The gifts of the Spirit

The recent operation of God’s Spirit among the people of Maranatha has been remarkable. Various people have been utilized by God in various ways. The movement and expression has been tender and deep. Many messages from God have come through the words spoken and actions taken. What is taking place is Biblically accurate and as the Spirit directs. It is pretty exciting!

I believe that this activity is the result of our sincere seeking of God as we progress through our 21 day fast.

Just in the past few weeks, I have personally witnessed the gift of prophecy in a worship service, the gift of mercy in our Haiti outreach efforts, a word of knowledge shared by one man with another, the gift of faith (regarding a financial miracle that took place at our church – probably the gift of generosity at work!), and words of wisdom that God gave through me while preaching. This is just the stuff that I have seen! This activity is ongoing and appears to be increasing.

What I love most about this experience – no one among us is receiving any credit. The gifts are operating through people who are humble and not seeking acclaim. We are not making a show of it and these gifts are being offered and exercised in simplicity and purity. God is being honored and the church is being built up. Fruit is being born (which is a churchy way of saying that we have proof that God is working among us), lives are being changed and God is receiving the glory.

What I dislike most about this: Because there is not as much drama and theatrics as some may prefer, a few people are missing the movement of the Spirit. Due to the common opinion that the Holy Spirit is flashy and loud and boisterous, there are a few people who think the Spirit is nowhere near us. They are waiting for some arrogant display of super-spirituality, and when it doesn’t happen, they think the Spirit is missing. Some demand that God behave in ways that they have seen on television or at other worship services. Therefore, when He speaks in a way that they are not accustomed to, or in a way that is different from what they can predict, they attribute the movement to some other source. Or they miss what the Spirit is doing altogether.

The Spirit of God is not about hype. He is not limited to our preconceived ideas. If we have spiritual tunnel vision, we will miss Him.

People of Maranatha: don’t be looking for a superstar prophet to come and declare some grandiose Word from God. Instead, open your spiritual ears and hear what God is saying to us – on a regular basis – about His desires for us. Don’t expect God to move among us the way that you have seen in the past. Instead, look to scripture. Our worship style will not be patterned after other churches or denominations. We are patterned after the Bible. We are committed to understand what the Bible teaches about the operation of the gifts of the Spirit and are humbly pursuing the fulfillment of that in our church. The Spirit of God is free to do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants.

If you would like to take a closer look at scripture as it addressed the work of the Spirit in people, check out I Corinthians 12, 13 and 14, as well as various additional New Testament writings.

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