The Secret to Operating in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Is there a secret to operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit? The answer is yes and I will share that with you now. My ministry as an evangelist includes not only training up the body to do the work of the ministry as far as how to preach the gospel, but also how to operate in miracles and healing and gifts of the Holy Spirit. That is what I will be sharing with you now.
Our text will be found in 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14. I will not be covering all that is in those chapters. I will focus on how the individual Christian can operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I will do this so that your preaching is not in man's wisdom but in demonstration of the Holy Spirit and of power.
In chapter 12 we have listed the nine gifts or manifestations of the Holy Spirit. You will also notice that the fruit of the Spirit in chapter 5 of Galatians also lists nine. There is a reason for this. You'll recall that in the gospels Jesus told about those who prophesied and operated in miracles and such and yet were considered goats and not his sheep. They did not fare very well, but the sheep did pretty well. I am writing this so that you can operate in the gifts of the Spirit as a "sheep" and not as a "goat." You will clearly see why I say this.
The first gift (I will use the term gift although it is a manifestation of the Spirit) is the word of wisdom. The word of wisdom is not all of God's wisdom but it is just a small portion that is given in regard to his plans and purposes as well as things pertaining to the future of the person to whom you are ministering. Generally, depending on how you receive it, the word of wisdom can come in a form of a vision or a feeling or a word or a phrase or sound like someone is talking to you, that when acted upon and spoken out by faith will produce the rest of the word which you then give to the person to whom you are ministering. The word of wisdom will always come from within you and your spirit where the Holy Spirit resides and come up to your mind. It won't go away like a fleeting thought. The fruit of the Spirit that is produced and is really needed to operate in this gift of the Holy Spirit is love. The reason why is because God is demonstrating his love to the person to whom you are ministering and telling them how much he loves them by giving them his plans for them and his compassionate thoughts about them concerning their future. Many need to know without a doubt that Jesus Christ loves them and this gift will do exactly that. It is a great door opener to the gospel.
The next gift is the word of knowledge. The word of knowledge is not all of God's knowledge but that part which he desires to give to the person to whom you are ministering. This gift is directly connected to the fruit of joy because this gift brings the joy of the Lord into a person's life that needs a word from the Lord desperately. Through this gift the Lord will let the person know that he knows their situation and that he has provided the answer. The answer is that he is willing, because of his mercy, to use his power to bring about the miracle that they need. This gift is also received the same as a word of wisdom.
The gift that follows the word of knowledge is the gift of faith. This faith is the very faith of God himself that is dropped into the spirit of the Christian and is so absorbed throughout their entire being that out of the abundance of their heart they command a miracle to happen right then and there and is happens immediately. And because it happens so fast and dramatically a tremendous peace envelopes the person to whom you are ministering and to you and to everything and everyone around you. Peace is the fruit that corresponds with this gift of the Spirit because this peace is the peace of God that passes all understanding. It is so overwhelming because the gift of faith is so overwhelming in producing an immediate miracle.
The next gift of the Spirit is the gifts of healing. You will notice that the word "gifts" is plural. The reason is that all who believe can lay hands on the sick in the name of Jesus Christ and the sick will recover (Mark 16:18). But this gift, because of the plurality of the word "gifts," indicates a specialization in regard to healing. For example, you as a believer can lay hands on the sick in the name of Jesus Christ and have them recover. You can also operate in a gift of healing of one of an infinite number of "gifts" of healing that will make you a "specialist" in a certain area of healing. For example, you might operate in a "specialized" gift of healing where palsy is healed which causes a person to be crippled. You can read about that particular example in Acts chapter 8 where Philip operated that way. The fruit of the Spirit that corresponds with this gift is longsuffering or patience. The reason for this is simple. Unlike a miracle that is instantaneous, the healing will take place over time, but that time will be greatly sped up in regard to any natural healing. In other words the person will recover and recover extremely fast although not instantaneously. Therefore patience or longsuffering is the fruit that we find with this gift on the part of the giver and the part of the receiver. It is a fruit of the Spirit to you and the mercy of God to the person to whom you are ministering so that they can rest and enjoy their recovery knowing full well that they are healed while the manifestation is taking place.
Keep in mind that all these gifts are manifestations of the Holy Spirit and that he is doing the actual work in and through you as a Christian. God does this because we are "the body of Christ." That means that Jesus Christ is doing these miracles by the Holy Spirit through "his body" which is the church.
The next gift of the Spirit is working of miracles. Unlike the gift of faith where a miracle is "commanded" this gift has you "doing" something to bring it to pass. A good example is in the book of Acts. Peter and John were with the cripple at the gate called Beautiful. The cripple was begging for alms. Peter took the cripple by the hand and lifted him up after commanding him to be healed in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. When he lifted him up, immediately the cripple was strengthened and could walk and leap. Upon praying for someone you would have a leading or unction from the Holy Spirit to "do" something. And upon your obedience in "doing" what the Holy Spirit told you, the miracle will take place. Many times you can see yourself beforehand and "doing" a miracle. And then when you are actually together with the person to whom you are ministering and you act on what you saw by faith, the miracle will take place. The fruit of the Spirit that goes along with this gift is gentleness. The reason why is because you are demonstrating the kindness of God in a gentle but authoritative manner to the individual. They know without a doubt that God loves them and that you love them. And because they know this they trust God and trust you to "do" that miracle. And so they cooperate with you while you "work" the miracle. The miracle takes place and God is glorified.
All these gifts of the Holy Spirit can either lead into the gospel preaching or can be utilized after preaching. Sometimes they need to happen in order to get a person to pay attention to the gospel. The point is that the gospel of Christ is a gospel of power. You are always led by the Holy Spirit when operating in these gifts. And following you will find key things that you can do to make sure you operate in the gifts properly and consistently.
Now we come to the gift of prophecy. Now the gift of prophecy is for edification and exhortation and comfort. This particular gift is used when a personal prophecy is given to an individual. It is like God talking to them personally even though you are the one prophesying. (You are not God. God is working in and through you.) It is not a corporate prophetic word for the church, but a prophetic word of edification or exhortation, or encouragement to the individual to whom you are ministering. The fruit of the Spirit here is goodness. And we know that it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. By using this gift the person to whom you are ministering knows without a doubt that God is good and is making all things work together for their good. It lifts and builds them up and causes them to walk in victory. It strengthens them and encourages them. This gift generally comes by having a word or a phrase to begin with and when you start to speak by faith the rest follows. It also comes from your spirit where the Holy Spirit resides.
Next we come to the gift of discerning of spirits. This is seeing into the realm of the spirit. You will be able to know what is going on in a person's life because you will "see" right into the realm of the spirit. You will know or "judge" what is behind what is going on in the person's life. You will be able to see angels, Jesus Christ, demons, and even their spirit. And because you can "see" what is going on, you will be able to minister to them accordingly by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many times this gift can be used for deliverance and for setting people free. One misconception is that God only selects a certain few to operate in this gift. This is not so. It is just as much a part of the gifts as any of them. Remember that the "pure" in heart will see God. The fruit of the Spirit that goes along with this gift is faith and the emphasis is on "fidelity" with God. It is not that God doesn't want you to see into the realm of the spirit. He does. He is always showing you things. The problem is that your "glass" or eyes are clogged up with gunk from the world. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. If this gift is a priority with you and you want to operate in it then get rid of that which is clogging up your heart. Renew your mind to the word of God and cut out stuff that you secretly like and desire that is part of the world. Set your mind on things above. And don't think that you can just say OK, I will do this and the next minute go back into the things of the world. You are not operating in this gift for your own pleasure or superiority. You are operating in it to free others and get them out of bondage.
Now we come to the last two gifts. They are divers kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues. One major reason the Devil does not like these gifts is because they expose him and the secrets of men's hearts. That is correct. These two gifts work together and expose satanic activity and the secrets of men's hearts. These include those secrets that people have that their spouses don't even know about. You will find many times that pastors of churches will operate in these two gifts. The reason is the same. These gifts expose any satanic activity trying to creep into the church as well as expose the secrets of men's hearts. The secrets of men's hearts phrase can be found in 1 Corinthians chapter 14. When these two gifts are used together they equal prophecy. Keep in mind we are operating in these gifts to minister to people. The fruit included with divers kinds of tongues is meekness or humility. This makes sense because as you are speaking in tongues you may very well have it revealed to you what you are speaking, especially if you interpret. And you need to be humble and meek because you may very well be exposing someone's deepest secrets. Now why would God do this? He sanctifies us spirit and soul and body so that we can be ready to meet Jesus at his return for his church. These two gifts together are a purifying mechanism for people's lives. And for the interpretation of tongues the fruit of the Spirit is temperance or self-control. This goes without saying because if you are exposing secrets in a man's heart you may want to use discretion and do it privately so that no one else is privy to the person's business. God loves people and wants to set them free.
I have given a brief overview of the gifts. I have certainly not covered everything. Now we will move into how to have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in manifestation when operating in the gifts of the Spirit.
Have you ever wondered why some don't get healed? Have you ever wondered why you might have missed it when operating in the gifts of the Spirit? Have you ever wondered why you don't operate in the gifts or only one or two of them? That is why 1 Corinthians chapter 3 was written.
Let us look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-10: "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away."
To the extent that you operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the love of God is the extent that they will work. You will find that the gifts will not work or will not work properly if you do not operate them in a profitable manner and that is through the love of God. Faith works by love. You must operate in faith and some people operate in the gifts by faith but definitely not in the love of God. That is why they act like goats and not sheep. They want things their way. They operate in the gifts but not with the love of God. The Holy Spirit will manifest himself because God loves people and wants them set free. But to the person who operates in the gifts, well, their motivation and operation better be with the love of God. God will move and administer his grace and power for the people being ministered to, but then it will come judgment time for the person who operated in the gifts. If they operated in love then all will be well. If they did not operate in God's love then it will not go so well for them. We are not their judge. God is their judge. We need to keep ourselves abiding in the vine who is Jesus Christ.
And we operate in the love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost by abiding in the vine. The vine is Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is the Word of God. So the more that we abide in the Word of God the more we will be able to operate in the love of God because through the Word, Jesus Christ will be living his life in and through us. That means we must spend at least an hour a day in the Word. (Could you not tarry with me one hour?) We must study and read and meditate in the Word. And we must make our confessions of faith in regard to who we are and what we have through Christ Jesus (twice a day every day with morning and night being an example). We must stop watching and listening and doing the things of the world and set our minds and hearts on things above where God dwells. If you want to operate in the gifts of the spirit then you must give up your life in order to have a life in Christ Jesus.
Now that last part of the scripture in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 where it reads that when the perfect comes the partial will be done away does not mean the gifts ceased or will cease presently. When we become perfect or "mature" which comes by abiding in the vine who is Jesus Christ, then we will operate in the gifts more effectively and fully. The manifestations of the Holy Ghost will then become regular and consistent and not once in a while. The manifestations become serious signs and wonders and miracles that the word and carnal Christians cannot deny. And it will get to the place where people will say. "If this keeps up then the whole world will believe on Jesus Christ."
Now how do we get to the place of being able to operate in the gifts consistently and regularly? First we are abiding in the vine and have shut out the world. We are in the world but the world is not in us. We are abiding in the Word of God. Next we have to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that we may prophesy. Here is the next key to operating in the gifts of the Spirit. We know that by praying in the Spirit our faith is built up (Jude1:20). And we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Now what we do is found in 1Corinthians 14:13-15: "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."
And then in 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 we read, "But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given us of God. Which things we also SPEAK, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth (native language); but which the Holy Ghost teacheth (tongues and interpretation of tongues); comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man (mind) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (Explains why some Christians are adamantly against the baptism in the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues. The Devil does not want it. I will explain why in just a bit.) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (You will try to judge those who are baptized in the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues and interpret and prophesy, but you will do it to NO AVAIL. You will fail.) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
And the last scripture I will use before making my points as to how to operate in the gifts and the key to do so is John 4:24 - "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit (tongues) and in truth (interpretation of tongues)."
The Devil does not want the baptism in the Holy Ghost nor the speaking in tongues nor the interpretation of tongues. He does not want any of it because it is the doorway into the supernatural and operating in the gifts of the Spirit where the gospel now becomes the power of God in Christ Jesus. He will try to get carnal Christians in a fight with other Christians over the issue in order to cause confusion and to keep everyone from preaching with power. The gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit destroys him.
The secret to operating in the gifts of the Spirit is found in the daily exercises we do. First we need to stay in the Word of God and abide in the vine who is Jesus Christ. We do this by reading and studying and meditating on the Word. We couple this with making confessions of faith at least twice a day of who we are and what we have through Christ Jesus.
Next we need to pray in tongues and interpret. We pray to God that we may interpret and in our private prayer time we practice praying in tongues and interpreting. We will find ourselves worshipping God in the spirit (praying in tongues) and in truth (interpretation of tongues). We will find that the Holy Spirit reveals the mind of Christ to us for our everyday lives and our ministries and reveals his plans to us. We will know in our hearts what we are to do. We will even have what is in our hearts confirmed through the prophetic word given through the praying in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Keep in mind that this communion with the Holy Spirit is combining his words with our voice as one as we pray in tongues and interpret in our private prayer life. We naturally draw closer to the Holy Spirit this way. And over time the glory of God will manifest from our spirits through our souls and into our bodies and into the natural realm that surrounds us. The creation earnestly awaits the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God. We will be walking powers of energy and light emanating from our new created born again spirits. We will shine like bright lights in a lost and dark and dying world. People will be attracted to us because of the hope that is in us. And this hope of salvation in the gospel of Christ will be preached and demonstrated in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now you know how God is pouring out his Spirit in the last days and how people will see visions and have dreams and will prophesy. It will be by abiding in the vine and communing with the Holy Spirit through speaking in tongues and interpreting those tongues in our private devotional time with God.
The more you practice these things the more you will operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
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