A Nugget from New Life Network
Scripture for the Day (August 8, 2018)
And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s l,ives, but to save them. And they went to another village. (Luke 9:54-56)
My wife and I have been in the ministry for 36 years. We have ministered in churches that allow the gifts of the Spirit to operate and we have ministered in churches that don’t. Frankly, it’s actually easier to minister in a non-spirit filled church because you don’t have to deal with some of the things that a spirit-filled pastor or minister has to deal with. By that I mean a Pastor of a spirit-filled church has to always be sure things are done decently and in order and be able to call down anyone that is out of order or not operating in their gift properly. That takes a pastor that is in tune with the Spirit, has a lot of experience and love, has a strong backbone, and has no fear of man.
Let me explain one of the traps of the enemy when it comes to operating in the gifts of the Spirit. Let’s use prophecy as an example. The gift of prophecy is real and powerful. It can change a person’s life and can change an entire church, if it operates in order, is used at the right time, and operates with the right spirit.
For example, 1 Corinthians 14:3 says the following:
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
This verse describes what the attitude and purpose of a New Testament prophecy should be all about. If it doesn’t edify, exhort, and comfort, it’s not of God. Now, some people would argue that point and use Old Testament prophets as examples where they called down fire from Heaven, revealed sins of entire nations, and pronounced judgment on people. That’s right, they did that, but that was the Old Testament. We are in the New Testament and Jesus is our example now.
There are many examples in the New Testament where Jesus used the gifts of the Holy Spirit to minister. The woman at the well was a prime example when Jesus spoke to her about her five husbands and the man she was presently living with. Her response was that she perceived He was a prophet. What I want you to see in that exchange was that Jesus never condemned her. He spoke to her in private and in love. What He said actually brought her comfort because now she knew that she was not rejected by God but was loved and accepted.
Also, when you are operating in the Spirit, the Lord will sometimes reveal certain things to you about someone or about a group of people. That does not mean you need to prophecy to that person or to that group about what was revealed to you. Maybe God revealed that so you could pray for that person or that group. It may not be for public consumption at all.
To edify, exhort, and comfort, is actually a good rule of thumb for any type of ministry, especially when operating in a gift of the Spirit. The words out of our mouths can bring life or death. We need to always be speaking life. In my personal experience, when God has corrected me about something, it has never been in a condemning way. It has always been in love. Let’s just make sure we are operating in that same spirit. Ask yourself before you speak, is what I am about to say to this person going to edify, exhort, and comfort them or is it going to be judgmental and condemning? The enemy is the accuser of the brethren, not us. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)