Earnestly Desire – Part 2

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I Corinthians Chapters 12 through 14

Steve continued his series on spiritual gifts today, noting that he doesn’t mean the TBN-style, out-of-control, self-centered, or focused on money gifts, but the kind that build up the church. He recalled doing a lot of extreme, charismatic stuff in the past—dancing, running around, dumping water on people—but said he has been in error for not desiring the gifts.

Even though the church at Corinth was “messed up,” God was still telling them to desire spiritual gifts, Steve said. “This won’t be like the charismatic church you grew up in, but we’re going to take the lid off the suppression of the gifts. We want to people healed.” After reading through the nine gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, he added, “How did miracles and service get in the same list? Because God doesn’t think like you. God has called each of you to something . . . if you are a Christian, there are giftings, activities or service (aimed at) blessing the body of Christ.”

Miracles can be the thing God uses to save people, Steve said, mentioning the pastor he met who said everyone he knew from in India who had come to Christ did so because of seeing a miracle. He asked what our reaction would be if we saw someone’s leg grow out or a hand grow back: “Your flesh would be creeped out. But the Bible is full of miracles. The Red Sea split and they walked across. God shut the door of the Ark. If you saw that, you would be creeped out.”   

As we learn to recognize the moving of the Spirit, we shouldn’t be flipped out, he said. When we are aware of the Spirit moving, there is comfort and humility. We realize that the Spirit empowers us to do what we do, and that He uses us as He wills. However, we have to desire those gifts; we’re not passively involved. We have to be cautious, because if we get a prophetic word we can think every thought that goes through our head is prophetic.

Steve guessed that he heard 800 prophecies growing up and many weren’t prophetic. The difference with authentic prophecies is they will touch your heart and make you spiritual soar. The prophecy is never about the one delivering the message, but the people it is designed to encourage. While humility is the premise we want to operate it, we shouldn’t let the fear of pride keep us from desiring the gifts.