Gifts for Maturity
The Apostle Paul gives us a list of gifts for the individuals for the common good in the first letter to the Corinthians: Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healings, Working of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits, diverse Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. Of these nine gifts, six of them are for information. Three of them are for power. God wants to get guidance through to us.
First Corinthians 12:31 says, “But earnestly desire the greater gifts....” First Corinthians 14:1 says, “Pursue love, and desire the greater gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” How do we desire these gifts? James gives us the recipe. In James 1:5,6 it says, “If any of you lacks (the gift of) wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts (wavers) is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” Jesus gave us promises to ask for gifts in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
After I became a Christian on a ship by myself, I started earnestly praying for wisdom. I knew I needed a source of guidance from God when I got out into the world of churches and denominations. I read I John 5:14,15: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” I reasoned that the patriarchs and apostles of old spoke to God and God spoke to them. If I am a Christian they are merely my brothers in Christ. I can have the same thing! So I asked God for wisdom and then quietly sat there. I heard a little something in the back of my mind. That could either be my own thoughts or the still, small voice of God. I had to make the jump of faith. So I declared that it was the voice of God and thanked Him for it. Suddenly I heard, “Welcome, Son!” Contact made! I’ve been walking according to that gift of the Word of Knowledge in my spiritual ear for over thirty years now.
I have since used the same prayer of faith to receive numerous gifts of healings, prophecy, miracles and tongues. All by grace through faith through prayer.
The gifts are unique, but they come from the same Holy Spirit through our spirits. After using them for a while you would notice they start to blend together. Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge are gifts that you seem to hear – but not really. Faith, Gifts of Healings and Working of Miracles manifest through you as you minister. Prophecy seems to be visual – but not really. Discerning of Spirits comes through a gut feeling or simulated smell. Diverse Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues taken in combination is used for comfort or information.
Please note: exorcism is not a gift that only some have. As soon as we come under the authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we have His promise that we can drive out demons. A three year-old Christian can cast out demons! A new convert can cast out their own demons immediately. Non-Christians cannot cast out demons at all. If a person seeking deliverance comes to me, I give them a page with a self-deliverance routine on it and have them do it for themselves. Doing so also gives them assurance of salvation.