Charisma Magazine




Why We Can’t Ignore the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Written by J. Lee Grady

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My friend Rafael invited me to preach in his church in Humacao, Puerto Rico, a few years ago. It was Pentecost Sunday, so I brought a message about the Holy Spirit’s power. Then I asked God to use me in a supernatural way because I figure we shouldn’t talk about the Spirit’s gifts if we’re not willing to demonstrate them.

I noticed a young man sitting in the fourth row. I could sense God’s love for him. I pointed to him and began to give a word of prophecy about how God wanted to use him.

Later I returned to Puerto Rico to speak at a men’s retreat. Guess who showed up? The young man to whom I gave the prophecy. His name is John, and I learned that he had never visited the church in Humacao until the day I met him. Because John felt God speaking to him that Sunday, he has attended that church ever since and is growing spiritually.

One simple word of supernatural encouragement changed John’s life. But what would have happened if I had decided to “behave myself” and not step out in faith to prophesy? What if I had let fear stop me and just decided to stick to my notes, preach a nice sermon and play it safe?

I’m afraid that’s what a lot of us are doing today in churches that claim to be Spirit-filled. We say we believe the Bible, but when it comes to the Holy Spirit, we’ve become cowards. In trying to be trendy and relevant, we’ve replaced spiritual anointing with cool music, graphics, sermons and programs that look and sound great but lack a spiritual punch.

If we are full of the Spirit, the nine charismata, or spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, should be manifested regularly. But few Christians today have even heard of these gifts; fewer have seen them in operation. We need a refresher course in the ways the Holy Spirit works. And we need these nine gifts in our churches today:

1. The word of wisdom. God can give us a supernatural solution to a problem that cannot be solved by man’s ideas. The American church desperately needs this gift so we can shift from man’s carnal ways to heaven’s wisdom.

2. The word of knowledge. The Holy Spirit will sometimes reveal information that could not have been known by man.

3. The gift of faith. This is not the normal kind of faith we need daily. The gift of faith is a special ability to believe for big things. A person operating in supernatural faith will motivate others to pray until the answer comes.

4. The gift of healing. Paul told the Corinthians that there are actually gifts (plural) of healing. The exciting part is that God is still in the business of healing bodies, minds and broken hearts.

5. The gift of miracles. The book of Acts is a series of miracles—so why would we ever assume God pulled the plug on that power? He still opens prison doors, breaks chains, releases angels, opens blind eyes, changes weather patterns and delivers people of demons. He is still a miracle worker!

6. Prophecy. This is a special gift because God loves to speak to His people. And He wants to use us to relay His message. I consider the gift of prophecy “supernatural encouragement” because it always edifies the person who receives a word from the Lord—even if it is corrective.

7. Discernment (or “discerning of spirits”). I am grateful that when the Holy Spirit gave His gifts of power, He also provided a way for us to tell the difference between God’s work and a demonic counterfeit. Not all that is supernatural is from God. We also need this gift to set people free from demonic bondage.

8. Speaking in tongues. There are “various kinds of tongues” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10. Believers can have their own private prayer language, but some people are also gifted to speak in tongues in a church meeting.

9. Interpretation of tongues. Similar to prophecy, this gift can relay a message from God that was spoken in a foreign or angelic tongue. I love the fact that linguistic barriers don’t limit our God; He loves the entire world!

The apostle Paul told the Corinthians: “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts,” (1 Cor. 14:1a). God wants His gifts flowing through us, but He never forces us to use them. He is looking for availability, courage and surrender.

Please allow the Holy Spirit to jumpstart His power in your life.

J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years and now serves as senior contributing editor. He directs the Mordecai Project, an international ministry that protects women and girls from gender-based violence. His latest books are Follow Me and Let’s Go Deeper (Charisma House).

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J. Lee Grady is an author, award-winning journalist and ordained minister. He served as a news writer and magazine editor for many years before launching into full-time ministry.

Lee is the author of six books, including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, 10 Lies Men Believe and Fearless Daughters of the Bible. His years at Charisma magazine also gave him a unique perspective of the Spirit-filled church and led him to write The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale and Set My Heart on Fire, which is a Bible study on the work of the Holy Spirit.

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