Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pursue Love and Desire Spiritual Gifts

“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts.” 1 Corinthians 14: 1

So many people approach the subject of the manifestations or gifts of the Holy Spirit from a purely doctrinal or analytical point of view. To do this is to miss the real significance and wonder of it all. A person’s ability to fully appreciate the magnificent gifts and tools the Lord has placed in his hands depends on the depth of his vision and motivations. What a person sees determines what he reaches for. What a person desires (and why he wants it) determines the passion and enthusiasm with which he pursues it.

The apostle Paul covered the issues of desire and motivation when he said we should “pursue love and desire spiritual gifts.” When we move in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit we are expressing our hunger for God’s active presence among us and we are showing our love and care for those around us. Jesus healed people because He was moved with compassion. We will move in the gifts of the Spirit as we are moved with His compassion. The gifts therefore are instruments of God’s love. I pray for the sick because of God's compassion for those who suffer. I want to move in prophetic insight because there are people who need an encouraging word from God. I want to have a word of wisdom because someone is perplexed or confused and asking God for direction. I want to see miracles because so many people are facing impossibilities and need the “waters to part.” I want to pray in the Spirit because it strengthens my prayer life, strengthens my spirit, and helps release my ability to move in the other gifts of the Spirit, which will in turn touch others with the compassion, presence, and power of God.

When we speak of spiritual gifts, we are speaking of the presence of Jesus Christ working among us. We are not necessarily focusing on the spectacular and the dramatic, although these do occur from time to time. But mostly we look for those unobtrusive and often unnoticed acts of the Holy Spirit working in the background and which flow among us as life and grace, quietly, yet deeply touching and blessing the lives of those around us. It is those daily, obscure, and non-spectacular acts of obedience that strengthen the church. It flows out of the individual’s desire to be used of God, and his willingness to reach out to people with love and compassion. It is to these that I direct you.

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