Tuesday, November 17

The Spirit in the Church - Part 2

So, is the Christian life all about trying to be a good person (or at least better than your neighbor)? Is it about having perfect kids? Is it about voting conservatively? Is it about living the safest life possible?

Or is there more? Could we be stuck in a Christian "Matrix"?

Could there be more dynamic from God than just assimilating the principles of the next "How To" sermon we hear? Could it be that He wants us to be Jesus to others and operate with some of the power Jesus did? Is that what Jesus meant? Didn't He say we would do more and greater things than He did when the Holy Spirit comes?

The matrix is comfortable. The matrix offers control. But ... the matrix is boring and might not be working out so well (as evidenced by our divorce rates, our kids and our moral choices of entertainment!).

Maybe there is more ....

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

The Holy Spirit gives gifts to believers for the common good. He gives these gifts to build others up in their trust in the Lord Jesus. He gives gifts to believers and intends to use them in ministry.

The Holy Spirit also gives gifts as he determines. These are gifts at His discretion. We do not get to pick and choose what gift we want as one might choose a desert at a buffet line. The Spirit gives to each one just as He determines.

Put these thoughts together: God chooses what gifts I have and what they are for. God gives me a gift to give to others for their good.

But .... what kind of gifts? Is God giving out gifts of money or encouragement or helps? What kind of gifts does He want to give the Church for the common good of others?

1. the message of wisdom
2. the message of knowledge
3. faith
4. gifts of healings
5. miraculous powers
6. prophecy
7. distinguishing between spirits
8. speaking in different kinds of tongues
9. the interpretation of tongues

Unless you are in a "charismatic" church you do not see these gifts very often. Most evangelicals are uncomfortable with these types of spiritual expression or afraid of being out of control. And so we create theology to make us believe that God the Holy Spirit does not want to work in this way any more.

We are content to be principally-driven "bible expositors", more concerned with the "how to" part of Christianity. If I have a good marriage and good kids and if I go to church and give my 2% then I am ok.

But God might want to do more. God might want to give "uncomfortable" gifts to us for the common good of other believers. God might want to use us to speak into someone else's life or to heal them or communicate a word of knowledge about something going on in their life.

Unfortunately, if we are in the matrix we will be unable to hear Him or recognize when He is doing this.

Are you open to the Holy Spirit working in your life? Are you willing to be used by God in ways that might be uncomfortable? Are you willing to awake from the Christian Matrix?

Ask the Lord to use you in any way He wants. Ask Him to speak through you into the lives of others. Ask God to give you wisdom and power for the good of others.

Finally, remember the Giver is always more important than the gift as a home builder has more honor than the home he builds. Seek the Giver not the gift. Seek the person not the power. Be open to His leading. He will do the rest.

He is the Matrix buster ...............

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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