It's in the practice
07/05/12 11:00 View entire series at: Next Level | Grow 2012
This GROW 2012 excerpt is taken from
Vineyard College’s Next Level on
Spiritual Gifts, which you can download in it’s entirety here
The only way to really learn about spiritual gifts is by practice and being there. There is little, in my opinion, that can really be learned by reading or developing a long, authoritative and systematic definition of each gift, even though people like myself hunger for that. It is noticeable that while the Bible refers a lot to spiritual gifts in both the Old and New Testaments, it also provides no systematic definitions of them. Instead it provides numerous stories in which God works with people through gifts in a great variety of ways. Furthermore, these stories defy our attempts to classify and define gifts except in the most generalised ways. But they do create a hunger for God to do the same things through us and those we know.
The variety of ways God works in these stories and Paul’s teaching also makes it hard to try and develop any method whereby we may do the same. Healing in the Bible, for instance, can occur by mixing mud and spit, by command for a person present or somewhere else, in public or in private, whether they seek it or not, by the laying on of hands, by handkerchief, by an angel stirring the water of a pool, by inadvertently touching the bones of a dead prophet, by getting in a river, by being breathed upon, with the help of faith, or in the presence of unbelief or even anger at it happening. It happens and doesn’t happen to the deserving and the undeserving, to those who persistently pray and cry out to God in desperation and those who do not. In short, God grants these gifts and we cannot box him into a method or a system.
All we can do is hunger, be there when it is happening, read the biblical stories, learn some general principles, take a risk and try while being willing to look like a fool if nothing happens and do this over and over again. We may feel full of the Holy Spirit, experience bolts of electricity coursing through us or absolutely nothing at all and wish we weren’t there.
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