask the Holy Spirit today to heighten your discernment of the enemy’s territories. Yield yourself to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show you the battle in which you are engaged. Ask for discernment as you minister to others. Father, I thank You for Your Word that tells of our spiritual battles. Cause me to be discerning as I fight the good fight of faith.
1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another the gift of prophecy is given.
Prophecy is one of the greatest gifts the Holy Spirit gives to God’s people. Paul encouraged the Corinthians with the words “all may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:31). I believe what makes this a great gift is the fact that all can prophesy. Individuals learn and are exhorted through this gift. God’s people are encouraged to go forward and enter into all the Lord has appointed for them. Many times, the words are very specific and help in guiding a person in a particular direction. Prophecy is supernatural in its nature because it comes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is not the natural words of encouragement or teaching, which can be beneficial. The prophetic gift operates as the Holy Spirit stirs up a believer to speak. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will speak one word to a person in order to “prime the pump” for speaking more. Other times it might be a vision that one sees. Most of the time, it is by inspiration and one does not know what will follow the initial word or words the Spirit has given. The Bible connects “faith” to the gift of prophecy. “Prophesy, according to the proportion of faith you have” (Romans 12:6).
The gift of prophecy is a great way to become familiar with the Holy Spirit’s leading and directing. The gift can operate while praying for another, while sharing the gospel, or just encouraging someone in the natural. All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit releases a supernatural word of learning and encouragement. The gift of prophecy can be helpful in leading to the operation of other gifts as the Spirit leads.
I have had prophetic words spoken over my life for the last forty-seven years. Many of these words were very accurate in the detail they contained. This has been helpful for me to continue in the Lord’s direction for my life. At times, these words called me to specific areas of ministry. The Lord had already placed the call in my heart, but others were used to confirm His leading. I have been honored to be used by the Holy Spirit to provide the same ministry to others.
Ask the Holy Spirit to heighten your sensitivity to His presence and to begin to use you in an ever-increasing way in the “gift of prophecy.” You will be astonished how often you begin to share under the anointing of the Spirit of God. How blessed people will be as the Lord uses you to be an instrument of encouragement and learning!
1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another the working of miracles.
Many believe that the days of miracles are over. It has always seemed strange to me that anyone could come to this conclusion. God is the author of miracles. He is supernatural and we are natural. God is unlimited and we are limited. Paul gave us an order for church life recorded in 1 Corinthians 12:28. He lists a number of ministries we should expect in the Lord’s church. He begins with apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then “miracles,” and then healing. The list goes on. It seems Paul understood miracles were to be a regular part of God’s order in His church. Just like the other gifts, not everyone operates in the gift of miracles, but all believers have the gift available by virtue of the Holy Spirit living inside them.
Some believe miracles stopped after the original apostles died. Those who hold to this view believe we have the finished Canon of God’s Word and have no need of any of the gifts. Nothing could be farther from the truth! It is true, the revelation of God’s Word to mankind is absolutely complete. No further revelation is needed. The gift of miracles confirms the Word of God by the Lord’s Holy Presence existing in the believer.
Jesus, Paul, and the disciples were used by the Spirit in the miraculous, confirming the Word of God that they preached. In fact, in Mark 16:18, Jesus told us that miracles would be part of the ministry of the Great Commission. The writer of Hebrews makes this statement: “How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:3-4).
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Do you believe that? Then He is still the miracle worker and He has not removed this vital gift from His church. Rejoice! Be courageous and ask the Holy Spirit to use you in this realm of the Spirit’s work. Yield to the Holy Spirit and expect the gift of miracles to become a part of your life and ministry to others.
Father, I yield to Your miracle power. Use me according to Your will to help others come to know Your miraculous power manifested in the resurrection life of Your Son through Your indwelling Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:9 – To another, gifts of healing by one Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the giver of healing, and He has many gifts or manifestations of healing. Our God is a God of restoration! In order for restoration to take place, it requires some kind of healing. It may be physical, mental, emotional, or relational healing. Mostly spiritual issues are at the core of all healing.
Today, let us consider the physical side of healing. There are multitudes of diseases in this world that oppress people’s lives. Peter spoke of “how God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Jesus demonstrated His delight and willingness to heal, even on the Sabbath, when He healed the Hebrew woman whom Satan had bound. Jesus asked the religious leaders, “Should not this woman, whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, be released from this bond on the Sabbath day” (Luke 13:16)?
God appointed the Sabbath as a day of rest. What better way to demonstrate God’s purpose of the Sabbath than to heal one whom the enemy had bound for many years? God gives “gifts of healing” to individual believers because He loves us and wants to help us enter into all forms of His rest. Whether we are addressing the healing of a broken spirit, a tormented soul or perhaps a broken body in some form, Jesus is still the healer today. He uses the body of believers to bring about healing for the masses, just as in His earthly ministry 2,000 years ago. The Holy Spirit will use all who yield to Him and are willing to receive wonderful gifts of His healing power.
Today, ask the Holy Spirit to use you to bring about healing in broken lives. They are all around us, beloved. All we must do is be available for the Holy Spirit to give us a healing gift for another. Father, I ask You to use me as an instrument of healing as often as You would choose.