"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit.; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the intrepretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as he wills." 1Corinthians12,4-11 (NASB)
Gifts And Experiences Help Us Serve Others
Have you seen the "stromchasers" on television?
Instead of driving away from the tornado or hurricane, they drive into it, with cameras rolling. They risk their own lives and other peoples' too. They are chasing an experience in order to have the best story to tell.
Some of us Christians are sort of like these stormchasers. We are tempted to chase experiences and gifts as if all that appears to be Holy Ghost light is Holy Ghost Light: "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."
Not all that glitters is gold.
And not all that appears to be light is Light.
So by extension, we could say, not every so called supernatural "gift" or "gift" bearer, or experience, comes from God.
Therefore, the word says "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirit as to whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out." 1John4,1.
With this in mind, here's a recent word that the Lord wanted me to share:
"Don't chase the experience, follow the Word.
Don't preach experiences. Preach the Word.
Get Jesus in you, the hope of glory, and experiences- including miracles- will come by your obedience to the Word, Jesus, living in you.
The stormchasers are chasing problems if they only chase the experience, likewise my people chasing experiences and gifts. The stormchasers chase lightning, and some of my people do the same.
Yes, baptism in the Spirit [John3,5] is vital and essential and an experience that still happens today. With this baptism your understanding of the Word rises exponentially, whereas your understanding of the gifts is always about serving others, in that I gave you them for my own reasons [1Corinthians12,11].
Why chase the gifts and experiences when I simply want you to use your gifts, and in so doing, follow the word?
The gifts I give you are part of the word, not ends in and of themselves.
Use the gifts when I say, not just when you feel like it. Not to show off, not to make a name, but in service.
Don't confuse excitement and volume and experiences when you meet with the necessary development of leaders who use their gifts on behalf of all my people."
That's the word I received.
It's not that we are to go around suspicious in the body of Christ, or faultfinding, but we recognize that we are all called to mature service and the full faith measure of Jesus.
This word also prompts me to fully realize that if God promises to give every person, baptized in the Spirit, a a supernatural Holy Ghost gift (1Corinthians12,7) for the upbuilding of the body, then we at Zion Pentecost Mission need to empower, train and encourage everybody to use his or her faith gifts and become mature servants of Jesus' body, which He heads up.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...