Unlocking the Gifts – Part 1

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23).  When Jesus said this, He was speaking to a man who was requesting healing for his son.  That statement is still relevant to us today.  It exposes a fundamental truth that we must grasp.  The statement goes beyond believing God for healing, salvation, provisions, finances and health, etc.  Belief is the key for us to access everything God has for us.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask[c] anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14)

Currently most leaders attend colleges or universities to receive the necessary knowledge to teach, preach or guide the people of God.  Sadly, sometimes this is done without any reliance on the Holy Spirit.  As we fail to understand that before we were born and called God equipped us for ministry.

When He called Jeremiah, the prophet told God he was incapable of doing what he wanted.  God’s response was this, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).  Each of us is similarly chosen and equipped “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).

To unearth the gifts in us requires submission to God.  We must believe that the Holy Spirit can and will provide the necessary training and preparation for us to effectively minister to His people.

How do I know this?  We can look at the work that was done with the disciples before they became Apostles.  Jesus taught them the Word and trained them to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit (John 14:17).    Peter, the other Apostles and disciples were given understanding of the scriptures by Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44-48) after his resurrection.   This was to equip them for service.  The transformation this had on their lives was evident when Peter spoke for the group on the day of Pentecost.  As we examine his speech we realize that he was not the same as when he walked with Jesus.  A previously illiterate man now exhibited the skills of a trained orator and wisdom of an experience leader (Acts 2:14-40).

This was not his doing.  It was the Holy Spirit in operation, in a submitted vessel (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).  Holy boldness had fallen on the man who had previously denied Christ and cowered in fear before Jesus’ accusers.  He now stood as the foremost defender of the faith.  His speech in Acts 2:14-40 to the Jews from the various nations shows us that he became a new creature in Christ.  The equipping work of the Holy Spirit to convict, correct, comfort and guide new believers was clearly manifested (2 Tim 3:16).  This power is still available to all believers, especially those who are chosen for ministry.  We only need to believe and submit (John 14:25-26; Isaiah 11:2).

You may think that this was only done for the Apostles and is not relevant in a modern world.  After all has God not revealed the scriptures to teachers for them to teach other teachers?  That is true but we must never neglect the need for us to fellowship with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Every person has a different ministry.  To be fully aware of what is required involves spending lots of time in the presence of God.  It is during this time that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us the ministry for which we are called.  He will also equip us by giving us understanding of the scriptures (Ephesians 1:17-19; Colossians 1:9; Ephesians 4:13).

Photo credit: A Gift, Justine Sanderson, flickr.com

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