God works supernaturally through everyone who has received the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:7-11). These gifts continue the work of Jesus’ earthly ministry: healings, miracles, special knowledge, and prophecy.

Word of Wisdom – God gives a person insight on what to do when common logic will not help.
Word of Knowledge – God shares inside information with a person to help them know or do something impossible by human means.
Faith – God gives a person confidence for something ordinarily impossible, such as raising the dead.
Healing – God restores a person’s health although there seems to be no scientific way the situation should change.
Miracles – God does something for a person by going against the laws of nature and doing something impossible.
Prophecy – God encourages a person or the church by speaking hope for the future or the moment.
Discerning of Spirits – God lets a believer know more about a person than meets the eye, whether good or bad.
Diverse tongues – God lets a person speak in a variety of unknown languages to get the attention of the listeners.
Interpretation of Tongues – God gives the interpretation of that public message in tongues so everyone can understand and be encouraged by what He says.

Get greedy for the gifts

Scripture commands us to crave these gifts from God. We are not to think they are the only thing we live for, but we must strongly desire God’s best gifts, the gifts of the Spirit (I Corinthians 14:1).

“The Gift” versus “the gifts”

Some people confuse “the gift of tongues” with the Gift of the Holy Spirit with tongues. We have already covered the concept in posting 14 of how the Lord sent His Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and all who received the Spirit spoke in an unknown language (Acts 2). Peter called this the Gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).

The apostle Paul referred to a different “gift” when he spoke of the gift of diverse tongues in I Corinthians 12 and 14. This gift (Greek charisma) is an empowerment of the Spirit to help the believer who has already received the primary Gift (Greek dorea) of the Holy Spirit. Think of the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a giant gift box with several smaller gift boxes in it. Everyone who receives the Spirit will speak with tongues, but not everyone will receive the gift of diverse tongues.

New Covenant Healing
Most people realize that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but they do not understand why He had to be whipped first. Isaiah tells us He took this beating so we could be healed (53:4-5; Matthew 8:17; I Peter 2:24). The Lord does not intend for us to accept sickness as a lifestyle. He has already paid the price for our healing. We do not have to ask Him, “Lord, if you will,” for we know He is willing. Asking for healing is prayer according to the will of God. Just as Jesus forgives all sin, so He heals all diseases (Psalm 103:2-3). In James 5:14-18, we learn how to receive healing. First, ask the pastor and church leaders to pray, anointing the sick person with oil. We pray in faith, asking God to forgive our sins. We agree together for the healing to happen and pray with red-hot intensity until we know God has heard us. Getting a prayer answered is a lot like having a baby. You must pray until God delivers.

You need spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-17):

Belt – you must know the truth of God’s Word or you will be defenseless

Breastplate – wear the purity, holiness, and righteousness of Jesus on your life

Shoes – be prepared to share the gospel about Jesus Christ to everyone

Shield – live in faithful confidence in God so the enemy cannot shoot you down

Helmet – confidence of your salvation will keep the enemy away from your mind

Sword – speak Spirit words as you learn to use the Bible for your daily needs.

Sources of Strength
Prayer — We connect with God Himself and defeat the devil when we learn to pray as the Spirit leads us. Most prayer should be worship and Spirit-led. Confess any sins and mention your needs to the Lord for He is ready and willing to help. Keep in mind, He helps and forgives you according to how you treat others (Psalm 86:3; 90:14; 108:1-5; Matthew 6:9-15; 7:12; Ephesians 6:18; I Thessalonians 5:17).
Fasting — We take time away from meals and other pleasures of life to focus on God. When we deny our carnal appetites we let the Spirit have a greater role in our lives to do His desires (Isaiah 58:6-8; Mark 9:29).
Study — We will only know the word of God by searching it out. Find out how one passage of Scripture relates to other verses. Get the whole story from the Bible on a certain topic rather than depending on one verse (Psalm 1:1-3; II Timothy 2:15).

Next time…

The Spirit-filled life is a growing process as you give up old ways to follow the new. Next time see what you can do to make this transition easier and keep the enemy out of your heart.