Friday, March 9, 2012

"Eagerly Desire the Greater Gifts"

A verse I found through reading Dream Language, was 1 Corinthians 14:1.  It says, "Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy."

Wow, what a bold verse!  As I stated in my earlier "How Dreams Fell Into My Lap", I have a friend with the gift of prophecy--two actually, because we just discovered another who has this special gift.  I also have a friend who has been prophecied into by a preacher he did not know.  I watched this calling drastically change his life.

Other than these few instances, I have not ever heard about this gift, nor studied it, nor seen it in all my twenty years of church, retreat, and evangelism services.  And yet, here I am studying the Word of God in which I am told to "eagerly desire" this gift of prophecy!

How does this all work out?  If this is such an important spiritual gift, why do I not actively see it in our churches, and why does the body of believers not regularly pray for such bestowing of the Holy Spirit?

If I haven't stepped on your toes already, I'll take it a step farther.  Once--in all my years with churches and ministries--only once have I studied the spiritual gifts, and even that was briefly.

Thankfully, that one study last year led me on to dive much, much deeper into the study of spiritual gifts; what they look like, how they are given, and what God uses them for.

The way I understand it, each member of the body of Christ is given a special gift from the Holy Spirit.  The gift is not just for the individual to soak up in their own life, but to be shared with others members of the body.  In this way, if every member is living out fully what they were called to be--obeying and trusting God with every spiritual move--then the entire church would be functioning as a body!  

If those who were called to evangelize would go and evangelize, and those who were called to pray would pray without ceasing, while those who are called to teach would teach faithfully, I think every member in the body would benefit from unity, working together, and therefore grow closer to Christ in love (Ephesians 4:16.)

One of my friends lately keeps telling us that we have put God "in a box."  
I'm really starting to see her point.  If the churches aren't teaching us about our spiritual gifts, who will?  If the arms aren't moving then how will the moving feet be any good?

I think we often see the greater gifts (tongues & prophecy) as over-spiritual, too mystical, or far beyond our denomination's beliefs.  But by taking these things out of the church, not only are we limiting God, but we are going against his will and disobeying him as our Father.

When the Word of God says eagerly desire the greater gifts, especially prophecy, you best believe I'll be  on my knees begging God to use me in this special way.  The question is, will you join me?