In my last post, i wrote briefly on how Faith is worked out by love. Love is the height of spiritual maturity. I spoke on how Love is the battery for our faith torchlight. Furthermore, the gifts of the spirit are received by us from God by faith. So the gifts of the spirit are energized by faith, and faith energized by Love.
The gifts of the spirit cannot be kicked out of the Bible like it doesn’t matter or it doesn’t exist. However, every gifts of the spirit should be rooted in Love. It becomes a problem when people use their gifts not entirely wisely, or when people don’t even recognise that they have a spiritual gift given to them specially by the Holy Spirit. I believe that the gifts of the spirit are given to believers for the building of the body of Christ. They are given to keep believers steadfast in the faith, and also to draw unbelievers into the faith.
Hebrews 2:4 explains how it keeps believers in the faith when it says: ‘[Besides this evidence] it was also established and plainly endorsed by God, Who showed His approval of it by signs and wonders and various miraculous manifestations of [His] power and by imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit [to the believers] according to His own will.’
Let’s take a look at the life of Jesus when he was in the world. Out of the love of God for mankind, He sent Jesus into the world. Jesus demonstrated this love to people when He healed the sick, raised the dead, taught the scriptures, and went about doing good.
Once at a prayer meeting, i described Peter as ‘loud’ and compared him to John the beloved. Afterwards, i had a tough time with God as he convicted me of what i said. Peter had a function as much as John did. He had revelations from God and that was why he could tell Jesus, ‘You are the Christ! The Son of the Living God!’. Maybe Peter was not as ready to receive the love of Christ as John was, but he sure did have a role to play. He was full of passion and enthusiasm. Jesus even told him, ‘You are a rock, and on this rock i will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it’. Jesus also said Satan had asked specifically for Peter to be sifted into his hands. Satan must have seen something special in Peter.
I wondered why God convicted me of what i said and it occurred to me that Peter was the one that gave the sermon at Pentecost. Peter was the first disciple to perform the first healing after Christ ascended. Interestingly, Peter was with John when this happened. I believe that John had to be there because he was the one with the revelation from Christ on love. The healing had to be driven out of love. I don’t know if this happens to you, but recently when i see sick people around me, i feel really moved with compassion, and then i pray in my heart for God to heal them. It just comes naturally for me to do that because i know God loves them.
Like i pointed out above, the reason why Christ healed people and performed miracles was because he loved them. It was his way of expressing His love for them. We should aim to be like Christ. He was love and out of that love He did supernatural works in the lives of people.
Love had to come down in the person of Jesus before the spirit of God was poured out from heaven. Its sad how love is separated from the gifts of the spirit nowadays because the reason why God gives us these gifts is to use them to show love to others. Even Paul warns the church at corinth that every gift of the spirit is nothing without love: ‘But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all–love].‘
We should earnestly Love because outside of Love, there is no proper gift of the spirit. The gifts of the spirit are nothing without love. Love and gifts of the spirit should be united together. I would even go as far as saying that, every ‘gift of the spirit’ manifested anywhere, without the love of God at its root is not of the Spirit of God but of the spirit of the antichrist. 1 John 4:3 says the spirit of the antichrist is already in the world. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 also says that the coming of the antichrist is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of pretended miracles and signs, lying wonders and delusive marvels. In case, you didn’t know, demons teach doctrines. 1 Timothy 4:1 talks about how in the latter times some christians will turn away from the faith, giving attention to seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach.
So we have to very alert and very careful about the places we go to just because signs and wonders are manifested there. It could be the Spirit of God but could also be the spirit of a demon manifesting. However, i believe the best way to discern if its the Spirit of God is if the motive behind it is the love of God. God is love, and where love abides God abides.
Linking Revelation 3:19 to Proverbs 1:23, when we walk in love, God pours out his spirit on us. Revelation 3:19 says the people that God dearly and tenderly loves, he tells them their faults and convicts, convinces, reproves,chastens,disciplines and instructs them. It admonishes us to have an enthusiastic attitude and to burn with zeal when God tells us our faults(rather than feel condemned); and afterwards repent. Proverbs 1:23 then says: ‘If you will turn(repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold, I (Wisdom) will pour out my spirit upon you, i will make my words known to you’. Christ is referred to in the Bible as the Wisdom of God, so when we heed to his reproof and instructions, He pours out his spirit on us.
I’ll end by encouraging you to put on love. Putting on love is spiritual warfare. The love of God is powerful. I believe when the love of God comes, everything comes after. If you have been asking God to show you what gifts He has given you, start loving first of all, then see what happens. Love should be the foundation of all the gifts of the spirit.