1 Corinthians 12:11 – One and the self-same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
We have spent a number of days in our devotion considering the work of the Holy Spirit. We have especially considered His work as it relates to the gifts He gives in the body of Christ. Paul wrote that the one Spirit works everything according to what He wills. As believers, it is not necessary to strive over the gifts the Holy Spirit distributes. We must learn how to rest in His provisions. As our relationship with the Holy Spirit matures, we will become more available for Him to work through us for the sake of others.
A considerable challenge for a believer is to traverse the relationship between the spirit and the soul. The spirit of a person is drawn to the mystical side. This embraces areas outside the natural realm and focuses on the unseen realm. Paul calls this “spiritual” and not natural. At the same time, it is important that we do not throw our reasoning out the door. A key is to consistently bring our natural thought process to the Holy Spirit and invite Him to affect how we reason. This means that we need to study the Word of God. The Word of God reveals God’s viewpoints. The Spirit of God will help affect our reasoning through His Word. At the same time, be bold to ask the Holy Spirit to allow His supernatural gifts to be given to you as He wills. I have prayed for over forty years, “Lord, give me heaven’s point of view, and help me see things from Your perspective.” I have asked many times for the Holy Spirit to help me by giving me an operation of His gifts. He has been so faithful to help!
Father, I surrender my natural mind to the Holy Spirit. I ask You to open my understanding of Your Word and freely distribute Your gifts through my life as You choose. Holy Spirit, I give You complete control of my life. I pray that I may be a faithful steward of what You entrust to me.
1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another, the interpretation of tongues.
The gift of interpretation was very important in the early church. There were many languages spoken throughout the Roman Empire. In Acts 2, we read about all those from around the empire that had come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. They spoke the language of their homeland. Those speaking in tongues were speaking of the kingdom of God in the many languages represented. Tongues were a sign gift to the Jews that the Spirit had come and the Kingdom was being established. In Acts 10, we see this sign gift of tongues given to the Gentiles. As the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, it was a sign to the Jews that God had accepted the Gentiles in His kingdom. Supernaturally, the message of the Gospel was given in an understood tongue by some but needed interpreting for those who did not understand the language by which the Spirit was speaking.
Today, the gift of interpretation is still relevant. There are testimonies from the mission field of tongues and interpretations being helpful in the sharing of the Gospel. From time to time, a message in tongues will come in a gathering of believers. If only the gift of tongues is exercised, there will be no edification for those who do not understand the language spoken. Interpretation provides others an opportunity to be encouraged as understanding is brought to the hearers. Paul encouraged tongues in the corporate gathering, but only if the gift of interpretation is exercised. Paul went on to say, some speak in tongues, some interpret, but all can prophesy. The Holy Spirit has made provision for the many languages spoken in the nations to hear the Gospel and has given an opportunity to receive Christ’s offer of forgiveness and life.
Rejoice today in your time of devotion with the Lord, in how He has made provision for all people to hear and understand the good news of the Kingdom of God. If the gift of tongues is exercised in a public meeting, maybe the Lord would use you to interpret what was spoken for the edifying of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another, various kinds of tongues.
The subject of tongues and prophecy are at the heart of this part of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. The gift of tongues was being misused in the corporate gatherings. The purpose for the gift was to convince the unbelieving foreigner, in their own language, their need of salvation. Through the supernatural gift of tongues, the unbeliever was convicted and won to Christ. If believers were speaking in tongues at the same time in church gatherings, it brought confusion to both unbelievers and other believers. Read 1 Corinthians 14 for a complete discussion of the matter. Paul wanted believers to understand that this gift is specifically for the common good. Many are confused about this gift and have a tendency to neglect its importance to the body of Christ.
In the fourteenth chapter, Paul made a distinction between the gift given for utterance in the meeting place and the practical use of tongues in the believer’s personal life. In our devotional today, I want us to think about Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 14:5, “Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues.” I know that not all spoke in tongues, for if they did, Paul would not have needed to wish that all did. Paul explained that for tongues to edify, the language must be interpreted. Paul wrote, “If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful” (1 Corinthians 14:14). Paul went on to say in verse 15, “What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with my mind also.” Do not set your natural mind against your spirit. Both need to make expression to God, whether by prayer or by worship. The Lord has given this wonderful gift of tongues so our spirits, as well as our minds, may pray and worship our Lord. It is very helpful to be able to express our worship and prayers with our natural mind as well as our spirit.
If you have not received the “gift of tongues” from the Holy Spirit, why not simply ask Him now? Continue to ask with the view toward being strengthened in your prayer life and worship to the Lord. It will not make you more spiritual. It is added grace to help you pursue your relationship with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another the gift of prophecy is given.
Prophecy is one of the greatest gifts the Holy Spirit gives to God’s people. Paul encouraged the Corinthians with the words “all may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:31). I believe what makes this a great gift is the fact that all can prophesy. Individuals learn and are exhorted through this gift. God’s people are encouraged to go forward and enter into all the Lord has appointed for them. Many times, the words are very specific and help in guiding a person in a particular direction. Prophecy is supernatural in its nature because it comes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is not the natural words of encouragement or teaching, which can be beneficial. The prophetic gift operates as the Holy Spirit stirs up a believer to speak. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will speak one word to a person in order to “prime the pump” for speaking more. Other times it might be a vision that one sees. Most of the time, it is by inspiration and one does not know what will follow the initial word or words the Spirit has given. The Bible connects “faith” to the gift of prophecy. “Prophesy, according to the proportion of faith you have” (Romans 12:6).
The gift of prophecy is a great way to become familiar with the Holy Spirit’s leading and directing. The gift can operate while praying for another, while sharing the gospel, or just encouraging someone in the natural. All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit releases a supernatural word of learning and encouragement. The gift of prophecy can be helpful in leading to the operation of other gifts as the Spirit leads.
I have had prophetic words spoken over my life for the last forty-seven years. Many of these words were very accurate in the detail they contained. This has been helpful for me to continue in the Lord’s direction for my life. At times, these words called me to specific areas of ministry. The Lord had already placed the call in my heart, but others were used to confirm His leading. I have been honored to be used by the Holy Spirit to provide the same ministry to others.
Ask the Holy Spirit to heighten your sensitivity to His presence and to begin to use you in an ever-increasing way in the “gift of prophecy.” You will be astonished how often you begin to share under the anointing of the Spirit of God. How blessed people will be as the Lord uses you to be an instrument of encouragement and learning!
1 Corinthians 12:9 – To another, gifts of healing by one Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the giver of healing, and He has many gifts or manifestations of healing. Our God is a God of restoration! In order for restoration to take place, it requires some kind of healing. It may be physical, mental, emotional, or relational healing. Mostly spiritual issues are at the core of all healing.
Today, let us consider the physical side of healing. There are multitudes of diseases in this world that oppress people’s lives. Peter spoke of “how God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Jesus demonstrated His delight and willingness to heal, even on the Sabbath, when He healed the Hebrew woman whom Satan had bound. Jesus asked the religious leaders, “Should not this woman, whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, be released from this bond on the Sabbath day” (Luke 13:16)?
God appointed the Sabbath as a day of rest. What better way to demonstrate God’s purpose of the Sabbath than to heal one whom the enemy had bound for many years? God gives “gifts of healing” to individual believers because He loves us and wants to help us enter into all forms of His rest. Whether we are addressing the healing of a broken spirit, a tormented soul or perhaps a broken body in some form, Jesus is still the healer today. He uses the body of believers to bring about healing for the masses, just as in His earthly ministry 2,000 years ago. The Holy Spirit will use all who yield to Him and are willing to receive wonderful gifts of His healing power.
Today, ask the Holy Spirit to use you to bring about healing in broken lives. They are all around us, beloved. All we must do is be available for the Holy Spirit to give us a healing gift for another. Father, I ask You to use me as an instrument of healing as often as You would choose.
1 Corinthians 12:9 – To another faith is given by the same Spirit.
Faith is always being exercised in the public gathering of the saints. Each believer exercises their faith simply by assembling with other believers. At times, special faith is required. There are times when the Holy Spirit will impart to an individual believer a special gift of faith. In the public meeting, the Spirit may choose to use one or two individuals in the “gift of faith” to meet a particular need. The Scriptures declare, “We walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Our daily walk is an exercise of our personal faith in our Lord. There are also times when we must operate in faith through the application of particular Scriptures in various circumstances we face. Perhaps you are trusting for healing, believing for a certain financial need, or facing some impossible situation. We all face these times.
In every believer’s life there are times when a special gift of faith is required. These are times when the Holy Spirit will impart a special gift of faith to meet a need or answer the cry for help as we come to the end of our own operation of faith. Paul operated in special times of exceptional faith. “God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out” (Acts 19:11-12).
I have personally had times when the Holy Spirit imparted special faith for a job to be done. I found this to be most often true when traveling into a foreign country and facing certain dangers. I knew, in these times, I was not operating in my normal walk of faith, but in special grace the Holy Spirit was supplying for a specific task. I do not experience the “gift of faith” daily, but over the years I have found the Lord to be so faithful to give me the grace of faith so I could accomplish what He had purposed for me to do.
Father, I pray that You will grace my life with special, even extraordinary measures of faith as needed. I pray to be reminded of Your ever-present help in time of need. I open up my spirit to the Holy Spirit, who is full of grace and gifts. Father, I thank you for the faith You have given me. I also thank You for the gift of faith available to me in those special times of need.