Do We Have The Gift of Leadership?

And we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith. If it is service, he must serve; if it is teaching, he must teach; if it is exhortation, he must exhort; if it is contributing, he must do so with sincerity; if it is leadership, he must do so with diligence; if it is showing mercy, he must do so with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8 NET

God has given us all specific gifts and with the empowerment of Holy Spirit, we should be able to function in our gifts–with a goal of excellence–to His glory!

There’s a reason why all of us do not have the same gifts. Within a specific body, there is no need for duplication of effort with too many chiefs in one place. Having too many leaders in one environment could be as hazardous as too many cooks in the kitchen–at the same time. The end result is chaos and confusion and eventually angst that sometimes spills over into other venues.

In order to see the gifts given function at maximum potential, we must know what our gifting is and fine-tune it so God will not regret what He’s given. Though this passage of scripture is primarily about the spiritual gifts needed for any local church to thrive, it can also be applied to other areas of our lives–in the workplace or with other social groups or organizations. The thing is we must know the gift in order for it to benefit the masses.

How do we know what gift resides within us? We seek God for revelation and understanding and then allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all we do. In the natural, what we have been gifted to do shows in our lives by what we’re drawn to do and have a unique proclivity to do and do it well.

When it comes to operating in positions of leadership, we really need to know that God has placed that gift in us and that we are listening to Him. If we don’t understand that being a leader–does not equate to being a dictator–we’ll mess up what could have been a good thing for ourselves and others. Not everyone is equipped–spiritually or naturally to be in a leadership position and only those God intends to lead–should ever attempt to do the job.  Do you have the gift of leadership? Know what it entails before making a mockery of the position.

 

Enriched and Waiting!

For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you.  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. I Corinthians 1:5-7 NIV

What does it mean to be enriched in Him? When we are filled with Holy Spirit and He takes up permanent residence in us, we are enriched with knowledge and wisdom from on high and this is God’s confirmation–His continual presence with us.

Since Holy Spirit directs our spirit (when we allow Him to do so), we have access to all spiritual gifts–gift of healing, miracles, tongues and interpretation, wisdom, knowledge, discernment, and prophecy, all working according to the dictates of Holy Spirit’s directions.

When Paul wrote this letter to those at the church at Corinth, he acknowledged the gifts that worked within them and within the body of Christ, but he also admonished them for abusing and misusing their gifts–some for profit and others to make them superior to the masses. And while they had access to the gifts of the Spirit, they continued in sin, influenced by the idolatry that reigned and held them in bondage.

While some of us have been gifted to do great things for The Lord, can we say that we are using our gifts to His glory or our profit? This is not to say that some natural gifts–gifts that are honed by experience and practice cannot be used for profit–but the spiritual gifts are for the benefit of the Body and if we are misusing those gifts–and some are–we bring no honor and glory to God, but instead condemnation from others when truth is revealed.

The most misused gift–is the gift of prophecy–and we know because we have so many prophelying to the masses in an attempt to bring glory to themselves. How is this manifested? In the horoscopes, astrological chartings, the psychics and seers who lie to people all the time and many believe them. Then we have the “Christian Prophets” who are some of the worst liars on the planets. They don’t speak as God speaks to them, but they speak in attempt to appease people and make themselves to be more than they are. They know who they are–and they perpetrate the lie by wearing the title “prophet.” A “true prophet” speaks what God says and they have no need to bring attention to themselves. The false prophet exercises no discernment at all because they’re too busy trying to make a name for themselves and what they say, seldom manifests.

Although there are those who move ahead of God, there are also those of us who simply wait–and while we wait–we seek God’s direction for our lives–exercising the gifts He has given to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not ourselves. When Jesus returns and we are standing before the Judgment Throne, how will we defend ourselves and the use of the gifts He gave us to use?

I’ve often heard people say, they don’t know what gifts they have. I would suggest that all Believers spend time in The Word, understanding how all the spiritual gifts operate and then seeking God for understanding of the gifts He has given to all. When we ask of Him, believing all that He is, He will respond and keep our focus on Him and not fame and fortune. Serving Him with sincerity is all He requires of us–having faith in Him alone. Knowing we shall reap the reward of our faith in Him, makes waiting for Him, worthwhile.

Understanding Our Ministry Purpose!

” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:9-13 NIV)

Christ, Himself gave gifts to men and women to function in the roles of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers–all promoting The Word and how to live a Godly life–so that all in the Body of Christ will know what they are to do and how they are to live.  Christ did not set up denominations or religions to divide those who Believe Him, but to bring all who believe into unity–one purpose–teaching all, what God said in preparation for His return.

The ministry gifts–given to those chosen to function in those offices are accompanied with the Spiritual gifts as noted in I Corinthians 12:7-11 (a separate lesson coming soon). All of the spiritual gifts are given as Holy Spirit chooses to those He chooses–not as we desire. Many have been given the gifts of healing and manipulated the gift to bring attention to self and have been exposed for the deception. We are not give gifts to exploit people, but to provide purpose for what we do, magnifying God in all we do–so He gets the glory, not us.

But note this:  The nine gifts listed, cooperatively work in groups of three–faith, healing and miracles; prophecy, speaking in tongues and interpretation, wisdom, knowledge and discernment–all working together for the same purpose, but through different individuals. For anyone to claim they operate in all nine of the spiritual gifts–on their own–I would question the validity of that claim based upon the scriptures and discount anything else they had to say.

This is why it is important for all Believers to know and understand The Word. It is not enough to know what is said without having understanding of what is said and why. It is because so many have gone out–proclaiming and declaring things that God did not say, that we have so much confusion in the Body of Christ today. We must read, study, mediate upon The Word, gaining understanding before we attempt to tell anyone else, anything.

One of the reasons people attempt to manipulate the gift given is because they do not understand their purpose in ministry. They proclaim they have been called by God (when actually some have been called by people) and spend little to no time, preparing to function in the calling they claim. When God calls us–He equips us to do the work He has called us to do–naturally, supernaturally, and spiritually. He inspires us to study, directs us to where we can find information to clarify our roles and in understanding His Word. He speaks to us when we allow ourselves to hear Him, guiding us every step of the way.

When He anoints us to do something out of the ordinary, it is the supernatural gifting and operation of Holy Spirit in control, not us and all we have to do is submit to His leading and by this submission, people will know–whether we are called by God or we have allowed men/women to influence our decision to get into ministry.

Doing the work of ministry is not always a pleasant task, but it is a necessary task and when we do it to the glory of God, we know it is worthwhile.

Before we go out into the world of unsuspecting people trying to make our name for ourselves, let’s seek God and obtain understanding the purpose of the ministry gifts and then allow Him to fill us  to overflowing to function in the gifts, He gives!

Good Gifts!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 NIV).

How often have people received gifts from others they really did not want, but accepted because they didn’t want to appear to be rude? They would accept the gift, smile, say “thank you” and do one of two things when out of the sight of the giver. The gift would find itself in the back of the closet, the basement or a drawer and not see the light of day or was given to someone else at a later time–re-gifted. Usually, this works into a cycle and sometimes–the original gift-giver was often given the gift they had given.

Fortunately, we cannot give the gifts that God gives us to anyone else–no re-gifting here. For the gifts He gives are not physical, but they are spiritual and the Holy Spirit anoints every person whom God has determined to receive a gift (I Corinthians 12:1-11). Each spiritual gift given is for the common good of the whole. Though there may be people who are envious of another’s gifts, they should earnestly seek God about their own gift and work on developing that gift. 

Unlike the scarf or tie or sweater that is sent through an evolution of hands, God’s gifts cannot be re-gifted by us nor can we return them or exchange them. And why should we? If we believe that “every gift from God is a perfect gift” we should be overjoyed with what we receive. And then, get this–God knows exactly what gift we will function in to develop the Body of Christ into wholeness where every need is met.

When we either refuse to hone the gifts given, or reject the gifts out-of-hand, we are telling God He doesn’t know what He’s doing. Then, there are some who are so envious of the gifts God has given others that they practice to deceive and then declare they have a gift that they manufactured, but Holy Spirit did not give. We can tell who is operating in their own “manufactured gifts” because that person has attached a dollar sign to perform it. That gift–is manufactured for their benefit, not for the perfecting and development of the Body of Christ.

The beauty of God’s gift-giving is in the fact that no matter how we act–“His gifts and callings are without repentance”–He won’t take them back. What happens when we don’t use the gifts He has given is that we truly miss the blessings that come with “obedience” to God and the Body of Christ has a void that can only be filled with the gift we are not using. We all have a role to play in promoting the Gospel, developing unity, and perfection within the Body of Christ–all of the born-again believers–especially within the local Body. Churches that do not have spiritual gifts operating are usually dull and boring and no one is exalted other than the preacher. They are dry and stagnant, critical and judgmental because they chose not to exercise the gifts given or they manufactured a gift that does not glorify God.

I pray today that all will earnestly seek God for understanding of the Gift they have been given and then will exercise that gift to reach the perfection needed to operate in the Body of Christ to bring wholeness. Our spiritual gifts are like our bodies–if we do not exercise the body, muscles become atrophied and lax and we become weak and lazy. The same thing happens when we do not exercise our good and perfect spiritual gift from God–the Body of Christ becomes weak and lazy.

Father, in the name of Jesus, speak to our hearts and help us to understand the gifts given to us and wisdom in using them. Show us how we are to function in the Body of Christ and ignite desire in us to exercise the gift to the development of perfection to fill the void in the Body of Christ.

Without Love!

“Though we speak with the tongues of men or angels, and do not have love in our hearts, all we’re doing is making noise” (I Corinthians 13:1 paraphrased)

Wow!  Paul reminds us in this passage of scripture that we may operate with the gifts of the Holy Spirit discussed in 1 Corinthians 12, but without love–we have nothing.  Even if we function in all nine gifts (and most don’t), if we do not have love–unconditional love–to show towards one another, we are just making a lot of noise that makes no sense.

So, if we speak with knowledge or with charisma, we may be wise and know how to charm others with a glib tongue, but the true test of being one of God’s own is the demonstration of love we have in our hearts.  How is our love demonstrated outwardly?  We show compassion for others, we are ready to help those in need, we encourage one another (not condemn), we lift others up in prayer–asking God not only to help us get through a struggle but to help others in their struggles in life.  In other words, we are not selfish Christians, we are selfless Christians and we have no problem doing what must be done, loving one another.

Help us O God to see beyond our own needs and to help one another.  Help us to see the need for prayer and then pray, immediately.  Help us to see the need for appropriate direction for those in need of resources, we may not have.  Help us to encourage those who are sinking under the stress of every day living by reminding them–they can do all things through Christ Jesus.  Remind us O God, on a continual basis, that without love, we are nothing but noise-makers!  In Jesus’ name we pray and thank You, Amen!