031 ~ The Benefits Of Exercising Spiritual Gifts
The Benefits Of Exercising Spiritual Gifts
By Rodney W. Francis
When we make an open and honest appraisal of what the Bible teaches on Spiritual Gifts, we see that there are wonderful benefits to be had. They are given so that we might be edified (built up), exhorted (inspired) and comforted (solaced) (1 Corinthians 14:3). They are given “that all may learn and all may be encouraged” (1 Corinthians 14:31). Every person needs to be the recipient of the gifts and their benefits. There is a spiritual dimension that we cannot receive any other way. When we are not functioning and exercising Spiritual Gifts we are actually “robbing” others of these needy benefits. No wonder the Bible tells us to desire them earnestly (1 Corinthians 12:31; 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39), to stir them up (2 Timothy 1:6), to so love people that we want to do the utmost good to them, that the gifts will operate in and through us to encourage others. Spiritual Gifts functioning encourage us to press in to God and enable us to know His “now” word for us. It is not surprising, therefore, that we are told that “all may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:31); that we are “not to despise prophecies” (1 Thessalonians 5:19), but rather to “take heed to the prophetic words spoken over our lives” (1 Timothy 1:18-20). Through prophetic words spoken over our lives we are able to fight a much better warfare against the tactics of the enemy against us; we are able to hold on to faith more definitely, because we know more clearly the word and will of God for us personally; and we also are able to have a clean, pure conscience that enables us to obey the voice of the Lord when it comes to us. Without a clear conscience, whenever God speaks, the enemy comes and pricks our conscience and accuses us of things we have done wrongly, etc., and that has the effect of stopping us from being obedient (because we have a guilty conscience).
Spiritual Gifts in operation are God’s idea. They are not something that man has dreamed up. They are a vital part of New Testament Christianity. We neglect them to our loss.
My experience is that operating in the Spiritual Gifts has opened the world to me to minister. I have seen more lives converted to Jesus Christ, backsliders restored, spiritual, emotional and physical healings take place, the call of God revealed, people finding their rightful place in God’s purpose, etc., through the operation of the Spiritual Gifts than any other way of ministry. Why so many churches and church leaders neglect and ignore them puzzles me. We can never accomplish in our own efforts what the Holy Spirit can when we listen to Him, obey Him and release His gifts to the people. It is a totally different realm to the “norm” of “accepted Christian beliefs” and through ignorance and neglect we then have to settle for lesser results and fruit. May God open our eyes more to see more of the ways of the Holy Spirit and His wonderful gifts.
According to 1 Timothy 4:14-16, the exercising of the gifts of God in our life bring benefit to all ~ to those who hear us, and to us as well. God always blesses obedience. I well remember the time when the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to keep exercising His Spiritual Gifts, for every time I did that, I was untying His hands to set my future up! How blessed and encouraged I have been to know that. And to see the impact of it! Yes, every time you and I exercise Spiritual Gifts we are enabling God to set our future up for us!
The place of prophecy and prophesying is presented all the way through the Bible. It has always been a part of God’s way of speaking and ministering to His people. Prophecy received and acted upon enables us to prosper:
“So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel . . .” (Ezra 6:14). The people were inspired and motivated to do what God had called them to do. And He used prophecy to do that! He still uses prophetic words and other Spiritual Gifts to reveal, inspire, confirm and motivate people today. Theology will never accomplish what a man or woman inspired of the Holy Spirit can! The word “prospered” in the above verse means “to accomplish successfully; to reach the goal” (Wilson’s). It is time for us to stop being ignorant of the prophetic realm so we can all accomplish successfully the purposes of God and reach the goals He has given us! We are naïve if we think we can fulfil the purposes of God on our lives without the input of the prophetic word.
Christians are commanded to be baptized in the Holy Spirit so they can know power, a spiritual language (speaking in other tongues) to communicate spirit to Spirit to God, and to prophesy (Acts 1 & 2). The nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit are in the Holy Spirit and, when the Holy Spirit comes into us, we have them inside of us. Our responsibility is to strongly desire to release them to bless and build up others. To do that we have to see that it is very Scriptural to desire to release them, and then to give ourselves to God in an earnest and sincere way until we get the release and breakthrough in exercising them to bless others. That desire has to be stronger than any and every reason or excuse we may have as to why we are not functioning in them. You will never regret breaking through and seeing God using you in wonderful ways by His Holy Spirit. I know ~ from the word of God and my own experience ~ that the Christian life is much more effective and fruitful when we are flowing in the Spiritual Gifts. They are all a part of exercising faith ~ and faith exercised pleases the heart of God (Hebrews 11:6)!
The Prophetic Equips And Strengthens Us
In 1 Timothy 1:18-20 the Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to remember and take heed to the prophetic words that had been spoken over his life. He said those prophetic words (prophecies) would enable him to “wage the good warfare, having faith, and a good conscience.” Paul gives Timothy three distinct benefits of being a recipient of prophetic words. When we take heed to and believe what is spoken to us prophetically, we are better equipped to fight the spiritual battles the enemy brings against us to make us doubt, and take us out of the will of God . . . to settle for less, and therefore be less effective in the Kingdom of God. Satan likes to challenge our believing the promises of God and seeks to undermine the principles of our faith. He tries to foul our conscience in such a way we will not be able to obey the voice of the Lord.
One reason why there is so much deception around today is because many Christians have not been exposed to the benefits of the true prophetic ministry, and therefore do not recognize or understand the “subtleties of Satan”. As a result their faith is not anchored in the confirmation of what the prophetic and Spiritual Gifts bring for us. Notice in 1 Timothy 1:18-20 that Paul named two men who were ridiculing the prophetic ministry, and Paul delivered them over to Satan so that they may learn not to blaspheme. Think about this for a moment. Paul so valued the place of the prophetic that those who spoke negatively and generally turning people away from believing it, were called blasphemers. That is serious! We do need to be careful on how we respond and/or re-act to prophetic ministry. This is especially so today, as there is so much ignorance about the prophetic realm, including Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1).
I find it amazing how many Christians will try and talk us out of the will of God! I know for me that if it was not for numbers of prophetic words confirming the way of God’s call for me, I most likely would not be doing what I’m doing today ~ and thousands would be robbed of this teaching of the prophetic and Spiritual Gifts. I am so grateful that I was saved in a church that believed in and allowed the prophetic to function. The prophetic has taught me what to say “Yes” to, and what to say “No” to. When you know and believe what God is saying to you, it certainly helps one in the making of major decisions. And making decisions according to the revealed will of God for our life always brings forth “more fruit.” God bless you.